Airfix 1/72 A-7E Corsair II

Kit Number: 3016

Price: $5.00 (in 1985)

Decals: two versions, VA-146 and 355 TFW

Review and photo by: Scott Van Aken

 There has been a lot written about the A-7 Corsair and some of it by me.  Rather than repeat myself, just check out the Fujimi review of this aircraft for a background.

The Airfix kit was molded soon after the USAF decided to adopt it as their light attack aircraft. As a result, you do not get all the necessary mods to make it a full blown A-7D, although the box would have you think so.  It does make into a fair representation of an E models with most of the distinguishing bits and pieces in the right place. Typical of a late 70's kit, the panel lines are raised, the cockpit vary meager, and the overall detail and crispness not up to today's level.  Doesn't mean it does not make into a reasonable kit.  Since most of us do not build to win contests, you can build a nice representation for a small outlay of money.

I built this particular kit in June of 1986.  Molded in grey plastic, it had almost no flash and nice clear bits as well as a large weapons load of iron bombs and Sidewinders (more on those later). The cockpit is quite bare, but I used a preprinted, you fold, cardboard cockpit from the now defunct magazine 'Modelaid International' and they did quite a bit to spruce it up.  Quite realistic if the canopy is left closed. The most difficult area of the kit is the intake area. Similar to Fujimi, you are given one which has a two piece inlet; unlike Fujimi it is an upper and lower section. On the upper section is the cockpit area and the lower includes the nose wheel well.  It is just as difficult to smooth out the seam as the Fujimi kit although it doesn't need as much putty.  The rest of the kit is pretty well standard.  If you are doing the USAF A-7D from this kit, you can only do the very early batch as the wheels are for a USN aircraft.

I mentioned a large selection of weapons. I basically tossed them and used those from the Hasegawa weapons kits.  The Airfix ones are quite crude and full of sink marks.  The kit decals are similarly poor and so those were replaced with markings from a Microscale sheet for a CAG bird of VA-195, the Dambusters. I used Testor's ModelMaster enamel paints on this kit.  I still like Testors paint after all these years and all the different brands that are available.  I guess the main reason is that I can get them just about anywhere and they go on quite nicely.

So there you have it.  A simple review of a simple kit.  Recommended to all who want a relatively quick build, otherwise, get the more complicated, but more accurate Fujimi A-7.

February 1998

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