Platz 1/144 A-4E/F Skyhawk

KIT #: PD-18
PRICE: 1500 yen
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Two complete aircraft


The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk is a carrier-capable ground-attack aircraft designed for the United States Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The delta winged, single turbojet-engined Skyhawk was designed and produced by Douglas Aircraft Company, and later McDonnell Douglas. It was originally designated the A4D under the US Navy's pre-1962 designation system.

Fifty years after the aircraft's first flight, and having played key roles in the Vietnam War, the Falklands War, and the Yom Kippur War, a few of the nearly 3,000 Skyhawks produced remain in service with several air arms around the world, including active duty on the aircraft carrier of the Brazilian Navy.


This is a great addition to 1/144 jet aircraft kits. The Skyhawk was built in huge numbers and now we have a nicely done version in 1/144. Platz kits are right up at the top of the line in terms of detailing and this kit is no exception.

There are over thirty parts to each kit and you do get a pair of them. The kit includes wing and centerline pylons with a pair of drop tanks. No weapons so those will have to come from a different source. These are E and F versions with the upper fuselage avionics hump that includes an ARC-27 command radio, ARA-25 UHF direction finder and APX-72 IFF system. Since they are Vietnam war era planes they have the straight refueling probe. A very nicely done bang seat is provided for the interior and it actually looks like a Douglas Escapac seat. A single piece canopy covers all this.

The instructions are in Japanese, but this isn't a problem as the construction illustrations are quite clear and easy to follow. There are markings for four aircraft, three of them in light gull grey over white and from the USS Oriskany in 1967/68. Unusual and a first is that one option is for a NAF Atsugi gate guard. I faintly recall seeing this plane on the edge of the parade ground there back in the early 1970s. Gate guards usually get repainted with great regularity. This one is overall white with markings for VA-192 and VA-195 on each side. The 'regular' markings provide two VA-192 planes with their colorful yellow fuselage/intake markings. The other is from VA-195 and all of them are CAG birds. The colorful sheet is superbly printed by Cartograf so you know they are of the highest quality.


Platz wants to be your 1/144 military model company and with kits like this they are certainly getting there, at least in terms of the subjects they have so far released. These will not take up much shelf space, but will provide a goodly level of detail and interest.


October 2009

My thanks to for the preview kit. Get yours at your local retailer. 

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