Cutting Edge 48-163 for A-4A/C Skyhawks

Units: See Review




Steve Mesner

Cutting Edge sheet CED48163 provides decals to do one of two aircraft:

1. A4D-1 (A-4A) BuNo 139943c, of VA-44.

2. A-4C BuNo 148510 of VA-113, USS Kittyhawk.

Cutting Edge recommends the Hasegawa Skyhawk kits for these decals, but I don’t see why they couldn’t be used on Hobbycraft kits. There is no A4D-1 kit available at this time but conversion from an A-4B kit should be easy enough for even a moderately experienced modeler (two obvious differences: The A4D-1 has a “solid” [unribbed] rudder and no refueling probe).

Both featured Skyhawks are in the Gull Gray/White scheme. Blue paint (FS25102; Floquil 303046 is recommended) to match the decal sheet will be required to build either model.

Documentation, normally a strong point of Cutting Edge decals, is sadly lacking for this sheet. Three obscure references are cited, one of them a private photo collection. I was able to locate a photo of the A-4C in the old Arco/Aircam book, placing the date at 1965. The significance of the particular AD4-1 featured is a mystery, other than its general colorfulness.

As mentioned, there are sufficient decals to do only one of the featured aircraft (there is only one set of intake warning flashes, for example), though it would probably be possible to use kit decals to complete the other one, if you wish. One good thing is that the starboard fuselage star-and-bar for the A-4C is designed to wrap around the refueling probe for an undistorted appearance. Another highlight of the sheet is the black stripes given for the tailhook.

There are a couple other minor problems with the decals and instructions, however. The instruction sheet details the location of some warning triangle markings, but no warning triangles of this kind are given on the sheet. Is it intended to use the other type of warning triangle (the kind seen near the cockpit) for this, or is the “second” set of those meant to do the second airplane? The sheet itself also has a pair of small black-and-yellow striped Caution decals, but no location for this is shown on the instructions. 

The instructions show the upper surfaces of the A4D-1 to have Gull Gray ailerons and white over the flaps, the opposite of the usual arrangement. If this is accurate, some mention should have been made of it to avoid questions in the builder’s mind.

The red was very slightly out of register on the supplied sheet, and will require a minor touch-up in the national insignias.

Despite the discrepancies and paucity of information, true Skyhawk aficionados should be able to use this sheet to produce a pair of sharp-looking models.

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