Revell 1/48 A-10A Thunderbolt
|€15.00 on sale
Intending to improve on the performance and firepower of the A-1 Skyraider, in order to provide close air support (CAS) to friendly ground troops by attacking armored vehicles, tanks, and other enemy ground forces, Fairchild developed the single-seat, twin-turbofan, straight-wing, subsonic A-10 Thunderbolt II (commonly referred to as the "Warthog" or simply "Hog"), serving the USAF since 1976.
Essentially designed around the high power 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary autocannon, this very successful aircraft served with distinction not only in the Gulf War, but also in other conflicts such as in Grenada, the Balkans, Afghanistan, the Iraq War and against the Islamic State in the Middle East.
There have been quite a
few 1/48 A-10 offerings through the years, starting from as early as 1977 with
Tamiya, then Esci, Revell, Monogram, Hobbycraft, and the somehow more “modern” Italeri
(also reboxed by Platz), Hobby Boss, Academy and even a promised GWH offering.
This is the 2010 rebox of the Monogram tooling, first hitting the shelves in 1986 and quite regularly reissued ever since. The kit must not be confused with the older (1979) pure Revell mold, which was a simpler kit and was discontinued some time in the late 80s, presumably upon Monogram and Revell merging together, where for obvious reasons the more advanced Monogram mold was chosen to be marketed. Interestingly, before coming up with their own 1979 mold, Revell had even reboxed the 1978 Esci A-10!
The kit previewed comes in the typical medium sized good quality but side opening Revell blue box, carrying an attractive box art of a 47 FS bird carrying the famous warthog teeth nose art.
Upon opening the box, I was greeted with roughly 160 light gray styrene parts, arranged in four big spues. Molding is quite crisp with little if any flash (this edition is made in China and the molds look to be very well taken care of). Panel lines are raised, but, being a relatively modern Monogram mold, they are very nicely done.
Cockpit is well rendered, featuring good sidewall detail and an acceptable 4-piece seat (its lower cushion molded onto the cockpit tub). Landing gear is also well done, with the main legs featuring brake lines, the wheels having convincing brake housings molded on and the bays exhibiting acceptable internal detail.
The engine faces and exhausts also look good, as do the aerodynamic surfaces, with the split type decelerons optionally posed open or closed. An assortment of good looking ordnance is supplied with three loading options. Though there is clearly room for adding extra detailing, not only due to the kit’s old origins (newer toolings offer more detail), but also due to the fact that the A-10 itself is a complex looking plane detail wise, what is provided here is sufficient and will satisfy a good number of us.
nicely molded and crystal clear. Instructions come to the now classic and very
nice Revell form of an A4 size b/w 12-page booklet, containing a short history
of the type, a photo of a finished model, a sprues map, with the construction
wisely spread in no less than 52 simple, clear and concise steps, with color
callouts given where applicable.
Two schemes are provided, both medium gray over light gray, for the box art’s 47 FS, 917 FG bird, featuring the warthog teeth, as it stood in ANG-AFRC Command Test Center - Barksdale AFB, LA in 2009 and the 23 Wing’s Flagship bird, featuring a shark mouth, as it stood in Pope AFB, NC in 1993. Decals, though superbly printed by Cartograph, in my specific copy were exposed to severe humid conditions and their behavior is unknown, will probably give them a try, though, as in the past I had success with similar cases.
Instructions want you to first assemble the cockpit and trap it between the fuselage halves, followed by assembling the landing gear/gun bay and attaching it underneath. The wings are then put together (you can choose between “open” or “closed” decelerons) and attached to the fuselage, followed by the tail planes. The engines are next assembled and attached, followed by the landing gear (you can choose between extended or retracted), with the distinctive Pave Penny laser tracker finally added.
The pylons are next,
followed by the ordnance, where you can choose between three different
configurations. A good looking pilot can optionally be placed in the cockpit,
followed by the good looking canopy (and the boarding ladder in case you have
chosen the “extended” option), ending a build that poses a certain complexity
(and, reportedly, at areas challenging fit).
Some 30g of weight are stated to be trapped in the nose (I would put tad more for safety), so the model will not tail sit and, nevertheless, if your tail-sit avoidance acts fail, you can use the transparent rod provided.
As a final note, the aircraft received several updates through the years. To my understanding (and I will leave the rest to the Experrten) the kit represents an earlier version, so, if you want to build a later one you might have to do an appropriate research and, presumably, source the extra parts via an update set or so.
Though superseded by newer offerings, this is still a good kit for the iconic Warthog. General shapes of parts look correct, molding is crisp, a good level of detail is provided at all key areas, transparencies are nice and clear, instructions are concise and decals are superb (in my isolated case they were severely exposed in moisture). On the other hand, panel lines are raised (but really well done) and the overall level of detail lacks compared to newer offerings. The build itself is not uncomplex, let alone the fact that some fit issues are almost certainly to be expected, meaning this kit is not for beginners.
Taking all the
above into consideration, if you are not a beginner and fancy the type, this is
a kit worth tackling, especially if found at a good price. It will certainly
require some extra effort, but the result will be really great (it is reported
that the overall shape of the finished model is possibly the most correct
looking A-10 between all available kits) as can be admired at various reviews
found at the ever growing MM archives.
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