Superscale 72-430: A-4M Skyhawk

Units: VMAT-102 & VMA-311


$Long out of production


Scott Van Aken

The A-4 Skyhawk has been a favorite of modelers for years. Back when most Americans built 1/72 scale, Microscale (now Superscale) produced a rather substantial number of decal sheets for these aircraft. One is this one for the A-4M. Actually it is for pretty early A-4Ms. Both of these options are in the light gull grey and white scheme.

Now I'm not really sure what kits were available at the time, but one thing I can tell you is that the ones on the market did not have the fin mounted ECM antenna as the instruction sheet provides step by step conversion guidelines. To my knowledge, before the Fujimi kits came out in the mid-late 1980s, Matchbox may well have been it for anything approaching an A-4M. To convert an E one would need a new canopy/windscreen at the very least.

The first option is from the training squadron, VMAT-102 at MCAS El Toro. this one has the fin conversion and the sheet includes the large red tail markings.

The other is an earlier bird without the ECM from VMA-311 with its black/yellow fin. Most colorful.

The sheet has a goodly number of stencils for both planes as well as nose anti-glare panels and insignia. The markings guide on this old sheet only provides minimal stencil info so you'll have to find another source for the majority of these stencils. Actually, they look like generic Skyhawk as they offer both styles of intake warning, of which only one will be used. The decals also suffer somewhat from registration problems with the unit badges and the name plates, a common problem with old Microscale sheets. However, they were one of the best on the market. It shows how far we've come in this area.

Review sheet courtesy of me.

September 2005

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