1/48 Hasegawa A-4M Skyhawk - Diamondback 00

Gallery Article by Michael Phillips on Apr 9 2018



Hi everyone!
Back again to share my latest completed project, the 1/48 Hasegawa A-4M Skyhawk in Lo-Viz VMA-131 Diamondbacks markings from 1993. So I had the bright idea to add the Aires cockpit... what a mistake that was! I had only a couple of months prior to this build used my first Aires pit (on a Tamiya F-16C Aggressor), and while it did take some work to fit, was not too much of a hassle. This one was nothing but a hassle! It took me more than an entire week to just get it to sorta fit in there. I had to hack up the plastic sides, the nose gear well, and the pit itself to shoehorn it in. Considering it usually takes me just over three weeks to build an entire kit, a week fitting a cockpit alone is a huge time sink for me. So if you are considering the Aires cockpit for the Hasegawa A-4, DON'T. You have been warned! LOL  I will not buy another Aires pit, however I will still use the ones I currently already have.

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The issue with the cockpit really took the wind out of my sails, and I must admit I rushed the construction a bit. So the seams and steps are not all perfectly attended to. All pics I have seen of this exact bird show it to be rather dirty and worn, so I tired to replicate that. I am happy with how the weathering turned out, despite the fact it is rather heavy. Once again I pushed the envelope of weathering and while I came close to crossing the line, I feel the end result turned out nicely. 

I used the Furball Aero Design "Lo Viz Devil Dog Scooters" sheet for this build, and the decals are fantastic. I had some trouble with the arcing diamond decals, and ruined one and had to buy another sheet to replace it. But with so many great subjects to build on that sheet, it didn't bother me to do so. 

Kit: 1/48 Hasegawa A-4M Skyhawk
Decals: Furball Aero Design "Lo Viz Devil Dog Scooters"
Aftermarket: Aires A-4M Cockpit set, Hasegawa Weapons Sets A and B
Paints: Gunze Mr. Surfacer Black 1500 (primer base), Tamiya Liquid White Primer (for marble coat), Gunze Aqueous FS 36495 Light Gray, FS 36375 Light Ghost Gray, FS 36320 Dark Ghost Gray, Tamiya Rubber Black, Clear Red, Clear Green, and Smoke, and Alclad II Gloss Black Primer, Airframe Aluminum, and Burnt Iron. Future Gloss coat for decals and Future+Tamiya XF-21 Flat Base 6:1 ratio for final matte coat. Mig Ammo Deep Gray panel wash.

Michael Phillips

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Photos and text by Michael Phillips