"Fill’er UP" 

Malaysia 50th Merdeka Day Update

by Nazaruddin Hashim


Malaysia National Day 2007 



KIT-Hasegawa A-4C

DECAL-VFA Productions

PILOT-PJ Productions


This aircraft depicts an A-4 PTM Skyhawk at the tail-end of its service with the Royal Malaysian Air Force.


The aircraft was built OOB with a few additional parts. These included the pilot figure (PJ Production) and the air-to-air refueling buddy-pack (swiped from the AMT/ERTL Viking kit)




Building the Hasegawa A-4 is a relatively simple process thanks to the excellent engineering of the kit. Assembly was fuss-free. The buddy pod was mated to the aircraft with minimal difficulties. The fuel tank that came with the kit lacked the fins so this was scratchbuilt. No big issues there as well.


Painting and Decalling


For painting, I used Gunze 303 and 309 as mentioned in VFA Production's instruction sheet which was applied by free-hand. I prefer this method rather than the masking technique as I feel it gives a more realistic finish. Ultimately, it's a matter of one's choice.


Once the paint has dried, I coated it with a layer of Gunze Gloss Cote, attach the decals from VFA Productions and coat it with another layer of Gunze Gloss Cote again.


Next stage would be weathering. This project called for heavy weathering on the aircraft as it depicts the Skyhawk towards the end of its service life with the RMAF. This was done by doing several layers of oil washes to dull effect the colours applied initially.

Silver was then added liberally to depict scratch as well as scrape marks. A final coat of Humbroll Matt cote was sprayed on to seal everything in.


As mentioned, building the aircraft was a relatively fuss-free affair, the only difficult bits were having to perform some surgery on the pilot figure (removal and reassignment of the right arm) so that it could fit in the cockpit as well as scratch-building the refueling basket using some parts from the donor kit. The hose was actually a plastic rod sanded down to the appropriate thinness.

Click on images below to see larger images





Hawk Mk 208


KIT- Airfix Hawk 100

Decal – VFA Productions/Model Alliance

Pilot – PJ Production RAF Pilot

Conversion Set – Neomega Hawk 200 Conversion Set



This aircraft depicts the Hawk 208 operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force. In this case, it one of the several operated by No. 15th Squadron.




The aircraft was built combining the Airfix Hawk 100 with the Hawk 200 nose conversion from Neomega. From my humble opinion, detailing on the Neomega kit is excellent although fitting was a bit off. Not an uncommon issue when it comes to conversion kits. The funny thing was that Neomega opted to cast the panel line on the nose on a raised format. This of course was sanded down and rescribed.


After, a coat of primer, the cockpit was painted using some photos as reference. Note the thumbnail which served as a cheap and convenient paint pallette.


After all the hard work done in painting the cockpit, I was kind of sad to see that only 20% of it could be seen when the pilot was placed in the cockpit. Oh well…..


The next step was to join the fuselage and the nose conversion set together. This was where I again ran into problems as the panel lines did not align with each other. Another round of sanding and rescribing!!


Next came the trickiest part…scratchbuilding the air to air refueling probe. This was done using epoxy bondite, plastic rod and the cranked refueling probe from the Hasegawa A-4C. A lot of sweat and tears was spent trying to get the bulge shape correct.


Other scratchbuilt items were the wing fences utilizing 0.3mm that were built according to the measurements and instructions given in the VFA instruction sheet.

Click on images below to see larger images





Next step, putting on the canopy. This was another tricky bit as there were some seam lines that were apparent. This was cure by some sanding and dipping into the ever trusty Future.

Dry fitting reveled that there was a gap between canopy and the rear part of the cockpit frame. This was cured by the usual combination of epoxy bondite and lots of sanding work.


Final touch up on the cockpit and the pilot before the cockpit was glued into place.


Painting and Decalling


After a coat of primer, Gunze 335 was applied. This was then sealed in with a coat of Gunzel Gloss Cote. When the coating had dried, I then applied the decals from VFA Productions and some bits from Model Alliance. This was then given a final coating of Humbrol Matt Cote before some minor weathering was applied.





It was decided from day 1 that both aircraft would be incorporated into a single air to air refueling diorama. After several rounds of discussions, we agreed that an air to air refueling scence over some of the islands off the east coast of Malaysia would provide a great base.


The base was a 13 inch by 32 inch plywood sheet. The island was fashioned out of  Powderfilla. Vegetation was provided by Busch (accessories for train layout). The ocean was painted 3 tones of blue before white glue was liberally poured over it. Food wraping cling film was applied to give a "wavy" effect.


The stand was fashioned from 3mm thick polycarbonate and polished so as to make it "disappear" when viewed from a distance.


Overall, I spent close to 1 month to build the aircraft and diorama.


Click on images below to see larger images











Happy 50th Merdeka Day.. Malaysia .


Photos and text © by "Nazaruddin, KT Goh "