1/48 Hobbycraft A-4C

by Paul Nortness



The Hobbycraft A-4 kits get a lot of bad press....they suffer from a similiar fate as this summers blockbuster movie "Iron Man".....If Dark Knight hadn't been released this year, we would still be talking about how awesome Iron Man was....same thing with these great little kits. Had Hasegawa not put out their A-4 kits out a month after Hobbycraft, people might actually build them more. As it is, the Hobbycraft kit got tossed to the wayside, destined to join the Academy Tomcat as an "also ran" against the more expensive and less armed Hasegawa kit.

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The kit goes together pretty easy...making it a nice little weekend project or a pleasant "in between projects" build. I started this about 3 weeks ago. There are very few seams that need attention...the worst ones can be taken care of with Mr. Surfacer 500. The kit was painted with Tamiya Surfacer Primer for the white. This stuff is awesome....smooth as glass and excellent coverage...white that is actually opaque! 

Then I airbrushed Model Master Acryl Flat Gull Grey and the top sections and canopy. Once the grey had cured I did the detail painting, like the black nose and details on the control surfaces. The blue on the tail was a custom mix of MM "Light Blue" and "Insignia Blue". I then applied a coat of future and decaled. The decals were from Eagle Strike's "Skyhawk Pt III" sheet. The decals went on very well....didn't have one tear! I used the Micro system to get the decals to lay down and was very happy with the results.....even on the bird slicers on the wings, the decals went down very nicely. Finally, another coat of Future to seal in the decals and then weathering. Weathering was done using a pastel chalk stick, ground into a powder and then made into a sludge using 1/2 teaspoon of powder, 1/2 tablespoon water and a couple drops of Dove. I let the sludge dry on the model and then took it to the sink for a bath in cold water. The sludge washes off and leave the panel lines and still gives a nice subtle worn look. Then I did some more weathering using Tamiya Weather Master.


Photos and text by Paul Nortness