Charcoal Lizard Warthog: 1/48th Monogram A-10A
Updated: Oct 7, 2021
The Monogram kit represents an early (pre-LASTE configuration) A-10 and don't confuse it with the Revell version which is a different kit... although to add to the confusion this Monogram mold was later released by Revell, post merge. (The Monogram molds are typically a 55xx series with open ailerons / speed brakes and the Revell molds are 45xx series with closed flying surfaces.)
Notable Kit Features:
Decent cockpit with raised instrument panel detail and a nice ACES II ejection seat
Raised panel lines
Good overall shape
Nicely rendered GAU-8 gun
Boarding ladder with optionally open door
Impressive array of external ordnance is provided
I searched around and found some nice 1st Gulf War A-10 decals featuring some nose art examples and ended up settling on an OA-10A 1991 Gulf War Tank Killer "Live & Let Die" from the 23rd TASS / 602nd TACW. These were FAC birds with the callsign "Nail" and tail codes "NF" from their Davis Monthan AFB in Arizona home. During the war these A-10s were operated from King Fahd Airport in Saudi Arabia.
Photo credit: C. Youngblood A nice reference page for some A-10 Nose Art of this era can be found here: http://www.dstorm.eu/pages/en/usa/a-10.html
The kit does have some fit issues which will have to be dealt with, so be prepared to take some time
Split ailerons / Speed brakes are posed open, with no easy way to close them (and they typically weren't open while stationary on the ground)
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Sanded off raised panel lines
Used after-market decals
The chosen scheme for this aircraft was the Charcoal Lizard or Euro Camouflage wrap-around featuring a combination of FS 36081, FS 34092 & FS 34102. I got it painted up, gloss coat on and decaled and then sprayed some Tamiya flat base (which I had not used before). Given that there are no instructions on the bottle I took a guess at the thinning rate reduction ...and got it horribly wrong.
Much to my shock the clearcoat turned chalk white over most of the aircraft! (Anyone else made this mistake?) Well, you can imagine there were a few choice words said... After getting some advice on recovery, there appeared to be no choice but to do a paint repair working around the decals as best I could and using a fine paintbrush to redo the detail work (or strip off the paint and decals and start over). Let me tell you, that repair took some time, however on the plus side the aircraft definitely has a "used" look to it. I was pretty happy with the recovery and used a Model Master flat coat the second time around, which I've stuck with ever since (except now I hear this MM product is being discontinued).
Sometimes you have to finish a kit the hard way (as I will practically never bin a kit after a certain investment point ;).
The After-Build Report:
Despite its age and downsides of OK fit and raised panel lines, this Monogram kit can still be built up into a nice looking (early) Hog. If you can find the kit at a reasonable price you may still want to go this route.
The more recent A-10 releases by Italeri (generally I am not a fan of Italeri kits - from experience) and Hobby Boss give model makers a more up-to-date kits to work from. Heads up on the Italeri A-10C kit, you can model the early or LASTE A-10A from it but will have to get aftermarket options to get an A-10C cockpit, sensors and weapons. The Hobby Boss
A-10A kit seems to be in another league, with all sorts of details (including a full GAU-8 gun) and PE and the price reflects this level of detail. Hobby Boss also has a 2-seater NAW version if that interests you.
Completed build #93 - June 2006 using the 1/48th scale Monogram / Revell #85-5505 kit.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers