Colourful Scooter: 1/48th Monogram OA-4M Skyhawk
Here is another old Monogram model kit from 1985. Considering the inexpensive price that these Skyhawk kits can still be found at, it builds up into a respectable model (if you can deal with the raised panel lines). The double seat Scooters have a distinct look to them which is a nice addition to the collection of A-4s.
Notable Kit Features:
Decent cockpit detail
Seated pilot figures included
Open canopy option (2-piece canopy)
Good overall shape and dimensions
Basic option to drop the slats and flaps
Good gear and well details
Optional speed brake positions
Lots of weapons stores and tanks
I have always liked the A-4 Skyhawk and had yet to build a two-seater version, so I finally moved this kit to the top of the build list to check one more off the list. Greater inspiration came when it was time to head to the paint shop and I couldn't bare to paint yet another grey on grey aircraft for the collection... so this one ended up with fictitious "Aggressor" markings. The best paint job (IMHO) that "The Outlaws" never had. ;)
Ejection seats curtain pull could be replaced with wire to improve look and scale
Fit of parts is decent however some filler required
Sprue spreaders may be required at bottom of fuselage to improve fuselage to wing join
Plastic card strip used to fill gap on underside where wing and fuselage join
Raised panel lines (in this case I kept mine intact)
Canopy is somewhat thick so there is some visible distortion
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Used plastic card at rear cockpit to cover gap between fuselage
Added interior fuselage blocker card to prevent see-through aspect from intake to exhaust
Added nose weight (so I could dispense with the clear tail prop-up piece)
Thinned down flaps to remove ejection pin marks as well
The "Aggressor" paint scheme for this aircraft was a custom mix of paints that I put together as I liked the way they combined for my "Desert Lake Mongoose'. Pretty much a French Blue / Slate / Dark Sea Gray that allowed the original kit decals to still show nicely. I varied the paint tones as I sprayed to give it a slightly weathered appearance. Standard Future gloss coat (after at least 1-day to cure) decals followed (after at least 1-day to cure) Model Master Flat coat.
The After-Build Report:
I like the way this project turned out and would still recommend this 1/48th OA-4M kit to anyone looking for a budget build model that looks good and doesn't cause a lot of grief.
I picked up another two-seater TA-4J model (by Classic Airframes #4147) that I will also build into another "Aggressor" Skyhawk. Hasegawa's A-4 kits are the best I have seen, however they didn't do the OA-4M (but do try their C, E, F or J).
Completed build #197 - October 2016 using the 1/48th scale Monogram #5436 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