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Gecko SLUF: 1/48th Hasegawa A-7E Corsair II

The initial release of this 1/48th Hasegawa A-7E Corsair II dates back to 1987, however it remains the best A-7E kit in this scale. There is an unusual level of detail included in this kit, with options to build some of the avionics bays open as well as the wings folded.


1/48th Hasegawa A-7E Corsair II

Notable Kit Features:


  • Excellent cockpit detail with two versions of the ejection seat

  • Nice clear, thin canopy parts with interior frame and mirrors

  • Finely scribed surface, panel and rivet detail

  • Detailed avionics bays on both sides of the fuselage

  • Photo-etched fuselage skin reinforcements

  • Folded wing option

  • Separate slats and flaps

  • Nicely detailed wheel wells

  • Positionable horizontal stabilizers

  • Open / Closed ventral speed-brake

  • Navigation lights and fine antennas

  • FLIR pod, tanks, MERs, sidewinders and pylons provided

  • Boarding ladder



1/48th Hasegawa A-7E Corsair II

Build Inspiration:


I came across this 1/48th Hasegawa A-7E kit on sale at a local hobby shop (at a deal too good to pass up for a great kit:). The included Valions as well as Argonauts markings really didn't grab my attention, so I went looking for some aftermarket decals, possibly in the VA-86 Sidewinders Squadron. Not being able to locate any of these in my search, I did however come across a uniquely adorned A-7E of VA-22 that fit the bill of something different for my second A-7E build. Camouflage on a Navy A-7! (Albeit temporary.) Apparently the CO of VA-22 liked to celebrate the completion of a successful cruise by painting one of the Squadron's aircraft (his:) in a special scheme. The non-traditional scheme would be kept for a few weeks and then the aircraft returned to its standard camouflage.


A-7E Corsair II of US Navy Squadron VA-22

Heads-Up Report:


  • The large, very visible intake will need filler, sanding, clean-up of the side seams (or seamless replacement parts)

  • Ejector pin marks on front wheels, main gear doors, minor other places

  • Closing up the avionics bays was pretty straight-forward as parts fit well (open or) closed, requiring only minor filler and clean-up

  • The pilot is a very tight fit, so best assemble the arms after seated ( I had to trim the legs and back in order to fit him in the pit as well)

  • P.S. I rarely if ever follow the instructions that would have you adding fragile antennas and other pieces that will make later masking and painting next to impossible (Think ahead & use your best judgement)


1/48th Hasegawa A-7E Corsair II

Kit Additions / Modifications:


  • Front wheel well has a center seam which I covered by making a backing piece of sheet styrene for the rear wall of the well

  • I used the Almark S-10/A48-14 decals to get the VA-22 Squadron Gecko look (Two Bobs produced an excellent set of these decals as well)


1/48th Hasegawa A-7E Corsair II

Finishing:


Really this A-7E build was all about this unusual paint scheme, consisting of FS 34079 Dark Green / FS 36375 Gray / FS 36495 Light Gray. The scheme was a wrap-around one with a very similar pattern above and below. I started with the lightest gray and finished with the dark green. Very thin coats of paint were sprayed so as not to lose the surface detail or develop too much of a ridge where colours meet. After drying for a couple of days, a gloss coat was applied using Pledge (floor finish). In some spots where the finish wasn't absolutely smooth I would reapply a bit of Pledge or if it was the Pledge itself that had dried a bit rough, I would use a very fine (wet) sanding block (2400 - 3200) to smooth things over. I then applied the decals using additional Pledge, painted on wet, where the decal will be applied. I find this tends to seal them down a bit better. Very little weathering was added to this aircraft as the scheme was only a temporary one. After another couple of days of drying time the decals were sealed in with a light coat of matte clear. Next it was time to add all the additional gear parts, antennas, navigation lights etc. that make the model look more like a model and less like a toy. Call "The Hangar" crew and let them know a new aircraft is headed their way so they best clean things up and make some room!


1/48th Hasegawa A-7E Corsair II

The After-Build Report:


I would highly recommend this 1/48th Hasegawa A-7E kit for patient, experienced model makers. The separate slats / flaps, foldable wings and avionics bays may be a bit of a challenge for beginners or for those seeking a simple build. Given the proper attention, this kit will look excellent on the display shelf.

The more recent 1/48th Hobby Boss offerings seems to have some shape issues which failed to best this kit (although Hobby Boss did introduce other versions not produced by Hasegawa such as the A, B, K and TA-7C).


1/48th Hasegawa A-7E Corsair II

Completed build #268 - April 2024 using the 1/48th scale Hasegawa #P14 or 07014 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


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