SoD SLUF: 1/48th Monogram A-7A Corsair II - D Conversion
Here is an old (1979) 1/48th scale Monogram kit (sort of) that will get you an early A-7A Corsair II budget build (or in my case an A-7D build with add-ons provided by the ESCI beast). I picked up this kit for $5.00, so even though I knew the kit wasn't great, the deal was... if that makes sense to you, you are truly a scale model collector :).
Notable Kit Features:
Relatively few parts
Raised panel lines
I am trying to think of something complimentary here...
I had already built one of these 1/48th Monogram A-7A Corsair kits in USN markings and was looking for a USAF version to feature in my collection. As I also had the 1/48th ESCI A-7D kit in my stash (which had turned into a Shelf-of-Doom "SoD" project due to that kit's frustrations), I decided to kit-bash to get at least one of these (build or bin) kits across the finish line. Keep in mind this was at a time before the very nice 1/48 Hasegawa A-7E and A-7D kits were released. Although this kit-bash would sit for a decade or so on the SoD before I got around to completing it under the banner "Leave No Kit Behind", I forced myself to finish it prior to rewarding myself with the Hasegawa build.
The kit is not up to Monogram's typical standard in detail
Cockpit has seat molded in
Cockpit detail is sparse
Details in the wheel wells are mediocre
Ensure you get the front well positioned correctly or your gear will be at an angle off
Fit issues abound with filler required in most areas
Gear doors do not fit well (closed will require quite a bit of work)
Intake has depth (which is nice) however fit leaves many nasty seams to be filled & sanded (or perhaps best fitted with an intake cover)
Canopy fit is horrible (I had to heat mine up to get it to fit closed)
Overall shape is questionable (it mostly looks like a Corsair, if you don't look too close)
Fuel drop tanks missing lower fin? (and maybe questionable in shape)
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Sanded off the Navy style refuel probe nest
Filled in the Navy style 20mm gun ports
Added the USAF refueling boom receptacle (by slicing it off the ESCI kit)
Added the USAF style sensors to the nose dorsal and ventral areas as well as the tail (again robbed from the ESCI kit)
Used the Hasegawa kit decals to get USAF markings
The paint scheme for this aircraft was a little different consisting of a wrap-around scheme of FS 34079 and FS 36118 representing the 4450th TG that would be training to fly the then Top Secret F-117 (the A-7D avionics being tweaked to represent flying the F-117A).
The After-Build Report:
This old 1/48th Monogram A-7A is actually a re-work of the 1969 Aurora Molds kit. It appears to be a bit of a half-measure project. Monogram did some cleaning up and "dressing up" of the old molds before releasing this kit, however it is not up to the Monogram standard of that day (and we are talking 70's era kits). The shape and fit issues prevent me from recommending this kit, unless you really just want a reasonable proximity of an A-7A and get a very good deal on this old kit... otherwise pass. The more recent Hobbyboss version of the A-7A has much better details, fit and recessed panel lines, however it seems they missed on the shape of portions of this aircraft as well. The Hasegawa kits are still my favourites in this scale, although they only offer the A-7E and A-7D versions.
Completed build #78 - March 2005 using the 1/48th scale Monogram #5418 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 supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers