A-4B "Falklands Fighter"

A4B Falklands Fighter boxtop image


Kit Manufacturer




Out of Box (OOB) or Modified

Rating (1-10 10=best)

A-4B "Falklands Fighter"




MANY Markings, weapons


The A-4 Skyhawk was one of a series of successful Douglas attack aircraft designed for the Navy, all of which Ed Heineman had a hand in. This aircraft could count the "Slow but Deadly" SBD Dauntless (of Battle of Midway fame) and A-1 Skyraider (last prop-based Navy attack aircraft, also used by the Air Force) in its lineage. Unlike the Skyraider, which was a rather large aircraft, the Skyhawk was a very diminutive aircraft that packed a LARGE punch with two 20mm cannon, and a great load of bombs, rockets, fuel, and other ordinance slung underneath. The Skyhawk went through many variants, and was used not only by the US Navy, but by their aggressor schools, by Australia, Argentina (gaining notoriety by its attacks on the British fleet,) Singapore, Israel, and other forces. Some are still in service today.

The Kit:
Skyhawk lovers have, for years, had to deal with the old Monogram kits if they wanted to build in 1/48 scale. These were not bad kits at all (I've built one or two myself, Boxtop back showing all the schemes in the kit.years ago) but recent releases were showing their age and the wear of the molds. Very recently, not one but TWO manufacturers have stepped up to the plate to revitalize the A-4 lover's kit building, Hobbycraft and Hasegawa. It seems that just about every variant has been or will be covered by these manufacturers in the near future, given the way both companies' kits are broken down (and Hasegawa's history of rereleases with new parts for new variants.)
Hobbycraft already has this kit, the A-4B/C, as well as a US "Vietnam" A-4C, an Adversary A-4E/F, and Israeli A-4. I'm not sure what other markings are available in the other kits, but with just this A-4B Falklands kit, you have a choice of 6 schemes (7 aircraft,) including one from Singapore and an interesting scheme I can't find other info on! (See box back picture - 3-A-309, the "blowing grass" scheme as I call it....) Add to that the aftermaket schemes from companies like Superscale and Twobobs, and you'll have quite a shelf full of A-4s waiting to show off!

But enough about that. As I said, both Hobbycraft and Hasegawa are releasing Skyhawks. Why should you consider the Hobbycraft kit as opposed to the Hasegawa?
Both kits have their quirks. The Hobbycraft's advantages are:

Yes, the Hobbycraft kit has its down points, as well - the cockpit, as usual, is a *big* weak point in this kit. The kit sides DO include the "padding" that was on the aircraft, but the cockpit tub itself is still weak and vague. Going to a contest, find a resin set or plan to do some SERIOUS work here. The kit instructions HAVE gotten better - they're clearer now, and even guide you to some extent on interior colors, something they didn't do previously. Some people have said the nose doesn't fit very well - I don't know, I haven't built this yet. =] My final REAL nitpick with this is that the clear parts are bagged with the fuselage - a small, seperate bag would be nice, and prevent scratches. Except for the cockpit, these are all (to me) minor nitpicks, and a nice model can be built up despite them.

I'm looking forward to building this. I'd like to pick up a Hasegawa kit to compare it to, but I can see myself building more Hasegawa kits - especially with Twobobs Decals new A-4 Aggressor sheets, of which I have one with a false MiG-17 on it... cool... and it will be reviewed a bit later.