Distinct lack of updates on this, but it has been progressing. Mostly just tidy up to do now before paint. Biggest issue left is fairing the modified spine into the canopy. It seems the OA-4M had a flatter transition at the rear of the canopy into the spine than the TA-4 did, so some putty is needed on the spine and rear of the canopy frame to fair in. Just needs some sanding and tidy up.
Kit is on a short hold while I await a package from Eastern Europe. Eduard have released a set of wheels, which nicely addresses the issue of the nose wheel molded with the fork. While I was ordering. I added a set of the new Eduard BIGSIN A-4 weapons, which includes a very nice pair of Zuni rocket pods to complete the stores for this kit.
I get all my Eduard through ModelImex.com. They are almost right next to the Eduard "factory" so can get new stuff very quickly, their shipping is cheap-ish (although you do have to add the maximum amount at check out but they just charge you actual cost), and they are a damn-sight cheaper than ordering direct from Eduard. I did the calculation and the A-4 weapons set through Eduard was going to be NZ$114 without shippiing. Through Modelimex it works out at about NZ$63 plus shipping. Eduard has a crap policy of charging you a huge mark-up if you are not a Czech resident.
Hasegawa have them in one of their weapons sets, but there are no live rockets loaded as nothing protruding from the front. These rocket pods will be released as a standalone set by Eduard soon, but I had uses for everything else in the set, and I'm in a hurry with the August deadline approaching, so the purchase was warranted. I will need to get another pair to add to my model of Sqn Ldr Jim Jennings' NZ6206 when the time comes.
Eduard's new Big Sin set of resin weapons for the 1/48 A-4 Skyhawk turned up this morning (along with their new wheel set and Quickboost guns), and all I can say is "bloody hell". If you have a modern jet project that needs MERs, Mk.82 Snakeyes, Mk.82 slicks, Mk.77 fire bombs or most importantly LAU-10 Zuni rockets, get this set, or else the Eduard Brassin sets (all will be available individually eventually).
The Zunis are phenomenal, right down to the frangible cap pin locking slots on the circumference of the nose and tail, and there is a very fine set of rocket fins moulded into the rear of the tube opening on the tail piece.
What's more, you get 6 sets of tube front/back pieces (the front ones are moulded in place with the body), so I've figured that for every two sets of Eduard Zunis, I can create a nicely corrected and detailed pair from the Hasegawa weapons set.
The MERs include enough bits for just about every conceivable mounting hardware these items ever used, including the triple claw mount adaptors found on the later USN/USMC versions.
Their Mk.20 Rockeyes have some of the nicest details I've ever seen on an aftermarket bomb. And everything comes with a very nice set of stencil decals.
Finally got some time to upload some pics. These are quite old images and since I took these, I have completed and added the seats, added hydraulic lines to all of the gear legs, and started on the base camo colours. The Eduard masks helped speed the process but there was still a lot of masking to do.
On top the pics (apologies for quality - these were taken on my iPhone.
Here you can see the reprofiled hump and canopy and additional panel lines and rivets added. The vent on top of the port intake is unique to OA-4Ms and was scribed and carved using micro chisels. The Eduard Brassin nose gear fork can be seen on the bottom of the gear leg (nose gear is only push fit here), Windscreen is glued, but canopy is only sitting on the fuselage.
Here you can also see the strips added to the canopy sills as per the real aircraft.
Opposite side of the nose with the Master refuelling probe tip in place, and the Eduard etched surround on the landing light.
Hubs from the Eduard Brassin wheels added to the gear legs and centreline pylon with etch detail added - this is the only pylon which will be empty.
Stores selection from Eduard Brassin. Leaning towards the Rockeye bombs at present as I really want to use the Zunis for the A-4K. If I use the Zunis on the OA-4M will have to get another set for the A-4K though.
Still trying to get this one done before I head to New York in a week and still looking achievable. Definitely won't be going with me as no way it will survive 4 long haul flights intact.
Work on nose gear leg finished. Now to commit to paint. Took good chunk of last night to get missing details added, but happy with where this is now. Also went back and carved out rear of centreline pylon so will need to touch up paint on that as well. Not much left to do. Hope to get camo finished tonight, ready for decaling. 25 parts on the gear leg now. Not a bad effort if I do say so myself
No point checking model stores. Not many around and they are overpriced. It's New York. Will be more than enough to do that I think I can avoid pieces of plastic for 10 days. Not even going to go to Intrepid.
Wiring is done with fine solder. Hydraulic lines are done with fine fuse wire.
Managed to get some more research for the Skyhawk. There are now 2 private companies in the US flying these aircraft, and I got a good walkaround of an ex-IAF A-4N and an ex-IAF TA-4J. Lots of photos of all of the hard-to-see places that are usually left out of walkarounds too.