Price: S$19.90 (est. US$11.50)
The Grumman A-6E Intruder was one of the most versatile combat aircraft in the US Navy’s inventory. Serving faithfully for 30 years, this attack platform was also used as a tanker. Prematurely retired in 1996, there is so far no clear replacement for this aircraft. The Navy currently uses the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet as a replacement but it has neither the range nor the versatility of the Intruder.
I’ve heard quite a few horror stories about Italeri kits. Mediocre is usually the comment about the products from this manufacturer. But what the hey, I needed an Intruder for my collection and this was the only alternative to both the ancient raised-lined Hasegawa and ultra rare Fujimi. Besides, at $20 bucks, I didn’t think I could expect much.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The kit featured crisp recessed lines and no flash anywhere. Parts breakdown is logical and they even included weapons! 2 AGM-88 HARMs and 8 Mk 7 Cluster Bombs are included in the kit along with 1 centerline fuel tank. Pretty cool!
Two things that really jumped out at me about the kit. Firstly, the instrument panels had recessed details, unlike most 1/72 kits which only include decals for them. Although with the canopy closed, you probably can’t see much, but still, the details ARE there.
Second of all, they’ve allowed you to pose the wings in the folded position! I don’t think the other manufacturers bother with this detail at all. Again, this is a very cool feature and even though at 1/72 scale the details are quite basic, at least the option to fold the wings IS there.
Decals wise, they have included two squadrons that you can model, VA-36 “Roadrunners” and VMA-332 “Moonlighters”. I haven’t had experience with Italeri decals but the sheet looked OK to me. The decals seem on the thick side but nothing that decal solvent won’t solve I’m pretty sure.
So far, I am quite impressed with the kit. Hopefully, the usual Italeri reputation of ill-fitting parts will not surface here. 🙂