Written by 9:54 am On the Bench

WIP : 1/48 A-4E Skyhawk ‘TOPGUN 56’ Pt. 1

This one’s been in the backburner for awhile (what else is new?) so it’s time for it to see the light of day again. The plan is OOB with decals from TwoBobs Decals.

Back when the US Navy ran the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School aka ‘TOPGUN’, it operated A-4 Skyhawks in the role of the adversarys, ie. the bad guys. This particular Skyhawk took that role to the extreme by having an actual silhouette of a MiG-17 painted on it.


This project is heavily reliant on the excellent article by David Aungst at Hyperscale, who did all the research required to do up an accurate Top Gun #56. In fact, the TwoBobs decals are also based on this same research. The kit itself is the excellent 1/48 Hasegawa A-4E/F kit.

The cockpit is surprisingly detailed and with the canopy opening being so small, I think it looks more than adequate.

09jul03_tub_paint 09jul03_tub_wash 09jul03_tub_highlight 09jul03_tub_chair

09jul03_sidewall_paint 09jul03_sidewall_wash 09jul03_sidewall_highlight


Based on the article, I needed to modify the cone shaped fairings that’s attached all over the airframe. The cone tips need to be cut off first.

09jul07_fairings01 09jul07_fairings02 09jul07_fairings03 09jul07_fairings04

Work is actually quite straightforward and I managed to get quite far in assembly. The kit also broke down into very easy subassemblies. The landing gear and landing gear doors were all handbrushed with white and given a wash of black gray.


This is how it looks like right now. I sprayed some primer on the main joints to get an idea how much work will be needed to fix the gaps.

09jul07_done01 09jul07_done02

Build Log
Part 1 | Part 2

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Tags: , , , , , , , , Last modified: 22 February, 2023
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