Written by 2:57 pm On the Bench

WIP : Hobbyboss 1/48 A-4E Skyhawk Pt.1 – Construction

It’s time for another Aggressor build. This time it’s a Skyhawk and in the scheme of TOPGUN 55 that was made famous among modelers for appearing in the movie TOP GUN piloted by both Jester and Viper.

The kit is Hobbyboss’ interpretation of this classic aircraft. Let’s see how it builds up…

The cockpit is quite good with nicely molded details. This is onpar with the Hasegawa offering.

The seat lacks belt details and the prominent ejection ring on the headrest. I replicated the belts with Tamiya tape and the ring with solder wire.

Some careful painting, washing and drybrushing really brings out the details on the cockpit. Very nice.

The cockpit sidewalls were also painted, panel washed and drybrushed.

The wings come with the holes for the pylons already opened. I’ll need to close these up so added blanking plates on the inside first.

Like the Hasegawa kit you get the engine fan parts.

The kit only comes with the straight refueling probe of an early A-4E/F. I replaced it with a resin copy from Quickboost. For a more positive attachment, I inserted a brass pin into the probe.

The airbrakes can be posed open but I decided to close them.

Thankfully they fit very well.

When I put the two fuselage halves together there’s a gap right where they meet at the coaming. I inserted plastic card to close this gap.

Based on set photos and screencaps, I noticed the following details for TOPGUN 55:

TOPGUN 55 didn’t have the spike antenna on the base of its tail.

The kit is missing the leading edge pitot tube which I made out of styrene rods of two different thickness.

I added the housing for a spike antenna on the bottom of the tail.

The guns were removed on TOPGUN 55 and the kit provides the blanking plates just like the Hasegawa kit. Hobbyboss oddly molded raised ring patterns on them which need to be sanded smooth.

I replaced the kit HUD with one made of plastic card and blister packaging.

I also punched a disk from aurora film to replicate the HUD projector on the coaming.

The leading edge slats and trailing edge flaps are molded in the up position which will annoy some modelers. But it does mean a far less finicky fit and and I was done with no time with primary assembly.

Painting is next after the usual wrestling with seamlines.

Build Log
Pt.1 – Construction | Pt.2 – Painting & Finishing

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