A-7E Corsair II - VA-192 Golden Dragons by Joe Bagster
Brand: Trumpeter
Scale: 1/32
Modeler: Joe Bagster


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Here is Trumpeter's 1/32 LTV A-7E Corsair II. Built straight OOTB using kit decals as the CAG aircraft from VA-192 onboard the USS Kitty Hawk towards the latter part of the Vietnam War.

This has build has taken approx 4 months to complete. This is not a shake and bake kit but if you take your time the results are worth it.

I'm not a rivet counter so my build is not 100% correct as there is a fair amount of artistic license throughout.

Click on the images to enlarge!

The Kit

The kit is nicely presented and packaged as you would expect from Trumpeter. The parts contain nice detail throughout and in some cases the detial is probably a little too subtle - this was the case with my example, especially the recessed panels were almost non existant in places. This required additional re-scribing which is not my favorite task!

The decals for the main parts are good but some are a little out of register and the stencils are basic for a 1/32 model.

The instructions are easy to follow but no mention of optional or alternate parts are highlighted throughout the build. You will need to do your research on this one.

The build required a lot of extra work and care when going together. At times this was time very consuming but part of this may have been of my own doing.

Click on the images to enlarge!

The Loadout

I wanted a fully loaded bird heading out on yet another mission over North Vietnam. This kit comes with a lot of ordnance options - not all of which were carried by the navy, so again do your research.

The loadout idea came from one of the profiles in Osprey's A-7E Units in Vietnam book.

I used the MERS and MK 82 Snake Eyes from the kit and the extra MERS and MK 20 Rock Eyes come from Trumpeters recent US Bomb set.

The kit comes with 12 MK 82 Snake Eyes and the other 12 were kindly given to me buy a memeber on another forum.

I like to spend time finishing and weathering ordnance as I feel this gives more depth to final model. The MK 82 bomb casings were "roughed up" with some harsh sand paper action and painted with a mixture of Tamiya Olive Drab and various greens followed by the usual weathering. The tail devices were deliberately painted different shades of green.

The MK 20 Rock Eyes and Sidewinders were finshed with decals from the spares box with a litlle artistic license here and there.


Click on the images to enlarge!

Painting and Finishing.

I wanted a dirty bird. One that was close to the end of yet another tour. The  model was primed with Citadel primer straight from the can, this was followed by the main camouflage colours from Gunze with also various shades Tamiya greys and whites. Several airframe panels were masked and sprayed completely different shades of grey to give a little contrast to the airframe. The model was then sprayed with Liquitex High Gloss for finishing.

I deliberated on which markings to use during the whole build. I was going to buy after market decals but ended up using those supplied in the kit for VA-192. I also used quite a few stenicls and various data decals from the spares box to add more points of interest to the finish. The kit decals worked fine with a Mr Mark softer and Setter.

Weathering was started with Tamiya Smoke sprayed along most of the panels lines followed by washes of oils. I sprayed a mix of Tamiya Smoke, Black and Red Brown for the grime along the Tail and various other places.

Details were picked out with Vallejo and Humbrol paints and pigments were used for further localised weathering. Finally, I used a 4B lead pencil for additional weathering and highlights to the airframe and loadout.

After 4 moths of hard work I'm happy with the end result (considering that I was going bin this project several time during the build).

It's an imposing model of one of my favorite USN aircraft and it look great parked next to my Tamiya F-4J.



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  Photos and text © 2011 by Joe Bagster

January 10, 2011