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Monogram's 1/48 scale
Cessna A-37 Dragonfly

by David W. Aungst


Cessna A-37 Dragonfly


Revell's 1/48 scale Cessna A-37 Dragonfly is available online from Squadron



I had a blast building this kit, finishing it within a month of Monogram releasing it back in 1992.

I had always wanted a model of an A-37, and Monogram's kit was no disappointment. The kit is getting old, now, but it is still a really nice little kit. I recently picked up several of these kits at a bargain price to put away in my stash. I definitely would like to build some more of them, sometime.


Monogram's 1/48 scale A-37 Dragonfly


The kit is molded in basic gray. The scribing is raised, but somehow fits the rugged appearance of the aircraft. The lines around the control surfaces are engraved. I was a little unhappy at the extreme size of the rivets on the tail surfaces, but a quick (and light) sanding reduced them to a more manageable size.

The biggest problem with the kit relates to Monogram's molding in specific details, whether I wanted them or not. As case in point, the wheel well doors are molded as portions of the wheel well sides. To build the aircraft in flight requires surgery in order to free the doors and close them. Also, the speed brake does not fit very nice into place in the closed position. I accepted all these things being open on the finished model and had no trouble with them after that.



Monogram is one of the better companies for giving well detailed stores for under the wings. The kit has beautiful weapons pylons and anti-sway braces that just beg to have things hung under them. Provided in the kit are the customary four wing fuel tanks that were nearly always present on U.S. aircraft, two 500lb low drag bombs (with the fuse arming wire molded on them), two napalm tanks, and two simply gorgeous 7.62mm minigun pods. No kits by any maker to date include such wonderful renditions of this gun pod. The manner in which the weapons pylons are molded shows Monogram's acknowledgement to alternate weapons available by other manufactures. The kit does not simply mold the weapons already attached to the pylons like so many other Monogram kits have done. I chose to use rocket pods available from the Hasegawa weapons sets and had no problem attaching them on the pylons.



I built the kit mostly out-of-the-box. The fit of most of the kit, including a tricky wing joint, was flawless. The only area of concern was the wing-to-fuselage seam under the aircraft between the engine exhausts. Considering the location of the seam (being impossible to see without picking the model up), I was not overly worried. The only modifications I made to the basic kit were as follows:

  • I substituted Hasegawa rocket pods on the outer weapons pylons.
  • I used fine brass wire to represent the whip antennas on the tail and behind the cockpit.
  • I added seat harnesses to the ejection seats with .005" sheet styrene and Waldron seat belt buckles.
  • I added the backup magnetic compass to the interior windscreen framing.


Model Photo


Some items I omitted from the kit when I built it that I have never returned to fix are the FOD screens that folded down below the engine intakes. Monogram's kit parts for the FOD screens looked like barn doors, and I could not bring myself to use them. I also could not find a convincing way to scratch build them, so I just left them off figuring that someone would provide me an etched metal solution. Since then, I have acquired a couple different etched metal detail sets for the A-37 (Eduard and True Details) that provide these pieces, but I have never gotten around to painting and attaching them.


Painting and Markings


I used Testor's Model Master enamel paints to paint the entire model. The aircraft is from the 19th TASS / 51st Composite Wing based at Osan AB in Korea. This is the only place I have noted where A-37's were camouflaged in overall Gunship Gray (F.S.36118). I pieced together the markings and aircraft data from spare decals. SuperScale released decals for an aircraft of this unit just two days after I finished building the model. I found that to be poor timing on their part.

I needed gray numbers for the wing tanks. Lacking any at the time, I decided to try an experiment. I applied the wingtip fuel tank numbers in white decals. Then I misted some Gunship Gray over them to "gray them out". It worked well and provided about the right color shade for the numbers without having to go out and find gray numbers.

I could not resist spicing up the model a little bit. To that end, I added an aircraft name, "Spike II", on the left side of the nose. This is an indirect reference to a P-51D Mustang model I built around the same time period which I named "Spike". Perhaps the same pilot flew both. I grayed out the nose name writing in the same way that I did on the wingtip fuel tank numbers. I also decided to get a little more wild and say that this little Dragonfly had managed to "sting" two F-4 Phantoms. The Phantom kill markings come from an old SuperScale A-10 Warthog decal sheet. Hey, it could happen...


Model Photo


For weathering, I used my typical style of thinned down enamel paint washes and air brush shading. I finished the weathering with some dry brushing to pop out the surface details. For a more complete discussion of what I do to weather my models, see my posting on "Weathering Aircraft".




I had a lot of fun with this kit. It is a simple kit of a very unique little aircraft. With the Black Box resin cockpit and the Albatros decals that came out over the last few years, I will surely do another Dragonfly or two in the future.



Additional Images and Project Summary


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Project Statistics

Completion Date:

26 June, 1992

Total Building Time:






Painting (includes creation and printing of custom decals):


Decals / Markings (includes creating and printing custom decals):


Extra Detailing / Conversion:


Model, Description and Images Copyright 2004 by David Aungst
Page Created 25 June, 2004
Last Updated 25 June, 2004

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