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Hasegawa 1/48 scale Argentine
A-4C & P Skyhawks


A-4C and A-4P Skyahwks

by Piero Di Santis

Hasegawa's 1/48 scale A-4C Skyhawk is available online from Squadron



Here is the proof that I don’t only build Harriers. 

When Hasegawa issued the A-4C and A-4B Skyhawk kits in 1/48 scale, I had no hesitation to start building a couple of Argentine’s Halcones! 

I already had the following references in my hands: 

  • Wings of Fame Volume 12
  • Warbirds Illustrated N.45 “Argentine Air Forces in the Falklands Conflict”
  • SAMI Vol. Sept 99
  • SAM Vol. July 02

I knew there were many other books and magazines especially from argentine manufacture, but not so easy to obtain. 

Some brief notes about Argentine A-4C and A-4P (Argentine designation for B model):




Argentina bought 50 ex-US Navy A-4B, at the end of ‘60s. Those were redesigned as A-4P, including some modification as separate flap on top the wing (as on A-4F), navigation system, VOR antenna on vertical fin, Omega package under the tail, DFA antenna in a dorsal drop radome and other minor changes




Following the good results with the A-4P, Argentina decide to buy other Skyhawks during the mid of ‘70s, this time 25 A-4C. They were fitted with the same “package modification” as for the A-4P, but with a slightly different shape dorsal antenna radome.



Available Kits


Looking at the 1/48 scale model scenario, until Hasegawa release of A-4 series (E, F, C, B, L, H, M, N, K, SU) there were A-4E kits from Monogram (OA-4M too) and ESCI (they marked an A-4M but inside there was an A-4E kit) and a 1/50 A-4E kit from Fujimi: best was the A-4E from Monogram with the usual raised panel lines.

At the time of the Hasegawa kit a new A-4 family kits was issued by Hobbycraft (E, F, B, C, H, M, SU), but with wrong noses, flatted canopy, less details and deep panel lines. Hobbycraft’s kit best things are the decal multi-options and the stores choice.



Many aftermarket resin and etched set are available: cockpit and detail sets (Aires, Cutting Edge, KMC), conversion sets (Cutting Edge, Missing Link)… and so on.

Same for the decal sheets: Aztec, Condors, FCM, Aerocalcas, Twobobs, Superscale.





Starting in the cockpit, I used the kit parts except for the seat and the detail behind (resin form the Aires set).

Everything is painted in medium grey FS36231 (Humbrol 140), with black console and instrument dials. Dry-brushing using silver and brown was applied to simulate the heavy use of those airplanes. Seat is in the same color of cockpit, with kaki cushion and red headrest. Yellow-black stripes for ejection handles. I add a small piece of clear styrene sheet to simulate the collimator. The main instrument panels on C and P are different.

For the C model I decided to leave the jet intakes “clear” so I painted the duct white with silver palettes fan.

The undercarriage bays and legs are painted in Light Blue FS35622 (Humbrol 122) for both C and P.

Externally, from the front to the rear I modified and add the following parts:

·        Add weight inside the nose (C, P)

·        Small white fin on the port side of the nose (C, P)

·        White antenna blade behind the canopy (C, P)

·        Removed light on the port wing chord (P)

·        Removed lights at the end of the wings (C, P)

·        Close external pylon attaching point (P)

·        Big drop shaped antenna radome on top of the fuselage: the one on P is bigger than the one on C. For those parts I used resin pieces from Missing Link set.

·        I opened ventral “hell hole” using the resin panel form KMC set (P)

·        I split upper flap on wings (C)

·        Scratch build Omega package under the tail (C, P)

·        Scratch build VOR circular antenna on the vertical fin (C, P)

I added a pair of FOD intakes on the P, using vacu-formed pieces from a Koster set.



Weapon load is a little bit different:

·        I used a resin “1000lb free fall bomb” from Flightpath under the P attached with a TER from Hasegawa weapon set.

·        I tried to simulate a PG 500Kg “local bomb” under the C, starting from a Mk117 bomb.

Two under wing tanks each Skyhawks complete the load.



Painting and Markings


Many words were spent on the argentine A-4C camouflage dilemma:

Light Sand/Dark Brown or Off White/Dark Green?

As reported in various article and forum talking, the poor quality of the photos in that period (late spring 1982), most of them in black and white of over exposed colours, drive many modeler to finishing the A-4C in Light Sand/Dark Brown upper camouflage… but official says no one A-4C was finished in this way during the Falklands War.

So, I used the few clear printed photos available that show Off-White/Dark Green camouflage as reference. I matched those colours with FS36495 (Humbrol 147) and a little bit of white. For Dark Green FS34079 (Humbrol 108). Undersurface are Light Grey FS36622 (Humbrol 29).



The identification bands on upper wings, vertical fin, inner pylon external surfaces and tank under surfaces were painted Yellow, than overpainted with Turquoise (a mix of Humbrol 48 and 89) scratching the turquoise leaving coming up the yellow.

For the A-4P I choose a Dark Brown FS30118 (Humbrol 29) and Olive Drab FS34088 (Humbrol 155) camouflage with Light Blue FS35622 (Humbrol 122) under surface. Some A-4P received Yellow identification bands on the upper wings and vertical fin, but on different position and size compared to the A-4C. Because those bands were too much “hi-viz” were overpainted with a very dark brown paint. My A-4P has those bans overpainted because its represented during the last days of war.

Heavy use, rain, wind and war operations weathered the airplanes a lot, dirtying the camouflage and chipping the paint.



A-4C subject choice is the “C-318” from the IV Brigada Aérea, showing a red “kill marking” ship on the port side of the nose, and turquoise Falklands islands silhouette. I used decals from Aztec and Condors.

A-4P is the “C-207” from V Brigada Aérea, with two yellow “kill marking” ships on the port side of the nose. I used decals from Hobbycraft, Aztec and Condors.



I used my new Nikon Coolpix 5700 digital camera for the first time. How is the result?



Links and Acknowledgements





I would say thanks to Jorge Figari and Alberto Zanfi for their generous assistance and essential information to finish these couple of Halcones. GRAZIE!




Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2004 by Piero Di Santis
Page Created 29 December, 2004
Last Updated 29 December, 2004

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