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Monogram's 1/48 scale
A-10A Thunderbolt II

by Gil Hodges

 

 

Construction

Here is Monogram's 1/48 scale A-10A Thunderbolt II.

This was an out of the box build except for adding a resin seat. The bottom of the kit seat is part of the cockpit tub and has to be sawn out, leaving a gaping hole. However, the resin seat neatly covers this, so there's no need to use anything to fill it in! I've always liked Monogram's cockpits. They are very nicely engraved and a little painting and drybrushing goes a long way. It's perfect for a "shelf sitter", or for the modeler who's less fanatical on details (such as me!).

 



I'm not a huge fan of modern jets. I chalk this up to their bland camouflage of all grays or all greens, along with subdued markings. However, when I can find one with a little "pizzazz"; I can get very interested in a torch tail! I found a color drawing of this A-10 in the Sq. Sig. mini "In Action" book on the Warthog. It depicts an A-10A that partricpated in the 50th anniversary celebration of D-Day. It also is in the much less seen 3 tone "lizard" scheme with Dark Ghost Gray substituted for the more common Gunship Gray. It even had the advantage of not having to build all of the ordnance, since it wouldn't be used for the celebrtion. I simply opted to use the center line drop tank and leave the other pylons bare.

Although the kit includes the typical Monogram raised panel lines, I found these to be quite appropriate for the 1/48 Warthog. They did good job on the surface details, rivets and all. The overall fit of the kit is good; especially the fuselage seams. The engine pod seams are a little tougher, but thinning the insides of the intake lips will help better position the engine faces. Still, the seams around the inside of the intakes were the hardest to eliminate. I honestly think that this is one time where I'd recommend some seamless intakes. Although it would require some minor surgery to use them, all of the seam work would then be on the outside, and much easier to get at! The only other problem seams where those that run on the bottom across the mid-chord of the flaps. Why do manufacturers do this?! On the plus side, the fit of the tail planes to the fuselage, and the vertical tails to the tailplanes is so good they can be painted and decaled separately and then glued into place.

 



The only other bug-aboo on this kit were the main gear doors. The instructions show their relative positions to each other, but not the order in which to add them. If you get the small middle door in the wrong place, the arms of the larger rear door will NOT go around it! Also, the arms for the larger gear doors don't really have any positive alignment or placement features, making them fiddly to glue in place. In the end, I was able to get everyhting on and relatively aligned, even if it doesn't match the pictures of the gear doors in Detail and Scale perfectly.


Painting and Markings

The model was painted with Model Master enamels; specifically Dk Ghost Gray (36220); Euro Dk Green (34092); and Medium Green (34102). I have seen a reference to the gray on this scheme being Dy Gull Gray, but after some thought discounted it as either a typo or a translation error. After all, why would the USAF use a USN paint? The Dk Ghost Gray would be something on hand, and makes more practical sense. It also seems to match the color pictures of the scheme very well.

 

 

Each color was lightened and darkened to add post shading. In fact, between the intial camouflage, the following touch ups, and then the various post shading and the touch ups for that, it was the longest airbrushing session in my career; about 4 hours! The blue fin tips were painted while their yellow cheat lines are decals. A black acrylic oil wash (Windsor Newton water soluble oils!) was used in the vents and in the control surface lines. The raised lines were also LIGHTLY wet sanded with a 600 grit sanding stick just enough to pop out the primer coat and add a little more contrast to the surfaces. The markings are from the spares box, as I could not find a decal sheet for this scheme (though I've been told it exists). The only decal I couldn't reproduce is the small squadron badge on the nose. I hope to find it on another sheet sometime in the future.


Conclusion

All in all, this was an enjoyable build. I probably spent about 20 hours on it, half of which was in painting and finishing. It's a perfect kit to build if you want a very good representative of the A-10A Warthog for your shelf, and you're not addicted to scribed panel lines! If you want to build one for competition, you'd need to build one for practice to iron out the kinks, and then a second one for the contest table.

 

 

The detailing on the kit is excellent straight from the box, and there are also plenty of aftermarket sets that'll allow you to go to town if you so desire. Hope you enjoy! Happy modeling y'all!

 

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Photographs and Text Copyright 2007 by Gil Hodges and Testor Corporation