KIT:

Monogram 1/48 A-7A Corsair Ii

KIT #

5418

PRICE:

$ long out of production

DECALS:

One option

REVIEWER:

Scott Van Aken

NOTES:

 

HISTORY

 

The Corsair II was designed as a lightweight attack aircraft to supplement and later replace the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. In addition to service in our Navy, Corsair II's were flown by our Air Force, Air National Guard, and several other nations. The Ling Temco-Vought A-7 production line started on 19 March 1964 and continued until September 1984; 1,545 were built. Its first flight, powered by a Pratt & Whitney TF3O-P-6 turbofan engine, was on 27 September 1965. Navy Preliminary Evaluations were underway in January 1966. Test programs were accomplished with wartime urgency, and the first fleet delivery (VA-174) was on 14 October 1966. Retirement of the last two Navy A-7 aircraft fleet operational squadrons (VA-46 and VA-72) was in May 1991 after their service in Desert Storm.

THE KIT

For those who want a bit of history concerning Monogram, they bought most of the Aurora molds when Aurora Plastics went under in the mid 1970s. They then did a bit of cleaning up and some minor alterations of a few Aurora molds and released these kits under the Monogram label. Among those kits were the Fokker D.VII, Sopwith Camel, F-111A and the A-7A Corsair II. The kit itself is pretty close to Monogram's standards of the time with raised panel lines, a nicely done interior with raised instrument detail. However, it doesn't have the wheel well detail of a Monogram kit and the weapons are a single piece, where Monogram would do them in halves. There are a few other areas where things are a bit different, but the main one is that the canopy is a bit wider than one would normally find on an A-7. However, despite all this, it is still the ONLY A-7A that is available in 1/48. Why Hasegawa hasn't done an early plane is beyond me as the A can also be done as a B or C version with little more than a decal change.

Anyway, the kit also provides a full selection of stores for the pylons. This includes a TER molded in with the outer pylon. I'm also not sure about the drop tanks as I seem to recall the A-7 using those that had a single fin pointed down, but I could be wrong about that. The intake isn't that bad and goes in about 2 1/2 inches so there isn't the flat plate that some kits put there. I'd recommend making an intake cover as filling even that short a seam won't be easy.

The instructions are like every other Monogram kit of 1979, the date on the box. Colors are given in generic names as this was before FS numbers became standard in some kits. Markings are provided for one aircraft of VA-72 aboard the USS JFK. My decals have a bit of a gouge in the AB tailcode of one side, but it should be easy to fix with a touch of black paint. Typical of the era, these decals are fairly well printed and very glossy.

CONCLUSIONS

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