Italeri 1/72 A-7E Corsair II




$14.95 MSRP


Four aircraft


Scott Van Aken


ex-ESCI kit


As many of you may know, ESCI went out of business in the mid-1980s. It was purchased by ERTL who also owned the AMT brand. A number of these ESCI molds surfaced in the 80's and 90's under the AMT brand. Mostly 1/72 with a few 1/48 kits were what were released. AMT also released a two seat F-100F that ESCI had not gotten around to boxing. Later, AMT did a number of new mold kits such as the XB-70, XB-35, KC-135s and B-52s in 1/72 and a series of P-40s, F7Fs and A-20s in 1/48. Much to the dismay of aircraft modelers, AMT decided that the profit in aircraft kits was not there and suddenly stopped producing them to concentrate on cars. Later ERTL was purchased by Racing Champions who wanted the die cast car line and had to take the plastics part of it as part of the deal. After nearly going bankrupt, probably due to mismanagement, Racing Champions has slowly started coming back.

Since Racing Champions now owned all of the ESCI molds, they have been farming them out to both Italeri and Revell AG. Hence a spate of 'new' kits in the recent years that look rather familiar to those of us who have been around the hobby for a while. That is where this particular kit came from.


The thing about ESCI was that it either did a super job or a really bad one when it came to kits. Fortunately, this is one of the good ones. It is natural to compare this one to the Fujimi line of Corsair IIs. In that light, the ESCI comes out second best. Mostly because of the full intake trunking of the Fujimi kit and Fujimi's slightly better interior. ESCI, however, does have superior ordnance included in the kit and is probably a bit easier to build, as the Fujimi kit is a fussier model to assemble.

Like the Fujimi kit, all of the detailing is engraved panel lines. A bit heavier than Fujimi's, but not too much so. The kit comes with options to have the canopy open or closed and a rather substantial weapons load. There are two MERs, two TERs, and a pair of drop tanks for the pylons. For weapons, there are Snake-eye bombs, Shrike ARMs and Maverick AGMs. Two Sidewinders are also included for the fuselage mounted launch rails. Just FYI, few Navy Corsairs carried Mavericks. Those were mostly an AF weapon.

Instructions are typically good with paint information given in FS 595 and Testors colors as well as generic names. Italeri has never been given to shirk on markings for their kits and this one is no exception. Three of the four are in the old light gull grey and white scheme, while a fourth is in overall FS 36231 Dark Gull Grey. Those aircraft provided are VA-93, VA-147 and VA-87. The low viz aircraft is VA-86.



I have built this kit in the past and can tell you that you will not be disappointed. Many will not like the lack of deep intake trunking, but a simple intake cover will take care of that problem nicely. The molds have held up well over the years and it is something you should consider if looking for your next jet project.

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