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Tamiya's 1/48 scale
A-1H Skyraider

by Richard Nicoletti

Douglas A-1H Skyraider



The model depicts a Douglas A-1J Skyraider of Attack Squadron 145 (VA-145), USS Intrepid (CV-11) Yankee Station, Gulf of Tonkin during 1966.

I picked up the Tamiya 61058 Douglas A-1H Skyraider US Navy kit at a local club's Distressed Kit Auction. The kit's missing "D" sprue was sourced through Tamiya, and a fellow modeler was kind enough to provide the missing decals, instructions, and painting guide.



A Quinta Studios 48009 A-1H (Tamiya) 3D printed interior set was used to significantly enhance the inside of the cockpit. Quinta's 3D sets are absolutely amazing with highly visible dials, gauges, buttons, and switches, and, in my opinion, look far better than available PE sets and are also more user friendly.

An EZ Masks Set #79 was used to mask the canopy, and the model was finished with Tamiya paints. 



Since I wanted to build a model that didn't look like all the other Skyraiders I've seen at shows, I chose to finish the model using Fowler Aviation's 48-04 A-1H "Baby" decal set. After applying and sealing the decals, I thought my Skyraider was looking pretty good. However, I wasn't happy with the look of the kit's black wing walk decals and decided to airbrush the wing walk area.



I carefully removed the wing walk decals with home improvement store painter's tape and masked the wings and fuselage with kabuki-type modeling tape. The sprayed wing walks were an improvement. However, although all the decals had been sealed, removing the kabuki-type masks ripped off the wing markings. Since the now missing wing markings included partial aircraft serial numbers, other decals now had to also be removed and suitable replacements found. Eventually, I found a Superscale 48-1003 AD6 Skyraider VA-145 & VA-85 decal set which provided the required markings.



Since the Navy used leftover WW II ordnance in early Viet Nam bombing missions, I chose to mount well weathered 2,000lb bombs rather than the kit's drop tanks. Unfortunately, unless seen up close, the weathered bombs aren't very visible.



Another example of Tamiya's fine engineering, the kit went together well.

While familiar with 1/48 scale aircraft, other modelers and myself were surprised at the comparable size of the Skyraider. It is a big airplane!

Model and Text Copyright © 2022 by Richard Nicoletti
Page Created 4 November, 2022
Last Updated 4 November, 2022

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