1/48 Monogram Intruder, converted to KA-6D

Gallery Article by Wally Civitico on Mar 1 2010


What made me model a KA-6D and not a regular bomb truck you ask?

Well I like Intruders and have many pics of aircraft which I have seen and "touched" at Fremantle Western Australia over the years.

I have an aversion to low vis toned down schemes so I was gonna model a Light Gull grey and White example of VA-52. Going through my photo collection I realised that EVERY white and grey pic was of a Tanker version. This started me on the research trail which revealed a number of interesting facts:

  • Tankers retained a visual bombing capability (rarely if ever used)

  • To aid visibility for pilots of thirsty planes they retained the "high vis" scheme

  • as a further recognition aid, the rear fuselage featured either a red or blue stripe, for night ops the anti collision light lens were blue filtered and set to flash in sequences of 5.

A lot of this stuff I gleaned from regular ARC forum contributors.
So looking at my photos I found that none of my "high vis" KA-6 pics had the knight rider motif on the fin! (paradoxically a low vis example did! About this time I found some pics of VA-52 Intruders veritably pin cushioned with lances ..hmm I thought well I never actually "saw and touched" these but it was a neat scheme!
So I ditched my "personal aeroplane" angle and went for this.. I scratched built the refuelling drogue unit with bomb casings and other bits from the spares box.
A US modeller (Ryan F) provided me with an excellent reference pic which became my subject. Another US modeller (Peter Fey) sent me the extra two tanks I required to finish the KA-9.

Click on images below to see larger images



Now whilst there are decals available for VA-52 jets, the ones I have seen has a Knight's Head design very different to my reference material and even the Lances were quite different, so once again I bit the bullet and set out to make my own decals. The Lances were surprisingly easy to draw.. I used Microsoft Powerpoint and had them done in 20 minutes! Unbelievable in comparison to the knights head. For this I had to crop the photo, enhance the image and use photoshop to create a drawing. With my inept photoshop skills this took many evenings work but very happy with the result! The rudder pennant thingie took a while as well, it was perfect but I forgot to save it and had to re-do it and I couldn't get it as good as before..I was fed up at this stage and left it.. it was good enough (for my build quality anyway).

Once again not perfect, but I do like this jet, making a unique subject of a rarely modelled version with home made decals makes it a bit special.

Wally Civitico

Photos and text by Wally Civitico