During Operation Desert Storm, the seven squadrons of Warthogs took a heavy toll
on the Iraqi military. For the duration of the war, Warthogs would take
off for combat every seven minutes. Though lacking the sophisticated FLIR
imagery of other strike aircraft, A-10s still flew at night to hunt for Iraqi
forces. Night flying A-10s employed an ad hoc infrared sight by
powering one Infrared AGM-65 Maverick and using the missile's IR image to see in
the dark of the night. Night offered safety for A-10s for by February 15th
when restrictions were placed on A-10 operations because of the number of battle
damaged or shot down aircraft, none of the night time flying squadrons had
received a loss. One of the squadrons tasked primarily with
night operations was the 355th TFS "Falcons", 354th TFW.
images below to see larger images
Hobbyboss 1:48 A-10A kit is a simple straightforward kit to build.
Unfortunately, I complicated mine with using the Aires Wheel Bay Set; this
led to some frustration during the build as the instructions were not
accurate as to where I should cut. Another disappointment is that
the chaff/flare dispensers at the rear of the gear bay are molded so that
they are empty. If I were to build this kit again, I would not use
any resin. The only other modification to the kit was to remove the
weapons load, I armed my A-10 build as if it were prepared for a night
sortie. I have on this build: 2 Hasegawa Weapons Set C AIM-9
sidewinders attached to the kit Dual Rail Adaptor, 2 modified Zuni rocket
launchers to look like SUU-25 flare dispenser pods, 2 Hasegawa AGM-65
Maverick missiles painted as the Infrared version mounted upon a couple of
Wolfpack LAU-117 Maverick Rails, 6 MK20 Rockeye cluster bombs on triple
ejector racks, and an ALQ-119 ECM pod.
Painting was done using Gunze Sangyo acrylic paints. The model was over
sprayed with a light coat of heavily thinned light gray to give it a weathered
look. After spraying Future, I applied an oil wash for further weathering.
Plane specific decals are from Experts-Choice 48-29 A-10A sheet which depicts
aircraft from the 355th TFS and 353rd TFS from Desert Storm. There were
two things that I wished that sheet included: various white "Rescue"
stencils on the lower portion of the fuselage and boarding ladder art. The
"white" rescue decal within the arrow was composed of cutting
"rescue" out of another decal and replacing it with white text.
The boarding ladder decal is composed of decal paper painted Insignia Blue, cut
into a strip, placed on the door and trimmed to size, and then cutting various
white letters and placing "FALCON" individually. Also, the 355th
TFS Squadron badge decal is incorrect for the Desert Storm period so I did some
trimming of the decal. Other stencil decals came from various A-10 kit