1/48 Hobbyboss A-10A Thunderbolt II

Gallery Article by Benner on Nov 26 2010

 

    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.

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    The 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 LASTE upgrades.

    For 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 sources.

Benner

Photos and text by Benner