1/48 Douglas A-1J Skyraider

Gallery Article by Patrick Nabinger on May 27 2011


Hello my friends,

For my first submission in the gallery articles, I present you my old Esci 1/48 Douglas A-1J Skyraider.  I built this aircraft many years ago, at the end of the '80s perhaps beginning of the '90s.  On this model, I use a copy of two parts from a Monogram A-1 Skyraider : the propeller and the carburator air intake (silicon molds cast in resin). The wind shield is from Esci but the sliding canopy was too short and bulbous). I use the Monogram part as master and vacu-formed a new one for the Esci kit.


The Esci motor cowling diameter was too small.  To fix this, I wrapped around the kit part a large strip of thin plastic card to increase the diameter.  A little amount of putty was needed to blend the kit cowling and the plastic card together.

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The gun barrels, pitot tube and exhausts are made in different diameters syringe tube. I cut and repositioned the rudder, elevator and tailwheel and added a pilot figure from my spares box to bring life to the model.  A few antennas were scratch built in plastic card and stretched sprue.  I used Humbrol paints, and the camouflage was air brushed free hand with my Badger 150. I use the decals from the Monogram kit but the yellow strips are painted on. The makings represent an aircraft from the 56th Special Operation Squadron - Nakhon Phamon - Thailand - 1970

A few words about the diorama. I use a plywood board covered with cardboard, tinted with dry pigment simply dry brushed with an old brush.  The lines are painted with Humbrol mat black.  The dimensions of the base, 85 x 56 cm (33" x 22") give enough room for two aircraft.  The figures and ground equipment are from Esci and Hasegawa.  The fire extinguishers are scratch built.  And for the sand bag wall….due to a skate board accident with a broken leg, (please don’t laugh…), I was at home during three months and was busy modeling, bag by bag, three sand bag walls with plastiroc.

The photos were taken outside, at Mulhouse-Habsheim airfield, the little airfield where I learned to fly real aircraft many years ago.  You can see the hangars in the background. The model is not motorized but the propeller has a metal axle and rotates really free in a brass tube and when the wind was blowing, « the engine start ! » 

Greetings from France. 

Patrick Nabinger

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Photos and text © by Patrick Nabinger