1/48 Hasegawa A-4M Skyhawk (VMA-214 “Blacksheep")

Gallery Article by Marcello Rosa on Dec 15 2020



I decided to build an A-4 after visiting the USS Midway museum, and learning a lot about what a cool little plane this is: one of the smallest jets in the exhibition, but enormously popular with its crews for being nimble, rugged, able to carry a heavy punch, and easy to maintain. Skyhawks remained in production between 1956 and 1979, with nearly 3,000 built. 

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The Hasegawa kit offered two decal options: VMA-331 ("Bumblebees"), or VMA-214 ("Blacksheep"). I opted for the blacksheep livery, on account of many afternoons spent watching "Baa Baa Black Sheep" (aka "Black Sheep Squadron") on TV, as a teenager.

Hasegawa kits don't come with external weapons. So, although the kit itself was out of the box (including decals), I did add Mk82 bombs and a centreline multi-ejector rack from the Hasegawa weapons set A. I also wanted to include some air-to-air capacity to this plane. My spares box had no Sidewinders, but it had a couple of spare Matra “Magic" which came with a Kinetic Super Étendard Modernisé. I found that these could be made into relatively accurate AIM-9Hs by reshaping and slightly moving the fins, scribing and painting the rollerons on the wings, and adding an IR dome. There are also some scratchbuilt details added to the undercarriage and ejection seat (thanks to ARC’s walk around photos). 

For more photos, details and construction tips, please check the full report in my web site:

Marcello Rosa

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Photos and text © by Marcello Rosa