1/72 Fujimi A-4B Skyhawk

CANA A-4Q Skyhawk 3-A-309 early 1982

by John Lanning

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I used the 1/72 scale Fujimi A-4B Skyhawk and the whole kit is generally out of the box. The only exceptions are the two antennas on the top of the aircraft, and the AIM-9B Sidewinders which came from an old ESCI F-5B kit. The decals are a combination of kit decals and Aztec's Latin Eagles V Argentine Navy Skyhawks decals. I finished it with Testors Model Master paints. I airbrushed the bottom of the aircraft and used a spray can for the topside grey. I weathered it with a combination of thinned Model Master black acrylic and dish soap. The aircraft depicts A-4Q 3-A-309 of 3 Escuadrilla de Caza y Ataque in the air defense loadout aboard the aircraft carrier Vienticinco de Mayo just before the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands. The 25th Anniversary of that invasion is on 2 April of this year.

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This aircraft was damaged in a fatal accident on 23 May 1982 after an unsuccessful attack against the British fleet in San Carlos Sound. The aircraft suffered from an apparent electrical failure and the bombs didn't release during it's bomb run. The aircraft made a hard landing back at it's operational base at Rio Grande and blew a tire. The A-4Q missed the runway arresting wire and slid off of the runway. Apparently believing that the bombs may come loose and destroy the plane, Capitan de Corbeta Zubizaretta ejected, but his parachute never completely opened properly and he perished. The aircraft suffered little damage and was repaired just before the Argentine surrender in June with a new brown and black camouflage scheme.

John

Photos and text by John Lanning