1/48 Revell A-6E Intruder-6E Intruder

Gallery Article by Glen Martin-IPMS 38082


I have always been fascinated by the A6 Intruder.  It’s longevity and service record during the Vietnam war was a mainstay in offensive operations.  This longevity even extended into the 90’s during the first Gulf War.  I decided to model my Intruder to represent the summer of 1988 when the US was escorting reflagged Kuwaiti Oil tankers into and out of the Persian gulf during the Iranian-Iraqi war.  The squadron markings are from VA-176, the “Thunderbolts”.

The overall kit was very nicely detailed.  That was a good first start.  I decided to replace the kit cockpit with a Black Box Cockpit.  I further enhanced this cockpit with some details that I purchased from Eduard with a photo etched interior and exterior metal detail set.  This was generally fairly easy since the fit was almost like a glove.  I really didn’t have to alter a thing for the tub to fit.  For the buttons and knobs I used Pentel Metallic Gel roller pens, especially the green and red pens.  A friend of mine, Frank Collins who is a member of IPMS-Winston Salem, NC, showed me how you can just barely touch the tops of the knobs and the ink from the roller ball on the pen will be left as a result.  Since the ink is slightly metallic, it shines really nicely when illuminated with a flash light.  


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I also decided to drill out the engine exhausts since the molding in this area was much to be desired.  When the kit wings go together, it forms the exhaust.  Since there is an awful seam to contend with, I added brass tubing after much drilling and carving to make the room for the tubing.  It does much to add to the realism.  On the front side of the wings, I added lead foil intake covers with the squadron insignia.  To do this I grabbed letters and numbers from a Super-Scale sheet and individually added each letter and number.

The landing gear in this model is very nicely detailed.  I decided to add MV Product lenses to the nose landing gear door in the green, amber and red colors as well as the main landing gear light.  This adds much to the realism affect as well.  I weighted the landing gear and after a coat of future floor polish, I sludged the landing gear to simulate the daily usage of this aircraft with the grime and dirt effect.

I decided to arm my model with Harpoon missles since the Thunderbolts were escorting tankers.  

The model also includes a scratch built pitot tube, detached and repositioned Stabilators, rear facing ECM antenna’s scratched from sprue and “Remove before Flight” tags.  

The model was finished in Model Master Enamel paints and weathered in Artist pastel chalk which really darkened with covered in Future.  I’ve always felt that aircraft should represent how they are in real life and I like the look of being dirty!

References Included:

  • Detailing Scale Model Aircraft by Mike Ashey

  • Military Aircraft Markings by Barry C. Wheeler

  • A-6 Intruder Walk Around by Squadron Signal Publications  

Glen Martin

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Photos and text © by Glen Martin