Hobby Boss A-7A

HobbyLink Japan has the new 1/72 Hobby Boss A-7A in stock
http://www.hlj.com/product/HOB87201
This is obviously not one of the Hobby Boss "Easy Build" range. However, I
simply cannot find any reference on the web to the quality of these kits. Does anyone know anything about them?
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Enzo

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I thought you were a 1/48 man Enzo? I ask because there was a question about 1/72 Phantom weapons load in the Trumpeter 1/32 F-100D thread which I assumed you ignored because it wasn't 1/48?
(kim)
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kim wrote:

I build 1/48 Spitfires (and similar WW2 single engined aircraft). Everything else is 1/72.
I probably ignored the 1/32 F-100D thread in its entorety because I certainly don't have the room for something that big!
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The subject of weapons sprue came up and someone remembered that one of the 1/72 F-4 kits contained enough weapons to cover almost the whole of the Vietnam era.
(kim)
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kim wrote:

I looked up the post. I'm afraid I don't know which kit that might be.
The modern Hasegawa kits have no weapons whatsoever.
The Fujimi Phantom FG1 has Sparrows, Sidewinders and a gunpod.
The Fujimi Phantom FGR2 has Sparrows, SNEB pods and a recce pod.
The Fujimi F-4F has Sparrows (redundant on an F-4F), Sidewinders and an ALQ-119 ECM pods.
The old Italeri F-4G had Sparrows, Sidewinders and Shrikes.
The old Esci F-4E/F had Sparrows and Sidewinders.
If memory serves, the original Hasegawa F-4E had Sparrows, Sidewinders, Falcons, M117 iron bombs and BLU-27 napalm canisters, but I certainly wouldn't want to use any of those on a modern model.
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Well, you tried anyway :o)
A friend who bought the original Airfix model was quite staggered by the weapons load it offered. I had the misfortune to buy their F-111 around the same time which had no weapons at all :o(
Just out of curiosity, was the recce pod unique to the UK Phantom?
(kim)
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kim wrote:

Yes. It was built by Ferranti. When the Jaguar replaced the Phantom in the air-to-ground role, the gubbins from the recce pod were put in a redesigned, slimmer pod for the Jaguar.
Every other F-4 user who wanted a recce capability bought RF-4 models. However, as the Brit Phantom had a completely different supply and spares infrastructure to the J-79 engined versions, it made little sense to buy two squadrons' worth of RF-4s when they would have had very a limited service life. The pod was the most cost-effective option.
The JASDF also use a recce pod. Although the Japanese bought RF-4Es, in recent years many of those have reached their fatigue limit and have been withdrawn. The F-4EJ fleet was rebuilt a number of years ago as the F-4EJ-Kai and as the Mitsubishi F-2 has been introduced, some have become available to supplant the remainder of the recce fleet. These aircraft carry a centreline recce pod converted from Royal Jet centreline fuel tanks. They can also carry a weirdly shaped pod that I would imagine is some form of radar.
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Ah thanks, I don't have as many RAF groundcrew friends to ask as I used to.
Have you built one of these yet:-
http://www.raf.mod.uk/history_old/images/19sqnfgr2.jpg
(kim)
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kim wrote:

Nope. And I won't be doing so. I dislike special schemes and would much rather build an ordinary line jet.
My experience of jets in special schemes is that they are an awful lot of work for the groundcrew - much more than for ordinary jets. They have to be kept squeaky clean and in fully serviceable condition. Oddly enough, it always seems that the powers that be choose the squadron dog for the special markings. Sometimes here is no choice about which aircraft to use (as with IV Sqn's specially marked Harrier in 1987). At other times, the choice just seems ridiculous. I've found that aircraft in anniversary marking schemes are hated by the groundcrew.
In 1987 I designed and painted the special markings for IV Sqn's 75th anniversary. The same year was also the 20th anniversary of the first flight of the first *true* Harrier, XV738. (All the previous aircraft had been either P1127s, Kestrels or Development Batch aircraft which differed quite dramatically from the production aircraft and so never saw squadron service). As IV Sqn had XV738 on charge, that was the obvious choice.
The markings I devised were taken from the Squadron badge and comprised a yellow lightning bolt on the fin, with black above and red below. The wing commander wanted to keep the special paint scheme secret until it was unveiled (as the station commander frowned on such things) and so the paint shop didn't spray it. Instead, I hand painted the fin one night shift.
Esci later provided markings for the jet in this scheme in their 1/72 kit and it is also available as an update on Modeldecal Sheet 94. Both decal sheets are slightly inaccurate as the lightning flash is neatly presented with straight lines. That's not how it worked out in practice! I botched up the masking and so the upper demarcation line of the forward zig (or maybe zag) on the port side was noticeably curved!
Anyway, XV738 was the display jet at the 75th anniversary celebrations and remained in those markings for a couple of months until it went for a scheduled minor servicing and was repainted.
During 1989 a Tornado (ZD891/BB or 14 Sqn) was involved in a mid-air collision with two Luftwaffe Alpha Jets. This was the third mid-air collision in 18 months that was attributed to the camouflage scheme being *too* good. Therefore, various measures were tried to improve visibility. Various RAFG aircraft participated in a trial which involved painting the tails in red or white for tactical aircraft, red or blue for air defence aircraft. There are numerous photos around showing RAFG Phantoms with red or blue tails. These weren't squadron markings, the aircraft were participating in the trial.
IV Sqn was on APC at Decimomannu at the time and so none of our aircraft participated in the trial. When we got back to Gtersloh, the wing commander (a different one, we also had a different station commander by that time) was a bit miffed that none of his aircraft had colourful tails and so three aircraft were selected and had their tails painted in the squadron colours, in an identical scheme to the one that XV738 had worn. The difference this time was that the station paint shop did the painting and so the lightning bolt was nice and straight!
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Enzo Matrix wrote:

As you can see, the Airfix 1/24 Harrier also has these markings. http://www.hannants.co.uk/search/?FULL=AX18003
This was from the 1989 batch and is serialed XZ969. The '89 aircraft had their code letters applied on the fin. XV738/B didn't.
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Perhaps you could produce your own decal sheet with authentic wobbly markings? :o)
(kim)
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Enzo Matrix wrote:

This was from way back; it was from around 1975. I'm fairly sure it was a F-4F, as it was in Air Force markings and camouflage. I think it was Fujimi, but don't quote me on it.
Pat
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kim wrote:

I'm still trying to remember if that was the Fujimi or Hasegawa one. It really made a big hit when it came out due to that. IIRC, the ordance and drop tank tree was the size of the whole box. No one could figure out what the Genies were included for, as they were never deployed operationally on the F-4.
Pat
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Enzo Matrix wrote:

I found some reviews of their 1/48th scale Rafale aircraft kit and a couple of their copters here: http://tinyurl.com/332cx6
Pat
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Pat Flannery wrote:

Thanks Pat.
I'm fairly encouraged by those reviews, so I've placed an order. One thing is puzzling me. The boxtop claims that there are 186 parts. The Fujimi A-7 kits only have 73, and they are quite nicely detailed (with the exception of the cockpit and nose gear bay). I can see that the Hobby Boss kit has fuselage equipment bays which can be modelled open and seperate main gear bays. Assuming that this will allow more detail in the gear bays, I still can't imagine that there would be more than thirty more parts compared to the Fujimi kits. So I wonder what accounts for the large part count. Seperate flaps and slats, maybe? A huge and very comprehensive weapons load? I suppose I'll find out in about a fortnight.
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Enzo Matrix wrote:

This crew is obviously hitting the ground running; that's going to be a big plus for diorama building.

I wonder if it's ordnance? The old Revell A-7 had a whole pile of bombs hanging off of its MERs, and the A-7 could carry a lot of different types of ordnance.

They did that on the Rafale, and again it would be a major asset for dioramas.

I suspect that's it; on the Revell one the bombs accounted for twelve parts all on their own, IIRC. I wonder if they detailed the Vulcan cannon bay? (or is this the twin 20 mm cannon model?)

I was reading up on the rumors about this company having some connection to Trumpeter; I think in the years to come we are going to see a lot of new model companies coming out of China, given their low labor costs and economic drive. I was amazed when Trumpeter had the guts to bring out a 1/72 scale Bear bomber, not to mention those 1/35 scale railway guns.
Pat
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