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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


Eduard Big Ed Set for the Hobby Boss A-4F Skyhawk
1:48 Scale

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The A-4 Skyhawk is one of the most popular jet-era subjects for scale modelers, and there have been some great kits of the Scooter in 1:48 scale, from the classic Monogram kit to the excellent (though arguably, not quite perfect) family of kits by Hasegawa.  Hobby Boss has recently made their contribution to the world of 1:48 scale A-4s beginning in 2016 with (so far) three kits:  an A-4E, F, and M.  The tooling can be considered something of a simplified incarnation of a Hasegawa A-4, with retracted slats, flaps, and other somewhat more basic details (e.g., simplified gear wells).

In this Big Ed set that bundles together four photoetched metal detail sets and a pre-cut masking set, Eduard provides a wide range of photoetched metal parts to enhance your Hobby Boss A-4F and give it some of the extra details the Foxtrot deserves, from the front office to the engine exhaust.  Let’s see what we’ve got.

Eduard # 49899 – A-4F:  this seat contains two frets.  One is a partially pre-painted fret containing 50 parts.  This fret covers cockpit and ejection seat details, with a new instrument panel, side consoles, rudder pedals, gun sight, ejection seat sides, rear view mirrors, and various knobs.  A thin sheet of acetate provides the gunsight/aiming reticle glass, and it includes two of them (just in case you need a backup).          

The second fret is unpainted and contains 106 parts.  These detail parts include the AOA vanes in the side of the nose, nose and main gear well details (including some wiring in the nose gear well), the disk brakes on the inside of the main wheel hubs, inner canopy frame details, exhaust details, drop tank access panels, and pylon bottoms.  There are also your choice of two styles of pre-painted chaff and flare dispensers (from the smaller first fret) that round the exterior details.  Overall, this set really will make a difference with the cockpit interior to many different elements of the exterior of Hobby Boss’s 1:48 scale A-4F.

Eduard # 48955 – A-4F Airbrakes:  the Skyhawk’s speed brakes are visually prominent parts of the aircraft, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to display them open.  Yet, the kit’s injection molded details are simplified and inaccurate in that respect.  This 28-part set serves as a replacement for both the interior speed brake well and the entire speed brake assembly itself.  The speed brake interior parts are very impressive and beautifully detailed with correctly (and subtly) raised rivet details, and the interior and exterior parts of the speed brake assembly itself are pretty much perfect in terms of detail and scale thickness.

Eduard # FE 900 – A-4F Seatbelts STEEL:  the kit’s ESCAPAC seat is okay, but there’s no better or more realistic way to represent shoulder harnesses and lap belts on an ejection seat than by using separate photoetched metal parts.  This set provides 14 pre-painted parts for the shoulder harnesses, lap belts, ejection handles, and buckle details for kit’s seat.  They are a major step up from what comes in the kit, and if you look close enough, you can see stitching details on the belts themselves.

Eduard # EX 593 – A-4F Masks:  as a regular user of these products, your reviewer is a huge fan of Eduard’s pre-cut self-adhesive masking sets.  They are immense time savers and provide some seriously accurate and precise masks.  Here, this set provides masks for the windscreen, canopy, taxi and landing lights, nose gear wheel hub, and main gear wheel hubs (inboard and outboard).  
 
Eduard # 49103 – Remove Before Flight STEEL:  as one last set of details for your A-4F, Eduard included a set of pre-painted Remove Before Flight Tags from their STEEL product line.  If the scale modeler wishes, they can pin and tag their ejection seat, nose gear and main gear linkages, the tail hook, ordnance, and whatever else can get tagged.  This set includes 38 tags, 26 of which feature white lettering while another 12 have alternate black lettering.  They look great (though I always have thought they are maybe a little large for most remove before flight tags in 1:48 scale) and the grommets on the top of the tag are open, so the builder can thread some fine gauge wire through there with ease.        

In summary, this Big Sin set really rocks.  It attends directly to some of the most important detail insufficiencies of the 1:48 scale Hobby Boss A-4F.  It’s also a really good deal, considering the discounted price of this bundled set versus buying each of these items individually.  It will really make a difference with the interior and exterior of this Scooter.  When I build mine, this Big Ed set is definitely doing into the build.

We extend our sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample. You can visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany/

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
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