Trumpeter 1/32 LTV A-7E Corsair II
By Thierry Laurent
- TYPE: USS A-7E Corsair II (US Navy)
- SCALE: 1/32
- COMPANY: Trumpeter
- KIT Number: 02231
- MOLD CREATION DATE: 2005
KIT DATABASE ENTRY:
TWEAK LIST VERSION 1.0 (publication date: June 2008)
The following list is intended to help modelers in improving scale accuracy of an airplane model replica. In no way is it intended to support or be offensive towards a scale model company. As such, it is only the result of a progressive process and is in no way intended to be absolute or even comprehensive. Hence, it is intended to focus on commonly admitted discrepancies and will probably not cover some errors. It is up to the modeler to decide whether correcting the listed issues is worth the time and money he will have to invest in the quest for accuracy process.
No aftermarket correction or detail set is mentioned in this document as the availability of such items may be very variable. Hence, refer to other LSP sections to find relevant information. Moreover, aftermarket sets do not necessarily correct all listed issues. Please refer accordingly to relevant documentation.
NOTICEABLE FUSELAGE ISSUES (from front to rear)
- The nose is too pointy. Rebuild it with epoxy putty or replace it with an aftermarket part.
- Lower edge of air intake is too flat. This may be solved with superglue, putty, clamps and sanding... Alternately, use aftermarket parts. Removing the visible seam between upper and lower air intake parts is surely not an easy job because of the parts length and the closed end. If you want to use the kit parts, consider the putty/nail remover/cotton- bud combination or paint both parts and use white epoxy putty with water.
- Kit has no engine compressor front part but fortunately this is not really visible.
- Remove the two ECM bumps on either side of the intake lip (F10 & bump on A4) if you choose a Nam era "SLUF: (Short Little Ugly Fellow*).
- Drill the nose starboard side air intake.
- The refueling probe hinge plate (F21 rear plate) does not fit correctly. Take your time to fix it or it will sink below the outer surface and a bad seam will have to be filled.
- Drill the starboard small air intake located between the canopy and wing root.
- Improve the sharpness of the engraving of the three slot intakes on the nose port side.
- Move forward the temperature probe parts (F8 & 9).
- There is no AOA probe. Only the plastic cover (F46) is provided. This is not a terrific issue but keep in mind that airframes are rarely left with a single plastic protection on one item! Either fill the two rather large holes and rebuild the AOA indicator or add correctly positioned RBF flags and other plastic protections.
- The heat exhaust right of the front gear (F48) should be drilled or rebuilt from 4mm tube.
- The photo-etch plates parts (PE8 & 9) to glue on the boarding steps are too large. Cautiously sand their edges, replace them with aftermarket ones or do not use the boarding ladder. Besides this, the desperately empty boarding ladder bay asks for additional details.
- Do not forget adding ballast weight (e.g. in the nose and/or behind the canopy) to avoid the tail sitter syndrome.
- Vulcan 20 mm gun is correctly depicted but only the muzzle part will be visible. Take time to smooth the seam between the E39 part and the fuselage as there should not be a visible step between them. If you want to open the gas purge hole to show part of the breech, drill the recessed area where part F20 has to be glued and add internal details on the part internal side, the door arm and structural details inside the fuselage. Nonetheless, if you choose this option take care not interfering with air intake parts.
- The avionics bays details are simplified. At least add missing electrical connectors and lines. The oxygen bay is empty whereas Navy planes are rarely seen without the green LOX bottle. Moreover, this is never the case when they are armed and loaded on carriers.
- The RAT is incorrectly depicted (E11 & 17). The two small moving arms linking the RAT and the bay door are missing. Structural details, rivets lines and electrical lines are missing on the bay sides.
- Gluing the belly air-brake (A16/F57) in the closed position will ask for a lot of sanding as the seams are far from perfect here... Another option is to glue it nearly closed as pictures sometimes show it in such a position on parked aircraft.
- Oddly, the clear part of the upper fuselage beacon nav. light (F33) on the upper fuselage is not molded in clear plastic. If you want to improve its look, cut the upper section, replace it with red clear sprue and sand it into shape.
- Do not put the cable ducts/ECM wave-guides photo-etched/plastic combo parts (K3/PE18 & K1/PE19) on the sides of the fuselage for an early (Nam era) Echo. They were added later and make more sense on an eighties airframe. Similarly, check closely your references as initial Echoes had no rear avionics bulge (F23) under the aircraft belly.
- Check if the airframe you’re interested in used the combat camera (F5). If this was indeed the case, replace the central part with a clear part as the grey plastic part does not correctly simulate the glass area.
- Add missing rivets and bolt heads on the arresting hook support structure.
- Air starter receptacle (between the starboard stab and the wing) is molded as a raised detail whereas it should be flush. Sand it flat.
- Drill the starboard molded oval mesh intake (in front and a little bit lower than the above mentioned air receptacle) and replace it with fine mesh.
- Kit molding depicting stabs attachment to the fuselage is too shallow. As the rear fuselage cross section is too flat, it is not possible to easily move the stabs in an up or down stance.
- Rear fuselage opening for the exhaust is indeed too squashed. Correct opening shape is less oval. A solution to solve this (at least partly) asks for the removal of the structural bulkhead intended to hold the tailpipe part with a more rounded one and using clamps and superglue to mate the rear section of both fuselage parts.
- Engine exhaust is very simplified and the tailpipe should not be fixed on a plate (D2) but secured by arms around its edge. Fairly, this would be difficult to depict on a model kit and the area is not very visible. It is probably better to simply paint the area with dark paint depicting burnt metal and forget it.
- LORAN/VHF tail antenna is a raised molding whereas it should be flush. Pictures of Navy SLUFs never show distinctly the antenna as the tail generally stays clean. Lightly engrave its border and sand it flat.
- Tail rear ECM antennae molding (small squares with four fixing screws) should be refined.
NOTICEABLE WING/WEAPONS ISSUES
- Gluing wings in the normal position is far from easy. Indeed, internal and external sections don’t have the same thickness and you’ll have to take care of a lot of seams between the two sections (hinges area). It is probably easier to glue together both upper parts on one hand and both lower ones on another hand before sanding to mate more or less correctly the intrados and extrados parts.
- If you decide to fold the wings, do not forget adding the missing electrical and hydraulic lines in the hinges area.
- The leading edge flaps (B1-B4) have no pins or slots to position them extended. Their fit is not excellent and asks for a lot of care to position them correctly. To extend them, it is mandatory to improve the fit and accordingly their leading edge inner section should be significantly trimmed.
- Take care if you want to drop the trailing edge flaps (A15-18/14-19) correctly, as there is more than 1mm gap to fill at the front edge of their underside. Sand their trailing edges to get a correct scaled thickness.
- A lot of weapon options are possible but what is not inappropriate is often inaccurate or
- AIM-9D Sidewinders are correct but not terrific: improve or replace them (at least remove the overscale molded straps). Moreover, the launch rails (G16-17) certainly do not look like the full scale LAU-7 ones. Do not use them or scratch/rob them from a Tamiya Phantom.
- FLIR pod is correct but was only used from the eighties on a little bit more than 250 airframes.
- Slick and Snake-eye Mk. 82s suffer from the classical Trumpeter Mark eighties bomb syndrome: too large nose and too thin body. Moreover, the Snake-eye brake fins section is not correctly depicted and will ask for a lot of work to obtain an accurate result. Normal or extended bomb fuses are included.
- M117s are correct, but not terrific and were only used by USAF SLUFs.
- MERs & TERs bodies are misshaped. They should be heavily rebuilt or replaced with aftermarket or Tamiya Phantom counterparts.
- GBU-8 Hobos TV guided bombs have not been used by Navy SLUFs.
- GBU-10 2000 LGBs Paveway II have neither been used by Navy SLUFs.
- AGM-12 Bullpup missiles are correct. They have been used by USN Corsairs but pictures showing them are very rare.
- AGM-45 Shrikes front fins are misshaped and located too far back. Replace them with correctly shaped Plasticard ones. Aero launching rails are unfortunately missing.
- AGM-62 Walleye guided bombs were specifically used by Navy SLUFs. They are correctly depicted.
- AGM-65 Mavericks are included with triple launchers. However, Mavericks were only used on LAU-117 single rails and during the very final years of the SLUF life (think very end of eighties and Desert Storm era).
- AGM-88 HARMs & LAU-118 launchers were only used during the same period.
- AGM-84E SLAM missiles were never used on Corsairs.
- Aero fuel tanks are misshaped beyond relief (wrong size, too pointy nose shape, too thin body and too large strengthening seams). Consequently, they should be forgotten or replaced by Hasegawa Skyhawk ones.
NOTICEABLE COCKPIT ISSUES
- Tub is correct but the side consoles have too soft details and side walls fit is not excellent. Front instrument face is nicely detailed.
- Seats have accurate shapes but are very basic (with a bad seam to remove on the Stencel “head box” upper side). Moreover, a lot of details (pipes, lines...) are missing on the fuselage sides and behind the seat.
- The instructions make no mention of the Escapac IG-2 seat whereas the decals depict early airframes that did not use the later-on used SJU-8 Stencel seat.
- Replace the far too thick HUD glass (L8 part) with a thinner one.
- Add the missing flight docs holders on the front instrument coaming (left & right side of the HUD).
NOTICEABLE CANOPY ISSUES
- The clear parts shapes are unfortunately off: the canopy and windscreen parts being notably "squashed". This is particularly visible were the two parts joined. There is no other solution than scratch-building new parts or replacing them with an aftermarket set. If you still want to use the kit parts, at least do not close the canopy... Moreover, the thick glazed part of the canopy has to be glued into a narrow plastic frame (D4). Use crystal clear, white glue or other ad hoc glue for clear parts to avoid marring the canopy. Take care again if you want to use the photo-etched mirrors frame (PE17).
- Do not forget adding the missing locks and other details on the canopy parts as well as the AOA indexers and various lights on the windscreen internal frames.
- Replace molded-on grab handles on canopy and windscreen parts by scratch-built or photo-etched ones. Check which type of handle (round/square) was used on the airframe you choose.
- Canopy actuator lever (D19) is far too simplified.
NOTICEABLE LANDING GEAR ISSUES
- The plastic main gear legs are a little bit weak to support a kit with full weapon load. Moreover, if you want to use some resin detail sets, there is no choice but to use the metal ones. Unfortunately, the strong metal legs need a lot of clean up to remove flash and mold seams.
- The F30 pin part securing landing gear legs should be strongly glued with CA glue or replaced with a stronger rod with crushed ends.
- Brake hoses and different hydraulic lines are missing on the landing gear legs.
- Brakes are missing on the kit wheel rims.
- The wheel wells are correctly reproduced but a lot of structural details ribs, fuel lines pipes, hoses and hydraulic plumbing are missing in the wheel wells. A very visible fuel pipe line should be added in the port bay. Check references to add the missing items or choose the lazy approach: replace them with aftermarket ones.
- Main landing gear doors do not fit correctly and open in a wrong position because their retraction legs attachment points are wrongly located.
- Front landing gear tires do not correspond to the most common smooth edge type used on Navy SLUFs. Indeed, very few pictures show this type of “off-road” profile tire.
OTHER NOTICEABLE ISSUES & MISCELLANEOUS REMARKS
- The kit molding is generally crisp with engraved panel lines, rivets and details. However, fuselage parts engraved details are softer and some areas need to be carefully sanded as the plastic surface is not homogeneously smooth. There is also some flash. Last but not least, fill the molding sink marks on the fuselage sides.
- Fit is generally excellent. However, for some specific parts, it may be very bad (the belly air-brake or refueling probe hinge plate being the most obvious examples).
- If shapes and dimensions are generally correct, the nose and canopy areas are clearly misshapen.
- Wings may be depicted folded (a set of wing fold braces is included). Control surfaces are separate parts. However, the instructions do not specify that the latter can be assembled in the extended or retracted position.
- Avionics/APU side bays and boarding ladder bay may be left open.
- Front landing gear launching bar may be put in up or down positions (K7 + K10/2).
- Kit has photo-etched detail parts (rear-view mirrors, HUD structure, seat belts and ejection handle, ECM cable ducts, RAT and bomb propellers and chaffs launcher faces), alternate metal undercarriage legs, rubber tires and a film sheet for the cockpit front instrument panel.
- Kit has many ordnance parts as the Navy and Air Force kits share the same weapon sprues. However, some classical Nam era Navy SLUF loads like Mk. 20 Rockeyes, Mk. 83 bombs, rocket pods or the M-607 refueling station are unfortunately not included.
- The decal sheet for VA-82 has the aircraft being flown by a COL. rather than a CDR. (correct NAVY rank). Note this maybe correct as the US Navy regulations allowed a certain number CAG commanders to be USMC captain, major or colonel. Decals include many weapon stencils. Technical stencils for the MLG doors, TER and MER are crude.
The following sources were used to build this list.
- Drendel, Lou, A-7 Corsair, Walk-Around, Squadron Signal Publications, n°5544, 2006.
- Kinzey, Bert, A-7 Corsair II, Detail in scale, n°22, Aero Publications, 1986.
- A-7 E Corsair II, Vol.1, Hobby shop work publication, “On the wave” edition, 1987.
Scale Plans and TM extracts:
- LTV A-7 Corsair II, Navy Version, Famous airplanes of the World, n°18, Koku Fan, Bunrin-Do publication, 1989.
- LTV A-7 Corsair II, Famous airplanes of the World, n°5, Koku Fan, Bunrin-Do publication, 1982.
Colour Pictures; Photo-files:
- Brown, David F., SLUF A-7 Corsair, n°3009, Concord publications, 1997.
- Montbazet, Jean-Pierre, Super Carriers: US naval air power today, Osprey color series, Osprey publishing, 1985.
- Francillon, Rene J., U.S. Navy Air Wings: Flamboyant Markings 1965-1975, Osprey color series, Osprey publishing, 1988.
- Adcock, Al, A-7 Corsair II in Action, n°120, Squadron Signal Publications, 1991.
- Drendel, Lou, A-7 Corsair in Action, n°22, Squadron Signal Publications, 1975.
- Ginter, Steve, Vought TA-7C/EA-7L, A-7K “Twosair”, Naval Fighters, N°78, 2007.
- Kinzey, Bert, A-7 Corsair II, Detail in Scale, series II, 1979.
- Mersky, Peter, Birzer, Norman, US Navy A-7 Corsair Units of the Vietnam War, Osprey combat aircraft n° 48, Osprey publishing, 2004.
- Munzeemaier, Werner, LTV A-7 Corsair II Part 1: the SLUF in US Navy service, Air Doc, n°12, 2005.
- Various magazines articles (more particularly from SAM, SAMI, Replic & Wingmasters).
- Various web pages (more particularly LSP & ARC)
The following books dedicated to the USN versions were also useful:
- LTV A-7 Corsair II navy version, Famous airplanes of the World, n°18, Koku Fan, Bunrin-Do publication, 1989.
© Thierry Laurent 2008
This article was published on Wednesday, August 31 2016; Last modified on Wednesday, August 31 2016