Italeri (Dragon) 1/144 A-6E Intruder


The first serious model that I finished is this Italeri (Dragon) 1/144 A-6E Intruder. It was a Christmas present, and because my usual scale is 1/72, I built this kit straight from the box. Although I think it looks like an Intruder, the kit apparently has some shape problems. For once I did not worry about that.



Construction

Construction went without major problems. Only the air intakes fit was problematic, and required lots of putty, as can be seen. The parts showed a number of sink marks. Visible here are sink marks near the leading edge of the wing root, and one near the outer wing fence of the left wing. The canopy is masked with clear tape in this photo.  
  The lower side shows the nice detailing of this little model. More sink marks are visible, most notably the large ones underneath the pylons. Putty was also necessary halfway the centerline pylon and the tail hook bay. I moved the outboard pylons a little backwards, so they did not interfere with the leading edge slats. After taking this photo, the model was painted.


Painting and markings

Fast forward to the finished model. Although the real thing has a three color camouflage scheme, this is hardly visible on the photographs I had. Not wanting to run the risk of painting a camouflage with colors that would contrast too much, I decided to paint it in one color only, FS 36375. I did not use the walkway decals, but instead masked them and sprayed them. The yellow strips on the wing, tail and pylon leading edges were masked and painted by hand. Lastly I masked and spray-painted the anti-glare panel on the nose.  
  Next step was weathering, something definitely necessary on a US Navy carrier aircraft. I accented the panel lines with water colors. This turned out too strong, so I misted over the complete model with FS 36375 until I achieved the right degree. Next was some dry brushing. I also dry-brushed small spots and streaks all over the aircraft to break up the solid color and to simulate the color patches resulting from corrosion inspections on the real thing. The results may a bit Verlinden-like, but is surely brings this tiny kit alive! The landing gear and the MER's were washed with water colors to show the detail. This top view shows the panel accenting and color patching of the wing. I only used empty MERs and the centerline tank for stores, being more representative of a normal load-out.


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