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PostPosted: Sun 29 Nov 2015 01:16 am 
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Thank you for the positive comment Gerhard :thumb:

A-4B Skyhawk 1/72 scale Aftermarket Accessories

-Aires 7238 A-4 Skyhawk Early Wheels and Masks;
-Aires 7312 A-4B Control Surfaces;
-Attack Squadron 72014 USN Douglas 300gal Fuel Tank x3 with PE fins
ImageDSC08757 crop by Neil, on Flickr
-Attack Squadron 72027 Douglas D-704 Buddy Refuelling Store Early ’60 - ’70;
-Attack Squadron 72032 USN Douglas 400gal Fuel Tank x1;
ImageDSC08759 crop by Neil, on Flickr
-Attack Squadron 72033 USN Douglas 150gal Fuel Tank x2
ImageDSC08755 crop by Neil, on Flickr
-Attack Squadron 72035 A-4C Conversion, Nose and Photo Etch;
-Eduard SS459 Zoom Etch for A-4B (self adhesive)
ImageDSC08760 crop by Neil, on Flickr
-Eduard 73459 Detail Set for Airfix A-4B Skyhawk (contains SS459 etch)
ImageDSC08760 crop by Neil, on Flickr
ImageDSC08762 crop by Neil, on Flickr
IMHO this is the best aftermarket item you can source for your A-4B, not only does it have great cockpit details, but has fuel filler caps, Drop tank access panels, static air vanes, tie down rings, stores rack underside details and sway braces, a full set of flaps, correct slat rails, wing leading edge panels missing from the kit, boarding access ladder and landing gear bay details.
My only complaint is the etch to detail the underside of the slats is incorrect for an A-4B and only appropriate for later model A-4Es etc. They may have been retrofitted at a later time but I have no evidence to support this possibilty, so do not use parts 41 and 72 for your A-4B.
-Eduard CX335 Canopy Mask;
-Freightdog 72024 300gal Drop Tanks;
-Freightdog 72025 300gal Bobtail Drop Tanks;
-Freightdog 72026 150gal Drop Tanks;
-Freightdog 72027 Douglas D-704 Air Refuelling Store;
-Freightdog 72059 A-4C conversion nose x2;
-Freightdog 72xxx A-4B Falklands Weapons Set;
-Freightdog 72xxx A-4C Falklands Weapon Set;
-Kora 7208 TER & MER racks +Mk.82 Snakeyes for a medium load;
-Kora 7214 MER racks + Mk.82 Snakeyes for a heavy load;
-Kora 7217 TER racks + Mk.82 Snakeyes for an extra heavy load;
-Montex SM72204 Mask Kit for A-4B;
-Pavla U72-139 Wheels for A-4A, B, C, E, P;
-Pavla S72077 ESCAPAC 1A Ejection Seat for A-4A, B, C, E, L, Q, P;
-Pavla C72110 A-4B/P Cockpit;
-Quickboost QB72262 A-4B Refuelling Probe;
-Quickboost QB72479 A-4B Control Levers x3 (joy sticks :roll: );
-Quickboost QB72444 Skyhawk Ejection Seat;
-Quickboost QB72451 Skyhawk Undercarriage Doors;
-Quickboost QB72430 A-4B Gun Barrels;
-Scale Aircraft Conversions 72055 A-4B White Metal Landing Gear & Nose Bay (same detail problems as the Airfix nosewheel bay);
-Verlinden 2508 US Bombs 500lb Mk.82, 6x slicks, 6x fuse extended slicks (Daisy Cutters), 12 Snakeyes;
-Xtradecal X72151 A-4B Skyhawk Part 1;
-Xtradecal X72180 A-B Skyhawk Part 2.

For the diorama builder;
-Brengun BRL72093 US Navy Wheel Chocks Modern;
-Brengun BRL72096 US Navy Tow Bar;
-Fujimi 35001 USN Deck Crew and MD-3Tractor;
-Verlinden 2459 Carrier deck Equipment.

This is probably not all the accessories that are around suitable for an A-4B circa 1966, so if any come to mind let us know and I’ll gladly update the list.

All photographs in this post are my own, I have no commercial link to any manufacturer mentioned.

Cheers all :cheers:
Neil 8-) 8-)

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" .... mmmmm, the smell of plastic glue, there's so much dried on my fingers I can't feel anything ....... but I finally got this kit finished!!!! "
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Last edited by FAAMAN on Sun 09 Jul 2017 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun 20 Dec 2015 10:44 am 
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A-4P – A-4Q Skyhawk

The Airfix A-4B comes with the option of building an Argentinean Air Force (FAA) A-4P Skyhawk ‘C-240’ (ex-USN A-4B 142855) of Grupo 5 de Caza at the time of the Falklands conflict, one of 50 refurbished USN A-4Bs purchased during the late 60’s. This aircraft is currently preserved in the National Aircraft Museum in Moron . A quick note, the FAA still called their A-4P the A-4B, the ‘P’ being an export designation used by the US.

A-4P Skyhawk C-240 ex-USN Bu.No.142855 in preservation,
Image1. A-4P C-240 ex-USN Bu.No.142855 preserved by Neil, on Flickr

But Airfix clearly forgot that the Argentinean Navy (CANA) also operated 16 A-4Bs as the A-4Q from 1971 although only ten were left at the time of the Falklands. These aircraft were little different externally from the A-4Ps of the Air Force. The biggest external difference is the differently shaped UHF aerials behind the cockpit on a ‘P’ and ‘Q’ plus an A-4Q could carry the AIM-9 Sidewinder whilst the ‘P’ could not.

A-4Q Skyhawk 0658/3-A-305, ex 0658/2-A-305, ex-USN A-4B Bu.No.144929 coming aboard ARA 25 de Mayo in the mid 1970’s. Note the weathering, it is subtly different to a USN A-4B,
Image1. A-4Q 0658_3-A-305 ex-USN Bu.No.144929 by Neil, on Flickr

All previous posts regarding the kit’s accuracy apply to both the A-4P and A-4Q, although obviously some details and weapons fits are version applicable only. More to come, first the A-4P and then the A-4Q, so stay tuned . . . . . .

Images used are in the public domain and used for educational purposes only.

Cheers all :D
Neil 8-) 8-)

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" .... mmmmm, the smell of plastic glue, there's so much dried on my fingers I can't feel anything ....... but I finally got this kit finished!!!! "
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Last edited by FAAMAN on Mon 10 Jul 2017 07:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jan 2016 07:31 am 
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A-4P Skyhawk Fuerza Aerea Argentina (FAA) Part1.

Just remember that in the FAA they were still referred to as A-4Bs. A-4P being a US designation.

There are no major obvious external airframe differences between a USN A-4B and an FAA A-4P, apart from the fitting of A-4F wing spoilers and a couple of extra access panels related to the VOR aerial on each side of the vertical tail of an A-4P.

The obvious differences are the various aerials fitted to the airframes, so for starters the Airfix kit’s UHF aerial behind the cockpit has to go!! (This is of course after the nose has been altered to reflect the correct shape of course :roll: )

A-4P C231 exUSN Bu.No.142748 preserved on a memorial post, ‘A’ Camo pattern, later style red intake warning area,
Image2. A-4P aerials by Neil, on Flickr

A-4B C-225 port nose details, ‘B’ camo pattern,
Image3. A-4B C-225 port nose details by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-212 Bu.No.142773 incorrectly wearing an FAA A-4C serial no. and colour scheme,
Image4. A-4P details by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-212, DFA-73 ADF fairing compared to the incorrectly shaped Airfix kit part,
Image6A A-4P C-212 DFA-73 ADF by Neil, on Flickr

Although the next two pics are from preserved CANA (Argentine Naval Air) A-4Qs (this tail belongs to 0654/3-A-301) they are correct for the A-4P as well, please note the access panels are only on the port side of the vertical stabiliser, while the actual aerials are attached to a 'doubler' plate with angled out ends (to enable ease of manufacture one panel can be used for port or starboard fitment) riveted to either side of the stabs' structure.
Image4B. A-4Q 0654_3-A-301 VOR attach by Neil, on Flickr

This port side pic is from A-4Q 0667/3-A-314 and shows a small hinged at the bottom access door fitted into the top of the large rudder power pack access panel, this door is only fitted to the A-4P/Q.
Image4C. 3-A-314_62 crop sml by Neil, on Flickr

A number of A-4Ps (and A-4Cs) were modified from 1979 with the Litton LTN-211 VLF/OMEGA navigation package fitted under the tail just aft of the Arrestor Hook. I can only find reference to the fact that approximately one third of all FAA A-4P/Cs had been fitted by April1982 with this OMEGA system. I cannot find out which of the surviving 30 A-4Ps had this mod done but I do have photos of A-4s both with and without it, some taken during the Falklands War, the ones I can use are in the montage below, please note the trailing A-4 (indicated with a line) in the formation photo does not have the mod, and the only clear pic I have of the shape of the OMEGA aerial is from a 1/48 scale model by Piero Di Santis, (apologies for the size of the image but Photobucket will not allow the 800pix wide photo montage to be shown, keeps cutting it down to half size) :angryfire:
Image5. A-4P Litton LTN-211 VLF-OMEGA package by Neil, on Flickr
ImageA-4P Lower Omega Aerial by Neil, on Flickr
A quick thanks to Piero Di Santis for permission to use his model pics, see his A-4P and A-4C build here; http://hsfeatures.com/features04/a4cppds_1.htm

A-4P C-212 Bu.No.142773’s wing tip nav lights, all a-4Ps had the early navigation light design,
Image6. A-4P C-212 early A-4 nav lights by Neil, on Flickr

The biggest difference between the USN A-4B and the FAA’s A-4P is the fitting of TA-4F wing mounted spoilers inboard of the ailerons, armed by the pilot in the cockpit but is actuated by a port main landing gear “squat switch” or “WOW” (Weight On Wheels) switch that gets ‘made’ when the landing gear compresses on landing and moves the contacts apart (they cannot be actuated whilst in the air). The idea of the spoilers is to allay the A-4’s poor roll over/crosswind handling whilst on the ground, this photo is of a TA-4F’s switch assembly, common to all A-4’s fitted with spoilers,
ImageTA-4F Squat Switch by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P’s taxiing with spoilers extended, flaps at 10deg (?),
ImageA-4P Spoilers raised by Neil, on Flickr
ImageA-4P spoilers by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-222 undergoing restoration, great detail shot,
ImageA-4P C-222 resto800pix by Neil, on Flickr

Out of the 50 ex-USN A-4Bs purchased by the FAA they only ever had 49 delivered as A-4P C-203 exUSN Bu.No.142421 crashed during pilot conversion at Olathe Kansas 01Aug1966 due to a fuel pump failure during a final approach (the pilot safely ejected).
The first batch of 12 A-4Ps (C-201-2, 204-7, 209 and 211-5) were all delivered 31Oct1966 in an overall silver painted finish, including landing gear oleos, door interiors and landing gear bays without an arrestor hook. On 16March1967 the second batch (C-208, 210, 216-25) arrived Base Aerea Militar (BAM) Cornel Pringles in Villa Reynolds, San Luis. These A-4Ps were also delivered in the silver finish without arrestor hooks which were soon fitted to all the aircraft as it was thought to be a useful addition in case of emergency. Definitely something different to model.

A-4P silver delivery scheme views,
ImageA-4P views by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-201 ex-USN Bu.No.142799, in the background are B-52D or F Stratofortress belonging to SAC. This A-4P crashed in San Luis 27Jul1977, the pilot ejecting safely,
Image7. A-4P C-201 ex-USN Bu.No.142799 by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-201 ex-USN Bu.No.142799, note white painted VOR aerials on the vertical tail,
Image8. A-4P C-201 ex-USN Bu.No.142799 Douglas Tulsa by Neil, on Flickr

Another pic of C-201 at Douglas Tulsa,
ImageA-4P C-201 park by Neil, on Flickr

A line up of A-4Ps at the Douglas Plant, Tulsa Oklahoma. Visible are C-215, C-217, C-214, C-216 and a further 4 unidentified A-4Ps, in the background are 3x RB-66s, 2x B-47E and a EC-135E 'Bird of Prey',
Image9. A-4P 1966 C-215, C-217, C-214, C-216 etc by Neil, on Flickr

A-4Ps C-202 and C-203 with pilots under training at NATTU Olathe, Kansas. Unfortunately C-203 exUSN Bu.No.142421 is soon to crash,
Image10. A-4P C-202 & C-203 during pilot training in US by Neil, on Flickr

A-4Ps C-205, C-206 and C-207 part of a line up of Skyhawks just arrived in Argentina, note the red line on the nose oleo repeated on the nose gear door to aid ground handling,
Image11. A-4P C-205, C-206, C-207 delivered by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-212 exUSN Bu.No.142773 looking a lot like a modeller's forgotten to fit a part on approach without an arrestor hook fitted . . . . . . . . yet :wink:
Image11A. A-4P C-212 late 1960s no hook sml by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-204 exUSN Bu.No.142126 on a visit to BAM Moron (air base) in 1967, there is a 4 Grupo de,Caza-Bombardeo badge on the nose, also note the red turbine disintegration arc line on the aft fuselage and the red line on the nose oleo repeated on the nose gear door to aid ground handling,
Image12. A-4P C-204 exUSN Bu.No.142126 in silver by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-207 exUSN Bu.No.142688 during a public display, note the red turbine disintegration arc line on the aft fuselage. I cannot find the reason nor significance for the number ‘243-07’ under the national flag on the vertical stabiliser,
Image13. A-4P C-207 on display by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-216 exUSN Bu.No.142098, taken just before camouflage was applied,
Image14. A-4P C-216 exUSN Bu.No.142098 by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-221 exUSN Bu.No.142108 in the late 1960s prior to repainting in camouflage, note the In-Flight Refuelling Probe is not fitted at this time,
Image14A. A-4P C-221 late 1960s by Neil, on Flickr

Images not attributed used are in the public domain and used for educational purposes only.

Cheers all!! :cheers:
Neil 8-) 8-)

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" .... mmmmm, the smell of plastic glue, there's so much dried on my fingers I can't feel anything ....... but I finally got this kit finished!!!! "
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Last edited by FAAMAN on Mon 10 Jul 2017 11:41 am, edited 16 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jan 2016 09:41 am 
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What a great thread!!! Thank you for putting this together, its been a very interesting read :thumb:

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2013 - 33, 2014 - 16, 2015 - 33, 2016 - 28, 2017 - 20
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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jan 2016 10:38 am 
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Thankyou so much Spitty for the compliment!! :thumb: I'm glad you appreciate my research :nod: :thumb:
It's a bigger subject than I first thought!! :shock: :fear: :nod:
There's a lot more to go, it's a bit of a minefield to sort the facts from opinion and pure speculation on the subject of Argentine A-4s. :scratch: :shrug:
Thanks again and stay tuned :snack: :snack:
Neil 8-) 8-)

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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jan 2016 10:39 am 
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A-4P Skyhawk Camoflage, From 1970’s to the Falklands War (post 2.)

This is a huge and difficult subject, so bear with me as it’s taken weeks to sort through and I still don’t have all the answers. The colour scheme variations etc. introduced during the Falklands Conflict will be in a later post.

The A-4Ps were soon repainted in camouflage, green/brown topsides with very light blue undersides. Due to Fuerza Aerea Argentina (FAA - Argentine Air Force) budgetary constraints the last 25 planes delivery dates were pushed back to Jun1969 (C-226 - 236) and April 1970 (C-237 - 250). They were camouflaged at the factory (but these planes were painted in a reverse pattern in error which I’ll referto as the ‘B’ scheme) and were fitted with the Ferranti D126R Isis sight system, a major improvement over the original equipment.

The ‘A’ camo from the Airfix instructions for A-4P C-240, note the extra brown patch on the port wing tip missing from the instructions, this airframe was from the second batch of A-4Ps and originally had the ‘B’ scheme,
Image15. Douglas A-4P Skyhawk 'A' Camoflage by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-201 exUSN Bu.No.142799 freshly painted in a version the 'A' camouflage in the next two photographs (both starboard side) and a side profile (of the port side), please note the camouflage pattern (which of note has different demarcation lines compared to the ‘A’ camouflage) crosses the ADF saddle aerial and has a wavy demarcation between the upper and lower colours. Of interest is the In-Flight Refuelling Probe has been temporarily removed and stored until the FAA purchase and arrival of KC-130 tankers. Also note how different the two colour photographs camouflage colours appear, the first being distinctly lighter than the second, although the second is more “natural” in colour saturation and appearance, both camouflage colours are distinctly lighter than later schemes, red painted slat pinch points unlike US painted aircraft,
ImageA-4P C-201 Camo by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-201 exUSN Bu.No.142799 port side profile,
ImageA-4P initial Camo 1969 by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-201 exUSN Bu.No.142799 initial camouflage, note the still silver A-4P in the background with a white ADF aerial,
Image15AA. A-4P C-201 fresh camo May1969 corrected sml by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-218 exUSN Bu.No.142099 in the ‘A’ camouflage scheme but like C-201 it is in the first “hand mixed” colours, close to Dark Green FS34079 (just a bit lighter) and Lt.Tan FS30118 (also lighter) with Israeli Lt.Blue FS35622 undersides, these colours are of course up to conjecture, the modeller will ultimately decide what they feel is correct,
ImageA-4P C-218 1970sml by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-227 exUSN BU.No.142104 in the 'B' scheme in 1972(?), note the white painted UHF aerial behind the cockpit and the slat pinch point has not been painted red yet,
Image15AB. A-4P C-227 B camo 1969 by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-201 exUSN Bu.No.142799 in a slightly faded ‘A’ camouflage in the early 1970s, the initial camouflage scheme demarcation lines have been altered to reflect the ‘A’ pattern (compare to previous C-301 pics), although the colours have not been updated as yet (could be the print quality too). No IFR Probe is fitted at this time, note the locally manufactured FAS 125kg (276lb) bombs on the centreline MER and the two TERs loaded with 4x LAU-69A 2.75inch rocket pods both with and without aerodynamic caps,
Image15A. A-4P C-201 by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P Skyhawks of the second batch (C-233 exUSN Bu.No.142757 first in line) being readied for delivery at Douglas Tulsa, note the reversed (‘B’ scheme) camouflage, the demarcation differences between the A-4s in the line up, the red intake warning only on the inner face of the intake and no red ‘pinch point’ paint on the wing’s leading edge behind the slat,
Image16. A-4P at Douglas Tulsa Oaklahoma Jun1969 batch by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-2XX at Douglas prior to delivery,
ImageA-4P 2nd batch lge by Neil, on Flickr

A point of confusion, is how often were the individual aircraft’s camouflage pattern swapped, as I have photographs of a particular airframes wearing both ‘A’ and ‘B’ camouflage at different times. If was it done at random or there was a plan for swapping patterns during major servicing I do not know so I cannot answer this question (even after weeks of searching old mags, the net and Emails).
What I do know is that be it from the first 24 airframes (C-201 to C-225 ‘A’ camouflage initially) or the last 25 airframes (C-226 to C-250 ‘B’ camouflage initially) an A-4P could come out with either scheme. See the next two photographs of A-4P C-207 exUSN Bu.No.142688,

Pic 1. A-4P C-207 exUSN Bu.No.142688 after the Falklands War. Although the green has faded to be almost the same tone as the dark earth (something worth noting for modelling A-4Ps from this period) it can be discerned that C-207 in this photo is wearing a version of the ‘A’ scheme. Of note is the dull satin sheen to the camouflage, the dark earth painted flap/spoiler interior, the white OMEGA navigation package under the tail and the light coloured surround to the red Anti Collision beacon, the UHF aerial behind the cockpit has an aluminium leading edge with a lt.grey fin. Also there does not appear to be the level of upper surface weathering/staining one would expect from a J65 powered A-4, Argentine A-4s appeared to weather subtly differently and seemed cleaner, without the great oil ‘plumes’ on the fuselage sides, although the wings got dirty and the paintwork got scuffed and worn through,
Image17. A-4P C-207 1982 by Neil, on Flickr

Pic 2. A-4P C-207 in what looks to be a recently painted ‘B’ camouflage scheme, possibly before the Falklands, of note is the paint colours of the A-4P parked alongside with the brown colour appearing faded,
Image18. A-4P C-207 exUSN Bu.No.142688 after start by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-210 exUSN Bu.No.142128 in the 1970’s wearing a worn ‘A’ camouflage pattern with a difference, a replacement nose from an A-4P in the ‘B’ camouflage scheme has been fitted, illustrating the differences. Note the red intake warning stripe on the fuselage side of intake only, the wear back to the undercoat on the slats and natural metal on the intake lip. Also note the colour and extent of staining from firing the cannon where you can clearly see that the engine intake has cut the top off the stain by ingesting the gasses and limiting the top of stain to a straight line (a Curtiss Wright J-65 jet engine was not prone to flow problems from ingesting blast gasses, but the later Pratt and Whitney J-52 engine was very susceptible to any ingested gasses and that is one reason that from the A-4E model on, the intakes were ‘stood off’ from the fuselage side and blast vanes/strakes fitted above the cannon muzzles),
Image19. A-4P C-210 exUSN Bu.No.142128 by Neil, on Flickr

There are many colour variations apparent in colour photos of the A-4Ps initial camouflage, so it’s really up to the modeller’s interpretation of the correct colours for their build. My research has led me to two distinct sets of colours used mostly to produce the early FAA camouflage, I’ll also use the Airfx set of Humbrol call outs all linked to the F.S. paint numbers (FS595 names used) and applicable model colours. All the colours referred to are matched by the F.S. number and it’s RGB code. The actual colours referred to may have exhaustingly long lists (some colour names have been skipped and only the paint colour number noted to shorten the list), there may be differences within a particular F.S. colour description and you may disagree with them, so as I said, it’s up to the modeller’s interpretation what is correct for them, as you could use the different tones listed to shade, weather or high light, mostly just have fun !!! :wink: :wink:

Colour Set A. Airfix calls for;
1. Humbrol Hu29 Matt Dark Earth
FS.30219 Sierra Tan; *Testors #1742 Dark Tan (FS30219), Testors Acrylic #4709 Dark Tan,* XtraColor #2 RAF Earth (BS450), #102 Tan Vietnam FS10219, *XtraCrylix #1002 RAF Dark Earth (BS450), #1209 Sandgelb RLM79, *Vallejo Model Color #874 US Tan Earth, #843, #876, #879, #921, *Vallejo Model Color POSC #134 US Tan Earth, #114, #132, #133, #134, #141, *Vallejo Model Air #26 US Flat Brown, #79 Tan, *Humbrol #Hu29 Dark Earth, #Hu118 US Tan, #Hu119 Israeli Light Earth, *Tamiya #XF52 Earth, *Life Color #UA015 Tan, #UA085 US Brown #UA112 US Brown, #UA125 Light Sand, #UA137 Sand Yellow RLM79, *Revell #32187 earth Brown (RAL7006), #32382 Wood Brown (RAL8001), *Gunze Aqueous #37 Wood Brown, #72 Dark Earth, #310 Brown, *Gunze Mr Color #37 Wood Brown, #72 Dark Earth, #310 Brown FS,30219, *Heller #9014 Khaki, #9060 Earth.

2.Humbrol Hu116 Matt U.S. Dark Green
FS.34079 Army Forrest Green; *Testors #1710 Dk. Green (FS34079), *Testors Acrylic #4726 Dk.Green (FS34079), *XtraColor #110 Forrest Green FS14079, #256 Grungrau (RAL7009), *XtraCrylix #1204 Schwarzgrun RLM70, #1205 Dunkelgrun RLM71, *Vallejo Model Color #893 US Dk Green, #895 Gunship Green, #980 US Dk Green,*Vallejo Model Color POSC #88 Gunship Green, #95 US Dk Green, #100 Black Green, *Vallejo Model Air #16 US Dk Green, #20 German Green, *Humbrol #Hu91 Black Green, #116 US Dk Green, *Humbrol Acrylic #91 Black Green, #116 US Dk Green, *Tamiya #XF13 Green IJA, #XF27 Black Green, #XF81 RAF Dk Green, *Life Color #UA001 Dk Green, #UA051 Dk Green, #UA052 Dk Green RLM71, UA091 Dk Green, *Revell #32165 Bronze Green (RAL6031), #32167 GreenishGrey (RAL7009), * Revell Aqua #36165 Bronze Green (RAL6031), #36167 GreenishGrey (RAL7009), *Gunze Aqueous #36 Dk Green, #73 Dk Green, #309 Green RLM73, *Gunze Mr. Color #23 Dk Green, #309Green RLM73 FS.34079, *White Ensign #AC RN 09 Dark Green (BS241 WWII), *Heller #7030 Olive Green.

3.Humbrol Hu65 Matt Aircraft Blue
FS.35414 Blue Green; *Testors 2033 Blue (FS35414), *XtraColor #127 Blue (FS35414), *XtraCrylix #1202 Helblau RLM65, *Vallejo Model Color #971 Grey Blue, *Vallejo Model Color POSC #106 Grey Blue, *Humbrol #Hu65 Aircraft Blue, *Humbrol Acrylic 65 Aircraft Blue, *Tamiya #XF23 Light Blue, *LifeColor UA062 Bright Blue RLM78, #UA124 Japan Grey Green a5, *Heller #7064 Lt Aircraft Blue, *Airfix # M25 Lt Blue.
NOTE, I personally do not like Hu65 for the early FAA camouflage as it’s too dark and blue, it does not properly represent the landing gear bays, oleos or undersides colour, it is nowhere light enough being close to FS.36622 Camouflage Grey in appearance (it’s actually officially quoted as FS.35550 and Polyscale #505248 Sky Blue RAAF K3/195 was exactly correct. If you use FS.35622 it will look just right, more on this colour next).

Colour Set B. The top three colours used by modellers for the A-4P;
1. FS.30118 Field Drab; *Testors #1702 Field Drab, *Xtracolor #2 RAF Dark Earth (BS450), XtraCrylix #1002 RAF Dark Earth (BS450), *Vallejo Model Colour #921 English Uniform, *Vallejo Model Color POSC #141 English Uniform, *Vallejo Model Air #29 English Uniform, *Humbrol #Hu142 Field Drab, *Tamiya #XF52 Earth, *Revell #32187 Earth Brown (RAL7006), *Gunze Aqueous #72 Dark Earth, *Gunze Mr. Colour #22 Dark Earth, *White Ensign #AR US 05 Field Drab (1970’s-1980’s).

2. FS.34088 Olive Drab CARC; *Testors #2050 Olive Drab ANA613, *Xtracolor #112 Olive Drab, *XtraCrylix #1112 Olive Drab, *Vallejo Model Color #887 Brown Violet, *White Ensign #AR US 03 1943 US Army Olive Drab, #AC US 12 USAAF Olive Drab, #AC US 15 Olive Drab 41, Half tone matches (not exact); *Humbrol #Hu66 Olive Drab (FS.34086), #Hu155 Olive Drab (FS.34087), *Tamiya XF62 Olive Drab (FS.34086), *LifeColor #UA003 Olive Drab.

3. FS.35622 no official FS595 name; *Testors #1722 Duck Egg Blue, *Humbrol #Hu122 Israeli Lt Blue, *LifeColor #UA139 Blue Grey, *Gunze Aqueous #314 Blue, *Mr Color #314 Blue FS.35622, *Heller #9064 Light Airforce Blue.

Colour Set C. From “McDonnell Douglas A-4P/C Skyhawk - Fureza Aerea Argentina No.2” by Cettolo,Marino,Mosquera & Nunez Padin 1997
.
Note after a lot of research the only reason for using this brown/brown scheme is used to represent the very faded camo with a very light application of FS.34088 Olive Drab CARC over the top of the FS.30117 Brown International to get the slight 'green' tone.

1. FS.30118 Field Drab; *Testors #1702 Field Drab, *Xtracolor #2 RAF Dark Earth (BS450), XtraCrylix #1002 RAF Dark Earth (BS450), *Vallejo Model Colour #921 English Uniform, *Vallejo Model Color POSC #141 English Uniform, *Vallejo Model Air #29 English Uniform, *Humbrol #Hu142 Field Drab, *Tamiya #XF52 Earth, *Revell #32187 Earth Brown (RAL7006), *Gunze Aqueous #72 Dark Earth, *Gunze Mr. Colour #22 Dark Earth, *White Ensign #AR US 05 Field Drab (1970’s-1980’s).

2. FS.30117 Brown International; *Testors #1701 Military Brown-Earth Red, *Vallejo Model Color #983 Flat Earth, Vallejo Model Color POSC #143 Flat Earth, *Humbrol #Hu186 Brown, *Life Color #UA082 German Tank Brown, #UA306 Earth Red, *Revell #32180 Mid Brown.

3. FS.35550 no official FS595 name; *Polyscale #505248 Sky Blue RAAF K3/195. If you have one of these tins you are VERY lucky!! So we substitute my fave choice for the early underside colour;
FS.35622 no official FS595 name; *Testors #1722 Duck Egg Blue, *Humbrol #Hu122 Israeli Lt Blue, *LifeColor #UA139 Blue Grey, *Gunze Aqueous #314 Blue, *Mr Color #314 Blue FS.35622, *Heller #9064 Light Airforce Blue.

All FAA A-4Ps after their first full scheduled heavy service in Argentina had a light grey undercoat (FS.36307) used before the camouflage was applied, just look at the photo of C-210 and you’ll see what I mean. This colour was even seen in combat on one A-4P (C-222) rushed straight from major servicing into action, more on this later. The colour mentioned is the official colour reference,
FAA A-4P Undercoat;
FS.36307 Bulkhead Grey; *Testors #1726 Light Sea Grey, *Humbrol #Hu141 Light Sea Grey, *Tamiya #XF20 Medium Grey, *Life Color #UA113 Lt Blue Grey, *Gunze Aqueous #324, *Gunze Mr.Color #324 Lt Grey FS.36307.

Please remember these colours are only a guide (you can mix them up as much as you want), but they are my best pick to get your Airfix A-4P looking like the real aircraft. Weathering of this camouflage will be in a later post.

Images used are in the public domain and used for educational purposes only.

Cheers all :cheers:
Neil 8-) 8-)

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Last edited by FAAMAN on Tue 11 Jul 2017 08:45 am, edited 14 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jan 2016 10:42 am 
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More outstanding research Neil :thumb:

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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jan 2016 10:59 am 
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:wow: Spitty that was quick!!! I was still editing when your post appeared, thanks for the compliment!! :thumb:

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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jan 2016 11:16 am 
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I am just that quick...just ask the wife :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan 2016 07:48 am 
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This is a Big One

A-4P Skyhawk Falklands War Camouflage and Identification Variations.

At the start of the Falklands War, the FAA had between 29 and 30 A-4P Skyhawks (depending on refs) on charge. With 24 serviceable and between 6 to 8 unserviceable A-4Ps either in heavy servicing or unable to be repaired due to a lack of spare parts caused by the US embargo on spares and technical assistance.
Because of the spares embargo, essential items like time expired ejection seat initiators were unable to be replaced with new zero hour items. Therefore highlighting the bravery and determination of the Argentine Skyhawk pilots when you realise that if they needed to eject they knew the seat may or may not work properly or even not work at all due to the lack of spares!!!

Yellow I.D. Bands F.S.33655 (see Colour note 1.) were ordered to be painted on all FAA aircraft on 28April1982 to ease the risk of “blue on blue”, friendly fire incidents (especially by Argentine Army AAA units and general soldiery) during the possible upcoming combat. On some FAA types these bands were changed to an Aqua colour ie A-4Cs. These I.D. bands were ordered removed (by painting out) on 24May1982 as they were ineffectual and friendly fire incidents continued to occur with unfortunate results for FAA aircraft and pilots.

Colour note 1. FS.33655 no FS595C name; *Vallejo Model Color #953 Flat Yellow, *Vallejo Model Color POSC #15 Flat Yellow are exact matches.
On A-4Ps the yellow I.D. bands were supposed to be top and bottom of the mainplane from just outboard (approx 12inches/300mm) of the first Slat Crash Barrier Fence to the end of the Slat and aft across the whole chord of the wing. An I.D. band 12inches / 300mm wide on either side of the vertical tail 30inches/760mm tall starting 8inches/203mm above the bottom of the rudder with the band’s trailing edge following the fin/rudder demarcation. When the bands were ordered to be removed they were simply and roughly painted out with a darker brown (this brown was hand mixed by maintainers on site and applied with brushes, so no airbrushed patches please, hand mix it and use a brush!!!) on all the top surface bands and a darker blue on the lower surfaces. As far as my research has discovered these are the “official” positions and sizes of the ID bands, the reality is somewhat different though.

Not my drawing, (it was originally the Airfix instruction, I’ve cleaned it up a bit as I found it was a bit crude) it’s certainly a good representation of the ‘Official’ I.D. bands in six positions.
Image20. A-4P Combat markings 28.04.82 - 24.5.82 sml by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P camouflage pattern variation, I thought this drawing will help by adding some of the variations seen. In a couple of references they state the FAA maintainers responsible for aircraft finishing mixed the paint colours by hand in ‘batches’ not really using references like Methuen colour descriptions or FS.595A codes. This would explain the colour variation between the A-4Ps of the first batches that were camouflaged in Argentina compared to the Douglas Tulsa camouflaged A-4Ps that used US colours. It would also explain the variation seen between A-4Ps repainted from time to time during major servicing. Just reference the photographs of C-207 and C-210 in the previous post.
Image21. A-4P Planv by Neil, on Flickr

In photographs from the period and of the remains of crashed aircraft some variation is easy to see, although most exhibit something close to the official specification there are instances of large variations to be seen, possibly caused by rushing due to time constraints imposed for implementation/completion of the painting order. The most obvious omission being the underwing I.D. bands as most A-4Ps did not appear to have them as photographic evidence suggests along with statements from Argentinean maintainers on Spanish language blogs I’ve translated. Only a very few had the underwing I.D. bands.
It seems unusual that so many photographs are of aircraft on their ‘last’ mission, but that’s what the titles say, and the colour schemes do seem to support those claims too. :shrug:

A-4P C-242 and two other A-4Ps in a cropped image of a very atmospheric shot of FAA pilots and ground crew before a mission during the Falklands. Note the A-4Ps in the foreground exhibit the ‘Official’ I.D. band positions (bar the under wings of the second which is still original F.S35550 LT.Blue) whilst the A-4P in the background appears to not have the I.D. bands on the vertical tail bringing into question the identity of the A-4P first in line as C-242 was shot down by SAMs and AAA on 23May1982 attacking HMS Antelope, the pilot Primer Teniente Guadagnini was killed the day before the I.D. band removal order. After multiple washing attempts and enhancing of the image the ID of the foreground A-4P is C-242, so maybe the A-4P in the background is just another variation to the bands. Of course this photograph could be taken pre-war and it’s a training mission about to happen and the A-4P in the background has yet to have the I.D. bands applied,
Image22. A-4P C-242 & others May-Jun1982 crop by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-240 post mission exhibiting standard bands topsides along with a lot of rear fuselage wear and no OMEGA package, what is not apparent is if the underwing also has an I.D. band painted, or if it’s unchanged from pre-conflict finish,
Image23. A-4P C-240 by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-244 tanking on its way to target. ‘A’ pattern camouflage with full standard ‘official’ I.D. bands in six positions. Of note is a small blade aerial under the nose and an OMEGA package under the tail. A TER with 3x locally manufactured BRP250kg parachute retarded bombs loaded on the centre line station, this photograph was supposedly taken on 25May1982, the day this A-4P was shot down by a Sea Dart from HMS Coventry and the pilot Capt. H.A. del Valle Palaver was killed,
Image24. A-4P C-244 tanking crop by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-232 loaded with a British Mk.17 1000lb bomb on the centre line station with a TER loaded with 3x BRP250kg parachute retarded bombs on a bomb trolley parked in front. Of note is the just discernible lack of an underwing I.D. band on C-232 although the aircraft has bands in the other four positions (just discernible . . . . whew!! :heatwave: ). The unknown A-4P parked alongside has I.D. bands in four positions also,
Image25. A-4P C-232 Arming crop by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-228 tanking before going on to its target, this photo is often mis-identified as C-244 but under close scrutiny (and magnification) it turns out it is ‘228. ‘A’ camouflage pattern with standard ‘official’ I.D. bands in four positions, 3x BR250kg slicks on a centre line station TER. Of note is a small blade aerial under the nose and an OMEGA pack under the tail. This aircraft was later shot down with an AIM-9L Sidewinder fired by Flt. Morgan flying Sea Harrier ZA177 on 08Jun1982 the pilot Teniente Alferoz Vazquez ejected but was killed.
Image26. A-4P C-228 tanking cropt by Neil, on Flickr
This photo also disproves a number of references that have C-228 with yellow A-4C style I.D. bands on the tail (broad yellow band from the rudder to the leading edge) and narrow bands on the top of the wings between the spoilers and back edge of the slats. Some profiles of C-228 even have A-4C style outboard racks!!!!
This is also the aircraft decal option Airfix has chosen for its Dogfight Double Kit. The I.D. band decals are far too wide and there is no evidence of underwing bands, so either modify the kit decals or just paint the I.D. bands. :idea: Also the unusual starboard drop tank fin is actually another A-4P forming up.

A-4P C-221 ‘A’ camouflage pattern with touch ups and wear in evidence with I.D. bands in all six ‘official’ positions (the yellow radar altimeter fairing under the port wing gives this away). Of note is a small blade aerial under the nose and an OMEGA pack under the tail, a TER with 3x BRP250kg parachute retarded bombs,
Image27. A-4P C-221 ex-USN Bu.No.142108 by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-215 crash site and wreckage montage, shot down 27May1982 by 40mm Bofors rounds fired from HMS Fearless, Primer Teniente Velasco injured during ejection and survived. Obviously operational constraints were more important than painting out the I.D. bands as they are still clearly showing on the wreckage. From these photographs it can be seen that C-215 had standard I.D. bands in four places at least, you can probably surmise that it did not have underwing bands as it was rarer to have them . . . . . maybe.
First photograph is of C-215s’ impact crater and general area, immediately beside the crater in the direction of impact is a piece of the lower vertical tail and some twisted forward fuselage to its left, the wreckage in the montage is in the middle background,
Image28. A-4P C-215 impact crater by Neil, on Flickr
Photo montage:
The top frame shows the starboard slat with I.D. band leaning against a section of fuselage spine from just behind the cockpit, the rudder and top of the vertical stabiliser just beyond also with an ‘official’ I.D. band, the port wing lying on the left of frame with a standard I.D. band painted on its top surface.
The next frame shows the fuselage section with the port wing lying behind, the A-4Ps impact crater is behind the fuselage segment in the background.
The last fame is of the vertical tail with a complete rudder and VOR aerial still attached, there even appears to be shrapnel damage at the top of the standard ‘official’ I.D. band with other debris lying around it.
Image29. A-4P C-215 wreckage montage by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-248 crash site and wreckage scanned from a Spanish language magazine I have. Shot down by Argentine AAA fire 12May1982, the pilot Primer Teniente Gavazzi was killed. This A-4 had an odd set of very non-standard I.D. bands in 4 positions (although rumour says six positions). One can see the wing band (light coloured area) is approx 18 – 24inches (457 – 610mm) wide extending from the aileron hinge line forward onto the slat only partially. Although hard to translate clearly, some Spanish language sites and magazines ‘swear’ that C-248 had the same on the wing undersides. They also mention that the tail had the shorter broader A-4C style I.D. band, but I can find no evidence of this, it may be correct, it may not be as well.
But what I am certain of is that these are the markings (although not correctly portrayed in profiles and decal sheets) attributed to C-228 and that the confusion arises from ‘sameness’ the aircraft I.D. numbers,
Image30. A-4P C-248 wreckage b by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-248 colour scheme quandary, which tail??
Image31. A-4P C-248 which tail by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-242 wreckage, shot down by SAMs and AAA 23May1982, the starboard wing. I was under the impression that this aircraft crashed into the ocean beyond HMS Antelope after hitting her mast during an attack. This pic is attributed as a piece of the A-4P that made it to shore. (My impression is it’s really C-215’s starboard wing). If it is C-242’s wing it confirms the fact that the A-4P had standard ‘official I.D. bands in at least four positions (I've confirmed six positions) and the wing tip was still camouflaged and not yellow as referenced by some sources,
Image32. A-4P C-242 Wreckage large by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-226 photographed 08Jun1982 tanking from one of the two KC-130H tankers in the FAA on its way to target where it will be shot down by Flt. Morgan flying Sea Harrier ZA177 with an AIM-9L Sidewinder and the pilot Tte. Arraras killed. Of note is the ‘A’ pattern camouflage, clearly seen painted out I.D. band on the vertical tail and the just able to be discerned painted out wing I.D. on the slat’s leading edge. I’ve carefully examined the picture and found the underside leading edge colour darkens suddenly at the expected demarcation between the camo and I.D. band leading me to conclude that C-226 had the full set of ‘Official’ I.D. bands in six positions before painting out. Also of note is the locally manufactured FAS 250kg slicks on the centre line MER and their blue grey colour. FAA bombs were painted this colour with the type of weapon stencilled on both sides, the exception being the British Mk.17 1000lb bombs which were dark green,
Image33. A-4P C-226 exUSN Bu.No.142090 tanking crop by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-250 just after the conflict, faded ‘A’ pattern camouflage with painted out I.D. bands in 4 places, I cannot identify a colour change underwing under magnification, and therefore I can only conclude that C-250 did not have underwing bands. Note how dark and matt the colour is that has been used to paint out the I.D. bands,
Image34. A-4P C-250 exUSN 142914 May1982 by Neil, on Flickr

A-4Ps about to leave on a combat mission, not enough resolution to I.D. any of the A-4s, note that the first three aircraft have painted out I.D. bands in four positions whilst the last in line does not exhibit any evidence of I.D. bands, possibly one of the A-4Ps from servicing just entering combat after the removal order so never painted with the bands. Also of note is they all carry an MER on the centre line station with what looks like BRP250kg parachute retarded bombs,
Image35. A-4P combat launch 1982 by Neil, on Flickr

A-4Ps dropping off a KC-130H tanker en-route to target. Note you can just see the painted out upper wing and vertical tail I.D. bands on these unidentified Skyhawks,
Image36. A-4P s drop off the tanker by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P Skyhawk general camouflage schemes from a 1/48scale decal sheet I have from FCM in Brazil (SWMBO bought them to help!! :shock: :shock: :yahoo: ), the most accurate and well researched I’ve seen even if useless to me in 1/48scale. Mind you the artist has penned in outboard racks on both drawings :roll: (I also have the Aztec Models 1/48 scale Falklands/Malvinas FAA decal sheet, beautifully printed as well just not as well researched or accurate unfortunately).
Image37. A-4P Falklands by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-222 exUSN Bu.No.142752 was just finishing a heavy maintenance/scheduled inspection when the conflict broke out, and with the pressing need for attack aircraft was pressed back into service 14May1982 at first as a trainer still in undercoat (FS.36307), all landing gear doors were in FS.35550 (FS.35622 see earlier post) with standard camouflaged Charlie drop tanks. Almost standard ‘official’ I.D. bands were painted in four places (the wing bands were wider and started alongside the Slat crash barrier fence). Named “El Tordillo” (The Dapple Grey), this A-4P saw combat from 21May1982 and on through the Falklands War in this scheme, this photo shows battle damage suffered on 21May1982 to the starboard wings’ leading edge immediately in front of the main gear well whilst attacking HMS Argonaut, note that “El Tordillo” still has standard ‘official’ I.D. bands in four positions (note the previous drawing),
Image38. A-4P C-222 El Tordillo 21May battle damage HMS Argonaut by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-222 exUSN BU.No.142752 after battle damage repaired (lighter grey patch) and with the I.D. bands on the wings painted out neatly with a lighter grey and a darker grey used on the tail bands, also neatly (see Colour note 2.). Some profiles have the slat part of the I.D. band still yellow with the rest of the bands painted out. “El Tordillo” has an MER on the centre line station with 3x BRP250kg parachute retarded bombs,
Image39. A-4P C-222 colour by Neil, on Flickr
Colour note 2. – most colours were apparently mixed by hand without reference. The approximate colours used to paint out C-222s I.D. bands were – Wings FS.36440 and Tail FS.36270. See below list of compatible hobby colours.

FAA A-4P Undercoat, overall airframe colour for C-222,
FS.36307 Bulkhead Grey; *Testors #1726 Light Sea Grey, *Humbrol #Hu141 Light Sea Grey, *Tamiya #XF20 Medium Grey, *Life Color #UA113 Lt Blue Grey, *Gunze Aqueous #324, *Gunze Mr.Color #324 Lt Grey FS.36307.

1. FS.36440 Lt. Grey 81352 ANA602, 620; *Testors Model Master #1730 Flat Gull Grey FS.36440, *Testors Acryl #4763 Flat Gull Grey FS.36440, *Xtra Color #15 RAF Lt. Aircraft Grey (BS627), *Xtra Crylix #1015 RAF Lt. Aircraft Grey (BS627), *Vallejo Model Color #986 Deck Tan,* Vallejo Model Colour POSC #110 Deck Tan,* Humbrol #Hu129 US Gull Grey, *Humbrol Acrylic #129 US Gull Grey, *Tamiya #XF55 Deck Tan, *Gunze Aqueous #51 Lt. Gull Grey, #311 Grey, #325 Lt. Grey, #332 RAF Lt. Aircraft Grey BS627, *Gunze Mr. Color #11 Lt. Gull Grey, #311 Grey FS.36622(?), #325 Lt. Grey FS.36440, #332 RAF Lt. Aircraft Grey BS627.

2. FS.36270 Haze Grey; *Testors Model Master #1725 Neutral Grey FS.362770, *Testors Acryl #4757 Neutral Grey FS.362770, *Xtra Color #3 RAF Medium Sea Grey (BS637), *Xtra Crylix #1003 RAF Medium Sea Grey (BS637), *Vallejo Model Color #870 Medium Sea Grey, * Vallejo Model Color POSC #158 Medium Sea Grey, *Humbrol #Hu126 US Medium Grey, *Humbrol Acrylic #126 US Medium Grey, *Tamiya #XF20 Medium Grey, *Revell #32374 Grey (RAL7001), *Gunze Aqueous #306 Mid Grey, *Gunze Mr. Color #306 Mid Grey FS.36270.

A-4P C-225 exBu.No.142803 in preservation as a ground instructional airframe. As these photographs show the A-4 has been recently returned to her original early Falklands scheme and although the colours are off, the ‘B’ pattern camouflage and slightly non-standard I.D. bands in six positions are accurate for this aircraft, as some of the maintainers who carried out this repaint did the original paint jobs. As you can see the wing bands are wider, starting further inboard at the first crash barrier fence on the slat but otherwise standard. The bands on the vertical tail are slightly wider and taller.
Image40. A-4P C-225 stbd side sml by Neil, on Flickr
Image41. A-4P C-225 preserved pt side crop sml by Neil, on Flickr

It has taken the best part of six months research to get here, (far earlier than the start of this thread as I’d decided to build an FAA A-4P when the Airfix kit first came out and I started researching the subject, boy wasn’t I surprised!!! :shock: ) I’ve made this post as accurate as possible and if I’ve made an error or ten, apologies in advance.
What has not helped in researching this part of the subject is the overwhelming amount of confused, contradictory, incorrect, untrue, made up and wildly ill informed reference material published about the camouflage schemes and I.D. Bands that exists, :hithead: presented by magazines and their contributing writers, hobby manufacturers, on-line blogs and forums, some of it ravenously defended as gospel regardless of language used (although incorrect), all this mixed in with correct information to really confuse the issue. :help: :help: Photographs from the conflict that exist tell a different story to the above. :nod: Cross referencing has certainly narrowed this down considerably sorting the gold from dirt but it still leaves a LOT to conjecture. :?
It was bad enough when none of the scale drawings and only some of the published profiles available correctly depict an A-4P (let alone an A-4B!!!) but add in the other “miss-information” in the form of completed models with incorrect colour schemes/I.D. Bands/markings (some with outrageously incorrect colour schemes) and the apparently incorrectly marked preserved A-4Ps and the statement “Did I say this was an almost impossible subject to research?” becomes true.
Note - At no stage were there brown and tan painted A-4Ps or for that matter A-4Cs, in the FAA. Nor were there any Dk. Green and Lt. green A-4Ps, nor did A-4Ps have the undersides of their drop tanks painted yellow . . . . . EVER. Although there are lots of artwork with A-4C style ‘short broad’ tail bands and ‘thin inboard’ wing bands I have not found a single photograph of an A-4P in the early part of the Falklands War with this style marking. These markings can only to be found on two preserved/repainted A-4Ps (C-224 and C-232 masquerading as a camouflaged C-222!!!) and it is only the tail bands represented.

This list below is the best I can assemble of A-4Ps on charge at the start of the conflict, their confirmed modifications and colour schemes during the conflict etc. and their eventual fates;
1. C-204 shot down by an AIM-9L Sidewinder fired by Lt. Dave Smith flying Sea Harrier XZ499 08Jun1982, Primer Teniente Danilo Bolzan being killed. The aircraft wears a version of ‘B’ pattern camouflage, I.D. Bands in four positions later painted out, this was the last A-4P lost in combat;
2. C-206 crashed into sea whilst attempting to avoid a Sea Wolf SAM fired by either HMS Glasgow or HMS Brilliant 12May1982 killing Teniente Nivoli. Unknown camouflage pattern, possibly ‘official’ I.D. bands in four positions;
3. C-207 preserved A/C, ‘A’ pattern camouflage faded to near the same tonal value, small aerial under nose and OMEGA fitted, standard ‘official’ I.D. bands later painted out;
4. C-208 shot down by Sea Wolf HMS Brilliant 12May1982 pilot Teniente Ibarlucea killed, unknown equipment and scheme, I only have one photo of this A-4, and it’silver!!;
5. C-209 crashed 23Jun1994 pilot ok, ‘B’ pattern camouflage;
6. C-212 damaged 10Dec1985 received C-205’s wings, memorial display, aircraft that sank HMS Coventry, small aerial under nose with OMEGA package under the tail, ‘A’ pattern camouflage and standard I.D. bands all six positions later painted out;
7. C-214 preserved Villa Reynolds, small aerial under the nose with OMEGA package under tail, heavily faded to near tonally the same ‘A’ pattern camouflage with standard I.D. bands in all six positions later painted out;
8. C-215 shot down by HMS Fearless 40mm 27May1982pilot ok, ‘B’ pattern camouflage with standard I.D. bands in four positions (see earlier entry above);
9. C-221 stored Villa Reynolds, small aerial under nose with OMEGA fitted, ‘A’ pattern camouflage with standard ‘official’ I.D. bands in all six positions later painted out;
10. C-222 preserved as ‘El Tordillo” (The Dapple) A/C, overall FS.36307 with almost standard ‘official’ I.D. bands in four positions (wing bands wider started further inboard – see earlier entry above) later painted out by a much lighter grey on the wings and a darker grey on the tail bands (see Colour note 2.), small blade aerial under the nose with OMEGA package ;
11. C-224 preserved A/C, OMEGA fitted, ‘A’ pattern camouflage unknown I.D. bands;
12. C-225 ground instructional airframe, OMEGA package fitted, ‘B’ pattern camouflage with almost standard I.D. bands in six positions (wing bands wider started further inboard with slightly taller and wider tail bands – see earlier entry above) later painted out;
13. C-226 shot down by an AIM-9L Sidewinder from Sea Harrier ZA177 piloted by Flt. Morgan 08Jun1982, Teniente Arraras being killed. ‘A’ pattern Camouflage with ‘official’ I.D. bands in six positions up to 24May1982 then, bands later painted out;
14. C-227 crashed 03Aug1987,pilot ok, parts stored, ‘B’ pattern camouflage;
15. C-228 shot down AIM-9L Sidewinder from Sea Harrier ZA177 piloted by Flt. Morgan 08Jun1982, pilot Teniente Alferoz Vazquez ejected but was killed. Note small blade aerial under the nose and an OMEGA package fitted, ‘A’ camouflage pattern with standard ‘official’ I.D. bands in four positions;
16. C-230 crashed 21Sep1982,’A’ pattern camouflage;
17. C-231 retired Oct1986, Villa Reynolds, ‘B’ pattern camouflage;
18. C-232 preserved as C-222 (why? When “El Tordillo” still exists), small aerial under the nose with OMEGA package fitted, ‘A’ pattern camouflage with standard I.D. bands in four positions later painted out;
19. C-233 damaged, to technical school, small aerial under nose, ‘A’ pattern camouflage with standard ‘official’ I.D. bands in four positions later painted out;
20. C-234 crashed 31Oct1984 pilot ok, small aerial under nose, heavily faded to near tonally the same ‘A’ pattern camouflage with standard I.D. bands in four positions later painted out;
21. C-235 crashed 12Jul1983 pilot ok, small aerial under the nose, heavily faded to near tonally the same ‘B’ pattern camouflage with heavy weathering around the tail;
22. C-236 crashed 04Oct1988 pilot ok, small aerial under nose, faded ‘A’ pattern camouflage with light wear;
23. C- 237 crashed 19Nov 1984 pilot ok, faded ‘B’ pattern light wear;
24. C-239 retired May 1991, under restoration, heavily faded to near tonally the same ‘A’ pattern camouflage;
25. C-240 retired Aug1991, displayed at FAA HQ, weathered ‘B’ pattern camouflage heavily worn around rear fuselage/empennage with standard ‘official’ I.D. bands in four positions later painted over;
26. C-242 shot down by SAMs and AAA on 23May1982 whilst attacking HMS Antelope, the pilot Primer Teniente Guadagnini was killed, ‘B’ pattern camouflage with standard ‘official’ I.D. bands in six positions;
27. C-244 shot down by a Sea Dart fired by HMS Coventry 25May1982, the pilot Capt. H.A. del Valle Palaver was killed. ‘A’ pattern camouflage with standard ‘official’ I.D. bands in six positions;
28. C-246 shot down Sea Wolf HMS Brilliant 12May1982;
29. C-248 shot down by Argentine AAA 12May1982, the pilot Primer Teniente Gavazzi was killed, fresh ‘B’ pattern camouflage with A-4C style yellow I.D. bands in four positions (see previous description above);
30. C-250 crashed 12Nov1982, ‘A’ pattern camouflage faded to near the same tonal value with standard ‘official’ I.D. Bands in four positions then, painted out bands until the war ends. Small aerial under nose fitted with an OMEGA package.

The list of unserviceable A-4Ps is;
1. C-221 returned to service for combat, first sortie 01May1982;
2. C-222 returned to service for initially for training 14May1982;
3. C-230 returned to service for combat (when?);
4. C-232 returned to service for combat (when?);
5. C-235 returned to service for combat (when)?;
6. C-236 returned to service for combat (when?),
I cannot find further information on A-4Ps C-230,232,235 as to when they were returned to service in time to see combat. Damaged aircraft gave up components to make others serviceable, there are pics that show replacement panels fitted to other A-4s.

Whew!! :heatwave: :smt024: Lots more to come in the next instalments . . . . . . post war, weapons, weathering . . . . . . .

Images used are in the public domain and used for educational purposes only.

Cheers all :cheers: :cheers:
Neil 8-) 8-)

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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan 2016 05:31 am 
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New paint colours releases for USN, CANA and FAA.

First is HATAKA acrylic sets;
1. HTK-AS18 US Navy and USMC „high-viz” Paint Set, standard colours of US naval aircraft from 1950s to 1970s,
Contains the following colours (acrylic paints, water-based):
HTK-A001 – Dark Sea blue (ANA 623) – Standard overall colour of US carrier-based aircraft (including AD-1..4, AF-2, F9F Panther/Cougar, F2H, F7F) from late 1944 until 1955;
HTK-A041 – Night Black – FS37038, used in various applications on many US Navy and US Marines planes, including on anti-glare panels;
HTK-A048 – Light Gull Grey (ANA 620)- Used for upper surfaces of carrier-based attack planes from 1955 till late 1970s. Also on some transport, patrol, AEW and ASW planes;
HTK-A049 – Insignia White (ANA 511) – Used on lower surfaces of carrier-based attack planes from 1955 till late 1970s (incl. F-4, A-6, A-7, F-14, RA-5, S-3A, A-4 and F-8);
HTK-A061 – Seaplane Grey (ANA 625) – Standard colour of Navy helicopters from 1955 till late 1970s (except for SH-3s). Also on sea-planes and naval land-based aircraft;
HTK-A062 – International Orange (ANA 508) – Overall colour of early jet trainers. Used in “high-viz” schemes of naval aircraft in late 1950s, later on training and SAR planes.

2. HTK-AS27 Falklands Conflict paint set vol. 1, standard colours of Argentinean AF planes during the Falklands (Malvinas) conflict,
Contains the following colours (acrylic paints, water-based):
HTK-A012 – Dark Tan – FS30219, used for upper surfaces of FAA’s Mirage IIIEAs, IAI Daggers, C-130s / KC-130s and CH-47C Chinooks;
HTK-A016 – Dark Green – FS34079, used for upper surfaces of FAA’s Mirage IIIEAs, IAI Daggers, C-130s / KC-130s and CH-47C Chinooks;
HTK-A012 – Medium Green – FS34102, used for upper surfaces of FAA’s Mirage IIIEA and IAI Dagger multi-role fighters and C-130s / KC-130s;
HTK-A039 – Camouflage Grey - FS36622, used for lower surfaces of Mirage IIIEAs, IAI Daggers, C/K-130 Herculeses and A-4C Skyhawks („Andean” camo);
HTK-A136 – Pucara Pale Green – Used for upper surfaces in field-applied camo of IA-58A Pucaras (incl. A-512, A-515, A-522, A-528, A-533 and A-549);
HTK-A137 – Pucara Light Tan – Used for upper surfaces in field-applied camo of IA-58A Pucaras (incl. A-512, A-515, A-522, A-528, A-533 and A-549);
HTK-A138 – Pucara Medium Blue – Used for lower surfaces in field-applied camo of part of IA-58A Pucaras (incl. A-512, A-515, A-522, A-533 and A-549);
HTK-A139 – Semi-matt Aluminium – Standard colour of FAA’s IA-58A Pucaras before the conflict, later visible on undersurfaces / uncamouflaged areas.

3. Ammo MIG are now releasing four colour sets for aircraft, first 9 are out, but we're interested in one set in particular at present :wink: :wink:
The A.MIG colours have already been colour modulated (lightened) for scale effect, and as you can see they are standard A.MIG colours linked to FS.595 codes.
A.Mig-7206 Argentine Air Force Colours including the Falklands Conflict,
A.MIG-0004 FS.34102 Reseda Green;
A.MIG-0067 IDF Sand Grey 73;
A.MIG-0206 FS.34079 (BS641);
A.MIG-0226 FS36622 Grey.

New Russian acrylic paint producer Akan also has FS.595 paint colours, receiving excellent reviews.

Cheers All :cheers: :cheers:
Neil 8-) 8-)

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PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep 2016 08:57 am 
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An A-4 oriented update post from Tailhook Topics here;
http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com.au/2 ... -time.html
Still researching the next topics, stay tuned :thumb:

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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep 2016 19:26 pm 
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After all this I've still got to ask; has anyone actually seen mk-81s with fall retarded tails? Personally I've only ever seen the 3 heavier low drag bombs with fall retarded tails.

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PostPosted: Fri 07 Oct 2016 12:26 pm 
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The Airfix A-4P colours are taken from examples in museums, not from 1982 photographs.

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PostPosted: Sun 09 Oct 2016 03:24 am 
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As it says in my thread, most of the A-4P(B)s in museums are not correct, you must check the notes I have on the A-4's appearance during the conflict.

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PostPosted: Sat 17 Dec 2016 12:08 pm 
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Today I have posted some updates and missing information into "Things Under Wings - Drop Tanks" and "A-4P Part1" and "A-4P Part2" posts :thumb:
Please see above :nod:
Still working on Weathering, Weapons, and Post War Colour schemes :roll: :roll:

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PostPosted: Tue 28 Feb 2017 12:18 pm 
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Finally, an update :yahoo:
A-4P Skyhawk Weathering
Before getting on with this post’s subject line, a small detail about the A-4P’s finish I had neglected to mention was that the camouflage was quite satin in appearance although glossy in some photos caused by engine oil and matt in others caused by dirt build up. So choose your references carefully. Of course in reality all three finishes can and did exist on a particular airframe, caused by a mix of the above reasons and sun fading.

Also remember that every A-4 exhibited very specifically shaped ‘drag marks’ on the vertical stabiliser from the felt pad (acting as an airflow seal and a sacrificial rub strip) on the back of the horizontal stabiliser fairing as it was dragged across the vertical tails’ finish whilst motoring the horizontal stabiliser over its’ range to adjust pitch trim during flight, looking very much like a permanent ‘shadow’ of the fairing, see the montage.
Remember that the Airfix A-4 is at ‘0’deg and should have the drag ‘shadow’ above it.
Image69. A-4 Drag Marks sml by Neil, on Flickr

This is a difficult subject to relate as aircraft will exhibit a plethora of finish differences even within a squadron. Some will be near newly finished with just a bit of grime visible in the usual places whilst others will be in need of attention and getting rather ‘ratty’ looking, just look at this photograph of an unknown A-4P from the late 1980’s in the odd Grey Green and Chocolate camouflage that appeared in the mid 1980’s,
A-4P C-2xx mid 1980’s with 30mm DEFA cannons and upper surface wear,
Image70. A-4P top surface by Neil, on Flickr
The outlined box is a large ‘doubler’ repair to the upper surface of the wing where cracking was occurring to the original wing upper skin, this being a reasonably common repair to A-4’s with high airframe hours (we had three of our surviving RAN A-4Gs with this type of repair, although all were different in shape and area). The cracks would be ‘stop drilled’ and a doubler patch designed to cover the cracked area (obviously the wing tank access panels would be punched out so they were not covered by the “doubler”) with the prescribed amount of overhang to ensure the skin was returned to full strength when riveted/screwed in place using the original rivet holes where the rivets had been drilled out (a very long and tedious process) with longer rivets and all edges would be chamfered to blend as best as possible to the original skin. These doublers are symmetrical, so what you do to one side must be done to the other too.
Also note the amount of undercoat showing through and the areas of discolouration and lightening, very little natural metal is actually showing through, mostly on fasteners, latches and access panel edges.

I know I’ve said this before but to get the look right, please do not over emphasise panel lines (and weathering) as it’s unprototypical and toylike. Most panel lines are “just” noticeable, being slightly darker than the surrounding panels or emphasised by streaking of grime from airflow whilst other panels appear to have “black depths” like an A-4’s fuselage join between the front and rear fuselage or an access panel prone to picking up grime. Usually though, they are never black, mostly browns, amber yellows and greys.

Checking references will give you a good starting point as to what level to ‘weather’ your particular A-4P to, so check back over this thread’s earlier posts to get an idea of ‘how’ an A-4B (USN) or A-4B/P(FAA) gets weathered, there’s lots of ideas as I’ve tried hard to include good detailed shots that show more than the caption describes.

A-4P C-214 (?) immediately post Falklands,
Image71. A-4P weathering crop by Neil, on Flickr
Lots of detail in this photo, cannon gas staining of the fuselage around the muzzle leading back to the underside of the intakes picking up on the panel lines, worn leading edges with the grey undercoat showing through on the wings/slats, the intake lips (with a small amount of natural metal showing through) leading edge of the vertical tail and horizontal stabiliser. Natural metal wearing around the avionics intake at the extreme nose and windscreen frame (a very common wear feature on A-4B/P/Q) with various small areas of undercoat showing through along with discolouration of the finish.

A-4P C-210 exUSN Bu.No.142128 Pre Falklands, previously posted above but just such a good example of cannon soot and general weathering I had to use it again,
Image72. A-4P C-210 exUSN Bu.No.142128 by Neil, on Flickr
Quote from an earlier post; “. . .(C-210) in the 1970’s wearing a worn ‘A’ camouflage pattern with a difference, a replacement nose from an A-4P in the ‘B’ camouflage scheme has been fitted, illustrating the differences. Note the red intake warning stripe on the fuselage side of intake only, the wear back to undercoat on the slats and natural metal on the intake lip. Also note the colour and extent of staining from firing the cannon where you can clearly see that the engine intake has cut the top off the stain by ingesting the gasses and limiting the top of stain to a straight line (a Curtiss Wright J-65 jet engine was not prone to flow problems from ingesting blast gasses, but the later Pratt and Whitney J-52 engine was very susceptible to any ingested gasses and that is one reason that from the A-4E model on, the intakes were ‘stood off’ from the fuselage side and blast vanes/strakes fitted above the cannon muzzles)”
Note C-210 is relatively otherwise clean although note the colour of the brake discs, the grease line around the main wheel bearing cap with a reasonably clean wheel hub and the colours of the landing gear’s tyres. The backs of an A-4’s main wheels would get quite ‘dusty’ with the discs generally a brown rust colour apart from where the brake pads operated, this was a shiny almost graphite colour.

A-4P C-217 exUSN Bu.No.142747 taxiing in the mid 1970’s, this aircraft was heavily damaged in an accident (the pilot Cap. A. Ianariello ejected safely) on 26Nov1977, with 85% damage she was written off,
Image72. A-4P C-217 taxi by Neil, on Flickr
C-217 is seen here in a worn but relatively clean ‘A’ camouflage with areas of worn camouflage allowing the undercoat to show through in odd patches, the intake lip worn back to undercoat and natural metal. There is even light paint chipping on the aerial behind the canopy. It appears that the main canopy has had it’s transparency replaced but not painted as yet (maybe waiting for major upcoming servicing where the paint will be refinished). There is evidence of light cannon staining only. The Engine Oil vent has paint missing from around it, possibly from being continually wiped clean by maintainers.

A-4P C-239 exUSN Bu.No.142838 , two views of this A-4P taken whilst parked on the hardstand supposedly just before the Falklands War, training for combat, hence the Brit thousand pounder on the centreline rack,
Image73. A-4P C-239 exUSN Bu. No.142838 by Neil, on Flickr
Image74. A-4P C-239 1970's b by Neil, on Flickr
The main point of interest is how the two colours of the camouflage finish have weathered and faded, reducing the contrast between the colours markedly. This lack of contrast between colours is a feature of several A-4Ps that took part in the Falklands campaign, just reference some of my previously posted photographs. Note how ‘dirty’ (matt finish) forward of the fuselage break to just in front of the intake along with the wing’s upper surface the A-4 is from gun gasses/soot and servicing. The fuselage aft of the break is relatively clean and glossy possibly oil residue from the engine oil vent being wiped off by maintainers. The nose and tail appear to be satin with small colour variations. On the underside of the horizontal stabiliser light grease lines can be seen leading back from the three hinge points to the trailing edge of the elevators. The starboard flight control access panel (under the IFR Probe) appears to be from a different A-4 as the paint does not match and the standard airflow wear back to bare metal on the avionics cooling intake is there. Light streaking is able to be seen on the flaps lower surfaces, this is usually grease and oils from the landing gear blown back by airflow (the mess caused by the first flight after an aircraft has been washed, then greased to remove water, soap and degreaser form joints and hinges, especially aft of the landing gear, needs to be seen to be believed!!) Note the slightly ‘sooty’ colouring of the last third of the Sugar Scoop faring around the exhaust.

A line up of nine FAA A-4Ps in the weeks (or at least a couple of months) after the Falklands War with A-4P C-212 exUSN Bu.No.142773[b] and [b]A-4P C-235 exUSN Bu.No.142765 undergoing pre-flights being able to be identified.
Image75. A-4P C-212 a by Neil, on Flickr
Firstly it is interesting that all nine A-4Ps exhibit roughly the same paint tone and ‘satin’ finish, apart from touch ups to the A-4’s finish as exhibited by C-235’s tail with a markedly darker brown used.
Most notable is that C-212’s underside blue is darker (and newer) than the underside colour of the drop tank. This new underside colour started to be used near the end of May 1982 (to the best of my research) and as you can see was more like RLM78 Himmelblau (FS35414) than the standard FS35550/FS35622 colour. It replaced some of the A-4P fleets’ undersides, landing gear/gear bay colour but NOT on all, you will have to check your particular chosen example. More about these Post-Falklands colours in an upcoming post. C-212 also has typical scratched/worn paint around the gravity fuel filler cap of the drop tank without staining, some natural metal showing through.
C-235 has obviously had some remedial work done (see the next photographs of C-235 as well) as it sports two dark red/brown panels either side of the forward fuselage which appear to have been protected/varnished in some way (this coating was seemingly applied hastily has obviously run downward), the aft fuselage and fin camouflage brown is far darker and more chocolate than the balance of the finish with a distinct demarcation between the two browns on the aft fuselage side, maybe the first use of the new camouflage chocolate brown,? The rudder appears to be finished wholly in the old camouflage brown. There are two replacement (?) engine access panels on the forward fuselage in standard undercoat grey along with a lot of chipped topcoat/missing paint from around the fin rudder hydraulics access panel, fin leading edge and aft fuselage around the exhaust and horizontal stabiliser fairing.
Clearly seen on both A-4’s is cannon residue blown back along the fuselage, please note that it sits in the ‘low’ points of the fuselage skin being hi-lighted by not being on the frames/panel line hi-points in a diffuse random pattern.

A-4P C-235 exUSN Bu.No.142765, at the very end of the Falklands conflict being armed up and serviced prior to a combat mission,
Image76. A-4P C-235 Arming by Neil, on Flickr
Image77. A-4P C-235 & TER with 3x FAS250KG by Neil, on Flickr
These photographs clearly show that C-235 was returned to service whilst the Falklands War was still underway although in the conflicts’ closing phases, I’ve just been unable to find a return to service date and translating lots of Spanish is hurting my head, so I’ll just leave this detail be for the moment. The first photograph is from the port side and shows the same details as the above side view in the ‘line up’, just from a different aspect. What is obvious is that C-235 never had the yellow ID bands as it’s camouflage is relatively uniform although ‘worn’ (the A-4 was probably unserviceable for an extended length of time and not being deep serviced this being the reason the aircraft’s finish is not ‘newer’) with no painted out areas, meaning that this airframe was returned to service after the ID band removal order. The drop tank exhibits scratching/ fading/wearing of it’s finish especially of the green with undercoat showing through in patches. There is a TER on a loading trolley with 3x 250Kg FAS bombs being loaded on the centre line stores pylon in the first photograph, and wether they are the same weapons as the 3 FAS ‘slicks’ on the TER in the second photograph is up to conjecture. Note the position of the red/brown panel, the undercoated engine access panels and the heavily faded/streaked panel in front of them. Also note the camouflage green (?) interior colour of the flap with the A-4’s ‘last two’ repeated on it in black.
The bomb trolley appears to be camouflaged as well (you diorama people take note) in the same colours as the A-4’s and note the scrapes/discolouration and wear marks on the bombs themselves from being handled/assembled prior to loading.

The next three photographs show what is ‘standard’ staining and blown back dirt/oils etc on the underside of an A-4,
ImageA-4P and 1000lb Mk.17 by Neil, on Flickr
ImageA-4P C-2xx with TER and PG 500kg bomb by Neil, on Flickr
ImageA-4P staining by Neil, on Flickr
Of note is the dark grey streaking of molybdenum disulphide grease used to service the stores racks and the way those streaks flow (promoted usually by dumped hydraulic fluid blowing back onto the racks from the hydraulic power pack’s drains causing a slight amber/red hue to the the stain), please note, always streaking a stain straight aft is not completely correct as airflow around a particular airframe bends, meanders etc with the air flow. You really need to check your references for aircraft type but thankfully on an A-4 most of the staining does go straight aft, just reference previous photographs used to illustrate this thread from the beginning.

A-4P C-212 ex-USN Bu.No.142773 in the months following the Falklands War,
ImageA-4P C-212 by Neil, on Flickr
Although a little bit dark this is another photograph of an A-4P with glossy/satin/matt areas of finish. Standard staining and levels of grime are apparent with chipping and fading of the camouflage paint on the leading edges of the wings, slats, drop tanks and horizontal tailplane fairing opening (tailplane fairing swipe mark). There is also some worn paint on the cockpit coaming, engine intake lip and the avionics intake (in the extreme nose). Of note is the replacement port flight control access panel with a camouflage pattern that does not match the surrounding finish. Note the ‘victory’ symbols under the cockpit.

A-4P C-214 ex-USN Bu.No.142109, three photographs of C-214 at the end of the Falklands War and then much later to illustrate wear to aircraft finishes,
ImageA-4P C-214 late war by Neil, on Flickr
I’ve included this photograph to illustrate that not all A-4Ps’ had heavily worn paint. As can be seen, apart from some areas of light fading the finish is rather uniform and the only real stand out are the fully grey Charlie drop tanks hung under the wings of this A-4 and an unidentified A-4 further down the hardstanding next to C-307.
ImageA-4p C-214 victory marks by Neil, on Flickr
This is a close up of C-214’s fuselage side showing the ‘victory marks’ applied to this A-4P. Note the missing paint from the intake lip, a standard type of wear seen on all J-65 powered A-4’s to some extent. Also note how very clean C-214 is in comparison to other A-4’s.
ImageA-4P C-214 big by Neil, on Flickr
I’m not sure of the date of this photograph, I’m told it was taken ‘some time’ after the Falklands, I just can’t properly confirm this. The photograph clearly illustrates the wear and tear aircraft finishes are subjected to showing much worn paint with undercoat showing through on and around access panels, extreme wear zones where the undercoat has worn through to show natural metal on the leading edges of the wings/slats, nose intake, engine intake and horizontal stabiliser. The A-4 is ready for a training mission with a practice bomb rack and bombs fitted to the wing stations with a standard Charlie drop tank fitted to the centreline rack still with the tanks’ finned tail in place, precisely the way to upset the squadron’s maintainers.

This very dark photo of A-4P C-234 ex-USN Bu.No.142728 I’ve included to show that wear was not always even,
ImageA-4P C-234 a by Neil, on Flickr
The whole aircraft appears to be lightly worn apart from the vertical stabiliser which shows heavy wear with a large amount of paint missing from the tail fillet sides as well as areas of chipping further up the tail, heavily discoloured areas of green and brown camouflage paint and some darker areas of touching up. Also note the new darker blue colour has been used on the landing gear and landing gear bays (just seen).

This is a rather good detail photograph of the forward fuselage of A-4P C-236 ex-USN Bu.No.142784 detailing the large number of ‘victory marks’ and general details shared by all A-4B/P’s. The finish is very clean and satin in appearance, note how the camouflage green demarcation was applied.
ImageA-4P C-236 victory marks by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-240 ex-USN Bu.No.142855 early in the Falklands War being ‘turned around’ after a combat mission,
Image23. A-4P C-240 by Neil, on Flickr
I’ve used this photograph in an earlier post but I’m including it due to the heavy paint finish wear in evidence around the aft fuselage back to the undercoat (at least). Please note that wear and weathering is not always symmetrical on a particular airframe, although I believe that there was similar paint wear to the starboard fuselage just not as extensive.
ImageA-4P C-240 tanking to target by Neil, on Flickr
This is C-240 tanking from a C-130 Hercules en-route to the Falklands. I’ve used this photograph to show the general wear and tear to this particular A-4 especially the replacement port flight control access panel whose paint does not match the surrounding paint scheme.
ImageA-4P C-240 taxi by Neil, on Flickr
A final photograph of C-240 taken while taxiing back from a sortie after the War wearing a worn camouflaged finish like C-214 but not as extreme. With patchy and faded camouflage colours, touch ups in evidence done with the darker brown just starting to be used, almost the entire lip of the engine intake worn back to undercoat and a full undercoat grey drop tank. Some seem to think this is a photograph of a brown and tan camouflage but with careful inspection it is green and brown. This was confirmed by ex-FAA maintainers.

A-4P C-242 ex-USN Bu.No.142862 and A-4P C-250 ex-USN Bu.No.142924 parked probably before the Falklands War in the mid to late 1970’s,
ImageA-4P C-242 & C-250 by Neil, on Flickr
This photograph shows some interesting wear. Note how dusty C-242’s camouflage appears compared to C-250’s although both are patchy including the drop tanks. Also note the wear back to undercoat of the paint finish above the port wing of C-242 and the obvious paint touch ups on the side of C-250’s fuselage. An interesting detail is the red painted flap interior with the ‘last two’ repeated in black on them.
Note for detailing, for those of you who like to open/show speed brakes please note the ‘at rest’ position of C-242’s speed brakes, they are only just open approx 10-15mm max, any more would mean there is a problem with the hydraulic rams/valves. It is unprototypical to have the ‘boards’ fully opened on an A-4 unless opened with either the engine running or connected to a hydraulic test rig.

And lastly, two photographs of A-4P C-250 ex-USN Bu.No.142914 the first taken near the end of the Falklands War,
ImageA-4P C-250 13Jun1982 by Neil, on Flickr
This photograph that I’ve used previously shows a relatively uniform satin finish to the A-4’s camouflage with the painted out ID bands still present. The camouflage colours have faded down to virtually the same tone with very little difference between the colours.
ImageA-4P C-250 victory marks by Neil, on Flickr
And lastly C-250’s port side showing it’s ‘victory mark’, light wear to the intake lip and another A-4P with a replacement port flight control access panel that does not match the surrounding finish.

This is a big subject and I hope these comments and explanations go some way to helping with weathering your FAA A-4P Skyhawk.

Stay tuned, more to come, FAA A-4 Weapons next . . . . .

Regards all, :cheers: :cheers:

Neil 8-) 8-)

Images used are in the public domain and used for educational purposes only.

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Last edited by FAAMAN on Wed 12 Jul 2017 06:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat 04 Mar 2017 13:20 pm 
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A-4P Skyhawk Weapon . . . . and Combat

The FAA’s A-4P (and A-4C) Skyhawks carried a mix of both indigenous and overseas manufactured weaponry. If I have missed any stores please let me know and I’ll do my best to remedy the prob.

Guns
The FAA’s A-4P Skyhawks were initially armed with the standard 2x Colt Mk.12 20mm cannon that almost every other A-4 was built with. The FAA’s experience during the Falklands was disappointing to say the least with this weapon, being very unhappy with the cannons’ performance and accuracy when strafing and engaging aerial targets. Therefore after the conflict a program was started to ‘up gun’ the FAA’s A-4 fleet both A-4P’s and A-4C’s.
Finally in 1986-87 12 modification kits were produced and fitted to ‘up gun’ the A-4 force with 2x heavier hitting locally manufactured DEFA 553A-4 30mm cannon. The A-4P’s that had this modification were C-207, C-209, C-212, C-214, C-222, C225. The other six kits went to A-4C’s.

The DEFA 553A-4 30mm cannon Installation in A-4P C-207 Ex-USN Bu.No. 142688,
Image1W. A-4P 30mm DEFA cannon mod. by Neil, on Flickr

A heavily worn ‘up gunned’ unknown A-4P tanking in the late 1980’s, clearly showing the new cannon installation,
Image2W. A-4P Tanking late 1980s by Neil, on Flickr

Unguided Rockets and Launchers
Standard unguided rockets and they’re launchers were initially of US manufacture but a home grown version was later produced.
Firstly US manufactured ordinance;
1/ LAU-10A, a four tube rocket launcher with 4x Zuni 5-inch Folding-Fin Aircraft Rockets (FFAR) or just ZUNl for short,
A-4P C-225 ex-USN Bu.No.142803 with 4x LAU-10/A Zuni rocket launchers with frangible aerodynamic caps mounted to TERs hung on the wing stations,
Image3W. A-4P C-225 large by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-229 ex-USN Bu.No.142734 with an exceptionally heavy load of 7x LAU-10/A launchers with frangible aerodynamic caps, that’s 28x 5-inch Zuni rockets!!!, :shock: :shock:
Image4W. A-4P C-229 loaded with Zuni rocket tubes by Neil, on Flickr

2/ LAU-60A, a ninteen tube rocket launcher very much like the LAU-3/A except for the position of the grounding wire loaded with 19x 2.75-inch Folding-Fin Aircraft Rockets (FFAR), a very unwieldy launcher that due to the drag it creates was not seen in action over the Falklands due to the A-4’s being fuel critical buy the time they reached the combat zone.
3/ LAU-61A, more or less identical to the LAU-60A above, actually a US Army M159A1 launcher.

A photo of an LAU-61A launcher, 2.75inch rockets and a TER on display,
Image5W. 2.75inch and LAU-61A by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-225 ex-USN Bu.No.142803 loaded with 4x LAU-60A or 61A launchers with frangible aerodynamic caps on three with the fourth’s cap on the hardstanding in front of the wing revealing the loaded launcher, also there is a MER on the centreline stores rack. I cannot identify the orange store on the small stand on the A-4’s starboard side,
Image6W. A-4B C-225 bomb load by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C-232 ex-USN Bu.No.142757 in preservation freshly painted and displayed with a large amount of ordinance, a LAU-60A is seen clearly in front of the display,
Image7W. A-4P C-232 ex-USN Bu.No.142757 in preservation by Neil, on Flickr

Argentine manufactured ordinance;
4/ ARM-657, a six tube rocket launcher with 6x 57mm Aspide unguided rockets made initially by CITEFA, post Falklands War addition to the A-4’s weapons. The three rockets in this trade show photo are blue ‘dummy’ training rounds,
Image8W. Cohetera arm 657 a mamboreta para 6 cohetes aspid de 57mm by Neil, on Flickr

Bombs
The FAA used mostly imported bombs from Spain, the United Kingdom and USA. I’m not sure but I think some Spanish designed bombs were also licence manufactured in Argentina by DGFM and used alongside imported ordinance. Argentina produced their own design weapons as well.
Firstly the imported ordinance,

US manufactured ordinance;

1/ Mk.82 500lb (250kg) GP HE bombs, I’m not sure how long after the Falklands conflict these weapons were adopted by the FAA, maybe CANA (Argentine Navy) shared it’s stocks of munitions post war, I have been unable to find out after months of research,
A-4P Skyhawk C-225 ex-USN Bu.No.142803 in preservation with an MER loaded with 6x Mk.82 500lb dummy bombs (blue painted) and a TER parked on a bomb lift alongside also with Mk.82s loaded,
Image9W. A-4P C-225 30mm mod by Neil, on Flickr

2/ Mk.117 750lb (340kg) HE general purpose bomb, can’t find a photo (yet) of one mounted onto an A-4P so here’s a Mk.117 on a stand,
Image10W. Mk-117 750lb HE GP by Neil, on Flickr

I could not resist using this photo of a bomb trailer with Mk.117s being readied for loading onto B-52Fs during the Vietnam war,
Image11W. M-117s on a trailer with a B-52 c1965sml by Neil, on Flickr

3/ Mk.76 25lb (11.3kg) Practice Bomb,
4/ Mk.106 5lb (2.2kg) Practice Bomb,
Note both these practice weapons were carried on a purpose built Multiple Ejector Rack called an A/A37B-3 PMBR, also used to carry flares and other small air dropped stores. The USAF during Vietnam used PMBRs to carry ADSID sensors to be used against the Viet Cong on the Ho Chi Min trail,

Photo of an A/A37B-3 PMBR with Mk.76 practice bombs on the left and Mk.106 bombs on the right at an FAA display,
Image12W. A-A37B-3 PMBRcropS by Neil, on Flickr

A PMBR mounted on the centreline station of an A-4 loaded with 6 Mk.76 practice bombs,
Image13W. Mk.76 25ib MER by Neil, on Flickr

PMBRs and Mk.76 practice bombs being carried by A-4Ps, in the top photo on the centreline and the bottom photo on wing station 1,
Image14W. Mk.76 by Neil, on Flickr

Spanish manufactured
(and Argentine license manufactured) ordinance.
A note to readers, I’m unable to find the meaning of some of the codes used to describe the ordinance, if and when I do find this information I will include it,
1/ BK-BR series HE GP low drag bombs in 125kg (275.5lb), 250kg (551lb) and 500kg (1102lb) sizes,
BR500kg bomb,
Image15W. BR500kg by Neil, on Flickr

BK – BR 125kg bombs on display,
Image16W. BK - BR 125KG HE by Neil, on Flickr

BK – BR 250kg bomb being loaded onto an FAA A-4C during the Falklands, please note the colour of the weapon, also note the A-4P camouflaged drop tank fitted to the A-4C,
Image17W. A-4C 250kg loading Falklands by Neil, on Flickr

Two photos of a BR 250kg bomb on a preserved FAA A-4C,
Image18W. A-4C C-302 preserved BR250kg HE asml by Neil, on Flickr
Image19W. A-4C C-302 preserved BR250kg HE sml by Neil, on Flickr

2/ BRP-S Parachute Retarded 250kg (551lb) bomb, the designation normally shortened to BRP, uses the ‘standard’ BK-BR 250kg bomb casing with a different tail like a ‘Snake Eye” Hi-Drag bomb, the BRP is one of the most oft used bombs by the FAA,

Two photos of preserved BRP-250 hi-drag bombs on their handling trolley, ignore the colour as it is quite incorrect,
Image20W.A-4B Skyhawk C-225 ExPal BRP250 sml by Neil, on Flickr
Image21W. ExPal BRP250kg parachute retarded bomb tail by Neil, on Flickr

Three fused BRP 250kg bombs mounted on a TER ready for uploading to an A-4P during the Falklands,
Image22W.A-4P C-232 Arming by Neil, on Flickr

Argentine Armourers write slogans on a BRP 250kg bomb mounted on a TER ready for loading, note the colour of the bomb, the same blue grey was used on all FAA bombs except the Mk.17 1000lb bomb and Mk.76/Mk.106 practice bombs,
Image23W. Argentine bombs on a TER by Neil, on Flickr

Four A-4Ps (C-235 being first in line) loaded with 3x BRP 250kg bombs on TERs mounted to the centreline station, C-222 “El Tordilo” can be seen on the end of this line up,
Image24W. A-4P Bombed Up 1982 by Neil, on Flickr

I’ve used this photo before of C-222 “El Tordilo”, I’m using it here to show the extended fuses that were fitted to BRP 250kg bombs,
Image24W. A-4P C-222 colour by Neil, on Flickr

An A-4P (C-221) with a ‘standard’ load of a TER with three BRP 250kg bombs on its’ way to target,
Image25W. A-4P C-221 ex-USN Bu.No.142108 by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P C226 ex-USN Bu.No.142090 tanking on its’ way to the Falklands with a ‘standard’ load of a TER with three BRP 250kg bombs on the centreline station,
Image26W. A-4P C226 ex-USN Bu.No.142090 by Neil, on Flickr

3/ PG series HE GP low-drag bombs in 125kg (275.5lb), 250kg (551lb) and 500kg (1102lb) sizes, some of these being made by Tala S.A. in Argentina (I think),
PG 125kg bombs on display,
Image27W. PG 125kg 500lb & LAU by Neil, on Flickr

A PG 250kg bomb loaded on the centreline station of an FAA A-4C,
Image28W. A-4C C-3xx with BR 250kg May1982 by Neil, on Flickr

A PG 500kg bomb loaded on a TER mounted on an A-4P’s centreline station, and below the same thing in model form,
Image29W. A-4P C-2xx with TER and PG 500kg bomb by Neil, on Flickr
Image30W. PG 500KG Argentine manuf. by Neil, on Flickr

British manufactured ordinance,
1/ Mk.17 1000lb (450kg) HE GP low-drag bomb, heavily used by the FAA in their attacks on the RN Task Force off the Falklands,

A line up of Mk.17 thousand pounders on their handling trolleys ready for loading with attendant armourers with suitable anti-British slogans drawn on the bomb cases,
Image31W. Mk.17 1000lbs bombs being readied by Neil, on Flickr

A Mk.17 loaded and ready to go, I’ve used this photo earlier, but it is an excellent illustration,
ImageA-4P and 1000lb Mk.17 by Neil, on Flickr

Argentine manufactured ordinance,

1/ FAS series Cluster bombs in 250kg (551lb), 260kg (573lb) and 300kg (661lb) loaded with “Pampero” 105mm bomblets, manufactured by CITEFA,

FAS 250kg cluster bombs on a munitions loader,
Image33W. CITEFA FAS 250Kg bombs by Neil, on Flickr

A great weapons display with five LAU-10/A in the front row, seven LAU-60A/61As in the second row, various bombs nearest to the A-4P,
Image34W. A-4P weapons by Neil, on Flickr

. . . . . and COMBAT, what all the above is for,

A montage of frames from cine camera footage of an A-4P Skyhawk attacking the RN Task Force ships with tracer and AAA bursts visible on 25May1982,
Image35W. A-4P Skyhawk attacking RN Task Force ships with AAA bursts visible 25May1982 by Neil, on Flickr

A-4P Skyhawk C-248 piloted by Lt. Gavazzi attacking HMS Glasgow D88 (Type42 Batch 1 DDG) at low level on 12May1982 photographed from HMS Brilliant F90 (Type22 Batch 1 frigate). Part of the second wave of A-4Ps to attack this pair of RN ships after the first wave lost 3 out of four aircraft (one even flew into the sea trying to avoid a missile), two hit HMS Coventry and sank her, two came at Glasgow and Brilliant, Gavazzi’s bomb hit Glasgow, passed through the ship destroying her Lynx helicopter and exploding harmlessly over the sea, exiting the combat area C-248 was shot down by ‘friendly’ AAA fire and Gavazzi was killed,
Image36W. A-4P Skyhawk C-248 flown by Lt. Gavazzi attacking HMS Glasgow D88 12May1982 by Neil, on Flickr

HMS Broadsword F88 under attack on 25May1982 by A-4P Skyhawks piloted by Capt. Pablo Carballo in C-225 on the left and Lt.Carlos Rinke in C-214 on the right at very low level, only one bomb hit Broadsword causing relatively minor damage and destroying her Lynx helicopter before exploding harmlessly,
Image37W. A-4Ps attack HMS Broadsword F88 on 25May1982 by Neil, on Flickr

I hope these notes help to create an accurate A-4P weapons load for your model.

The last post for the A-4P in FAA service will be on colour schemes and colours used post Falklands’ war until the types retirement 31Mar1999. This is yet another difficult subject to research as there is very little information around about the colours used. I’ve been researching this subject for the past 8 months and still have very little to show for it.

Images used are in the public domain and used for educational purposes only.

Regards and cheers :cheers: as always, thank you for having a look,

Neil 8-) 8-)

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" .... mmmmm, the smell of plastic glue, there's so much dried on my fingers I can't feel anything ....... but I finally got this kit finished!!!! "
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Last edited by FAAMAN on Wed 12 Jul 2017 08:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat 13 May 2017 13:55 pm 
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Neil,

This thread is a fabulous reference study ... a masterwork.

Thanks very much!!

Gene K


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PostPosted: Sun 14 May 2017 03:37 am 
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Silver Bar
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Joined: Sun 25 Sep 2011 07:05 am
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Location: Sydney Australia
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:wow: thank you for the amazing comment Gene, I hope you will find this thread when it's finally finished :roll: useful :thumb:
Have you introduced yourself to the ATF's members here viewforum.php?f=145
Welcome by the way :thumb:

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" .... mmmmm, the smell of plastic glue, there's so much dried on my fingers I can't feel anything ....... but I finally got this kit finished!!!! "
My Portfolio


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