Conversion Notes and
by José Herculano
A-7P Corsair II
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Those acquainted with Hasegawa’s 1/48 scale A-7 Corsair II usually develop a
fondness for the model.
The multi-part wing can be assembled folded out of the box, if one so wishes
(although it is a bit tricky to get right), the jet intake is quite a bit of a
pain on account of ejection marks and seams , the Sidewinder launch rails are
not that good, and surface detail is not up to current Hasegawa’s offerings. But
it is still a very nice model, very accurate in dimensions and outline, that can
be built into a lovely replica of a not uncharming bird whose size is about
right in 1/48 scale. It is even relatively cheap.
And I am willing to bet that, for USN afficionados like me, the most often
quoted reason to buy that extra model is “I am gonna build an A out of this
The 1/48 scale Hasegawa kit is an A-7E, that was also released as an Air Force
A-7D with an extra sprue. The E was the most used Navy model, and there are many
beautiful paint schemes for it - CAG birds galore, both over the old gray and
white and the later low-viz gray overall. But the A was the first model produced
and sent to Vietnam, where it gave the Navy a very real boost on range, accuracy
of delivery and sheer tonnage of iron things that go boom. It is a classic.
And as conversions go, you would need to shave off the Vulcan cannon and the
doppler radar, carve two 20mm cannons on the sides, add 4 gun cooling vents.
Been there, looked at that, shied away from it.
Doable? Yes. Simple? Not really.
And then Albatross came into play with its very nice “Marauding Corsairs” decal
sheet, that featured, amongst other less catching schemes, a Portuguese Air
Force farewell A-7P with impressive tailart over the already attractive SEA
wraparound scheme. Well, the fuselage on the P is the same as on the A. In fact,
an A-7P is an A-7A with the engine of an A-7B and most of the avionics of an
A-7E. Confused? You should be.
And so I bought another Hasegawa A-7E. Looked at it, scratched my head and filed
it under the one-day-I’ll-build-it section.
Then I heard that Cutting Edge was releasing an A-7A/B conversion for the
Hasegawa, and I knew I had to have that one.
Well, it has arrived.
Cutting Edge's 1/48 Scale A-7A/B Conversion
This is what you get, all in that nice Cutting Edge gray resin:
Two new front fuselage parts, including the cannon
recesses and the gun vents; these parts look like a perfect fit when you remove
the corresponding plastic from the A-7E fuselage, at existing panel lines.
Detail is very nice, and adding two pieces of metal tube at the end of the
recesses, you’ll get very convincing mike-mikes.
Two pieces that are direct replacements for the
Hasegawa underfuselage parts that deal with the speedbrake assembly. Basically
these are the Hasegawa parts with the doppler radar removed.
Two very nice Sidewinder launch rails.
Two small antennae on the underside a little aft of
the main gears.
Parts to make the saddle-like steps of earlier
Dry runs show the fit to be very good, the detail is very nice, and
everything looks spot-on when compared to photographs of the real bird.
The only flaws I see in this conversion is that we are not provided with a
new instrument panel (the A-7A/B panel is quite different from the one provided
with the Hasegawa A-7E) nor with a new, shorter ECM, at the base of the tail
(used on A-7A and early A-7P).
I highly recommend this set, and will get a few more.
Building a 1/48 Scale A-7P
This set is also a must in order to build a Portuguese Air Force A-7P,
although you’ll have some extra work awaiting you.
A-7Ps are reworked A-7As, with the upgraded TF-30-P408 engines A-7B and most of
the avionics and attack capabilities of the A-7E.
These birds also had some later-life upgrades, so not all birds were alike. I’ll
concentrate my efforts on the steps needed to produce an accurate representation
of the commemorative bird featured on the very nice Albatross decal sheet.
You’ll find some info on this sheet at:
A very nice walkaround featuring this bird can be found at:
The picture below shows the USN A-7A BuNo 153134 during its later service
days. This is the very same aircraft that will be converted into an A-7P,
receive the FAP serial number 15521, and is featured on the Albatross decal
sheet (Source - US Navy Official).
Converting the Conversion -
Building an A-7P Step-by-Step
What follows is a list of things to do to model this beauty:
Use the CE set front fuselage parts to give you the
new gun ports and gun vents;
Do not use the CE airbrake assembly, since the A-7P
had the doppler radar as fitted to the A-7E;
Modify the A-7E instrument panel as per the
walkaround site pictures. Note that the top and right areas are identical - only
the bottom left need to be modified;
Use an ESCAPAC ejection seat – from the kit or from
Cutting Edge or True Details;
Don’t use the antennae provided with the CE
Add from scratch the large dorsal UHF antenna, plus
two side localizer ILS antennae at the top of the tail (just as found on A-7D);
Add from scratch (or modify using similar parts
from an Hasegawa A-4E/F) two prominent, with aerodynamic contouring, chaff/flare
dispensers at the rear fuselage;
Add small dorsal vent by the side of the big
Remove the launch bar attachment from the front
gear leg, and fill in the fuselage holes where it recesses when retracted;
Remove starter attachment point from the right
fuselage and scribe it by the left side, as per CE’s intructions;
Do not install wing pylons nor Sidewinder fuselage
side pylons, and fill in the respective holes – the commemorative bird never
flew with any, and also, due to little empty weight, has a more nose-up attitude
on the ground;
If you want to display the side avionic bays open,
use the pictures as reference to modify the detail present on the Hasegawa’s
For painting, just one more tip: if you assemble the flaps and slats down,
the exposed inner parts should be painted white.
Now, who will be the first to show us a completed model?
Click the thumbnails below to view
the images full-sized.
Use your browser's Back Arrow to return to this page:
Front port detail. Note cannon port, saddle step, large dorsal antenna
Port mid fuselage detail. Note starter cart attachment (open)
Starboard side detail. Note large dorsal antenna, small vent by the side of it.
Text & Images Copyright © 2002 by FAP
Official (A-7P images) and
Page Created 17 September, 2002
19 April, 2004
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