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Reference for Building the Monogram EA-6B Prowler

by Jim Rotramel


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EA-6B Prowler in 1/48 Scale


MPC/Airfix 1/48 Scale EA-6B Prowler

This very old kit (78-4553-250) of an ICAP-I Prowler is not nearly up to the standards of the newer Monogram kit, even though it features some items not included on the later kit (gear door fairings, correctly angled ECM pod RATs, ECM pod/pylon fairings, and attempts at a correct wing fold mechanism and fairings in front of the wheel wells). The problem is that even though they included these pieces, the execution is so poor as to make them unusable in correcting the Monogram kit. 

In short, the level of effort required to make this kit into a reasonable model is just too great to make it worthwhile venture for any but the most dedicated Airfix supporters.

Monogram 1/48 Scale EA-6B Prowler

Monogram’s EA-6B (Kit 5611) looks great in the box. It has very nice cockpit and landing gear detail when compared to the much older Airfix offering. The outline is correct, contributing to the illusion of perfection. The kit and its markings reflect the ICAP-I configuration, which most Prowlers were when they were marked colorfully. However, this kit suffers from appallingly bad research on Monogram's part, which makes building it a frustrating experience--even if it didn’t have some moderate fit problems. The major errors are listed here more or less in order of significance: 

  • The kit wing fold mechanism is the same as used by metal-winged A-6 Intruders. The real Prowler has a totally different design that features a large fairing on the outboard wing pylons and a much wider fairing on top of the wing.
  • The Prowler's wing fairings in front of the main landing gear doors are smaller than those on the Intruder, with the former's flaps extending about 8 inches farther inboard. Unfortunately, the kit uses the Intruder's wing, so the whole area around the main landing gear must be rebuilt. As part of this mistake, fairings on the main wheel doors are also missing.
  • The ECM pods were taken from the EA-6A kit. These ALQ-76 pods are slab-sided, lacking the bulged radomes of the EA-6Bs' ALQ-99 pods. More of a problem is that the two 'high-band' pods are seven inches too long, while the 'low-band' pod is 14 inches too short and located 18 inches too far forward (both low and high band pods are 190-inches long). Although the low band pod is 'bulged', it was done in a very crude, incorrect manner. The RAT propellers on the front of the pods are oriented almost 90° from their 'on the ground' position. The spacer fairing that goes between a wing pylon and its ECM pod was omitted from the kit entirely.
  • Most of the antennas are incorrectly shaped. Only Parts 59, 113, and 123 can be used as molded. Also, there is no information indicating how to accurately locate any of the antennas.
  • Every scoop to be added to the kit (and most of the ones molded into it) are the wrong size and shape. Locating information is also incorrect. For instance, the fuel vent scoop is located on the right side of the fuselage by the drawings, but on the left side by the scribing on the kit (the drawings have the correct side, but the wrong location).
  • The kit features the same armor plating found on the Intruder. The Prowler never uses armor plating, so these raised areas on the flanks of the engines, underneath the tail, and under the wings, should all be removed.
  • An prominent exhaust vent located on the right fuselage just behind the engine nozzle was omitted from the kit.
  • The external stiffeners located by the anti-skid walkway on top of the wings are the wrong size, shape, and located in the wrong place. ECM fairings located on top of the wing fuel dump vents are missing from the kit.
  • The refueling probe on the kit reviewed was molded into the left side of the fuselage and angles left (in front of the pilot). The real probe angles 12° away from the pilot. (Monogram denied that the probe angles the wrong way, but it doesn't seem logical to mold the piece into the opposite side from the direction it is supposed to bend).

There are other, relatively minor problems (such as missing temperature and AOA probes on the fuselage). However, it is clear that Monogram didn't understand the differences between the Prowler and Intruder when they made this kit. Perhaps someday they will consider correcting the numerous superficial mistakes, reissuing it as the HARM-capable ICAP-II aircraft used during Desert Storm. This will also require modifying the cockpit, adding the missiles, and including new antennas. In the meantime, True Details offers a very nice ICAP-II cockpit modification kit and Meteor Productions is releasing an update kit correcting all the deficiencies identified in this review, and enough antennas to allow construction of any Prowler variant.

Having said all this, there is nothing that makes Monogram's kit 'unbuildable'. It is the best kit available in this scale, and can be made into a fine model…with some work.



EA-6B Background Data



Table 1: Initial Production Configurations











08 Apr 68


17 Mar 70







28 Jan 71

31 Dec 71

29 Sep 72




27 Oct 71

30 Aug 72

28 Nov 72








23 Jan 73

28 Feb 75



17 Jan 75

08 Dec 75














17 Mar 76

10 Feb 77

08 Feb 78

27 Apr 78

25 Apr 79

30 May 80

23 Apr 81

21 Jun 82

27 Sep 83










09 Dec 76

12 Dec 77


22 Feb 79

11 Mar 80

24 Feb 81

22 Feb 82

31 Jul 83

21 Nov 83










all to ICAP-II








03 Jan 84

23 Sep 84

23 Sep 85

24 Oct 86

27 Aug 87

16 Mar 88







23 Jul 84

22 Jul 85

30 Jul 86

31 Jul 87

31 Jan 88

30 Jun 88















29 Jul 88

13 Sep 88























Block 86

Block 87

Block 88

Block 89

Block 90

Block 91



·         Developmental aircraft weren’t used by the fleet.

·         Standard aircraft employed the ALQ-99 ECM system. They were updated to an ‘ICAP-I Mod’ configuration from the early 1980s until late 1985 when the decision was made to update all aircraft to ICAP-II standards.

·         Extended Capability (EXCAP) aircraft were externally identical to Standard aircraft, but introduced the ALQ-99A, B, and C. The last EXCAP aircraft was returned for modification to ICAP-II standards in March 1985.

·         ICAP-I aircraft introduced the ALQ-99D and had a saw-tooth antenna at the base of the refueling probe in addition to a ‘beer can’ antenna at the rear of the fin-tip pod, both part of the ALQ-126 system. The first Tactical Paint Scheme (TPS) aircraft was one of the last ICAP-Is (161348), delivered on 9 October 1982.

·         ICAP-II aircraft introduced the ALQ-99F and deleted both the APN-153 Doppler radar (as well as the hump it caused on the birdcage) and the ALQ-100 DECM system (and its ‘pole’ antennas on the front of the outboard pylons). The capability of firing AGM-88 HARMs was introduced with aircraft 162225 (in January 1986) and retrofitted to earlier aircraft. No ICAP-IIs were delivered in the original paint scheme. Only ICAP-II aircraft were used in Desert Storm.


Table 2: Desert Storm EA-6B Units





Air Wg







CV-67 Kennedy

Red Sea





CV-61 Ranger

Persian Gulf





CV-60 Saratoga

Red Sea





CV-41 Midway

Persian Gulf





CV-66 America

Red Sea & Persian Gulf





CVN-71 T. Roosevelt

Persian Gulf





Cherry Point, NC

Sheika Isa, Bahrain




  • The ALQ-99 ECM pod, AERO 1D 300 U. S. gallon fuel tank, ATP-D1B 400 U. S. gallon fuel tank, and CNU-188 External Baggage Container (EBC--a converted AERO 1D) can all be carried on any pylon. Either the ALE-41 chaff dispenser pod or AGM-88 HARM can be carried on any wing pylon (but not at the same time). The tactical aircrew combat training system (TACTS) pod can be carried on either right wing pylon (using the ADU-299 adapter and LAU-7 Sidewinder rail). Finally, the ALQ-167 ECM pod can be carried on the right outboard pylon.



Building Monogram's Prowler


A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Gulf War EA-6B


By the time of the 1991 Gulf War, EA-6Bs had all been modified to the HARM-capable ICAP-II configuration. This review will address the differences between Prowler versions, which are minor, but significant. The errors in the kit are significant, and affect all versions equally.


Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. These steps assemble the crew seats into the cockpit.

  • The (cockpit) interior bucket is reasonably well detailed, although the bulkheads behind the seats are simplified. True Details photo-etch modification kit #26020 offers several handles and buckles which are generally useful. (The circuit breaker panel between the two front seats, which is shown as a plate glued to the bulkhead, actually has its own box structure about 6 inches deep.) However, the survival kit buckles are much too large to be useful and shouldn’t be used.

  • Between the seats are representations of the piston mechanisms that raise and lowers the canopies. On the real aircraft, these are much more massive than represented, and should have been separate parts. There are rounded structures molded between the seats, rising to about the top of the back cushions. The gray piston sheathes come out of these and are about 4 inches in diameter. The unpainted pistons emerge from the top of these and are 2.25-inches in diameter. The sheathe and piston measurements are:

  • Front cockpit: 21.5-inch long sheathe, 16-inch long piston (for a raised canopy).

  • Rear cockpit: 19.5-inch long sheathe, 13-inch long piston (for a raised canopy).

  • The pilot’s seat (Parts 43, 44, 45, 46, and 101) is similar to the correct GRU-7 seat offered by Verlinden, although the headrest is about 2 inches too wide, and the harness is simplified. There is a slight difference on the backside of the pilot’s seat when compared to the other seats, giving it a different part number. (The real seats are 18-inches wide and 9 inches apart.) With the optional aftermarket seat requiring major surgery to the interior bucket (Part 39), the kit seat will be satisfactory for most modelers.

  • The pilot figure (Parts 76 and 77) differs from the other crew figures (Parts 78 and 79) in that its visor is down. Navy helmets are covered in white reflective tape, with about 25% allowed to be decorated with the squadron logo.


Steps 6, 7, 8, and 9. These steps add the instrument panels and bulkheads to the cockpit.

  • The front instrument panel and control panel (Parts 139 and 47) reflect the ICAP-I configuration, matching the kit decals. The hood to the right seat’s radarscope extends perpendicularly from the panel, and needs about a 15° slice cut out of the top to give it the correct upward tilt. The True Details kit offers an ICAP-II cockpit that fits and is simple to install. Most of its changes apply to the front panel, although there are a couple minor changes to the rear instrument panel (Part 138).

  • One interesting error in both the Monogram and True Details kits is the inclusion of ALQ-92 panel above the radar display. This system was removed in 1985 and its replacement, the ALQ-149 was canceled, leaving an empty hole (not a blank panel) in virtually all aircraft (although some aircraft are occasionally fitted with the stopgap ASQ-191).

  • The front and rear bulkheads (Parts 140 and 141) have a level of detail matching the interior bucket.


Step 10. The fuselage halves (Parts 1 and 2) are where the real fun begins. Fit is not a strong point with this kit, and the Prowler's complex fuselage complicates matters. After removing the HF antenna strake (see below), gluing the fuselage in stages works best. Start with the tail, and then do the segment in front of the tailhook before stopping with the spine of the fuselage. Don't glue the rest yet.

The table (below) compares measurements of the actual panels along the spine of the Prowler with those of the Monogram kit. The middle column is a running total of panel line positioning error, with plus (+) indicating the model panel line is too far aft. All measurements in this review are based on the actual aircraft. (If the review states something is in front of a certain panel line, then add the number of inches in the 'Kit-Acft' column to correctly place the antenna or vent on the aircraft fuselage. If something is stated to be behind a panel line, then subtract the correction factor.)


From Back of Cockpit








Panel Line 1




Panel Line 2




Panel Line 3




Panel Line 4




point of HF fairing




start of HF antenna




back of HF fairing





To Vertical Panel Line at Front of Tail


  • The Prowler refueling probe differs from that found on other A-6 versions by being angled 12° to the right, away from the pilot. However (although the instruction sheet is drawn correctly), in the kit, it is molded into the left fuselage and angles in front of the pilot!

  • The long strake leading forward from the vertical tail covers an HF radio antenna. On the kit, this fairing is rounded in cross section. The real antenna has a triangular cross section, 5-inches wide and 5-inches high (about 5.75 inches along the side). As can be seen from the table above, the front of the antenna is about 3 inches too far forward and actually a little too long. Discretion being the better part of valor, accepting a 'little too long' HF antenna beats arguing about (not to mention correcting) a possibly too short (in chord) vertical tail.

  • On the right fuselage, just behind the wing root is a 7-inch square panel with a 4.5-inch diameter exhaust vent that was omitted from the kit.

  • On the left fuselage is a 1-inch diameter ‘arresting gear (ARG) hook dashpot’ pneumatic reservoir pressure gage. On the kit, it is about twice the correct diameter and located in the wrong place. The gage is centered in a Plexiglas-covered panel that is 4-inches in diameter and centered 40-inches in front of the top-front corner of the forward of the two large access panels in front of the stabilator as they are inscribed on the kit. (Actually, this panel should extend 3 more inches forward, making it 18, not 15, inches wide. Also, on the right side of the fuselage, there is only one, not two panels in this location. The real panel is 13.5-inches wide, with its forward edge at the back edge of the depicted front panel.)

  • On the 83-inch long panel, lines of fasteners are centered 21, 40, and 56 inches from the front of the panel. When anti-skid paint is applied to the panel, these fasteners are masked off by bands about 2-inches wide.

  • While the A-6 is equipped with armor plating to protect parts of the engines and rudder hydraulics, the EA-6Bs are not. These raised areas should be carefully ground off the flanks and lower rear (under the fuselage fuel dump mast) of the fuselage halves.

  • The rudder hinge line on the kit appears to run straight down through the fuel dump mast. It actually angles back in line with the top of the fuel dump mast (this is true for both the Prowler and Intruder).

  • The ALQ-126 'beer can' antenna has a circular cross section, but when the fuselage halves are glued together the kit's shape isn't. This can be fixed by replacing the kit antenna with plastic rod.

  • The small 'rod' at the bottom of the rudder represents the taillight. It should be 2-inches in diameter and 3-inches long.

  • Two small holes should be drilled in the right side of the fuselage. Using the small door below the front of the main landing gear well as a base, drill a 3.5-inch long by 3-inch wide elliptical hole 10.75 inches below and 2 inches ahead of the front lower corner (it's really 2 inches behind the door line, but the door isn't located properly on the kit). A 2-inch diameter hole is centered 10 inches behind and 9 inches below the back lower corner of the door.

  • The NACA scoops located beneath the crew ladders on both sides of the fuselage are found on all A-6s. These are very poorly executed and located incorrectly on the Monogram kits. They should be 11-inches long, 5.5-inches wide, and located with the top corner 9 inches below and 4.75 inches aft of the bottom-rear corner of the crew ladder. This centers them in the seam between the fuselage sides and bottom. Cut 11-inch by 3-inch wedges in the fuselage sides and bottom 11 inches behind where the parts will join with the intakes. Glue 12-inch by 6-inch triangles into the fuselage wedges (with the front point at fuselage level and the back angling into the interior) before joining the bottom section of the fuselage.

  • There are three small vents on both sides of the fuselage. One is at the wing root just above the engine nozzle. The other two are on the side of the fuselage. These vents are identical: 3.25-inches long, 2.375-inches wide and 0.5-inches high. (The kit has a single vent molded about halfway between where the actual vents are located.)

  • The rear vent is just in front of the large scoop centered 5 inches up from the fuselage panel above the wing, 2-inches in front of panel line 4.

  • The front vent is centered 2.25 inches above the fuselage panel, 60.5 inches in front of the first vent.

  • There are two major scoops molded into the fuselage halves.

  • The smaller aft scoop is about the right dimensions (9 inches-long, 4.5-inches wide and 2.5-inches high) but, because of its location on the fuselage, is poorly formed. The front of this scoop is centered 8 inches below and 3 inches behind the main gear well (about even with the ridge at the back of the gear well on the fuselage part).

  • The larger scoop near the cockpit is too big. It’s really only 17-inches long, 5.25-inches wide and 3-inches high and located 2.25 inches behind the panel line in front of it. (The remaining scoops are all dimensionally correct.)

  • The kit lacks the formation strip lights, which were added eventually to all Prowlers (they were probably introduced as part of ICAP-I). The True Details parts are too wide; those from Teknics kit TK4807 are better. On the left side of the fuselage, the lower right corner of the 35.5-inch wide and 4-inch high strip light is about 10 inches forward and 3 inches above the center of the circular gage located at mid-fuselage (as corrected previously). On the right side of the fuselage, the lower right corner of the strip light is about 11.5 inches behind and 8 inches above the upper left corner of the exhaust vent just behind and above the engine nozzle.

  • If the canopies are to be opened, the instructions call for slots to be cleaned out (in Step 29). These slots are too short and located in the wrong location in the kit (meaning the canopy tabs have matching faults). The following measurements are based on edge of the fuselage. The rear lips molded into the kit are misleading. What the airplane actually has is a fairly massive structure to support the cockpit pressurization system. All around the cockpit there is a wide lip, painted semi-gloss black, perpendicular to the fuselage side (ranging from as much as 8-inches wide at the back, to 4-inches on the side to 3-inches at the front, with an unpainted right-angle bend, 0.5 inches wide, all the way around). There is a matching lip inside the canopy about 3.5-inches wide. The canopy seal inflates between these lips. Also, the little openings in the rear corners of the cockpits aren't open at all on the actual aircraft, but recesses for hardware associated with the canopy opening mechanism.

  • The inside measurement of the front canopy slots is 12-inches and the outside 13.5 inches (to within 2.25 inches of the back of the canopy bow). Center-to-center, the slots are 51 inches apart and each is 3.75-inches wide.

  • The back slots are 9-inches long.  Center-to-center, the slots are 26 inches apart and each is 2.625-inches wide.

  • Finally, when glued together, there are unsightly ridges between and behind the cockpits. These attempt to depict the very subtle 'dimple' created by the 'bubble' of the canopies. They attempt to be somewhat overdone and should at least be sanded smooth, if not filled. After the fuselage halves have been joined, superglue the fuselage between the cockpits to just the center of the front bulkhead (Part 140).


Step 11. This step joins the right (Part 60); left (Part 61) nose gear doors to the fuselage bottom (Part 11). It is much easier to install the tailhook panel into the fuselage (Step 12) before the fuselage bottom assembly. Also, dry fitting (at least) of the inlets (see Step 13) should be accomplished before this step. When accomplishing this step, glue in one half of the fuselage bottom and allow it to dry before starting on the other half. This helps in the task of aligning this complex arrangement of parts. The remainder of the nose should be glued together at the same time the second half of the fuselage bottom is attached.

  • The left door on the Prowler contains a 1.75-inch wide grill that lies along the centerline of the aircraft, with the right door having a matching cutout. The grill begins 5.5 inches from the front of the door and is 18-inches long.

  • The carry over of the armor plating from the sides of the fuselage should be removed from the fuselage bottom.

  • There are two vents on the fuselage bottom that should be drilled out. Looking at the part with the wheel well at the top, the front ‘hole’ on the right side between the scoop and pylon is another 3.5 x 3 inch ellipse should be drilled out (as in Step 10). A 2-inch diameter hole should be drilled out 5 inches in front of the rear 'hole' (and the kit 'hole' should be filled. The ‘hole’ on the left is not on the EA-6B.

  • The two front scoops on the part are dimensionally correct but, because of their location are poorly formed and require some filing.

  • The two back scoops are only found on Intruders and should be removed.

  • There are four small tubular inlets (1.5-inch diameter, 2.5-inches high, 3.5-inches long) located along the diagonal panel line at the rear of this part. Located just inboard of the panel line at 26.5 and 48 inches from the front of the panel, they are aligned with the panel, not the fuselage. (A-6Es only have the front inlets.)


Step 12. This step joins the tailhook (Part 15) to the fuselage, and adds a UHF/IFF antenna (Part 123). It should be accomplished before step 11. This permits ‘getting behind’ the tailhook to help align it. The part doesn't fit very well into the bottom of the fuselage, leaving a difficult-to-fill gap. The good news is that the gap is difficult to see, since it is within the tailhook bay, but having a seam that could be filled easily would have been a blessing when a kit fits no better than this one does. In addition, two modifications should be made to the ICAP-2 aircraft:

  • The APN-153 hump on part 15 should be removed.

  • The UHF/IFF antenna was moved to the right inlet (with the rear edge of the antenna 2.25 inches inboard and 1.75 inches behind the NACA inlet). The small area on part 15 where the antenna is located should be left on aircraft that originally had antennas located there, but removed from production ICAP-II aircraft.

  • Once installed, a ‘v’ shaped oil deflector can be added on the fuselage just in front of the ‘birdcage’ panel. The apex of the ‘v’ was 15 inches in front of the birdcage, with both arms 29.5-inches long.

  • The True Details cockpit set includes two ALE-39 countermeasure dispensers. These are okay, but really not much better than those molded on the part. They might be better saved for a kit that lacks dispensers.

  • Prowler tailhooks come in two pieces, and are only designed for 100 arrested landings. These pieces apparently aren't always replaced at the same time, leading to a variety of markings. Prior to the advent of the TPS paint scheme, the 'Y' shaped hooks were painted entirely with black and white stripes (first 12 inches and last 6 inches white, the 10 inches at the 'V' black, and the other stripes about 4 inches wide). With the advent of the TPS scheme, the entire hook was painted FSN 36375 gray. Because these factors, the hooks have also been seen with just the 'V', or the 'I' painted black and white, with the other piece painted gray.


Step 13. This step assembles the inlets and attaches them to the fuselage, with the odd parts (intake 17 and splitter plate 19) on the left and the even parts (16 and 18) on the right. It can be done in sequence, but dry fitting of the assembled inlets should be accomplished prior to step 11 because the inlets tend to settle somewhat low when joined to the fuselage. One way to correct this problem is to remove most of the structure on the fuselage halves behind the inlets. This also helps minimize a gap problem between the left inlet and fuselage bottom.

  • On the real aircraft, the FSN 17875 gloss white or 36375 light ghost gray inlet ducts are 7-feet deep. However, the parts provided create an adequate impression of depth. (If the ducts are white, the first 17 inches from the front of the splitter plate is light gray).

  • On top of each inlet, there is a flat step beginning 6-inches from the front. It is 2-inches wide, 19.5-inches long, 1-inch high at the front, fairing into the inlet at the back.

  • The refueling light (Part 203) is also added in this step, with the forward portion red and the rear the same as the surrounding fuselage. A depres­sion in the fuselage will locate the light 24 inches left of centerline; it should actually be more like 18 inches.

  • The hole for the refueling cap was omitted from the kit. This 6-inch diameter hole should be centered 5 inches from the back and 12 inches from the bottom of the right intake only. On the Prowler, there is a very subtle lip around the hole. The hole is 2-inches deep, and features an unpainted cap, 3.5-inches in diameter and 1.5-inches high.

  • A 3.75-inch tall AOA probe should also be added to the right intake only. Its location on the part is inscribed somewhat forward (it should be 11 inches from the back and 9 inches from the top of the inlet), but the probe isn’t included. When the right crew ladder (not included in the kit) is lowered, a small box (7 inches long, 4.5-inches wide, and 4-inches deep) flips forward to cover and protect the probe. There is a 2.75-inch long, 1.5-inch wide slot cut in this box for the probe, which should be drilled open on the part.

  • A 3.5-inch tall total temperature probe should be added to the left intake. This probe is ‘T’ shaped, with the top of the ‘T’ also 3.5 inches long. It should be located 11.25 inches from the front and 29 inches from the top of the inlet.

  • On the left side of the fuselage, a plate containing a set of vents for the pilot’s rain removal system should be added. Located just in front of the pilot’s window and behind the refueling light, this plate is about 8-inches wide and 5-inches high, with the outside edge about 24 inches from the centerline.


Step 14. This step assembles the wings and stabilators to the fuselage. The only problem with the stabilators (20 right and 21 left) is that they really don't fit into the fuselage very well. The application of anti-skid paint to the top inboard portion of the stabilators appears to vary from aircraft to aircraft, with the strip being between 23 and 28-inches wide.

The odd wing parts (top 29 and bottom 105) are for the right wing, with the even parts (30 and 104) for the left. Aside from the nu­merous problems described below, the wings fit into the fuselage is pretty awful. The least troublesome way to attach them is to make the fit of the top of the wing into the fuselage as smooth as possible. This will leave some gaps to fill on the bottom, but they are less visible. The fit at the tailpipes is particularly atrocious, requiring lots of putty and patience. The wings feature the most serious problems in the kit. The easy stuff first:

  • There are small fairings above the fuel vents that appear to have been intended for some sort of ECM installation. These weren’t included in the kit. They are 4-inches wide and 3.5-inches tall across the back, with the inside portion 9-inches long and the outside 7-inches long, making the fairing cant outward.

  • The stiffeners on the top of the wing are too wide, too short and in the wrong location on the kit. The inboard edge of each 3.75-inch wide stiffener defines the boundary of the very rough anti-skid paint at 24.75 inches from the fuselage. It begins at the scribed line touched by the back of the wing fence and extends forward 62 inches inboard and 68 inches outboard. While there is a definite edge inboard and aft, outboard the stiffener is smoothly faired into the wing with putty out to about 5.5 inches, and the front gradually fairs into the wing.

  • The wing fold is completely wrong. Three types of wing folds were used on A-6s. The one on the kit represents that used on metal-winged Intruders. The Prowler’s wing fold design is unique and very different in appear­ance. (The third design is used on composite-winged Intruders and, while similar to the Intruder design, is subtly different.)

  • There is a three-section fairing on the bottom of the wing that essentially surrounds each main landing gear well.

  • A 4-inch wide reinforcing strip runs parallel to the main door about 3 inches from the gear well. It runs 42 inches forward from the front of the panel covered (incorrectly) by armor plating on the kit (15 inches in front of the flap). Centered behind the strip is another raised panel, 6-inches wide and 4-inches long. The front of the fairing is an inverted 'V', 1.5-inches deep.

  • The front part of the fairing is shaped differently than on the Intruder, but this isn't reflected by the kit. The Prowler's fairing is smaller than the Intruder's is, and its inboard leading edge slat is 73-inches long. This requires reshaping the inboard portion of the wing leading edge slightly. The fairing extends about 1.5 inches in front of the basic wing leading edge, but doesn't extend onto the top of the wing like the Intruder fairing.

  • The middle part of the fairing has less area and is thinner than the Intruder. It extends from the leading edge slat to a point 2-inches outboard of the reinforcing strip 26.5 inches from the back of the rear-outboard corner of the wheel well. It reaches its widest point, 13.5 inches, abeam the same corner.

  • There is a large panel on the lower wing extending out from the wing root along the leading edge of the flap. On Intruders, this panel is removable armor plating for the hydraulic system. Prowlers don’t have this feature, so get out the grinder again.

  • The small bump at the back of the back of the landing gear well is another tubular inlet as described in step 11 (this is on A-6Es, too).

  • The external bracing for the pylons molded into the lower wing are yet more Intruder features which should be ground away, as should the raised area at the wing fold, which is incorrect for a Prowler.

  • On the engine fairing behind the wheel well is an exhaust vent, which should be widened to 3.25 inches.

  • After the wings have been joined to the fuselage, it will become evident that the fit between the nozzle and fuselage is very poor. Add filler to the triangular fuselage exhaust panel and fair it into the exhaust nozzle. (This isn't exactly right, as the 20.5-inch diameter nozzle actually cants outward a little, but it's a good '90% solution'.)


Step 15. This step adds an anti-collision light (Part 202) and antennas (Parts 113 and 122) to the lower nose. All installations in this area are on the centerline and the top 2 inches of the 3-inch tall light are red.

  • Proceeding back from the radome 5.5 inches is the front edge of a 1.5-inch wide by 1.75-inch high APN-154 radar beacon X-Band transmit antenna.

  • Going back from the trailing edge of that antenna 2.25 inches is the front of the 10-inch long anti-collision light (Part 202).

  • From the back of the light, it is 11 inches to the leading edge of the TACAN antenna (Part 122). The kit antenna is a little too long; the real one is 3.5-inches wide at the base, 2-inches at the tip, and 3-inches tall.

  • Another 5.5 inches back on pre ICAP-II aircraft was the leading edge of the ALQ-92 antenna (Part 113). Two types of UHF/VHF antennas are used here on ICAP-II aircraft; both have elliptical base plates that are 0.75-inches high, 4-inches wide and 11.5-inches long. On top of that is the antenna's fairing, again 0.75-inches high, but 2.75-inches wide and 10.5-inches long. The antenna extends out of the fairing.

  • Generally, older aircraft have swept-back antennas that are 9.5-inches wide at the base, 7-inches at the tip; the leading edge is 13-inches long (to the fuselage), the trailing edge 11.5-inches long, making it 11-inches high.

  • Block 86 and later aircraft usually have raked-back antennas that are 10.5-inches wide at the base, 6-inches at the tip; the leading edge is 18-inches long (to the fuselage), the trailing edge 14.5-inches long, making it 12-inches high.


Steps 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20. This step assembles the nose landing gear using a nose strut (Part 58), a shimmy damper (Part 64), and two wheels (Parts 65). These assemblies begin life gloss white, but soon become worn looking and dirty. The unpainted part of the strut is the long cylinder at the top of part 58 that the part number callout line is drawn to on the instruction sheet.

  • The nose gear assembly is installed in Step 17, and the front door (Part 137) with its landing light (Part 204) is also added. Part 137 is completely wrong, with the light offset to the right side. The front door on the Prowler is just like the one on the Intruder. The Revell Intruder (which formed the basis of the Prowler kit) is correct. The door in the Prowler kit appears to be correct for early EA-6As, but was never used with EA-6Bs.

  • The main landing gears are assembled in Step 18 using main oleos (Parts 66 right and 67 left), support struts (Parts 68 left and 69 right, despite how they’re labeled in the instructions), and wheel halves (Parts 125 and 126). To prevent the wheels from sagging after a few months, drill out the axles and super glue in straight pins to strengthen the plastic parts.

  • Steps 19 and 20 add the main landing gear doors using wheel doors (Parts 70 left and 71 right), main doors (Parts 72 left and 73 right), and two retracting mechanisms (Parts 75). The wheel doors are molded open, which is usually the option chosen at home base or onboard ship; even then they are sometimes closed when away from home station.

  • Missing from parts 70 and 71 are 5-inch wide fairings that come to a point in front of the main part of the wheel doors. These spiked fairings are unique to the Prowler and fair into the leading edge of the wing fairing when closed.

  • There are no locating holes for the main gear doors. This is a problem with the Revell Intruder as well, which leads one to wonder if anyone builds these kits before they're turned loose on the public.


Step 21. The left crew ladder (Part 27) is added in this step. This is another incorrect holdover from the Intruder kit. On the Prowler, the free end of the latter has a much sharper angle than the Intruder’s ladder does. This is caused by the different fuselage shapes of the two aircraft. Also missing are the panels beneath the forward cockpit that lower to provide a platform for the pilot and ECMO-1 to stand on when entering the cockpit.


Steps 22 and 23. These steps add the upper fuselage antennas. The ADF antenna cover (Part 136) is too big and the wrong shape. It should be 32-inches long, 14-inches wide and 3.5-inches high. Located on the centerline, the front edge is 14 inches behind panel line 3. (The antenna hump sets atop an elliptical plate 37.75 inches long, 17.5 inches wide and 6.25 inches across the back.) Provided in the kit is a second red anti-collision light (Part 202, see step 15), and a single antenna (Part 59). The light is always located on the centerline, with the leading edge 12 inches behind panel line 1.

Several different antenna patterns have been identified (except as noted, all antennas are painted to match the aircraft). While the antenna locations are consistent, the type used often varies from aircraft to aircraft. What follows is guide, not gospel:

  • The older aircraft (generally those built before production of ICAP-IIs began) have up to four antennas:

  • On the centerline is a gloss black ARC-175 VHF antenna, with its back edge 1.75 inches in front panel line 2 This was the second antenna added to the Prowlers’ spine. It has a base plate 10.5-inches long, 4.5-inches wide and 0.75-inches high. The antenna itself is symmetrical, with a 9.375-inch base, 6.75 inch tip, and the fore and aft edges 13.375-inches long.

  • One-inch right of the centerline and 3.25-inches behind panel line 2 is the front edge of Part 59. Originally, this UHF/IFF antenna was the only one fitted to the spine of Prowlers.

  • The rear UHF/VHF antenna is a swept-back antenna as described in Step 15. Its back edge is 13 inches in front of panel line 4 and 12 inches to the right of centerline.

  • A few aircraft have been seen with a second aft antenna located in the same relative position, but left of the centerline.

  • The Pre Block 86 ICAP-II production aircraft generally have three antennas:

  • The centerline ARC-175 VHF system has a swept-back antenna as described in Step 15, with its back edge 1.75 inches in front of second panel line 2.

  • Six inches right of the centerline and 4.75-inches in front of panel line 3 is back edge of Part 59.

  • The rear antenna is another swept-back antenna. Its back edge is 13 inches in front of panel line 4 and 13.5 inches to the left of centerline.

  • The Block 86 ICAP-II and subsequent production aircraft also have three antennas:

  • The centerline ARC-175 VHF system has a raked-back antenna as described in Step 15, with its back edge 1.75 inches in front of panel line 2.

  • Six inches right of the centerline and 4.75-inches in front of panel line 3 is back edge of Part 59.

  • The rear antenna is another raked-back antenna. Its back edge is 13 inches in front of panel line 4 and 13.5 inches to the left of centerline.


Steps 24 and 25. The Low Band ALQ-99 ECM pod is added to the centerline in these steps. The pod consists of three parts: the Ram Air Turbine (RAT) rotor (Part 99), and the pod halves (Parts 134 and 135). See Steps A and B for information about this step.


Step 26. Three rear fuselage air scoops (two Parts 56 one Part 121) are added by this step. First, remove all scribing purporting to show the position of these scoops on the fuselage.

  • Dyslexia strikes again, with the scribing for placement of the fuel vent scoop (Part 121) on the left fuselage, while on the instruction sheet, box art, and on the real aircraft it is centered 12.5 inches right of the fuselage centerline, and 14.25 inches behind panel line 4. The scoop is 10 inches long, 3.75-inches wide, and 2-inches tall. It sits on top of a plate 5.5-inches wide and 12.5-inches long.

  • On all Prowlers, the front of the aft air conditioning scoop on the right side is aligned with panel line 4. The scoop is 8-inches tall, 5.5-inches wide and 26-inches long. It attaches to the fuselage along the last 22.75 inches of its length, sitting on an elliptical plate 26.5-inches long and 9-inches wide. The actual scoop has a 3.75-inch inside diameter. The bottom edge of the scoop is located 4 inches above the fuselage panels, in line with the aft vents described in step 10.

  • On ICAP-I and earlier Prowlers, a second scoop for cooling the ALQ-92 was found on the left side of the fuselage. Its base overlapped panel line 4, right up against the aft vent and 5 inches forward of the right scoop. This scoop was deleted from production ICAP-IIs beginning with aircraft 162223 and removed from older aircraft as they were updated. Photo etch part. On the latter aircraft, the resulting hole in the fuselage was covered by an elliptical plate 21.75-inches long and 7-inches wide. On the basis of on the plate size, the scoop was probably about 6.5-inches high, 4.5-inches wide, 21-inches long, attaching to the fuselage along its last 18.5-inches.


Step 27. This step calls for attachment of an instrument hood (Part 53), sight glass (Part 209) and the clear windshield (Part 200). Prowlers don’t have a gunsight or HUD of any description, so part 209 can go in the spares box. While the Intruder has a hard shell instrument hood as depicted by part 53, Prowlers do not. Instead, it has a fabric covering attached by Velcro to a frame. Finally, attach the clear windscreen, not the yellow tinted one.


Steps 28 and 29. The yellow-tinted front and rear canopies (Parts 207 and 208 respectively) are attached in these steps. Four mirrors (Parts 103) are installed on the front canopy bow. However, not included in the kit are two mirrors for the back canopy.

  • Missing from the canopies are the details of the framing, particularly the 3.5-inch high center beam and previously mentioned interior lip, also about 3-inches wide.

  • If the canopy bows were clock faces, the front mirrors should be installed at 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, and 1:30, spread slightly more than shown in the instructions. The rear mirrors should be installed at 11:00 and 1:00. The kit mirrors are only about an inch high, only about half what they should be. The mirrors from P. P. Aeroparts kit AC401 are much better than those in the kit.

  • Another missing item from the kit is the piston on the rear bulkheads that actually opens the canopies. On the front canopy, the piston is attached to the center beam 12 inches from the back of the canopy frame. On the rear canopy, the piston is attached to the center beam 10 inches from the back of the canopy frame.

  • There are small flaps at the canopy hinge points that open with the canopies. The front canopy flaps are 4 inches long inboard, and 5-inches outboard. The back canopy flaps are 5.25-inches long.

  • When the canopies are open, the bottom corners are approximately aligned with the top corner of the windscreen quarter panel windows.

Table 3: Desert Storm EA-6B Store Loads


Station 1

Station 2

Station 3

Station 4

Station 5



fuel tank






fuel tank






fuel tank


fuel tank




fuel tank







fuel tank

fuel tank




fuel tank






fuel tank






fuel tank






fuel tank


fuel tank




fuel tank


fuel tank




fuel tank






fuel tank


fuel tank



Steps 30 and 31. Two pitot probes (Parts 124) and a rudder plate (Part 118) are installed in these steps. The pitot probes should be mounted 6 inches below the scribed line extending out from the cockpit, about the width of the part back from the radome. There is a single fairing on the kit rudder plate, but there should be two, on the top and bottom of the part.

Steps A and B. Two high band ECM pods (Parts 97-right, 98-left, and 99-rotor) are assembled.

Any of the ALQ-99 pods can be used on any of the Prowler’s pylons in numerous configurations. During Desert Storm, individual units appear to have used squadron-standard configurations (see table). Use of low band pods does not appear to have been common, but they were an option. Monogram used the ECM pods from their EA-6A kit. The main external difference between the old and new pods is that the ALQ-76 had six segments to a pod, while the ALQ-99 has only five.

  • The kit’s outboard pylons (Parts 94 and 112) are the same as those used on metal-winged Intruders. Because the Prowler has an improved wing fold mechanism, there are large fairings on the outboard side of its pylons that are missing from the kit.

  • The basic pylon is 8 feet, 0.5 inches long, but the fairing extends from the rear of the pylon by 1 inch, and has a light installed on the back edge. (From the back of the fairing, it is 2 inches to the leading edge of the flap.)

  • The outboard side of the fairings are a stepped affair, with a 2-inch thick, 9-inch wide section next to the wing, and a lower section extending to the top edge of the bottom (6.25-inch high) panel, 5-inches wide at the top, narrowing to 4-inches at the bottom.

  • Unlike the Intruder, which uses amber lights, Prowlers use red (left) and green (right) lights at the rear of these pylons. During night approaches, the lights reflecting off the lowered flaps help identify the Prowler to the landing signal officer (LSO). The 1.25-inch long, 1-inch diameter lights are centered 2.5 inches below the wing. The bullet fairing extends 2.25 inches along the inboard of the pylon.

  • There is a 1.25-inch diameter, 7-inch long cylindrical fairing at the top of the inboard side of the pylon, beginning 9-inches from the front. Behind this is a wedge-shaped fairing 1.5 inches high and 1-inch wide that ends 10 inches from the back of the pylon. (None of this is on the inboard pylons.)

  • From the back of the 8-feet, 0.5-inch long inboard wing pylons (Parts 92 and 116), it is 1 inch to the leading edge of the flap. The saw-tooth on the leading edge of the inboard pylons is 5-inches high.

  • Not including the RAT, the front section of the ALQ-99 is 31-inches long; on top, beginning 8 inches from the front of the pod is a 9-inch long and 4-inch wide NACA inlet. The second and fourth sections are both 39-inches long and incorporate 6-inch wide radiators on both sides. The middle section is 36-inches long, and the tail section is 34 inches-long. The sway braces are located 20-inches apart, with the front one 1-inch behind the front of the center section. There are four suspension points (used for maintenance handling) located on top of the pods. Centered 11 inches in front and 7 inches behind the center section of the pod, they are 4-inches long and 3-inches wide. Centerline-mounted pods are attached directly to the pylon.

  • The ALQ-99 dimensions in the table are based on actual measurements; some sources (including official ones!) have indicated they are 5 inches shorter. The low band pod is 14 inches too short, very angular, and the top section (the same basic structure as the high band pod) is 3 inches too narrow. Also, the bottom section of the actual pod is much more rounded.

  • The RAT blades are molded in a position they would assume in flight. On the ground, they are rotated almost 90° from their molded position.

  • Missing from the kit are the spacers that go between the pylons and ECM pods. The spacers are 5.75-inches high at the front of the pylon, but only 0.75-inch high when they end, 2.5-inches short of the end of the pylon.

  • Two AERO 1D fuel tanks (Parts 80-top, 81-bottom, and 52-fin) are the right size and shape, and attach to the pylons with the correct ‘nose down’ attitude. The fairings used to attach the ECM pods aren't used with the tanks.

Table 4: ECM Pod Comparisons






Top Width

Max Width



15-ft. 2-in.






18-ft. 10-in.


26-in. (pod)

60-in. (fins)


Low ALQ-99

15-ft. 10-in.





High ALQ-99

15-ft. 10-in.






Text Copyright © 2001 by Jim Rotramel
Page Created 03 May, 2001
Last updated 18 May, 2001

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