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HobbyBoss 1/72 scale TA-7C Corsair II

RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT | MILITARY
Kit: No. 87209
Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: HobbyBoss, from Squadron Mail Order, 877-414-0434, www.squadron.com
Price: $28.99
Comments: Injection-molded, 190 parts, decals
Pros: Fine, recessed panel lines and rivets; excellent landing gear and bay detail; opened electronics bays; easy to assemble
Cons: Fuselage is too wide, which shows in the intake and exhaust; underwing tanks and bombs are too slender; decal omissions
The Corsair II trainers, TA-7C in the U.S. Navy and A-7K in the USAF, have not been produced in plastic before this new HobbyBoss kit. Having built HobbyBoss' F4U-4 Corsair, I was expecting this kit to be similarly simplified. But it turns out it's quite detailed, on a par with a typical 1/72 scale Trumpeter kit. I was most impressed with the landing gear and bays, which have better detail than any other Corsair II in this scale. For example, the nose gear assembly has eight parts.

The kit also featured a reasonably detailed cockpit (although the seats have no harnesses), and electronics bays that can be posed open. Even a tiny ram-air turbine can be shown deployed. The inclusion of the long dorsal refueling fairing on one sprue is good news; a USAF A-7K is on its way.

Underwing ordnance includes two drop tanks, Sidewinders, a pair of FLIR pods, four multiple ejector racks (MER), and 18 Mk.82 bombs with choice of standard or extended fuses. The Sidewinders and MERs are well-done, but the bombs and the drop tanks are too slender.

The kit went together with few problems, and fit was good all around. The kit's intake assembly fit well with minimum seam work.

However, there are some inaccuracies in the instructions. In Step 2, the ventral antenna fairing (E38) is shown installed behind the main gear. It shouldn't be there on the Navy TA-7C. However, a different fairing (E35) should be mounted just aft of the nose gear well. HobbyBoss included the drag-chute housing beneath the rudder, but it is far too skinny. It should be hemispherical in cross section.

The long canopy is molded in two parts, but there is no mechanism to install it in the opened position. The canopy of the two-seaters was hinged on the right side.

I painted the model with Testors Model Master gloss white and light gull gray. Decals for the Corsair II training unit VA-174 went on fine. The color and marking plate shows a repeat of the upper wing marking outboard on the right flap, but it should be just the three-digit nose number placed inboard on both flaps. I had a little trouble getting the floppy yellow canopy-panel-edge decals in place.

After decaling, I gave the model a neutral-gray sludge wash, then flat-coated the light gull gray.

The finished model looks correct in profile but, viewed from the front, the extra-wide fuselage shows in the flattened intake and squashed canopy. Also, the characteristic pitot probe "whiskers" are missing from just behind the radome. Particular modelers may balk at the shape problems, but most builders will enjoy the fine details and ease of assembly. I spent 26 hours on my two-seat SLUF, and I look forward to making a camouflaged Air Force K model.

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