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Trumpeter 1/32 scale A-6A Intruder

Kit:02249 // Scale:1/32 // Price:$239.99
Manufacturer:
Trumpeter, from Stevens International, 856-435-1555
Pros:
Fantastic decals; detailed engines and avionics bays; lots of ordnance; cockpit detail shines
Cons:
Fit of some of the major joints is poor; no figures
Comments:
Injection-molded, 708 parts (33 photoetched metal, 4 vinyl, 3 cast metal), decals
A-6A_Intruder_box
A-6A_Intruder_02
A-6A_Intruder_03
A-6A_Intruder_04
A-6A_Intruder_05
A-6A_Intruder_06
A-6A_Intruder_07
A-6A_Intruder_08

Loved by ground forces during the Vietnam War for its massive firepower and all-weather capabilities, the rugged A-6 Intruder could put bombs on target, rain or shine — lots of bombs. 

With more than 700 parts tightly packed into Trumpeter’s box, this kit does have a high parts count. However, many of the parts are used for ordnance. 

Molds are mostly flash-free and the level of detail is high throughout the molds. A small photoetched-metal fret is included, as is cast-metal landing gear. Options abound: wings can be folded or extended; flaps and leading-edge slats can be dropped; the rudder can be posed; and full engines are provided to be displayed if you leave the engine bays open. The avionics bay can be lowered for display; speed brakes can be open or closed; and nose radar can be shown off, too.

The build begins with the engines. The kit parts are detailed, but scratchbuilders can have a field day here. I covered the engines for a more streamlined look. 

The cockpit comes next, and it is awesome. The instrument panel is fantastic; all the dials and switches look great. Detail in the seats is nice, but an aftermarket set might add even more. Photoetched-metal seat belts are included.

The main fuselage halves didn’t fit very well; they needed a lot of filler, and I can still see a small seam. The cockpit fits nice and tight in the fuselage, though, as do the front landing gear bay and main fuselage spar. I feared the model would be a tail-sitter, so I opted out of the nose radar and added a bunch of weight to the nose of the plane.

You will need to decide whether to have the wings folded or extended, and whether you want the flaps and slats up or down. As massive as the finished model is, I recommend folding the wings; it will save a lot of space on your model shelf. The wing-to-fuselage joint fit was nearly perfect, requiring very little filler.

Trumpeter included cast-metal landing gear to support this hefty model, and boy is it needed! Detail on the landing gear and in the gear bays is fine. I did choose to close the boarding ladder door, but that also can be posed open. 

There are enough weapons in this kit to arm a small country: 24 Mk.82s with two variants; six M117s; two GBU-8 HOBOS; two AGM-12 Bullpups; and two AGM-45 Shrikes. You get all the correct bomb racks, a centerline fuel tank, and two wing-mounted fuel tanks, too.

I painted my Intruder using Testors Model Master gloss gull gray and insignia white. I also used willow green for the tip of the tail.

The decals were spectacular! I was impressed by their cooperative behavior. However, do cut the larger decals in half before applying them; they are very thin and can fold over on themselves. Otherwise, they settle well over surface details without help from solvents and with no silvering.

My model took about 45 hours to complete, about right for a kit of this complexity. I love all the options Trumpeter gives you with this kit, including the huge store of ordnance.

With the sometimes finicky fits, I wouldn’t recommend this kit to a beginner. But with a little more skill and a lot of patience, you’ll have an enjoyable time building this Intruder.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the January 2014 FineScale Modeler.

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