Trumpeter 1/32 AD-4 Skyraider
By Terry Moore
The Trumpeter 1/32 AD-4/A-1D Skyraider just hit the third wire on my bench. This variant rather complements the Zoukei Mura releases of later model A-1H/A1-J Skyraider kits in the same scale as the AD-4 kit represents a Korean War era Skyraider.
The kit comes with over 400 parts; in the large box you get nineteen sprues of gray and clear plastic, with a small photo etch fret and rubber tires. As usual with a Trumpeter kit, you get quite a handful of parts that won't be seen once the model is assembled. Six of the sprues are dedicated to the weapons (some of which weren't used on this version of the Skyraider). Options are provided for open/closed cowl flaps, positionable control surfaces and dive brakes, and open cowl panels to show the detailed engine. An interesting feature included is a couple of fuselage parts behind the engine that are molded in clear, which would appear to allow one to show some of the detail behind the engine.
Some comments suggest that the prop might not be the most accurate, the canopy might be too wide and that Trumpeter added armor plate to the underside of the fuselage under the cockpit that only appeared on later Skyraiders. I won't address those issues until I get a better look at the AD-4 that lives about 90 miles north of here. The prominent pitot tube on the tip of the tail is not included in the kit and on some Skyraiders, there was a small extension on the top of the rudder, fortunately, not a major issue for the average modeler to tackle.
The kit suggests using parts H19-22 for the inner wing pylons. Those weren't introduced to the Skyraider until the AD-5 and later variants. Fortunately Trumpeter includes the proper pylons for the AD-4 - parts C5/6, D19/20. The weapons sprues contain quite a variety of tanks, missiles and bombs, some of which that didn't come into use well after the Korean conflict. One of the weapons sprues even carries a toilet, a "weapon" that was carried on a Skyraider mission in Vietnam, certainly out of place in this kit. The weapons sprues would suggest that Trumpeter will release a later variant down the road.
One of the biggest issues I see with this kit is that the tabs that hold the outer wings in the extended position might not be stout enough to hold the wings straight. I'll reserve judgment until I start building the model. I remember some modelers had similar issues with their Trumpeter Avenger, so I'll be ready to fabricate a brass spar, just in case.
Decals are included for two aircraft - a Navy AD-4 from VA-65 and a Marine aircraft from VMA-324, both finished in overall glossy sea blue. There is a second decal sheet included that is dedicated to the various weapons.
I think the Able Dog is well served by the Trumpeter kit and it's of a variant that complements the Zoukei Mura kits. It looks good in the box and I certainly would recommend this kit. My thanks to Stevens International for the review sample.