HobbyBoss A-4F Skyhawk - any one made it?

Dave Ward

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#1
Whilst pondering on a future build - I opened the box in my stash of this HB A-4F. HB Skyhawk a-4f.jpg It's a very nice model, but it has quite a major failing. One of the distinctive feature of the Skyhawk on every flightline Scooter is the drooped slats all along the wing leading edge, revealing the red painted backing. The HB has slats moulded in the closed position - only really suitable for in-flight, or gate guardian.
Has anyone made this model, and maybe dropped the slats? It would need quite a bit of surgery, and I'd like anybody elses' experience
Dave
 

Airfix Modeller Freak

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#2
It wouldn’t be too hard. Scribe along the line repeatedly, then saw it off with a CMK Razor saw
 

Dave Ward

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#4
Nope, no AM sets for the slats - at least I haven't found any! The slats themselves - no problem, it's the structure underneath, and the actuators/mount arms.....
Dave
 
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#5
The slats fall out naturally below a certain airspeed (aerodynamic and not hydraulic) and were usually left extended after shutdown. Some armourers were known to push the slats back up, as seen in this picture. The slats were held up with a strap (or as the story goes a screwdriver in the slat rail when no maintenance guys were watching).




Blue Angels A-4F's had the slats wired up permanently if you wanted to go down that avenue (decals and some Blue Angels paint might be cheaper than a leading edge slat conversion, but you may have to remove the avionics hump if it's not an optional part).

Found this, which includes PE parts for the slat tracks if you want to cut the LE devices out and extend them:
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Dave Ward

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#6
Joe,
thanks for that. YouTube has a number of videos showing A-4 carrier operations, you can see the slats slamming shut when on a catapult launch. The HB model has a separate 'hump', but Blue Angels doesn't really appeal. The Eduard PE sets are for the Eduard model, and detail the insides of the slats, which are drooped on this model - also the PE costs nearly £20, which is around the same price I paid for the HobbyBoss Skyhawk ( VERY good discount)!
I think a bit of scratchbuilding will suit - and it's cheaper! :rolling:
Dave
 

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#7
Dave,
I don't have any photos of the slat assemblies when I worked on these critters but the system is really simple. The slats have rollers mounted on top and bottom and they ride on steel tracks which have an I beam cross sectional shape. If memory serves there were 4 slat tracks per wing but check me on this. Also the slat tracks were cross drilled in the web for weight reduction. The under slat structure follows the same contour as the leading edge.so you would just be making a matching surface minus the thickness of the slat that would rest on it.
Hope this helps,
Rick H.
 

Dave Ward

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#8
Rick,
thanks for that - it's good to hear from someone who has 'hands on' experience. I'm gradually getting a picture of how I can hack the HobbyBoss model to show it as it should be!
Dave
 

Mini Me

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#9
Dave,
That's great, I'm betting on your skilled hands to git 'er done.
Rick H.
 
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