Category: A-10A Thunderbolt II


Last Sunday I took part at New Year’s Cup in Belgrade, Serbia and won bronze, silver and gold medals for my models – a tally I didn’t expect to be honest. Although getting medals was nice but meeting old friends and meeting new ones as well as putting faces to internet forum names, was the main prize of the day!

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Travelling to Belgrade also enabled me to get my hands on the new Balkan Models decals set – featuring the A-10 I am building here. Over the last few days, decals were set and here’s the Hog at its present state. Deadline is approaching fast but the finish line is in sight as well.

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A-10A Thunderbolt II; Pt.5

And she is painted! I’ve used WEM Light and Dark Compass Grey for the main camouflage and ModelMaster’s paints for the Euro-1 painted engine cowling. You have to admit she looks rather interesting with one engine painted in different colours. Reference photos also show the right wing airbrake of darker colour, while all the paint spots on the wings and left engine cowling are patched and over painted light damage parts. Decaling is next!

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A-10A Thunderbolt II; Pt.4

It’s been over a month since my last post but fear not, work has been slow but steady and now I’ve got something to show to you as well as something I hope some modellers building A-10s will find useful.

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Exhausts were painted Alclad Exhaust Manifold while the compressor faces were painted Alclad Aluminium and washed with the Black Detailer wash – they’re not that bright in reality but since they’re hidden in the dark tubing of the exhaust it’s the only way they will be seen a little from behind. Call it artistic freedom if you will 😉

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Insides of the nacelles were heavily washed with Flory’s Dark Wash and wiped… On reference photos they appear to be grey with dark staining but since little of them will be seen I think this effect will be sufficient.

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Nacelles to fuselage join appeared good enough not to produce further nightmares. However, I’ve had many problems keeping engine nacelles together – the fit was far from good and the plastic on the sides is so thin that the join breaks at just a little pressure to the surface. This prevented me to rivet the rear conical part of the nacelles. I also tried raised rivets from a HGW company, but they appeared too thin and dissappeared under a test coat of primer while removing the carrier film, removed many of the rivets with it. This forced me to employ my RaduB’s Rivet-R on all the areas.

MODIFICATION / UPGRADE

As I’ve mentioned before, Italeri’s (Revell packaging in this case) A-10A represents an early variant that could be built up to Desert Storm era. Anything newer, including grey camo versions, have to be updated. I was working on photos of the real machine that landed in Skopje on that faithful day, to try and represent mainly the sensor suite she was equipped with.

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The kit comes with exposed vents, yet they received the covers later in their lives (and lost them again with C version). They were made of styrene, cut and sanded to shape and exhaust holes carved out. When they were built I noticed that Italeri placed the “grill” panel too high for a few milimeters – causing the smaller cover to be in the center of the bigger one instead of forming sort of a number 7 figure.

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Another two circular sensors come attacked at the wingtips, each side of the navigational light.

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The two antennas on the tail were made by cutting square pieces of styrene and mounting them on Mr. Surfacer 500 base.

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Circular AN/ALR-69 RWR antennas were placed on the nose and tail

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Blue arrow shows at the antenna, which was originally there, but there was no circular pedestal for it so both had to be made new. Lower red arrow shows at the position where a bump was removed, which I persume was meant to be a tail light, while the sideways pointing arrow shows the position of the removed boxy AN/ALR-46 RWR antenna (replaced with those smaller circular ones).

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Red arrows in the insert show the box RWR antenna, similar to the one on the tail which needs to be removed as well as the antenna on the gun cover, which needs to be moved from there to the side of it, as shown with the blue arrow. There’s also a short long antenna mounted in front of it.

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Front wheel bay wired, painted and weathered – looks quite busy, ain’t it?

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A view of the other side of wall which would be otherwise bare – better than bare wall, don’t you think?

Red circled sensor of some sort was only present on early model A-10As and since I am doing a ’90s version Hog, this lump has to go. There’s gonna be a few other differences from the early (as Italeri boxed it) to late version along the way which I intend to point out.

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Fuselage is glued together (don’t forget to add a huge amount of nose weight – instructions suggest 30 grams – I am keeping instrument panel cover off until wings, engines and tail assembly will be attached just to be on the safe side. No I have to rescribe lost panel lines and start flush riveting the fuselage.

After a while and a couple of finished models, I am back with the Hog!

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Since A-10 is covered with rivets, I started with the riveting job and managed to finish the main wings. I will also be using raised rivets later in the build for fuselage and engine nacelles but more on that latter when we get there

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Comparing reference photos of A-10 wheel bays with other modern aircraft, I found out they are rather wireless. I guess aircraft survivability is one of the main reasons for, though several wires can be seen in the bays. I’ve used 0.3mm soldering wire to add interest to the forward wheel bay.

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Right wall of the front wheel bay is located on the fuselage side and is moulded bare. I know it’ll be hard to see inside when finished, but there are certain angles from which you can see it. I added a few styrene strips and some soldering wire to the area – it is not authentic at all but if you do happen to look inside the well, you’ll something is there and not just bare plastic.

A-10A Thunderbolt II; Pt.1

A-10 Thunderbolt II doesn’t need any special introduction – tank buster that barely escaped budget cuts axe and excelled in Op Desert Storm and every conflict after that. The following project will depict a bird from 74th FS that took part in Operation Allied Force over Kosovo and Serbia and was hit by SA-7 Strela 2 MANPAD and had to divert and emergency land at Skopje, Macedonia. I will be using the following products

  • Revell 1:72 kit (Italeri reissued)
  • Eduard masks
  • Eduard zoom photoetch set
  • Northstar models AGM-65 Maverick
  • Balkan Models decals
  • weapons from Italeri armament set

The cockpit is mainly finished now.

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