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Flight of the Intruder; HobbyBoss 1/48 A-6E Intruder
Topic Started: Mar 9 2018, 01:20 PM (1,284 Views)
Manxman
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Well I thought it was about time I at least started this build even if I now have no realistic chance of completing by the deadline.

The bird in question I don’t think needs any introduction the A-6 Intruder.

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A-6E Intruder Box Art by Manxman, on Flickr

So onto the kit and the build, while I’ve not built a wing thing since I was a teenager but I just love this airframe so this Group Build for me is the perfect opportunity. The kit in question is HobbyBoss A-6E TRAMS Intruder, ok I know the TRAMS wasn’t deployed until after the Vietnam war concluded but the A-6E was. So the intention is to build this without the TRAMS pod and then it fits the GB criteria.

I’m use to big model boxes with my armour but for the scale this box is huge and full of plastic

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

Ok so not as jammed as some kits I’ve built but that still a lot, so here are the sprues

Airframe
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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

Ordnance
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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

Right so this is my first plane in over 20 years and even back then I use to build only out of the box but who can’t resist a challenge so with this I got the lovely eduard cockpit PE upgrade as well.

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

So the plan is of course to build this canopy open, wings folded up and ladders down. Can’t decide if to open the radar dome as the detail in there looks fantastic but it could give tail sitting issue later. I think I’ll go with the call of the pack and majority rules so let me know what you think.
Pete

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Manxman
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These are the instructions and I will be asking plenty of questions of you lot as
I go

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

So now it’s time to begin the build and prepare the tub parts ready for priming and paint so I can get the upgrades added afterward.
Pete

On the bench - What isn't 😀

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Narayan
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Graham
Very nice Pete, looks like a lot of detail.

Graham
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Manxman
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Thanks Graham and yeah the detail looks great in my opinion but who knows with it being first airframe in years.

Anyway I actually started the build last night and immediately had a what the hell are you doing moment. The instrument panels on the cockpit tub "LOOKED" really nice, great detail of 2 panels to left of the pilot, the centre panel, the navigator console panel and then the one to his right. If that detail have been on a dashboard in an interior of a 1/35 armour I would of been more than happy. And what did I do to it, scrap and file it all off and now the tub is flat and bare.

Then I started on the ejector seats again lovely detail 7 parts plus the kit has loads of PE for them and again what do I find myself doing, cutting off bits and filing off detail even before I've started sticking anything together. To top it off one part is not mentioned in the upgrade kit so was unsure what it was or if it needed. Turns out to be the oxygen connectors so are required although instructions unclear the direction this part fits but got it figured out.

So what do I have to show for a few hours at the bench, well no pictures yet that for sure, but a bare cockpit tub and a de-detailed single ejector seat.

Have a new appreciation for wing thing builders as you must be mad to do this to every build. However that still wont stop me from shooting you down with some armour or ship in the future ;)
Pete

On the bench - What isn't 😀

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Manxman
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Actually I did take 2 photos last night.

The first of the work in progress of removing detail from the tub, in the at that stage I had only removed the navigator side panel and you can still see the nice detail in the others which no longer exist.

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

And the second picture the ejector seat with missing parts and detail finally together but with confusion over the oxygen connectors.

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr
Pete

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Manxman
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Well been making some good progress on the intruder.

The tub and ejector seats are now all together and all appropriate detail have been removed (ejector seats only dry fitted into tub for ease of painting)

The original detail on the instrument panel was amazing with raised and indented controls and screens. It now all sanded flat to the various heights ready for all the PE. With some filling in on the seams required before primer is laid down.

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

Now they say that armour is over engineered and have to agree some times but the landing gear on this while once together is very nice it still a lot of parts. 11 for the front gear and 6 parts for each of the rears. Although the metal core with the plastic added around it is a nice touch I think.

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

And finally the front wheel well.

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr
Pete

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Jasonb
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Looks great Pete, there's some lovely detail on this kit, and the PE will only add to it...
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Dermot
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Yep, very nice detail work. :>
Gallery of my Completed Builds

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Manxman
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Thanks Jason and Dermot.

The kit is detailed and easily could be out of the box. Ok it has some flash for clean up and 1 or 2 flaws in instructions or design for an A-6E but still a lovely kit overall and glad you liking the build so far.
Pete

On the bench - What isn't 😀

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Manxman
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Well the Cockpit tub is all filled and cleaned up ready for priming although that is yet to happen, in the meantime the build has continued.

So this kit from HobbyBoss is the third in their line of 1/48 Intruders. The first being the A-6A, second the A-6E and this kit the A-6E TRAMS. Each versions has had new parts according to scalemates, but it obvious that while they have updated instructions to include these extra parts they havent taken the time to remove design flaws. Now while I can understand it would cost to rework molds to remove parts and and of course spares are always good anyway for kit bashing etc. You’d think they would at least taken the build flaw out of the instructions, especially as these are being re-worked and printed new anyway so not much extra effort or cost but they haven’t.

Ok so what am I talking about, fusalage speed brakes. From my understanding and ok I could be wrong, the A-6E had no fusalage speed brakes. However the kit instructions call for you to fit parts inside the panel, I assume to give you the option to build it open or closed although the instructions only show it closed. I have therefore left these parts out and sealed up the panel to make it look like it closed permanently I hope.

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

Although if this is the only flaw with the design of the kit to the aircraft specs then it minor in relation to just how good of detail the rest of the kit is.

Tail-hook has been cleaned up and fitted into the housing in working fashion :)

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

Next up in the build plan is the radar and wing sections. These I will be building with all flaps closed as intention is still to build it wings folded. That though according to the instructions means a lot of cutting off of hinges, etc. so I could easily chicken out and end up build her wings down flaps open yet.
Pete

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Ronan71
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I think you are right about the speed brakes on the fuselage, only the early A models had working speed brakes on the fuselage, on all later A-6 models they were bolted/welded shut. I think they caused too much instability when used, so instead they use wingtip split ailerons as speed brakes.

The panel line/panel where the speed brake was should still be visible on all A-6 models though I think, so you don't need to fill in the panel line around the kits speed brake
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Manxman
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Thanks for the clarification Ronan :)

And yeah in the flesh you can still see the panel line but it not as obvious as a gap for opening panel :)
Pete

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Manxman
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Last of the progress for this week (busy weekend ahead and no modelling)

First up the radar system, lovely detail on this and some of it very strange too, the two side sections are each made up of two separate pieces each and the back panel detail is insane (no pictures I forgot to take it before attaching) and yet this then fits practically flush to the bulkhead and none of it can be seen. I’m not sure if these two panels swing down in real life for servicing but here they fixed in place. the main dish though is only dry fitted for ease of painting later.

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

Next up was the wing stubs and engine exhausts. Had to remember not to fill in all the gaps on the flap joins (some might need a little scribbing just to remove excess plastic from when the parts were pushed together and extra thin applied). Loving the detail on these and yes look all the flaps are closed after a lot of surgery on the flap joints and the wing hinges are set for open so committed now. :)

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

Finally with a little extra time I put together the radar dome. This comprised of two pieces. The parts go together well, if you take your time, as there was a little give in the locating pins so could of easily had the two out of alignment which would of meant plenty of clean up but thankfully I managed it without.

The dome of course can be displayed open or closed, so I did remove all pin marks and locating pin rises on the inside (now that took some time), just in-case I do decide to display open. Only time and priming will tell me if the inside and outside are smooth, but they look good in the flesh.

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr
Pete

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Manxman
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No pictures today but made some good progress, first the cockpit tub, ejector seats and engine intakes and exhausts are all primed and we ready to finally start getting some colour onto this.

Secondly the first wing tip is built and all flaps in place but boy it hard know what is an acceptable gap on the flaps and where but hopefully it getting it right.

Now for a few questions.

Firstly what would most use to mask or block off the intakes and exhausts once they painted for when the main base coats are being applied?

Secondly with building this wings folded the inside tips are meant to be mostly white with some slight red (this will be brush painted last) and these are very details. I don't see how I could get a good mask on these and not get paint leakage when doing the airframe skin, so any suggestions here too?
Pete

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Manxman
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Well that’s a lot of dry fitting but I do believe it looks like an Intruder.

As it’s plane to see (lol) some tidy up required, to scribe in nice clean flap joints where I have pushed them together and applied extra thin, before painting but I’m pretty pleased with how it looking so far.

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr

Nose cone will be open, as the radar is just too nice to hide, so I spent 30 minutes or more last night with her in this state trying to plan how to get weight into the section under the cockpit to stop it tail sitting. I think I have it worked out, only time will tell.

The cockpit tub and ejector seats are base coated, so now time to detail paint the ejectors (seat padding) and start adding the 60, yes you read that right 60 PE parts for the upgrade of the seats and cockpit. I could be gone some time ;)

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr

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A-6E Intruder Sprues, PE, extras and instructions by Manxman, on Flickr
Pete

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Manxman
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Last update on the A-6 for a while as moving back to another project for a bit.

Cockpit is progressing nicely, so I thought Id share now.

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A-6E Intruder WiP by Manxman, on Flickr
Pete

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Jasonb
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Love it Pete. Great job on the PE, it really adds detail, doesn't it?
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Marklo
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Wow!! looks lie the real thing.
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1:48 Albatross DI

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Manxman
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Thanks Jason and yeah I agree, no way you could paint it that good even with the detail that was there. This makes it really stand out I hope.

Thanks Marklo, glad you think so.
Pete

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Narayan
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Graham
Wow, this is coming along very nicely Pete. The PE in the cockpit is fantastic.

Graham
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