A-4 Skyhawk is widely available in quarter scale. Hasegawa and HobbyBoss are among the most popular options out there, but there are re-packs as well as other options from various manufacturers too. As with the Phantom, despite its availability and decent tooling, the Skyhawk is about to be re-imagined by another company. They are relatively new player on the market, but that is no surprise. Companies are popping up like mushrooms after rain last decade or so.
Magic Factory is the name and with only couple of kits, they just announced their latest – Douglas A-4M Skyhawk 1/48. They also did that with intriguing presentation of the built kit, featuring its sweet spots, latter ones tempting for many modelers. Among these are open technical panels, opened air brakes and spoilers, opened nose and its technical panels, etc. Even a ladder is included.
But at first glance the most impressive part seems to be the canopy. It looks like the frame itself is made out of plastic, while clear parts are missing. At least that is what we know thus far. Apparently, the clear parts might be made only for the transparent elements, just like in real life. That is a good approach and even though not loved by many, it still represents very decent realism of the miniature. It is different from what we had thus far with previous Skyhawk releases. That of course, might not be the case, but just the demo of the yet unfinished product. We’ll get to know at later stage.
Movable slats, flaps and elevators can be seen too, as well as brilliant top wing surfaces. Presumably fit will be good, judging from the picture and lack of marks of extra work or mods and clear and crisp build. There are areas which might be tricky, like behind the intakes, but it seems to be nothing serious. Strakes and vortex generators are almost up to scale, antennae too. There is a hint of under-the-nose electronics, but it is not clearly visible.
All in all, this looks like a good start. If the kit proves to be as good as it looks at first glance, this will definitely become a hit. Skyhawk family is quite big and possibilities for expansion are almost endless. With the numerous add-ons already available for older generations A-4 toolings, making this A-4M shine will be a breeze. But let’s wait to see it first. Accuracy of the shapes and sizes can be hardly judged from a picture or two. Experts will have their say in the markings’ historical correctness too. But whatever the final judgment is, there we have it – a new tool 1/48 A-4 Skyhawk in 2023.