Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Flying tank

Today not a tank in it's classic form but one with wings; The A-10 Thunderbolt II or "Warthog". This is an Close Air Support aircraft pretty much built around the 30mm GAU8 Avenger, a Gatling gun with 7 barrels. It also includes 540kg of armour plate and can carry a vast amount of bombs and rockets making this a flying tank.

An A-10 firering it's main gun.

The GAU 8 gun with a Volkswagen 'beetle' next too it.

In 1/144 scale 3 models are available from Dragon, Arii and Heller with Arii having the oldest model and Heller the latest. Heller's offering in available also in a Revell boxing and is more easily to get. I build the Dragon model which is available only in a box with two planes. The Dragon model is from a upgraded mold, most of the ordinance is new however.

The model is nicely detailed and the panel lines are not overdone. It also includes a full cockpit which can be difficult to install due to the fact that the front wheelbay is quite large leaving not a lot of room for the cockpit. It is recommended to put a weight in the nose to prevent the model from sitting on it's tail but there is n room for this. The space between the rear wheels and cockpit would be a better place. The weaker parts (literally and figuratively) is the landing gear but it is quite acceptable. Decals for two grey versions of the A-10 are offered but most of the markings are (in my view) generic enough to be applied on any A-10. I painted my A-10 in an experimental camouflage colour. A few versions of this pattern in different colours where tried out:

My try:

A look at the ordinance, this machine is a kind of flying ammunition depot. The kit includes a lot of other bombs as well so an entirely other configuration can be chosen as well.

I don't know which of the A-10 models available is the best but this one certainly is very good and with the vast choice in bombs and rockets it is a bargain.

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