A legendary trainer version of a legendary aircraft, with room for two.
What’s better than a Scooter? A Scooter for two!
I always loved the A-4 Skyhawk, and especially the two-seater. It looks sleek, fun to fly, and model-wise, offers a great variety of subjects.
I decided to build this one back in 2014 while I was thinking on a bigger subject, which was a collection depicting the history of US Navy Air Training. Unfortunately, I found no owner for this collection, so I eventually abandoned it and gave away the models I had built. I’ll show some of the most particular ones in future posts.
I selected this TA-4J in particular for two specific reasons. First, I have people close to my heart that trained in TA-4Js in Training Air Wing Two, and second, because it had the latest paint scheme some of them used, which I liked a lot.
Originally the TA-4Js had the regular red (or orange) / white pattern with the red covering the wing tips and the upper portion of the tail. This scheme was like the ones used by the T-34C and the T-2, which made them look mostly white. But later in their last days of service, some were repainted with the diagonal line pattern, kinda in the same way the T-34Cs were repainted too, making the white/red proportion more balanced. You can see a photo of this very same scooter here: https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/registration/155113
A little bit about the TA-4J and the Training Air Wing Two
The TA-4J Skyhawk model entered production in June 1969. It became the longest-serving of the Skyhawks as the US Navy’s standard advanced jet trainer until replaced in the early 1990’s with the T-45A Goshawk. This variant descended from the Navy and Marine Corps single-seat light attack aircraft designed in the early 1950s by a team of Douglas Aircraft engineers lead by Ed Heinemann.
The Training Air Wing Two (TW-2) is located at Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville, Texas. With its two Training Squadrons (VT-21 and VT-22) provides Undergraduate Jet Pilot Training.
This Training Air Wing is responsible for providing the fleet with newly winged Navy and Marine Corps aviators. Today, the Air Wing consists of approximately 250 student naval aviators, 75 instructor pilots, 80 civilian personnel, and 100 T-45A and T-45C "Goshawk" aircraft. The Training Wing TWO has an extensive history training Naval Aviators from around the world.
As usual, this kit it’s in 1/72 scale. It’s the Fujimi TA-4J built pretty much out of the box, with some interior details from Aires and some minor scratch here and there.
The Fujimi’s 1/72 A-4s have tons of years and they are still the best out there. I know there are some B’s out there from Airfix, but I still think Fujimi ones have no competition. Since they are discontinued, I truly hope we can see some new tooled A-4s somewhere soon.
It’s painted in plain white and red, the red it’s the regular Testors red. Decals are a mix of kit and homemade printed in laser.
The display base it’s a Plymor walnut base measuring 8” x 12”, while the tarmac is one of Uschi’s products.
Project Final Thoughts
I remember enjoying this one a lot. I love the plane, and I love the kit. I honestly hope I have the chance to build it again and do a better job. Maybe one day.
Drop me a line or comment below if you have any questions. As usual, thanks a ton for reading, and happy modeling!