1/48 scale IAF A-10I. A FAR conversion

Started by FAR148, March 22, 2009, 09:17:41 AM

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Hello everybody,
Here's my current project of the pass about 18 months. I had a work in progress on other forum but it it fitting to post it here. So, What If the IAF got some A-10's.....

Well... after about 5 years of not building, this weekend I started something I have wanted to build for a long time, a IAF A-10. I have always loved the IAF paint scheme and always loved the A-10. So...What would an IAF A-10 look like? Here's my Idea. Started with the old Monogram kit with all it hundred of beautiful rivets and poor fitting engine nacelles.

Started in the cockpit, was not going to spend much time here. Had an old resin seat already painted so I used it. As for the tub, shot it flat black and use a silver color pencil to punch out the detail.

Putting the fuselage halves together, all of those f#&$ing rivets come into play. Sand off and add new detail OR try and save them? (That's funny) I sanded them off and added new detail. I figure if the IAF ever got any A-10s they would be at or near their service lifes. So the IAF would need to reinforce the fuselage as well as the wings. For the reinforcement strips, I used strip styrene and Eduard PE sets (EF-2000, Tornado F3, F-15E and 1/32 F-14) Also replaced the pitot tube with a brass rod.

I known the engine nacelles would needed some loving. Once together, I used my favorite putty, super glue and baby powder. Try it! (Gel works better) It sets up fast and its hard as monograms plastic. After about hour and half of sanding, shot some color in them for a look see. Not bad, not finished but close.



The IAF always modifies their aircraft to suit their needs. This is the fun part. I wanted to add a targeting pod or a radome kind of like the radome on the F4U Corsair back in Korean. And did not want to use a weapon station for a pod. So I figure the main gear fairing would make a great place for a targeting pod or radome. Got an old F-4 fuel tank and my trusty razor saw. Super glued the new pod assembly in place and back fill the gear fairing with my favorite putty. Filed, sanded into shape. The radome is resin. But looked in my part stash and found a targeting pod. Saw off the head of it. Unsure about radome or targeting head?

Here she is dry fitted. Not bad for two days work!


This past week I made a little more progress on my IAF A-10I. As we all know the Monogram kit come with the decelerons in the open position. Well the IAF decided to remove and replace them with a traditional aileron.   :rolleyes:  A drag parachute was added to the tail to slow the "Sand Hog" down during landing. I found an old photo of an A-10 during spin testing with drag chute housing. Mine will not be a copy of this housing but will be use for reference material. I used a piece of rectangular tubing for my housing.

With the chute housing installed, it looked plain and needed some attention. What a great place to add one of those IAF ECM bumps. Had two ECM fairing from an old Monogram F-105G kit. A little time with my razor saw and a little sanding....  :coolio:

On to the tails. Like the fuselage, the tails need to be reinforced. Using some L-channel and cut some braces like on the F/A-18 Hornet. 4 per tail super glued in place.

I really did not like how I reinforced the fuselage. So I removed the first set of reinforcement strips and chose to update the fuselage a little bit more. I downloaded and printed Shull24 A/OA-10 Airframe Update PFD look HERE
Not going to add the formation light strips, the IAF just paints over them anyway (F-15I). Going to add the Embedded GPS dome. Searched my parts stash for something that look similar, found a nose wheel from.... Don't know what? But cut off most of the tire and sand it round. Cut a hole roughly where I wanted it and glued it into place.


This time some airframe work as well as some weapon details.

Knowing the "Sandhog" is going to be tail heavy, I added 20 cent of nickels for nose weight. Hope that will be enough. Little more detail on the tails, added two new bumps to each tail(scratchbuilted) and a a strip of styene as a reinforcement strips .

The air intake located atop the fuselage between the engine nacelles was filed open.I also added a new bump with a blade antenna just behind the GPS dome.

The gun barrel cover looked like crap. So I cut it off and replaced it with a piece of styrene tube. With a no# 61 twist drill and lots of patience, I drilled the hole in the gun barrel cover.  Than glued the kit's gun cover plate to it.

As for underwing stores, will have cluster bombs, 500lbs GP bombs, few Mavericks and an ECM pod. Still looking for some scale drawings of some Python 4s.  <_<   The Cluster bombs and 500lbs GP bombs are from the Academys F-15E kit. I rescribed the panel lines with my razor saw using tape as my guide. I wrapped the tape around the bomb a few time so it would proud of the surface. Now riding the edge of the tape, a few pass around each side of the tape, nice straight lines. Added Eduard PE fuzes to the nose of each bomb using white glue.

Since the IAF don't not play fair, I'm going to added some "Daisy cutter" fuses to my 500 pounders. Using one of  Monograms bomb as a guide. I cut off the kits fuse and drill a 1/16 hole in the head of each bomb. Use 1/16 aluminum rod for the fuze extender, I measured and cut a fuze extender for each of the bombs and super glued each in place. I also rescribed the panel lines with my razor saw. Will add a Eduard PE fuze tips to each after painting and weathering.


This week made some more progress, still playing with weapons. Once I glued together, sanded and primed my ECM pod, I notice the bands on the lower body were gone. Wanted to replace them but did not know what to use. Did not have any strip styrene that thin and was not going to go out to buy some. (Why spend money? when you can make it or use something else). I do have some 1/16 vinyl pinstripe tape in my tape stash. But first had to sand through to primer to get back to bear plastic. Some 600 grit and 5 minutes, good to go. I rolled off about 6 in piece and place each band leave a bite of excess. And with a new no# 11 blade, trimmed each band to length. Then I hit each band with Pro weld.

As we all know the IAF plays dirty, especially when it comes to air-to-air missiles. Wanted to put some Python 4's on my Hog.  Was not going to buy some aftermarket ones, just going to make some myself. From researching, I found the Pythons have a larger diameter body then the Sidewinder. Was going to start with some 2.5mm styrene rod but after looking in my missile stash, going to start with some Academy sidewinders from their General Dynamics F-16A/C kit(kit no# 1688) The reason why is they are by far some of the worst 1/48 scale AIM-9s around mainly because the bodies are too fat. I cut off the rear fins and sand the canards to it new shape. The head of the Python 4 has two set of canards, the first set are a little smaller than the second set. Now needed some smaller canards. Back in the missile stash, found two Monogram AIM-9s and cut off the canards short of the control rod. With some tweezers, I super glued each canard in place.

Now on to the rear fins. After searching my missile stash again and finding nothing that even came close to the Pythons rear fin. Now what? Well... I could just make them from some sheet styrene. My biggest fear was how to cut out all 8 fins (for two missiles) perfectly. Had to think about that one for a while and than it hit me! You can draw it in Photoshop! After measuring my "want-to-be" Python bodies, I drew it up in Photoshop. After a bit of drawing/printing/redrawing/printing, I finally got the shape close enough and one that I was happy with it. I than copied and pasted enough fins for four missiles (did not know how many times I was going to f*&k it up) File/save as/print. I them Super 77 it to a piece of .015 sheet styrene. Was a new no#11 blade and a good clean scale or straight edge, cut out each fin. Once I had 8 good fins I than glued each fin to the body use Pro weld. Still got to add the Roll control vanes aft of the two sets of canards. Will use some .015 X 1mm strip styrene. If you want a copy of the Python 4 rear fins, you can get it here >>PYTHON 4 REAR FINS<<  Print full size for 1/48 scale.

Now that I got two Python 4s, need a hard point to put them on. Found two hardpoints from Monogram old Iron Curtain MiG-29 kit. With my razor saw, I shorten both of them and super glued them together. Some time ago I case and poured some LAU-129 launcher, going to add them to my new dual missile rail adapter.


I did finally get her wings on. Started filling and sanding the wing to fuselage joint. Not to bad on top but on the bottom... It's going need some work. Had to remove the slat on the upper wing (part no# 50 and 51) To protect the raised detail while sanding, I cover the areas I wanted to save with tape.

Im finally happy with just how I am going to paint my Sandhog. From the start I known the paint job was not going to be a wrap around. But was undecided about it the camouflage itself. Will the edges be feathered, hard line or maybe even splinter type? I choose to drop the splinter idea due to it's not that Israeli, it's more an Aggressor scheme. After a few hours playing in Photoshop, I decided the paint scheme will have hard lines with a gray underside. Next will be marking.


Now that I made some Python 4's, I need a new Dual Python 4 launcher to hang them on. I also want to add some new chaff and flare(C/F) boxes on my Sandhog but did not know where I was going to put them. Why buy something that someone else made went I can make it myself. So, inspired by some pics of some F-4E pylons with C/F boxes on them, not only am I going to kitbash/scratchbuild a new dual Python 4 launcher, Im going to added a C/F boxes to the pylon. I decide to place the new C/F boxes on the outer most plyons. After a little research on the F-4E pylons, I came up with a shape and found a place to put them. The C/F box was made from a piece of styrene rectangular rod 1/8 X 1/4 cut to shape. I remove the raise detail on the pylon where I was going to place the new box and pro welded it into place.

With the new C/F box in place I came to a new problem. The nozzle of the Python 4 is too close to the C/F box. Going to place a spacer to put more space in-between the C/F box and the missile. The area outline in red is where the chaff and flare would be released at. Will add a grill detail on that area later. Here you can see the piece of styrene that is the start of the spacer.

Once both sides was super glued into place, them I started to shape them to match the kitbash part. I then drilled two holes for some brass rod to locate the dual launcher to the pylon. With a straight edge and the back side of a no# 11 blade, I scribed a few panel lines in the dual launcher. With some Medea paint, I gave the part a quick wash to see the panel lines. I then glued two anti-sway braces to the pylon and drilled holes for the rods and super glued them in place. The new C/F boxes looked too plain, so I found a few PE parts that looked cool and white glued them it place. I also added two styrene strips for some raised detail.

Just held together with some double back tape, here's my new Dual Python 4 launcher with a chaff and flare box added.


After install the housing for the brake parchute, there was a small opening just under the housing and did not know what to do about it. But after adding some extra chaff and flare boxes to two weapon stations, why not add another box to the tail? I measured a piece of rectangular rod to fit and cut it with my Chopper and prowelded it to place.

I got to looking at my dual python launcher and had a feeling it was too wide. I think some here posted that it width too. I had scribed two panel lines that ran the length of the part.

I reduce the width of the launcher at those panel lines. 

Here the it is put together with double back tape.

A good friend of mind at work cut some stripes of styrene to be use for the low lighting stripes. I do not know where he got it from but it is super thin! Measured, cut and prowelded it into place. (not going to add the strip to the tail due to squadron markings  &lt;_&lt; )


Every time I think about the A-10, I few things come to mind. One of those things are AGM-65 Mavericks and I will be adding some on my Sand Hawg. The Monogram Mavericks that come with kit are some of the best in 1/48 scale. You get 6 of them and comes with two LAU-88 triple launchers. After doing a little research, found that Hawg unit stop using the triple rail due to drag and now use the single rail LAU-117. So time to make some (4) LAU-117 single rail launchers! Each launcher has 9 parts( body, upper anti-sway plate, lower guide rail, 4 stiffer plate, rear box and a small piece of brass rod)

Side view

3/4 front


This week I was hoping to get my Sand Hawg painted but something just was not right. I got to measuring and found that the wings on my Sand Hawg were wrong. :angry:  Moreover the number of hardpoints was wrong as well. The overall wing span on all IAF A-10s are 6 feet wider than its USAF cousins and the total number of hardpoints is 13 not 11, 2 more than its State side siblings.  :ph34r:

Each wing gets a 3 feet extension just out board of the aileron. I mark with tape where I need to cut and with my razor saw, off came the outer wing. 

Now with the wingtips off, I cut a piece of sheet styrene to bridge the 3 ft and super glued it to the outer wing.

Amazing enough a tongue depressor is 3 ft wide in 1/48 scale. ;)  So I made a spacer for the wing extension. With the 3 ft extension added, the outer wing gets a little smaller. The red line on the trailing edge of the wing shows the taper of the wing and a small portion of the trailing edge will be removed. So it is important to line up the leading edge of the wing and not the trailing edge. To help eat up space, I wrapped a strip of styrene around the wing extension and place thinned strips of styrene on top of it to helps maintain the shape of the wing.

After 5 tubes of super glues and a few tablespoons of baby powder, I finally got it cover. :wacko: Opps, I missed a spot on the leading edge. Time to start sanding!

After rough sanding, you can see the thin strips of styrene I added to help maintain the shape of the wing.

Here you can see where I trimmed the trailing edge back to shape.

Here you can see the new hardpoint location. A piece of sheet styrene cut to shape and prowelded into place.

After shooting a coat of primer over the new wing extension, I replaced the two reinforcement stripe and rescribed the aileron.

Now time to work on an Infra-red jammer  :thumbsup:


I removed the ECM bump that was placed on the top of the chute housing.

The new Infra-red jammer is made from a piece of 5mm plastic tube and the face of the jammer will be a flat back crystal. A little better then acrylic rhinestones. I pick these up at a local arts & craft store for under $5.

With my razor saw, I cut the tube into two.

Here you can see the jammer glued into place and the ECM is placed on top. Going to scribed a few panel lines on the jammer housing before gluing the bump into place. The face of the jammer will be glued into place after paint.


Been working on the belly of my Chazir.
As we all know the Monogram kit has raised panel lines and when you glue the two halves of the fuselage together then sand the seam you lose a lot of detail. So I did some panel line scribing this past weekend. Did most of my scribing with the back edge of a no# 11 blade. I messed up on a few few line but no worries, filled them with super glues, a little sanding and retry. Some panels would harder than others. After the scribe work was done, I gave the new lines a wash in water-based ink for a look-see. My new panel lines are not are not 100% accurate, just for detail as well as for fun. :D

I replace the kits antenna with a piece is brass rod and use a pair of needle nose to bend it into shape. I
then marked off the location and drill two hole for the antenna, then super glued it into place.

On to the tail, I updated the two radar altimeters on the horizontal stabilizers with two resin domes. As well as added a circular antenna made from styrene rod.

I have been wanting to double up the chaff/flare boxes under the wingtips but was not sure how I was going
to do it. After a little pondering...  &lt;_&lt;  I started off with a stripe of styrene cut the same
length of the kit C/F box. I then bent one end down to match the same angle of the kits box. I then
super glued it to the side of the kit box. With my favorite putty, (super glue & baby powder) I back filled
the space under the strip of styrene. I then filed, sanded, putty, sanded the new box into shape.I scribed
a few new panel lines, shot a coat of primer and gave the new lines a wash in water-based ink, looks pretty
good. Still got a few things to fix, all-in-all I'm happy with it.

Here a shot of the Belly of my Chazir.


She's a long way from the paint shop.
Last update until next year.

On the second day of Christmas, General Electric gave to me, Two new TF35-GE-100 Turbofan engines!   

One is almost ready to install and the other... I still got to make.  :blink:  As you can see, the new engine is larger than the old TF34 and provides more thrust.


Here's how I made the new engines. I first tape off where I was going to cut off the old engines. Then with my favorite tool, razor saw, I cut off the old engines.

To make the new engines, I was going to use the kits fan section as well as the aft/nozzle section of the engines. The center section will be discarded.

The new center section will be scratchbuilt. :banana:  Just going to roll a strip of styrene in a tube and glue the kits ends onto it. Then back fill putty to the center section and reshape. Sounds easy... right!? The problem is you just can not glue the two ends together and hope it will keep it's shape. It wouldn't. Here's how I did it. After doing some math and get the circumference and the diameter of the new center section, with my dividers I cut five disks for support which will be glued inside the tube. I then cut a strip the circumference of the tube and super glued the ends together. Next I use the outside of the blanks of the disks as a jig. Now I can sand each disk to fit and glue it into place and the tube will keep it's shape!

I prowelded the fan section to one end the aft/nozzle section to the other end. Using my favorite putty(Superglue & Baby powder) I back filled to the new center section. Time to sand!

The kits nozzle comes in two parts, a rear fan part and a cone. The new TF35's has a larger cone then the TF34. The new larger cone is made from section of old F-15 drop tank.

Sanding and shaping done. Time to prime for a look-see!


 I completed the other TF35 engine. Now that I cut off both engines then made new ones, my next issue is how to attached back to the airframe. I wanted a super strong joint, strong enough so one can pick up my Sandhog by the engines and not rip them off doing so. Remember I added weight in the nose to make sure she will not be a tail sitter. As well as if the engine were misaligned it would be as clear as day. So what I needed is some way to mount both engine so when looking in front or rear view, both engine will be at the same angle. The good thing is the area in red, that opening is the same angle on both side of the model. All I needed is something that would fit inside the opening and then mount it to both of the engines.

In my plastic stash, I got a strip of styrene thats about one inch wide and 1/8 inch thick. With my razor saw, I cut two mounting strips. I then drill three holes 1/16 for some aluminum tubes to support the mount to the engines. I cut the tubes long enough to go through the mounting strips and touch the opposite side of the engine.

To glue the engines back to the airframe, I mixed up some 5 minute epoxy and fill where the mounting strip slide inside the model. With a 5 minute cure time, that gave me more that enough time to check and double check the alignment of each engine. Would rather over build it than under build and have someone rip an engine off just by picking it up.

Here she is with both engines mounted and after filling/sanding.