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A-3 Skywarrior Conversions

 

 

Cutting Edge Modelworks 
1/72 scale

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number, Description and Price: CEC72018 A-3D-2 Queer Whale ELINT    USD$12.99
CEC72019 ERA-3B Aggressor Whale ELINT     USD$18.99
CEC72020 A-3D-1P, A-3DQ, NRA-3B, EA-3B ELINT Whale   USD$14.99
CEC72021 RA-3B, A-3D2P    USD$15.99
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: See Text for details
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Inspirational subjects; out-of-the-ordinary conversions for lesser-known variants; seamless intakes included; excellent casting quality
Disadvantages: Need access to own references
Recommendation: Recommended 

 

Reviewed by Rodger Kelly


HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions

 

FirstLook

 

Built by the Douglas Aircraft Company to be employed in the primary role of a nuclear bomber, the A-3 Skywarrior was first flown in Oct 1952. As the largest and heaviest aircraft to be regularly operated from a carrier deck it was soon nicknamed the Whale. The Whale served the US Navy well and remained in service in some form or another for 39 years.

Cutting Edge Modelworks has taken the Whale to its heart and produced four 1/72 scale resin conversion kits that are designed to fit the Hasegawa series of A-3 kits. These conversions enable the modeller to replicate the Whale in some of its lesser-known versions

All of the parts are crisply cast in Cutting Edge's familiar mid-grey resin. Whilst this resin is harder than that used by other companies it is easy to cut, carve, shape and sand.

A nice touch, and common to each of the conversion kits, are two seamless air intakes. These parts take care of the hard-to-remove seam that results from Hasegawa engineering the engine pods as a left and right half assembly. Also included in three out of four of the kits are 14 blade antenna in various shaped and sizes. Whilst these parts are designed for the Whale the left over ones will not look out of place on 1/48 scale kits.

The A-4 sized instruction sheet supplied with each conversion advises the modeller which of the Hasegawa A-3 kits it was designed to fit. The sheets give clear and concise construction notes and diagrams as well as identifying each resin part by way of a photograph. Included on the sheet is a line drawing that at least gives the modeller some idea of what the particular Whale they are modelling looks like (click images below to view instructions).

 

               

 

The General Notes section of the instructions contain a list of recommended references and a clear statement that the modeller needs to check his references carefully before committing a knife to their kit. I echo this warning. No A-3 airframe remained the same throughout its life. The Whale was constantly reconfigured to carry out the changing situation and role that it was employed in. The old adage of "model to a photograph" comes to the fore here.

Make no mistake - these are nice well thought out conversions. If you are not a fan of US naval aircraft take a wander through the photographs on the A-3 Skywarrior site at: http://www.a3skywarrior.com/index.htm and you will be tempted to build at least one of Cutting Edge's "Queer Whales".


 

CEC72018 A-3D-2 Queer Whale ELINT

Intended for the Hasegawa A-3D-2 kit as you need to use the resin nose and tail provided by Hasegawa as well as the Cutting Edge pieces.

 

 

The kit contains six parts, The ventral radome, fin radome, two cheek radomes, and the left and right intake fronts.


 

CEC72019 ERA-3B Aggressor Whale ELINT

Intended for the Hasegawa A-3B kit.

This is the most complex of all the four conversion sets (see title photo to view parts).

This package contains 42 resin pieces, the left an right intake fronts, 14 blade antenna (seven on each of the two sprues), a long ventral radome, a short ventral radome, two nicely executed ALQ-76 jamming pods, a refuelling probe consisting of three separate pieces, two underwing scoops and fittings, two Aero 7 wing pylons, eight props destined for the jamming pods and the two RATs, two cheek radomes (cast with the curvature of the fuselage), the fin cap and the tail extension.


 

CEC72020 
A-3D-1P, A-3DQ, NRA-3B, EA-3B ELINT Whale

Intended for the Hasegawa A-3D-2 Kit.

This kit gives the modeller the capability of producing four different versions of the Whale.

The kit consists of twenty resin pieces, the left an right intake fronts, 14 blade antenna (seven on each of the two sprues), a long ventral radome, a short ventral radome, a refuelling probe consisting of three separate pieces, a fin cap, and two cheek radomes.

 

 

Also provided in this kit is a sheet of Black Magic widows in both circular and square shapes to provide for the various windows found on some versions. To quote the instruction sheet "You can paint the underlying areas dark blue, black, silver or whatever colour floats your boat, then lay the Black Magic masks in place. Paint your external airframe colour(s), remove the masks and Voila!


 

CEC72021 RA-3B, A-3D2P

Intended for either of the Hasegawa A-3B or the A-3D-2 kits.

This kit gives the modeller the capability of producing two different versions of the Whale.

 

 

The kit consists of 27 resin pieces. The left and right intake fronts, 14 blade antenna (seven on each of the two sprues), a refuelling probe consisting of three separate pieces, eight props for the two RATs (common sprue throughout the kits where a RAT is required), two cheek radomes (cast with the curvature of the fuselage, the fin cap and a sheet of Black Magic window masks.

All Recommended.

Thanks to Meteor Productions for the review samples


Cutting Edge Modelworks products are available from Meteor Productions Website


Review Copyright 2001 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 01 May, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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