Vietnam and the Cold War

A-4E John McCain Skyhawk


yak1 box

This is a rebox of the Hasegawa kit by Monogram, same kit but lower cost. There are many versions of this kit with this particular one allowing you to build any of the Blue Angels and a US Marine Skyhawk.  For this build, however I decided to dedicate it to John McCain, Navy Pilot, Vietnam POW for 5 1/2 years, war hero, 2 term Congressman, and long time Senator.  McCain is standing to right most in the picture above with his squadron mates.  Assigned to vietnam on the USS Forrestal, he was flying an A-4E from the USS Orinsky, #300, when he was shot down by a Surface to Air Missile during a bombing run over North Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder.  McCain fractured both arms and a leg upon ejection and the North Vietnamese who pulled him ashore also crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt and bayoneted him.  He was transported to the the “Hanoi Hilton” – Hoa Lo Prison where he was refused treatment and subjected to torture.  McCain was given medical care only when the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was an admiral but later confined to 2 years of solidary confinement.    In 1968, his father was named commander of all US forces in Vietnam, and the North Vietnamese offered McCain early release for proganda. McCain refused to jump ahead of any one capture before him in being released.  In retribution, he was subjected to severe torture, eventually forced to make a ‘confession’. Refusing to do more confessions, he was was beatened 2-3 times a week. He was not released until 1973 and suffered from his injuries the rest of his life.  Faced with a hard return to life afterwards personally, he was eventually able to turn his life around and became a US Senator.  Definition of a hero in my book.

As usual, we start with the cockpit – and in this case I have the Eduard color PE zoom kit.

Now for some nose weight so it’s not a tail sitter.  I used some fishing weights and first time trying out Deluxe Material’s Liquid Gravity to add heft in the nose with CA glue.

After the cockpit, it was time to close it up. 

There’s really not much to say about the rest of the build except for the Decals. As there was no 1/48 McCain’s A4 decals available, so I cobbled the decals from 3 different sets, a generic set of letters and numbers, and a small bit of custom printed decals.

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