REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk - DA.C
 

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Old 06-19-2015, 01:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

Hobby Master 1/72 Air Power Series
HA4701
North American RA-5C Vigilante
156624, RVAH-6 "Fleurs", USS Kitty Hawk, 1971

Production Limited 1700

May 2015 Release





ACpilot (September 13, 2014)

Hi Guys,

I just had a meeting with William in Hong Kong and made the pitch for a RA-5C Vigilante (along with a Trumpeter plastic kit).
His response was positive to say the least, and he has decided that it is the next priority for Hobby Master.
In fact, he has given me permission to let collectors know that they can expect to see a late model Diecast "Vigi" in around seven months time!
I know that I'll be adding several to my USN/Vietnam War collection.




Well William’s estimate turned out to be pretty close! A little over eight months later the Vigi is now available to collectors.

There was a time when I’m sure most of us thought this day might never happen.

Hobby Master has really done an outstanding job here. Previously issued plastic kits of the Vigilante have all had major flaws. Even the kit judged to be the best (Trumpeter) has had its’ share of problems. The Trumpeter kit had an inaccurately shaped tail, the wrong exhaust nozzles, and an anemic “hump” of the RA-5C’s forward fuselage. I am pleased to say that all of these shortcomings of the Trumpeter kit have been addressed with Hobby Master’s tooling and (for perhaps the first time) diecast collectors have access to something plastic kit modelers don’t - an accurate Vigilante!






The Aircraft

The North American A-5 Vigilante was a carrier based supersonic bomber designed by North American for the United States Navy. Its service in the nuclear strike role (replacing the Douglas A-3 Skywarrior) was very short. However, as the RA-5C, it saw extensive service during the Vietnam War in the tactical strike reconnaissance role.

Starting in August of 1964 hazardous medium-level reconnaissance missions were carried out. Although fast and agile, 18 RA-5Cs were lost in combat: 14 to anti-aircraft fire, three to surface-to-air missiles, and one to a MiG-21. Due in part, to these combat losses, 36 additional RA-5C aircraft were built from 1968 to 1970 as attrition replacements. These aircraft were significantly different from previous RA-5Cs. Uprated engines, Leading Edge Extensions over the intakes, revised intake shape, and other modifications made these worthy of being called RA-5Ds - but the previous designation was retained. This last batch of Vigilantes are known as 156 Series aircraft since the Bu No. all start with the numbers 156 (some earlier RA-5Cs were rebuilt to the same standard so there are exceptions). It is the 156 series that Hobby Master's tooling represents.

From service entry in 1961 until retirement in 1979, the Vigilante was undoubtedly the coolest looking aircraft on any Aircraft Carrier Deck.

The aircraft for Hobby Master's first RA-5C release is Bu No.156624 and was delivered new to the U.S. Navy in January 1970. Her first assignment was to RVAH-6 for the 1970-71 Cruise aboard the USS John F. Kennedy. It was during the Kennedy's Combat tour off Vietnam that the aircraft had a very close call during a reconnaissance mission early in 1971






On 1 March 1971, Lt Cdr Barry Gastrock and Lt Emy Conrad, crewing an RA-5C Vigilante of RVAH-6, took a remarkable photograph by accident while performing a reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam from USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63).

Their planned route crossed over itself so as to allow the crew to get comprehensive photographic coverage of the Song Ca River. This area was well inside the SAM envelopes around the city of Vinh.

Heading South, the Vigilante appeared back over the river juncture at Hung Nghia less than four minutes after crossing the same village in a westerly direction, AAA had been sporadic on the jet's first pass over the area, and there had been no missile warnings when Lt Conrad saw a flash in his viewfinder, heard a "whumpf" and was thrown against his seat-straps. The coast was not far away, and the crew soon went "feet wet" and subsequently carried out a routine landing back aboard the Kitty Hawk.

A short while later in the ship's intelligence centre, a photo-interpreter cranked the six inch-wide film from one massive spool to another across the light-table and stopped in surprise. Perfectly framed by the Vigilante's vertical camera was an SA-2 surface-air-missile (SAM) still under boost.

The crew was called in to see the near miss. Since there was no terrain visible in the frame, they assumed the SAM passed beside the RA-5C as Lt Cdr Gastrock banked hard to head for home. Knowing the focal length of the camera and the size of an SA-2, the photogrammeters computed that the missile had passed just 104 ft away from the Vigilante's belly. No one knows why it did not detonate.

The Model

First of all I would like to say that William graciously provided me with a complementary copy of this model.

As mentioned previously, all the shortcomings of previous Vigilante model kits have been addressed.

The first thing you notice opening the box is the size of the model. The Vigilante was a large aircraft. Much larger than an F-4 Phantom II or even an F-14 Tomcat. The model has a good amount of weight and has a solid feel to it.

All the modules for the nose and main gear fit very well and are nice and solid. Canopies are removable but are provided only for a closed display option. The cockpit is detailed with an instrument panel and control stick for the front cockpit. The rear canopy can be difficult to remove to insert the Reconnaissance Attack Navigator (RAN) figure - although with only two small windows to see him, the RAN could be left out.

The wings do not fold. Since a folding feature could look awkward to be functional - this is for the best.

There is a join line between the upper and lower forward fuselage halves. Unlike some models, the join lines follow actual panel lines on the actual aircraft. In any event, the join seems sufficiently tight and does not detract from the model in any way.

One feature I asked William for was for the fuel dump mast on the rear port side of the aircraft. Since the mast is such a small and delicate part - it must be attached by the collector with a dab of white glue. Two dump masts are provided (includes a spare) and since they are so light in weight, white glue works just fine.

Below: This photo shows the fuel dump mast which must be attached with a bit a white glue.


The paint quality is excellent. The very slight brown tone to Hobby Master's Light Gull Grey paint is now gone forever and should be a thing of the past.

Below: Photo of the Vigilante compared to the Hobby Master Sundowner's F-4 Phantom II (HA1960). Later HM F-4s began to have a very slight brown tone to the light gull grey. This will be a thing of the past for all future Hobby Master releases.


During the artwork stage there were probably too many detailed corrections made to list here (they were all incorporated onto the model). I have posted them previously, so if anyone cares to go over them again they are available in the announcement thread.

After the Pre Production photos were released a few additional corrections were made for the Final Product. The red engine intake warning triangles were angled down and lengthened. The demarcation line between the light gull grey and insignia white was lowered. The star and bars on the upper and lower wing surfaces were reduced slightly in size. The retractable tail hook has now been painted correctly. The tan colour of the radome has been toned down and the Pilot's name on the port side has been corrected and applied "right side up"!

Anyway, the model is terrific. If you don't buy one you'll be truly missing out!

Highly, Highly Recommended.

Dan
























Last edited by ACpilot; 06-19-2015 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

Great review, and a beautiful model. Looks great in that diorama! I'll be getting this one for sure!
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Old 06-20-2015, 09:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

incredibly beautiful model, Dan....thanks for the dedicated effort you contributed to make this superb looking model.......am surely getting this and some other succeeding ones with eautiful liveries
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

For those looking to order this bird, the cheapest retailer appears to be Racer's Den in Indiana.

RA-5 Vigilante

$89.95 U.S. plus free shipping on orders over $100.

Most other retailers have it at $99.95 U.S. - although you could probably use the link to Racer's Den for a price match.

Dan
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

What diorama is that Dan ?
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Originally Posted by Rmac757 View Post
What diorama is that Dan ?
It's a mixture of a Dragon Warbirds base, Hobby Master Vehicles, and Hobby Master and Rapid Rabbit crew figures.

Dan
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

You can also get it at the low price listed above at petescollectibles.com using his monthly code.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

Definitely an acquired taste, this bird.

I have no affinity for it. To be honest - I'd never even seen it before until a few years ago. I'm a child of the 80s. Looks like a nice model. I'm a little disappointed it does nothing for me, but my wallet appreciates it.

BTW - I'm guessing that's a bombardier/WSO/RIO seat in the back? Poor bastard. Looks very claustrophobic back there!
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

Appreciate the photos Dan. Now, do i get this one or wait for the revised Hoot Owls?..or both?????
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

Nice post Dan. Appreciate the research that has gone into this one and that many are looking forward to adding it to their collections.

I think I'll have to pass on this one though as I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of the E-2.

Amazing looking at it how similar it looks like the TSR2, especially that back seat cockpit.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Originally Posted by D.A.K.O.T.A View Post
Nice post Dan. Appreciate the research that has gone into this one and that many are looking forward to adding it to their collections.

I think I'll have to pass on this one though as I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of the E-2.

Amazing looking at it how similar it looks like the TSR2, especially that back seat cockpit.
regarding the back seat.....we can compare it too with the SR-71 Blackbird, the B-58 Hustler where backseat cockpit were enclosed except for small windows......
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

On another forum someone asked if the Vigilante fit on a Witty Wings stand.

The only Witty stand I have is the F-15 version which works on Hobby Master F-15s and on the Avro Arrow as well - but definitely does not fit the RA-5C.

I thought I would try my Gemini Aces F-4 stand and it seems to work just fine!

Dan


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Old 06-23-2015, 10:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Originally Posted by ACpilot View Post
On another forum someone asked if the Vigilante fit on a Witty Wings stand.

The only Witty stand I have is the F-15 version which works on Hobby Master F-15s and on the Avro Arrow as well - but definitely does not fit the RA-5C.

I thought I would try my Gemini Aces F-4 stand and it seems to work just fine!

Dan


err... doesn't it already come with a stand?

why does everyone seem to want to have their jets on witty stands? i understand if hm stands require central pylon tradeoffs, but if not, why don't just use the included stand? hmm... mebbe hm should think of venturing into a universal stand side business.

Last edited by tomcatter; 06-23-2015 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

Many of the HM stands are cradles that take away from the model when display in a "flight" mode. The HM F-22 is probably one of the better designs with straight notch piece going into the bottom of the model. Worse, the cradles section that connects to the stem of the stand many times does not lock, so the somewhat unstable stand rocks or leans based on how the model is weighted. More over, with the HM models on the stands, extras such as fuel tanks or weapons cannot be attached for display.
HM stands are unstable, and due to the large cradles, take away from the sleek look of a model displayed in flight and limit some of the attachments makes for a weaker display piece overall.

Century Wings has probably done the best job overall for this. Witty stands are nice but large on the base and have a high angle of attack. Gemini Jets are even larger and take away a bit from the model as seen above.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

all you need to do is unscrew the gemini F-4 cradle part and fix it too a witty one
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:49 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Originally Posted by tripoli View Post
Many of the HM stands are cradles that take away from the model when display in a "flight" mode. The HM F-22 is probably one of the better designs with straight notch piece going into the bottom of the model. Worse, the cradles section that connects to the stem of the stand many times does not lock, so the somewhat unstable stand rocks or leans based on how the model is weighted. More over, with the HM models on the stands, extras such as fuel tanks or weapons cannot be attached for display.
HM stands are unstable, and due to the large cradles, take away from the sleek look of a model displayed in flight and limit some of the attachments makes for a weaker display piece overall.

Century Wings has probably done the best job overall for this. Witty stands are nice but large on the base and have a high angle of attack. Gemini Jets are even larger and take away a bit from the model as seen above.
yup, i agree with you on the century wings stand... and they had the good sense to listen to collectors in not changing those clear plastics to shiny silver ones too. fov stands are similar but the base is in reverse and because of this, imho they're not as stable as the cw ones...
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Old 06-27-2015, 01:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

Ok guys, I think the real question here is whether to thank AC Pilot vociferously for some awesome pictures of a really great model...

...or get together to chase him with tar and feathers for making us all feel even more tempted to buy the least attractive Vigilante scheme and collect 'em all...

But in the end it seems his role in helping get the Vigi developed seems to be his trump card, so I guess all we can really say is 'hats off!'
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:15 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Originally Posted by books View Post
Ok guys, I think the real question here is whether to thank AC Pilot vociferously for some awesome pictures of a really great model...

...or get together to chase him with tar and feathers for making us all feel even more tempted to buy the least attractive Vigilante scheme and collect 'em all...

But in the end it seems his role in helping get the Vigi developed seems to be his trump card, so I guess all we can really say is 'hats off!'
you got it right,books.... hats off for ACPilot for his big contribution and effort to make this particular aircraft done in diecast..... the younger generation dont even know the existence of this beautiful aircraft and still makes them enthousiastic about the Vigilante....to be honest it was far from my mind that such aircraft would ever be done in diecast.....
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:40 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Originally Posted by books View Post
Ok guys, I think the real question here is whether to thank AC Pilot vociferously for some awesome pictures of a really great model...

...or get together to chase him with tar and feathers for making us all feel even more tempted to buy the least attractive Vigilante scheme and collect 'em all...

But in the end it seems his role in helping get the Vigi developed seems to be his trump card, so I guess all we can really say is 'hats off!'
i second the tar and feather effect. would be interesting to see dan all covered with feathers
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:22 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Originally Posted by tomcatter View Post
i second the tar and feather effect. would be interesting to see dan all covered with feathers

Lol, since he did play such a huge, huge role in getting us this awesome plane in the first place, and since it's gotta be admitted that it's a scheme with a cool history, I think maybe I had better retract the suggestion before tempting the fates too much

However, dammit, yeah-- I want this now, and I promised myself so many times I'd wait

Oh well, at least it's a great problem to have...


Last edited by books; 06-29-2015 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:29 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

....UNLESS, that is, the tar & feathers would help Dan fly over to China and tell HM what's what more often!!!

Whattaya think, Dan?? Could you stay below the Icarus limit?
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:49 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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....UNLESS, that is, the tar & feathers would help Dan fly over to China and tell HM what's what more often!!!

Whattaya think, Dan?? Could you stay below the Icarus limit?
in this day and age, he just emails them unless he happens to be passing by. that way feathers are harder to stick
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:59 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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in this day and age, he just emails them unless he happens to be passing by. that way feathers are harder to stick
Yeah but wasn't it meeting William in person, and making his case face-to-face on one of his stops, that seemed to have maybe been what cemented it all? Can't speak for anybody else, but I don't wanna take any chances -- I'm really wanting to see Dan over there as much as possible, carbon molecule by carbon molecule--- plus some hydrocarbons if necessary

...then again, William might not be all that hot on sitting down to talk with someone covered in tar!! After all it is smelly!!

Last edited by books; 06-29-2015 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:11 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Yeah but wasn't it meeting William in person, and making his case face-to-face on one of his stops, that seemed to have maybe been what cemented it all? Can't speak for anybody else, but I don't wanna take any chances -- I'm really wanting to see Dan over there as much as possible, carbon molecule by carbon molecule--- plus some hydrocarbons if necessary

...then again, William might not be all that hot on sitting down to talk with someone covered in tar!! After all it is smelly!!
Believe me, after operating a 15 hour crew day to get to Hong Kong - I am already smelly!

Dan
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Old 07-02-2015, 12:58 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Believe me, after operating a 15 hour crew day to get to Hong Kong - I am already smelly!

Dan
yeah... but are you sticky too? we need those feathers to stick!
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:02 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Question Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

Any word on when this plane should be arriving at US retailers?
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:42 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

What a cool model!
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:29 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

I had got my RA5C Vigilante at Tuesday this week, and the only words i can say are: WOW, what a stunning beauty!!! :-)

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Old 08-06-2015, 04:11 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Any word on when this plane should be arriving at US retailers?
Any word about when these may be arriving in the States?
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:16 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Any word about when these may be arriving in the States?
Hi Scott,

HawkOne's site is showing that deliveries are due in the US this week.

Which and when Hobby Master models will arrive in the US

Steve
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:20 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

Got the model. Given that it's a vigi, i'm happy and overall the model is decent, though mediocre fit and finish unfortunately continue to be the hallmark of today's HM. The real vigi is a rather plain aircraft so it would have been nice if HM tried a little harder to provide some more detail in the few areas where this might have been possible such as perhaps by providing an optional down/up tail hook and perhaps even better folded wing and tail options , though the latter i'm sure would not have been universally popular.

The big tail is plastic.

A decent plane, glad it's made. May get the second one and then that's it. I can't see too many people getting more than one or two since it's a big ungainly beast.

7/10.
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:33 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Originally Posted by FortunateSon View Post
Got the model. Given that it's a vigi, i'm happy and overall the model is decent, though mediocre fit and finish unfortunately continue to be the hallmark of today's HM. The real vigi is a rather plain aircraft so it would have been nice if HM tried a little harder to provide some more detail in the few areas where this might have been possible such as perhaps by providing an optional down/up tail hook and perhaps even better folded wing and tail options , though the latter i'm sure would not have been universally popular. & opening/optional position canopies as per HM's other jets to provide the choice of display with the canopies open, instead of just detachable ones.

The big tail is plastic.

A decent plane, glad it's made. May get the second one and then that's it. I can't see too many people getting more than one or two since it's a big ungainly beast.

7/10.
the bit in red is a deal-killer for me, at that price i expect an open canopy option.
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:44 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Originally Posted by wilkinss77 View Post
the bit in red is a deal-killer for me, at that price i expect an open canopy option.
hear hear. and actually 6/10 is my score for this as a model, with only an extra point due to the rareness of the subject.

on the plus side the landing gear is sold and models the real thing well, although one of mine the plastic bit doesnt sit flush with the fuselage (will need to work it a bit)

Last edited by FortunateSon; 08-13-2015 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:15 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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the bit in red is a deal-killer for me, at that price i expect an open canopy option.
I think this is an option that will eventually be added (especially given all the detail incorporated in the instrument panels in both cockpits).

Hobby Master's first F-5E did not have an open canopy option, but this was added on the second release. Same with the 1/48 Hurricane.

Other than that, the RA-5C tooling (and markings on this release) is as accurate as they come. An optional position tail hook would be a first in diecast (and given that the Vigilante's tail hook was retractable with doors enclosing the aft portion of the hook - difficult to accomplish).

For those sitting on the fence on this release, I wouldn't wait too long. On my last trip to Hong Kong last week, I noticed that these were all sold out at the four different shops I visited.

Dan
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:40 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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I think this is an option that will eventually be added (especially given all the detail incorporated in the instrument panels in both cockpits).

Hobby Master's first F-5E did not have an open canopy option, but this was added on the second release. Same with the 1/48 Hurricane.

Other than that, the RA-5C tooling (and markings on this release) is as accurate as they come. An optional position tail hook would be a first in diecast (and given that the Vigilante's tail hook was retractable with doors enclosing the aft portion of the hook - difficult to accomplish).

For those sitting on the fence on this release, I wouldn't wait too long. On my last trip to Hong Kong last week, I noticed that these were all sold out at the four different shops I visited.

Dan
I'll wait for the open canopy option.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:45 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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I think this is an option that will eventually be added (especially given all the detail incorporated in the instrument panels in both cockpits).

An optional position tail hook would be a first in diecast (and given that the Vigilante's tail hook was retractable with doors enclosing the aft portion of the hook - difficult to accomplish).
actually, that might make it particularly easy to accomplish as it could be done as a unit (like a landing gear unit) rather than a flimsy part. Furthermore, the AF1 X-47 has an optional position tailhook (two separate parts for retract/extend).

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For those sitting on the fence on this release, I wouldn't wait too long. On my last trip to Hong Kong last week, I noticed that these were all sold out at the four different shops I visited.
You wrote that about the E2C hawkeye too, IIRC and encouraged people to get it on pre-order. Newer members here might be comforted to note that while, yes, popular releases do sell out and/or become hard to get eventually, that, despite "friendly warnings" and/or scaremongering from "helpful" parties, precisely zero of hobbymaster's last many many dozen general-issue releases or so (nothing from 2015 or 2014 as far as i can tell is hard to find still with a minimum of google searching) are actually hard to find as of today, so if you are concerned, your pace might best be at a 'brisk walk' (get one in the next few months) rather than a sprint, especially as north america in particular tends to be where models seem to sell out last as a number of "full price specialists" and even "slight markup" operators exist to take advantage of late comers. In fact, it's a bit of a game. since MOST hobbymater models these days dump (sell for far less than RRP, at least here in europe), a good general strategy is to wait for the things you want to dump even if this occasionally means paying over the odds for something that doesn't.

That said, the best strategy (for new collectors) continues to be to seek out old releases (even at a premium), as the quality is noticeably better than on the newer stuff. With new releases like the Vigi, well, it's just a matter of choosing a livery you like. Also, unless you're really married to this particular livery, remember that future releases tend to fix or improve things.

Last edited by FortunateSon; 08-13-2015 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:45 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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I'll wait for the open canopy option.
Not guaranteed, just a guess on my part that the option may be added later.

BTW, William has mentioned that he is attempting to wean his research staff from outside assistance - so future releases won't have nearly the same amount of collector input as this one has had.

Dan
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:14 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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In fact, it's a bit of a game. since MOST hobbymater models these days dump (sell for far less than RRP, at least here in europe), a good general strategy is to wait for the things you want to dump even if this occasionally means paying over the odds for something that doesn't.
That only seems to happen in the UK I have yet to find a HM model in Germany that is being dumped. However I picked up a few models from UK that were still a bargain even if I added the shipping costs.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:17 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Originally Posted by ACpilot View Post
Not guaranteed, just a guess on my part that the option may be added later.

BTW, William has mentioned that he is attempting to wean his research staff from outside assistance - so future releases won't have nearly the same amount of collector input as this one has had.

Dan
I really hope HM reconsiders or get their stuff together because if that will be the case with their F-14s and they start releasing inaccurate models people will stick with buying CW instead. Especially if the price of 125$ that someone posted is correct.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:26 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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I really hope HM reconsiders or get their stuff together because if that will be the case with their F-14s and they start releasing inaccurate models people will stick with buying CW instead. Especially if the price of 125$ that someone posted is correct.
They appear to be upping their game so far.

I sent William a few corrections after seeing the Luftwaffe Canadair Sabre 6 Pre Production photos. All of my concerns (and more) had already been noted internally - so they appear to be on the right track.

Dan
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:34 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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They appear to be upping their game so far.

I sent William a few corrections after seeing the Luftwaffe Canadair Sabre 6 Pre Production photos. All of my concerns (and more) had already been noted internally - so they appear to be on the right track.

Dan
It is the right step if they continue working with guys that gave them helpful inputs. I guess it's better if they keep a few knowledgeable persons instead of masses of inputs by everybody which could also be wrong because of bad research. As other people have but it, if there's no picture of a plane in that scheme on the internet doesn't mean it never existed and that there is no evidence in books etc. As long as they keep working with you and you can bring forward the minor stuff that we are able to spot (ie VF-14 insignia ) everything is fine.
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:30 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Originally Posted by FortunateSon View Post
You wrote that about the E2C hawkeye too, IIRC and encouraged people to get it on pre-order. Newer members here might be comforted to note that while, yes, popular releases do sell out and/or become hard to get eventually, that, despite "friendly warnings" and/or scaremongering from "helpful" parties, precisely zero of hobbymaster's last many many dozen general-issue releases or so (nothing from 2015 or 2014 as far as i can tell is hard to find still with a minimum of google searching) are actually hard to find as of today, so if you are concerned, your pace might best be at a 'brisk walk' (get one in the next few months) rather than a sprint, especially as north america in particular tends to be where models seem to sell out last as a number of "full price specialists" and even "slight markup" operators exist to take advantage of late comers. In fact, it's a bit of a game. since MOST hobbymater models these days dump (sell for far less than RRP, at least here in europe), a good general strategy is to wait for the things you want to dump even if this occasionally means paying over the odds for something that doesn't.

That said, the best strategy (for new collectors) continues to be to seek out old releases (even at a premium), as the quality is noticeably better than on the newer stuff. With new releases like the Vigi, well, it's just a matter of choosing a livery you like. Also, unless you're really married to this particular livery, remember that future releases tend to fix or improve things.
I'm not seeing this trend with most models in the US. I have yet to see anything I wanted "dump" in the last 2 years, and sales events and discounts do not exceed the pre-order discount prices offered by most retailers.

I do try to be conservative and wait for some price reductions in models that I've seen released in the last 2 years, but it isn't happening here. I've waited for the 'City of Jacksonville' F-106 to dump. It hasn't, and that's one ugly duck. It's also more than 2 years old.

Pre-orders are a major indicator to the distributors and manufacturers as to the popularity of releases, so waiting can potentially be detrimental to getting the releases you want. I pre-order to save money, since that is the trend in the US. There have been a few instances where waiting would have saved me a couple dollars, but it's not worth it imho, if it looks like a release will be popular.

Waiting does have its benefits: I have yet to buy a HM F-15 since I don't think they've gotten a US version correct yet. The E is too dark and the US C variants too blue imo. The Japanese releases look great.

While I agree with some of what you're saying FS, I find it hard to dismiss the pre-orders entirely (in the US), especially considering the discounts most retailers apply.

Last edited by Skinner67; 08-13-2015 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:53 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

BTW, Now showing in stock at the Flying Mule (and other retailers I assume).

RA-5C Vigilante 1:72 Diecast Model - Hobby Master HM-HA4701 - Hobby Master HA4701: The Flying Mule

Dan
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Old 08-13-2015, 12:33 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

I should have added in my previous review: the cockpit detail is indeed excellent by HM standards. I still dream of the day when HM gets its 1/48 act together and possibly it's 1/72 too and teams up with somebody like Yahu Models (poland) to include truly great panels in their releases.
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:26 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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Not guaranteed, just a guess on my part that the option may be added later.

BTW, William has mentioned that he is attempting to wean his research staff from outside assistance - so future releases won't have nearly the same amount of collector input as this one has had.

Dan
Why is that Dan? Seems a retrograde step to be less engaged with collectors and turn away from potentially free 'informed' advise?
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:32 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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That only seems to happen in the UK I have yet to find a HM model in Germany that is being dumped. However I picked up a few models from UK that were still a bargain even if I added the shipping costs.
Certainly in the UK 'most' HM models are ultimately available at significant discounts on the RRP. I ended up paying nearly full price on the F15 Raam Eagle when I 'thought' it had sold out only for KH Norton to mysteriously obtain a restock a few months later and discount it . ~Once bitten.........
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:51 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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I'm not seeing this trend with most models in the US. I have yet to see anything I wanted "dump" in the last 2 years, and sales events and discounts do not exceed the pre-order discount prices offered by most retailers.

I do try to be conservative and wait for some price reductions in models that I've seen released in the last 2 years, but it isn't happening here. I've waited for the 'City of Jacksonville' F-106 to dump. It hasn't, and that's one ugly duck. It's also more than 2 years old.

Pre-orders are a major indicator to the distributors and manufacturers as to the popularity of releases, so waiting can potentially be detrimental to getting the releases you want. I pre-order to save money, since that is the trend in the US. There have been a few instances where waiting would have saved me a couple dollars, but it's not worth it imho, if it looks like a release will be popular.

Waiting does have its benefits: I have yet to buy a HM F-15 since I don't think they've gotten a US version correct yet. The E is too dark and the US C variants too blue imo. The Japanese releases look great.

While I agree with some of what you're saying FS, I find it hard to dismiss the pre-orders entirely (in the US), especially considering the discounts most retailers apply.
Pre-sales in the UK unfortunately just don't seem to attract meaningful discounts. I don't know why as I can understand the logic for manufactures of assessing demand etc But in my experience you can invariably save money by waiting for post-release discounting.
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:59 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

I just received this model this week and opened it today.

I'm very pleased with the overall quality of the piece. The seams are tight. The paint is excellent, with not a single blemish I could find. All parts fit easily.

It's an outstandingly beautiful model. My hat's off to HM and Dan for their fine effort.

There are 4 areas that could use improvement though.

1) The bubble packaging is very tight. The tabs holding the wings broke when I pressed in on them to release the model. The plastic seems to be less flexible than previous HM material. I don't see the need for such large tabs as the coated wire and other blister packaging features hold the model in place quite well. The F-16 has the tight fit issue as well, and a lot of care has to be taken to avoid damaging the model during un-packaging.

2) The main landing gear sits very tight. No filing or mod was necessary to install it, but removing the gear may prove problematic unless someone knows a point to use to apply pressure to remove the pieces.

3) I couldn't get the canopies open. The seams are too tight. This is a great "problem" to have, but is there a secret to getting them open? I'm only interested in opening the front. Any tips on where and which direction to apply pressure. I've opened several canopies in my time, and this is the first time I've been completely thwarted in my efforts to insert the pilot.

4) The in-flight stand is abdominal. I really wish HM would consider an F-105 type setup on future products. The cradle method really detracts from the appearance.

While this may seem to be a rather critical review, I am supremely happy with this release, and I have ordered a second, just to have a backup. I'll display it at work.

Last edited by Skinner67; 08-22-2015 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 08-22-2015, 11:44 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

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I just received this model this week and opened it today.

I'm very pleased with the overall quality of the piece. The seams are tight. The paint is excellent, with not a single blemish I could find. All parts fit easily.

It's an outstandingly beautiful model. My hat's off to HM and Dan for their fine effort.

There are 4 areas that could use improvement though.

1) The bubble packaging is very tight. The tabs holding the wings broke when I pressed in on them to release the model. The plastic seems to be less flexible than previous HM material. I don't see the need for such large tabs as the coated wire and other blister packaging features hold the model in place quite well. The F-16 has the tight fit issue as well, and a lot of care has to be taken to avoid damaging the model during un-packaging.

2) The main landing gear sits very tight. No filing or mod was necessary to install it, but removing the gear may prove problematic unless someone knows a point to use to apply pressure to remove the pieces.

3) I couldn't get the canopies open. The seams are too tight. This is a great "problem" to have, but is there a secret to getting them open? I'm only interested in opening the front. Any tips on where and which direction to apply pressure. I've opened several canopies in my time, and this is the first time I've been completely thwarted in my efforts to insert the pilot.

4) The in-flight stand is abdominal. I really wish HM would consider an F-105 type setup on future products. The cradle method really detracts from the appearance.

While this may seem to be a rather critical review, I am supremely happy with this release, and I have ordered a second, just to have a backup. I'll display it at work.
Glad you like it.

I only found the rear canopy difficult to open on my copy. My solution was to just gently insert a hobby knife blade into the seam and then gently twist. It should open enough for you to get a better grip to remove it.

The landing gear fit is very precise. I have removed the modules by just being patient and gently rocking the gear back and forth until it releases.

Too bad the stand is abdominal. Maybe try to use it away from your tummy? Just teasing. I think you meant abominable.

Dan

Last edited by ACpilot; 08-23-2015 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 08-23-2015, 09:21 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Default Re: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA4701 US Navy RA-5C Vigilante RVAH-6, USS Kitty Hawk

"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skinner67 View Post
I just received this model this week and opened it today.


2) The main landing gear sits very tight. No filing or mod was necessary to install it, but removing the gear may prove problematic unless someone knows a point to use to apply pressure to remove the pieces.

3) I couldn't get the canopies open. The seams are too tight. This is a great "problem" to have, but is there a secret to getting them open? I'm only interested in opening the front. Any tips on where and which direction to apply pressure. I've opened several canopies in my time, and this is the first time I've been completely thwarted in my efforts to insert the pilot.
"

I've experienced problems recently with a HM Bf110E (HA1811). My canopy however was ridiculously 'loose' to the extent that any time the model was inverted it fell off!

The gears were a very snug fit to say the least but as Dan indicated some gentle and patient rocking side to side eventually gets them loose.

Most worryingly the tail was completely off kilter on the X-Axis to the extent that I had to apply some pressure to break the glue holding it (without actually breaking the tail itself) before applying my own glue and resetting it

I guess even the better manufacturers have some consistency issues?
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