Douglas A-4K Kahu Skyhawk Conversion

Published on
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Base Kit
1/32 A-4 “kahu” Trumpeter A-4
Company: Barracuda Studios - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Barracuda Studios - Website: Visit Site

Roy Sutherland of Barracuda Studios is back… and this time with a totally unexpected item; a 1/32 A-4 “kahu” Upgrade for your Trumpeter A-4 to turn it into a New Zealand bird.

Anyone who has been around the modeling community for a while should be familiar with Roy and his company. Well researched and flawlessly executed resin, decals, and other items for (Is it 20 years?)… This set is no exception.

3D printing has arrived at the house of the ‘cuda fish. I have this upgrade in hand and an impressive little bit of upgrade this is. I am no KAHU expert, but have seen the retired birds at work at Nellis AFB (until recently, some kind of contract change). The Kiwi markings are gone, but the overall paint scheme remained.

This set is designed to upgrade your Trumpeter A-4 to a KAHU. The instructions (which you download from Roy’s website) give full instructions on how to remove everything from the printing trestles, and how to use the remaining parts.

Here’s the description of what you get from the barracuda website:

…“Contains all the (mostly 3D printed) parts to convert the A-4E/F into a RNZAF Kahu. Cockpit upgrades include a new, modern instrument panel with multi function displays and instrument decals, a new throttle and stick top, rudder pedals, and gunsight with clear cast HUD glass. New external details include a new fin top, a number of blade antennas, early and late parabrake housing, cooling intakes and a clear cast high intensity strobe light. Designed for the Trumpeter A-4E or F kit, but can be modified to fit the older Hasegawa Skyhawk. Master patterns by Kerry Carlyle, Mike Swinburne, and Craig Sargent. Research assistance from Craig Sargent and Anthony Galbraith”…

As you can see Roy had a cast of helpers to develop this kit, whom I acknowledge above. I used the much better detailed and finessed BC rudder pedals, control column grip and throttle for my Israeli Skyhawk; the parts fit right in with the Aires cockpit I was using, and were even MORE detailed. As to the antennas, RHAW and instrument panel, I assembled the latter for y’all to see how the resin and decal item turned out. (very nice I think).

For the one issue I have right now, (no KAHU markings available here in the U.S. from the common sources), being an international opportunist I was able to note a New Zealand model company that produces a decal sheet for KAHUs in the three major scales, as Noted by Brett Green on Hyperscale when he did his recent OOB review of these parts, so I purchased one of the sheets and contributed to the Kiwi economy, and have said decals on the way. I am going to use these upgrade parts on the Hasegawa two-seater I have languishing in the cold… and then use the decals. I’ll do a follow up review to let you know how all this falls into place with the external details from Barracudacast.

Thanks to Roy at Barracuda Studios for developing this set, and providing it to IPMS USA for review. I’m putting it to good use!


Add new comment

All comments are moderated to prevent spam

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.