When Hasegawa finally followed up their excellent 1:48 A-4 series with a TA-4J, many modelers were thrilled, including me. Of course shortly after its release, aftermarket companies soon had various releases to detail the kit even further. Eduard produced several new photo-etched sets for the TA-4J, a couple of which are applicable to other A-4 variants.
First we will look at the airbrake set. A single fret of etch is included along with one page of instructions in the usual Eduard style. The final assemblies completely replace the kits flaps, plus provide parts for the upper spoilers seen on the TA-4J, TA-4F, A-4F, and A-4M. Also one advantage the etched parts have is there is no ejector pin marks as seen on the kit parts.
The assemblies seem complicated at first, with each flap/spoiler consisting of four to five parts. However they assemble easy enough, though a photo-etch bending tool makes doing a few of the bends much easier. To install, the top spoiler section must be cut from the upper wing, and parts B6/B7 must be modified. When cutting the upper wing, I suggest using the photo-etch parts as a guide to how much needs to be removed. For final fitting, use a file to remove just enough plastic for the photo-etch parts to fit. Also pay attention to the angle of the flaps and spoilers. Not only to make them even on both sides, but also not to hang the flaps too low so the drop tanks won’t fit properly. They should drop almost to the top of the drop tanks, but not touching. Once installed, paint with the rest of the model.
It definably adds a different look to your later model Skyhawk, and is easy enough to assemble that I recommend it not just for the TA-4J, but all other appropriate models of the Skyhawk.
Thank you to Eduard Model Accessories and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this set.