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USMC Vietnam A-4E/F Loadout Question

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  • Member since
    August, 2017
USMC Vietnam A-4E/F Loadout Question
Posted by laskdjn on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 10:17 AM

Building a 1/48 Hasegawa A-4E/F, probably going with F.  Got decals for the VMA-223 Bulldogs.

What do ya'll think of the following loadout?

Stations 1&5: 1 Mk82

Stations 2&4: MER with 5 Mk82s, leaving the forward inboard pylon empty for the landing gear

Station 3: Fuel tank...whichever one comes in the kit

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 10:36 AM

That sounds like a reasonable load out. I’d make two suggestions on that: 1, do some image searches of Marine A-4Fs in Vietnam; 2, use Snakeye Mk.82s as opposed to the low drag type. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 1:42 PM

Hello!

How about some nape?

Have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by laskdjn on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 1:42 PM

Yeah, I'd searched many pictures and many forums.  One of the most common things I saw on Marine Scooters, at least, was that they sported an MER on stations 2 and 4, some even carried MERs on 2,3, AND 4.  However, my Hasegawa weapons kit only comes with 2 MERs.

 

And you know, like any good Marine, more boom is always better, so given what I have, I just wanna maximize the load.

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 5:14 PM

Hello!

For a Marine scooter, stationed, say, in Chu Lai, when you're dropping bombs shortly after you raise the landing gear, three MERs might just be the solution. But for a liitle more range you just need that extra fuel tank. Like when you're cruising and waiting for the FAC or the ANGLICOs to find a target for you.

An extra MER can be bought as aftermarket item, together with very nice Snakeyes on it:

1:72 Airfix A-4B Skyhawk by Pawel

Napalm bombs also can be had in 1:72. They would just beautifully complement the load on the outer wing stations!

Good luck with your build and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by laskdjn on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 5:39 PM

Napalm comes in the weapons kit I got, but it's the wrong one. It comes with the finned BLU-27, from what I've read, the Marines didn't use the finned ones in the late 60s.  If I'm wrong, I'm wrong and I'll accept it, though.

 

Also, who makes the single aftermarket MER with snakeeyes?

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by laskdjn on Thursday, October 04, 2018 5:15 PM

Also, off topic but related, what the state of the ailerons, flaps, air brakes, elevators, and spoilers on a parked A-4? 

All the pictures I've seen had everything up, except the slats which are gravity driven

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Thursday, October 04, 2018 5:55 PM

Hello!

As for the MER with bombs - I have used those:

https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/KORDSM7206

Best napalm bombs for a Marine Scooter would probably be these:

Mk.77 Nape

Good luck with your build and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by laskdjn on Monday, October 08, 2018 9:39 AM

laskdjn

Also, off topic but related, what the state of the ailerons, flaps, air brakes, elevators, and spoilers on a parked A-4? 

All the pictures I've seen had everything up, except the slats which are gravity driven

 

 

So, I found it.  My take is, slats and flaps down, and airbrakes cracked open when parked.

 

Also, Pawel, thanks for that.  With regard to the fuel tank on the centerline.  Should I go for the finned or domed tail?

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Monday, October 08, 2018 2:45 PM

Hello!

Glad I could help. With the fuel tanks you never know... First thing would be to check the photos of your aircraft or other aircraft from the same unit. This will not only give you the clue as for the finned/unfinned tank, but also it will let you know if the unit used custom painted fuel tanks - that happened often in Navy units.

One more interesting article that I would recommend is this one (other articles by Tommy Thomason are also great):

http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2011/07/douglas-low-drag-external-fuel-tanks.html

Hope this will help you also... Isn't the scooter lovely? Good luck with your build and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    January, 2009
Posted by F-8fanatic on Saturday, October 13, 2018 1:53 PM

Some other things to consider....Skyhawks, both USN and USMC, hauled a lot more than Mk. 82s. Here is a photo of a VMA-223 Skyhawk from Chu Lai, 1968, with a drop tank on centerline and two rocket pods: http://www.a-1-6.org/1-6th%20site/1st%20bn%206th%20inf%20web%20site%20off%20line/cdcas.html

 

Here's a relatively uncommon loadout on a VMA-223 A-4E(the same loadout could be carried the same way on an A-4F). Centerline tank, inboard stations both carry Mk. 4 20mm gun pods and outer stations carry rocket pods: http://www.aoadecals.com/32010/COVER-32010.jpg

 

Here's a VMA-311 Skyhawk at Chu Lai hotpad, All 4 wing stations have Mk. 77 napalm canisters and the centerline station has BRU-41 MER loaded with Mk. 82 Snakeyes: http://a4skyhawk.info/sites/default/files/images-a4-unknown/a4-vma311_19.jpg

Note that even though this is a different squadron, this would not have been an uncommon loadout for the unit you're doing. VMA-223 was at Chu Lai around that same time and would have flown the same types of missions as 311 did.

Here's one loaded the way you originally asked about:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/usmcarchives/23399038906/in/photostream/

There are so many options that you could choose from. Another option is a jet that just came back from delivering presents....with empty MERs on the centerline or inboard pylons and empty rocket pods on the outer stations.

This one was probably not such a common sight--this was taken in 1969, it's a VMA-223 Skyhawk with centerline tank and a pair of AGM-62 Walleye glide bombs on the inboard stations. Outer stations are empty.

http://a4skyhawk.info/sites/default/files/images-buno-149647-150600/150121-vma223-wp24-may69_mark-williams.jpg

One that you won't find a whole lot of use on the Skyhawks was the Mk. 81 250 pound bomb. They did have the ability to carry other weapons as well, like cluster bombs and AGM-12 Bullpups. A note on the Bullpups, there were two basic versions. The AGM-12B could be carried on all stations, but the AGM-12C could not be carried on the outer stations. It's also important to note that bombs of different types or sizes were not mixed and carried on the same MER at the same time.

  • Member since
    January, 2009
Posted by F-8fanatic on Saturday, October 13, 2018 2:03 PM

laskdjn

 

 
laskdjn

Also, off topic but related, what the state of the ailerons, flaps, air brakes, elevators, and spoilers on a parked A-4? 

All the pictures I've seen had everything up, except the slats which are gravity driven

 

 

 

 

So, I found it.  My take is, slats and flaps down, and airbrakes cracked open when parked.

 

Also, Pawel, thanks for that.  With regard to the fuel tank on the centerline.  Should I go for the finned or domed tail?

 

 

It was more common to have the centerline tank without fins.  The fins served the purpose of aiding in separation when the tank was dropped from the aircraft.  The centerline tanks were very rarely, if ever, dropped from the A-4's.  It would have been perhaps more plausible to see wing tanks with fins, but there were 5 different configurations for the 300 gallon drop tanks.  The tank, if I recall right, is the AERO-1D, and the variants are mod-0 through mod-4.  The tank could have either a rounded or pointed nose cone, and also either a finned or unfinned tail cap.  It was also possible for the tank to be used without a tail cap installed, and that's the one that looks flat at the back.

 

Also, the speed brakes were not generally open on the ground, though it was possible.  The typical configuration would be to have either the flaps and slats down or just the leading edge slats drooped, as these were unpowered and would simply deploy based on the aircraft's speed in the air.  Flaps were not always left down, and a lot of photos show A-4s parked with the flaps up and with them down, so you really can't go wrong either way there.

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