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Diecast Airplanes
1/72 Warplanes
Hobby Master United States

Type Attack
Hobby Master item


Distribution Unlimited

Photographs Copyright © Collin Riley 2005-2014
Douglas A-1H Skyraider, VA-176, USS Intrepid "MiG Killer"
Air Power Series. Well folks, this model is nigh on plastic-model-done-by-an-expert quality. In my own diecast collection, there is nothing better.

Some of the model's design details include a most excellent landing gear assembly, which is topnotch and similar to the Corgi Corsair main gear, which is almost fullproof. The gear inserts in the wing easily, aligns automatically, and stays together no matter how much the model is moved. Also included is a finely printed prop, as well as a detailed and colorful paint job throughout the model. The canopy slides well and true, and the various weapons loads fit tightly in the wing slots.

Also laudable is a potential feature that was left out: There are no moving control surfaces, which, if they had been included, would have ruined this almost perfect diecast model. Thankfully, the model sits and flies sagless, solid, and intact on its own, without gimmicks.

In my time in the navy this plane was known simply as the AD, which I believe was the original designation. The Hobby Master blurb on the box says the plane was originally designated the AD-1, which may be true, though I'm not familiar with the usage. One of these planes, in dark sea blue, was based at NAF Naha when our family was in Okinawa from 1956 through 1958. When we had a typhoon come through in 1957, the AD broke free from its tie downs and was pushed into a P2V (also painted dark sea blue), which collapsed on top of the AD. 'Nuff said.

I've included two pictures of A-1s I took in 1965 off Vietnam from our ammunition ship, the USS Firedrake (AE-14).

The AD design was probably the ultimate all-around prop design, the culmination of decades of pre-jet airplane development. That's not to say it was the fastest or most maneuverable, but it was certainly elegant in its simplicity. In many ways, the design reminds me of another Douglas product, the A-26, which used the same direct aerodynamic approach, including gradually tapered wings, finely cowled engines, and a strong, compact fuselage structure. It would be interesting to know if the same designers worked on both projects, or if they simply followed an established Douglas design philosophy.

Copyright © Collin Riley 2005-2014 Email Diecast Airplanes & Waterline Ships