by: Darren Baker [ ]
The A1 Skyraider is well represented in many scales, some offerings are better than others, but they all have room for further improvement. My personal favourites are the two 1/48th scale offerings from Tamiya. Master has now tackled the Skyraider and released 2 alternate weapons sets with pitotís in three main scales. So if you have an interest in the A-1 Skyraider take a look inside.
These offerings are supplied inside Ziploc plastic bags attached to a card hanger. Inside of the Ziploc bag is another bag that is segmented and contains the parts offered. The three scales covered by these Master offerings are below along with the number of kits listed as available in those scales.
1/72nd scale = 47 kits
1/48th scale = 27 kits
1/32nd scale = 7 kits
The first offering I will look at here contains four 20mm cannon barrels with flash suppressors and pitot. The A-1 Skyraider started its life with two 20mm cannons fitted before gaining another two, as such this set has you covered regardless of your preference. The 1/72nd and 1/48th scale offering contain all brass turned parts, but the 1/32nd scale offering has brass cannon barrels and I believe an aluminium pitot. Detail on the barrels is really well replicated and a great improvement over plastic. The finesse of the pitotí in all of the scales will add some very fine detail, but take care with the pitot as it finesse will make it easy to distort/bend. An interesting aspect of these barrels is that they are designed to be attached to the body of a machine gun; Master has consider that a machine gun body is not always present and so they have indicated how much of the barrel should protrude forward of the wing.
The second offering covered here offers the four 20mm cannon barrels and pitot. The barrels are again turned brass in all scales and the pitot is brass in 1/72nd and 1/48th and aluminium in 1/32nd scale. The barrels in these offerings have the option of two different ends of the barrels, but no flash suppressors are supplied. I did quite a lot of searching online reference over the differences, but I was unable to find out exactly what the differences signify. As with the alternate offering these barrels are again designed to be attached to the body of a machine gun; Master has also again considered that a machine gun body is not always present and so they have indicated how much of the barrel should protrude forward of the wing.
When it comes to upgrading aircraft models it seems to me that the world is the limit, but how far you go depends on three main aspects in my opinion:
Your ability (ease of use)
In the small scales around 1/72nd scale items such as these are ideal improvements as they tend to be cheap to buy and are easily utilised, but perhaps most importantly the scale representation is fair superior and pleasing to look at. As you move up to 1/48th and 1/32nd scale it tend to be the cockpits that really get the attention of the modeller due to the increased amount of detail that can be added and more importantly seen, barrels and pitot tubes tend to be of a lower consideration. With that said pitot tubes still tend to be better and certainly the details are more defined. The barrels of weapons are improved via crisper surface detail and the hollow element of the barrels muzzle. One aspect I appreciate when using metal barrels and pitotís is that they are far less likely to get broken while working on the model. So with everything considered I feel these offerings are a great addition to the Master line.
The pictures of the parts seen here are from Master.