Hobbyboss 1:48 A-10A Warthog 80-0194 511th TFS/10th TFW

The Story

The 511th TFS "Vultures" of the 10th TFW, was part of the initial USAF deployment in August 1990 to Saudi Arabia. The squadron deployed from RAF Alconbury to King Fahd International Airport where they would be attached to the 354th TFW(P). There they provided for the defense of Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield. The squadron engaged in combat operations for the duration of Desert Storm destroying large numbers of Iraqi tanks and other armor. One pilot, Captain Todd Sheeny, achieved the second air-to-air kill for the A-10 community by shooting down a Mi-8 "Hip" with the aircraft GAU-8 cannon. Although a number of squadron aircraft received minor battle damage, no aircraft was shot down in combat.

The Kit

This is my second Hobbyboss A-10 built as a Desert Storm aircraft so this build underwent similar changes. The LASTE upgrades were removed as they were installed after Desert Storm. Being the 511th TFS had later model A-10s, the ALR-46 radar warning system was removed from the tail. Also, an extra vent was added near the topside UHF antenna and the lower UHF antenna was moved from below the gun to beside the nose gear door. The lower UHF antenna was a detail I missed on my first A-10 build so I went back and fixed that on the model. One disappointment with the kit is that it does not include sway braces for the pylons. To remedy this I glued the the sway braces from the kit multiple ejector rack onto the pylons. The pilot figure was built using parts from several Hasegawa pilot figures. For the load configuration I used: the kit ALQ-131 ECM pod, two Hasegawa Maverick missiles (one painted as an AGM-65B and the other as a AGM-65D) both on Wolfpack LAU-117 launch rails, Hasegawa AIM-9 Sidewinders with Dr Pepper missile head covers, and Hasegawa Mk82 bombs on two TERs. Originally I had built six CBU-58 cluster bombs (using the Monogram A-10 kit bombs as a basis) to be put on the TERs but they did not fit since they would have interfered with the main gear doors. Eduard "remove before flight" tags were added to various pylons and other locations. This involved drilling holes where I would insert a piece of wire as a pin, then secure the RBF tag with a thinner strand of copper wire. Painting was done with Gunze Sangyo acyrlics H301, H302, and H303. Weathering and other details are painted with various enamels. For Desert Storm decals representing an aircraft from the 511th TFS there is Superscale 48-433 or Carpena 48-039. I chose to use the Carpena sheet because the plane represented, 80-0194 "Freedom Warthog", had the squadron tail band whereas the Superscale offering does not. Aside from the decals specific to 80-0194, the other decals came from various sources.