A-3 Update: Wheel Wells

I spent last week working on the KA-3B Skywarrior. Hasegawa did some nice wells on this model but they left a lot out. For example, the wheel wells have nice rivet detail and some of the externally visible structure, but they left a bunch of stuff out. The mid-bay bulkheads were missing, for instance – but there are slots in the model that suggest that Hasegawa was going to include them and then forgot! There was also a mess of wiring missing (which is usually the case with ’50s jet kits).

Here’s what the bays looked like out of the box:

A-3 well 1

Nice, but no personality. There’s some good detail but plenty’s missing. I went at the model with fine solder, wire, styrene strip and even a little resin cylinder trimmed from the back of a radial engine. Here’s what this (the port side) now looks like:

A-3 Wheel Bay Pt


And the starboard side:

A-3 wheel bay Stb

There’s more to add – the lower corners have a bit of a spaghetti look to them – but that stuff will go on once the bays get their first coat of white paint.

The details are not conjecture – there are some great web references out there. My go-to for this build was the Silicon Valley Scale Modelers’ site gallery – two sets of photos of the plane at the Oakland Aviation Museum. They have tons of other walk-arounds – it’s worth poking around just to see what’s available.



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