Douglas A-4 Skyhawk

Published: September 30th, 2019     
Product Image
Front Cover
Author: Ian White, AMRAeS
Reviewed by: 
Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Guideline Publications
Other Publication Information: Illustrator: Richard J. Caruana, Product Size: Soft Bound, 8.25” x 11.625”, 144 pages (Plus Covers)
Price: $34.99
Product / Stock #: WPT 121

Ian White was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1947 and educated at secondary schools in Rotherham and later in Ilford, Essex. He joined the Post Office Engineering Department in August 1963 as an apprentice and later served as a technician in the City of London. In 1973, on promotion to engineer, he was appointed to the Post Office's Air Defense Group in London to provide landline and ground to air communications for the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the UK, Germany and Cyprus. In April 1984 he joined the Company's Defense Sales Organization as a Senior Systems Engineer and later as an engineering manager. The final three years were spent as a liaison officer within the defense and law enforcement community. Ian retired in May 2000, following which he attended Anglia Polytechnic University (now Anglia Ruskin University), Cambridge, as an undergraduate history student. In 2003 he was awarded an honours degree in Modern European History. Ian joined the Royal Aeronautic Society in 1977 as an Associate, before being appointed an Associate Member (AMRAeS) in 1984. He was awarded Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status by the Society in March 1999. He is a member of the Royal Air Force Historical Society, Air Britain and an associate member of No.604 (County of Middlesex) Squadron Association. He has written a history of No.604 Squadron (If You Want Peace, Prepare for War,2005) and a history of the British night-fighter (A History of Air Intercept Radar and the British Night-Fighter, 1936-1959, Pen & Sword Ltd, 2007) and has written for Warpaint Publications.

Richard J. Caruana, who lives and works in Malta, is best known for his technical and colour drawings which appear regularly in magazines in the UK (Scale Aviation Modeller International), Italy (Elicotteri e Aerei Militari, Aerofan) and Greece (Model Expert). His aviation art, specializing in the history and colours of the Regia Aeronautica, has also been published in the US, Canada, Australia, Portugal, Argentina and Israel. He also has over 21 books to his credit as author. Check out his website at: https://sites.google.com/site/rjcaviationart/home .

Warpaint's latest is on the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk in their standard A4 format softbound publication that is 140 pages, plus a 4 page 1/72 drawing centerfold (excluding covers). I counted 170 clear black and white photographs, 159 color pictures, along with 55 of Richard J. Caruana's color side profiles. Richard J. Caruana also contributes the centerfold (four A4 pages) that features 22 line drawings, all in 1/72 scale. The front cover features a color side profile of a Douglas A4D-1 Skyhawk (BuNo 139970) circa 1959 on the USS Saratoga (CVA 60). On the lower half of the front cover is a color photograph of an A-4C hybrid in May 2014 composed of three different major components. The upper back cover features a color photograph of a TA-4J and a trio of A-4Ns at Hatzerim Air Base in 2015. The center color photograph depicts an A-4# ready to launch off of the USS Oriskany in 1966.

Ian White starts out with the design and development of the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, ably covering the intricacies of the design and development of a lightweight attack aircraft. The Skyhawk would fit on the US Navy's carrier elevators without resorting to folding wings (or wing tips) and still be able to deliver a nuclear weapon. The Skyhawk's first flight was achieved June 22, 1954, over 65 years ago. Production was close to 3,000 aircraft between 1954 and 1979 with some remaining in military service even today (Argentina Air Force and the Brazilian Navy). Ian White devotes a good part of this tome to the operational service of the Skyhawk and the major conflicts that it played a significant role in, including the Vietnam War, The Yom Kippur War, and the Falklands War.

One of the more interesting sections was on the A-4N variant. Somehow, I missed (or maybe had forgotten) that the A-4N was known as the "Skyhawk II". The A-4N was essentially the USMC's A-4M modified to Israeli specifications. The Skyhawk was the first US warplane to be offered to the Israeli Air Force as Israel changed from France being its top military supplier. The A-4N was the last fighter variant purchased by Israel in early 1973. The last Israeli Skyhawk was finally retired from service on December 13, 2015.

The Chapters include:

  • Douglas A-4 Color Schemes (1/72) by Richard J. Caruana [Page 138]
  • Contents
  • Origins and Design [Page 7]
  • Development, Production, & Variants
    • New Build
      • XA4D-1 Skyhawk
      • A4D-1 (A-4A) Skyhawk
      • A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk
      • A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk
      • A4D-2N Army Light Combat Skyhawk
      • A4D-5/A-4E Skyhawk
      • Skyhawk TA-4F Airframes Converted to TA-4J & EA-4F [Table]
      • A4D-5T/TA-4E/TA-4F Skyhawk Trainer
      • EA-4F Skyhawk
      • A-4F Skyhawk
      • A-4G Skyhawk & TA-4G Skyhawk Trainer
      • A-4H Skyhawk & TA-4H Skyhawk Trainer
      • TA-4J Skyhawk Trainer
      • A-4K Skyhawk & TA-4K Skyhawk Trainer
      • Data For US Navy & USMC Skyhawk Variants [Table]
      • A-4M Skyhawk
      • Skyhawk Production & US Navy Bureau Numbers (BuNos) [Table]
      • OA-4M Skyhawk
      • A-4N Skyhawk
      • A-4KU Skyhawk & TA-4KU Skyhawk Trainer
    • Conversions
      • A-4P Skyhawk
      • A-4Q Skyhawk
      • A-4R Skyhawk & OA-4AR Skyhawk Trainer
      • A-4L Skyhawk [Page 24]
      • A-4S Skyhawk & TA-4S Skyhawk Trainer
      • A-4S-1/F404 Skyhawk & TA-4S-1/F404 Skyhawk Trainer
      • Data For Foreign Skyhawk Variants [Table]
      • A-4SU Skyhawk & TA-4SU Skyhawk Trainer
      • A-4PTM Skyhawk & TA-4PTM Skyhawk Trainer
  • Service with the United States Navy
    • Early Days 1956 - 1964
    • Vietnam 1964 - 1975
    • US Navy A-4A & A-4B Squadrons, Stations, & Carriers [Table]
    • US Navy A4D-2N/A-4C & A-4E Squadrons, Stations, & Carriers [Table]
    • Replacement Air Group Squadrons 1958 - 1996
    • Vietnam US Navy & Marine Corps Carrier Squadrons January 1964 - January 1972 [Table]
    • US Navy A-4F, TA-4F, & EA-4F Squadrons, Stations, & Carriers [Table]
    • Training Command 1958 - 1999
    • Navy Reserve Units 1961 - 1978
    • US Navy A-4 Training Squadrons & Stations [Table]
    • Second Line Units - Utility, Electronic Support & Testing Squadrons 1964 - 2003
    • US Navy A-4L & A-4M Training Squadrons & Stations [Table]
  • Service with the United States Marine Corps
    • Early Days 1956 - 1964
    • US Navy A-4 Second Line Units & Stations [Table]
    • Vietnam 1964 - 1973
    • US Marine Corps A-4A & A-4B Squadrons, Stations, & Carriers [Table]
  • Douglas A-4 Skyhawk Scale Plans (1/72) Drawings by Richard J. Caruana [Pull-Out Centerfold]
    • US Marine Corps A-4C & A-4E Squadrons, Stations, & Carriers [Table]
    • Post-Vietnam 1973-1992
    • US Marine Corps A-4F & TA-4F Squadrons, Stations, & Carriers [Table]
    • Marine Corps Training Units 1967-1987
    • Marine Corps Reserve Units 1959-1994
  • Service with Foreign Air Forces & Navies
    • The Export Skyhawk
    • US Marine Corps A-4L, A-4M, & OA-4M Squadrons, Stations, & Carriers [Table]
    • Argentine Air Force & Navy
    • Royal Australian Navy
    • Brazilian Navy
    • Israel Defence Force / Air Force [Page 96]
    • Royal New Zealand Air Force
    • Kuwait Air Force
    • Indonesian Air Force
    • Republic of Singapore Air Force
    • Royal Malaysian Air Force
  • Civil Service
    • Draken International
    • Draken International Skyhawk Fleet [Table]
    • Advanced Training Systems International
    • Advanced Training Systems International Skyhawk Fleet [Table]
    • Airborne Tactical Advantage Company
    • BAE Systems
    • BAE Systems Skyhawk Fleet [Table]
    • Discovery Air (Canada)
    • Pacific Aero Ventures
    • Aircraft Restoration & Marketing & A-4 Limited Liability Corporation
    • The Collings Foundation
    • The Warbird Heritage Foundation
    • Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum
    • Classic Fighters
    • Tenton Aviation Services
    • Dedication
  • Douglas A-4 Skyhawk Kits, Decals, and Accessories [Table]
  • Skyhawk Production (Photo Essay)
  • Acknowledgements
  • Douglas A-4 Skyhawk In Detail (Photo Essay)

Ian White provides a very readable text that is supplemented with clear photographs and color illustrations from Richard J. Caruana. This is a very good reference on the Douglas Skyhawk and would be a valuable addition to your reference library. Whether you are building 1/72 or 1/48, I would consider this edition essential as an aide to your build. This is a longer book than many Warpaint titles, but I was able to read this tome easily over four nights. If you own any of the previous releases in the Warpaint series, you know what you are getting. If this is your initial entry into this series, you will be quite pleased.

My thanks to Guideline Publications and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great monograph.

Highly recommended!

  • Rear Cover
    Rear Cover
  • Drawings
    Drawings
  • Page 007
    Page 007
  • Page 024
    Page 024
  • Page 096
    Page 096
  • Page 139
    Page 139

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