After nearly 5 years in development the 1/32nd scale Trumpeter A-6 Intruder series is finally in full scale production.
The first version that will be released will be the A-6A Vietnam War era Intruder. After that will be the A-6E upgraded version and then finally the definitive A-6E TRAM variant used in Desert Storm. The official release dates are still up in the air but we should expect to see the A-6A around January 2013 followed by the A-6E in March 2013 and possibly June 2013 for the A-6E TRAM.
I was invited to attend the grand opening of the new Trumpeter factory in Zhongshan City, China on May 20, 2012 and took these photos of the A-6 Intruder being made. Cutting the metal molds is a very slow and tedious process. Sometimes it takes four to five hours to mill just one piece of metal. With over 1,200 pieces to mill you have to be very patient. The milling machines are all computer controlled and quite sophisticated, not to mention very expensive.
By far this is the most ambitious kit Trumpeter has produced. It will be their largest 1/32nd scale kit and will include the most number of parts. The weapons options will include weapons spanning the 1960’s thru the 1990’s. As usual the kit will include fully position-able flight controls, folding wings, sliding canopy, fully detailed cockpit/landing gear/engines, etched metal details, rubber tires, along with detailed instructions and markings. It is hoped that this kit will be even more popular than the 1/32nd scale A-10A Thunderbolt II, their most successful kit to date, selling more than 25,000 copies since 1999.
Mr. Ho, Trumpeter Chairman and CEO, took a personal interest in the production of this kit from its inception in 2007 to the present time. The A-6 Intruder is his favorite aircraft because of its longevity and ruggedness. He is confident that modelers and non-modelers will find this kit most impressive and worth the long wait.
After the milling process is complete the parts will be arraigned in sprues and then the first test shots will be made. This should occur around August or September 2012. Here at IPMS Philippines we do our best to post photos of the test shot as soon as it becomes available. Once the kit is released we will do a complete kit review and post it here on our web site.
This is an exciting time to be a 1/32nd scale modeler. Trumpeter will eventually be producing a 1/32nd scale F-22A Raptor and a complete F-35A, B and C Lightning II series. As their experience level continues to improve I would expect to see even better quality products from them in the future.