77 - A-10 Thunderbolt II

The A-10 “Warthog”

the undisputed queen of Close Air Support

Model by Bjørn Jacobsen

The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is one of the most durable aircraft ever created. 

It features double redundancy almost

all flight systems and 544 kg (1,200 lbs)

of 3,8 cm (1.5) inch titanium armour to

protect the cockpit and systems.

It can withstand AA strikes up to 57mm

and fly with an engine gone and a wing


An A-10 has never been lost in combat.

When they started building the A-10s in

1972, the aircrews and maintainers who

worked on the plane thought it was so

ugly they called it the "Warthog."

Today, after decades of wear and tear

and blood and toil, that nickname

carries with it a nickname of affection

and respect.

The Thunderbolt II's story starts with

America's experience in Vietnam.

The United States had a fleet of

expensive, multipurpose jets.

But over the jungles, those fancier

warplanes ceded much of the close air

support mission to simple, propeller-

driven aircraft like the Korean War-era

A-1 Skyraider, and to Army helicopters.

Such aircraft could more easily

manoeuvre at low altitudes and had the

range and loitering time to do air support

for infantry operations.

The Warthog is such an aircraft.

A single-seat, low-wing, straight-wing

aircraft with two non-afterburning turbofan

engines mounted high—behind the wing

and in front of an empennage with twin

vertical stabilizers.

The plane carries 10,000 pounds of internal

fuel near the wing roots.

Much of the Warthogs enormous punch is

its 30mm GAU-8 rotary cannon.

The Gatling gun hoses shells at a rate of

3900 rounds per minute.

It represents about 16 per cent of the

aircraft's weight.

When the gun is removed for maintenance,

the A-10's tail must be supported to keep

the nose from tipping up.

In the first Iraq War,  A-10s destroyed

more than 900 Iraqi tanks, 2,000 other

military vehicles, and 1,200 artillery pieces.

Warthogs shot down two Iraqi helicopters

with the GAU-8.

On the second day of the Persian Gulf

War, a pair of Warthogs destroyed 23

tanks over the course of three sorties,

using Maverick missiles as well as the

cannon. Iraqi troops called the A-10 the

"Cross of Death," a reference to its shape

and lethality.

The A-10 has seen in action in every major

U.S. conflict since and approximately 350

remain in service.

It served in the Balkans flying sorties over

Bosnia and Herzegovina and finding a

downed F-117 pilot in Kosovo.

The planes flew again in Operation Iraqi

Freedom and in Afghanistan, flying 32

per cent of the combat sorties in both


From 2006 to late 2013, A-10s flew 19

per cent of close air operations in Iraq and


That's more than the F-15E Strike Eagle or

B-1B Lancer. Only the F-16 flew more.

As of early 2015, Warthogs had flown 11 per cent of USAF sorties against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

After 46 years in service, the A-10 is still the best close air support aircraft in the USAF’s inventory!

The Warthog firing its 30mm Gatling cannon

The General Electric GAU-8/A Avenger is a 30 mm hydraulically driven seven-barrel Gatling-style autocannon. Designed specifically for the anti-tank role, the Avenger delivers very powerful rounds at a high rate of fire.

The GAU-8 itself weighs 620 pounds (280 kg), but the complete weapon, with feed system and drum, weighs 4,029 pounds (1,828 kg) with a maximum ammunition load. The magazine can hold 1,174 rounds. Muzzle velocity when firing Armor-Piercing Incendiary rounds is 1,013 m/s.

Loading the GAU-8 Gatling gun

Building the A-10 “Warthog”

Finished building

A lot of leads in the nose


The kit I used was the 1/48 from Tamiya.

The building was easy and had no big surprises.

With the big engines on the top of the fuselage, a double tail and the main wheels placed in front of the centre; it needed a lot of lead in the nose to make sure the plane did not become a tail sitter.

That taken care of, the rest was easy work and the normal procedure:

Priming, pre-shading, and painting.

All the camouflage was brush painted.

With this kind of camouflage, brush paint is easier than airbrush and gives much more control of the process.

If you are doing paintbrush, you should always start with the brightest colour and then continue with the darker colours.

Always remember to add white to the colours to equalise the scale effect.

Also, use thinned colours and paint several layers when necessary.

I would have as many weapons as possible on the pylons to show how much this aircraft could carry.

I used Johnsons Future on the aircraft before I applied the decals.

Then a layer with Satin Varnish before I did the last weathering.


Camouglage painting

A lot of armaments on the pylons;

12 x Mk 82 500-pound (227 kg), bombs.

6 x  AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles.

2 x MK-20 Rockeyel, cluster bombs.

1 x GBU-8 Electro-Optical Guided "smart bomb"

1 x GBU-10 (Guided Bomb Unit-10) Paveway II

1 x ALQ-119 Jamming Pod

Decals and armaments

It's always fun to pretend an aircraft model is taking off and doing what its designed to do!

Here are some pictures where I have pasted pictures of the model

onto a more exciting background.


Take a picture of your model in the “right” position.


Cut out the model from the picture (by using a photo editing program)


You have found a new background picture into which you’ll paste the “cut-out” model.


When you place the model-picture in the background picture, you can regulate the size and tilt as you want. You can even duplicate the model-picture and past it the second (or third) time.

This is how to make a picture like the one above:

First of all, you need a photo editing program with the possibility to cut out (paste) a part of one picture and insert it into another picture.

Then you need a new background picture for your model. You can use one of your own, or you might find it on the net (beware of copyrights). Try to find a background picture with a resolution as close to the model picture as possible.

The process is quite easy, and it will give the picture of your model a whole new dimension!

I hope you enjoyed this website

Thank you for visiting!

 Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or comments


Bjørn Jacobsen

November 2018