Do the recommendations for the F-15C hold true for the F-15A?
5.) Italeri & Academy
Or would I get better results taking an F-15C kit and "convert" it back to an F-15A? The exhausts I know would need to be backdated, any other cosmetic changes?
This is for a "far future" (after I retire) build, so no rush…
Many of the differences are more related to MSIP than to F-15A vs F-15C, thus it depends on time frame. Early F-15As had different wheels, different formation lights on the aft fuselage, different antenna fit, different AIM-9 launchers (most kits still have the early LAU-114 launchers), different instrument panel, tailhook fairing, fuel dump vents, JFS exhaust... Very early F-15As had turkey feathers on the exhausts and a stiffening rib on the speed brake, and very very early F-15s had ESCAPAC seats.
Off the top of my head, the only F-15C features that were not retrofitted to F-15As were the CFT mounting points, and an additional radar waveguide to the ECM antenna in front of the windscreen... but I'm sure that there must be others.
Short answer: you'll likely be correcting details anyhow, so start with a good kit.