by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
HistoryDouglas Aircraft Company improved upon its successful A-20 Havoc ('Boston' in the RAF) twin-engine light attack bomber with the more powerful, sleeker A-26 Invader. September 1944 found Invaders arriving in England for the 9th Air Force. The reeling Wehrmacht and Japanese began suffered their wrath in November 1944 and January 1945, respectively. Very effective, they fought in Korea and over Vietnam, retiring from USAF service in 1969.
The A-26 was originally built in two different configurations: the A-26B had a solid nose, which normally housed six or eight .50 caliber machine guns, while the A-26C’s glass nose contained a Norden bombsight and was used for medium altitude precision bombing. Some aircraft were armed with additional guns in their wings, giving some configurations as many as fourteen .50 caliber machine guns fixed forward.
The KitRevell AG’s 1/72 scale Douglas A-26B Invader has arrived in model shops and looks to be an interesting model.
Packed in an end-opening box the 5 plastic bagged sprues contain:
92 x silver styrene parts
4 x clear styrene parts
Decals for 2 USAF versions and 1 French aircraft
Revell acquired the molds from MPM, but not MPM’s resin or photo-etch parts. This Invader features recessed panel detail with some raised detail as well. While no sink marks are apparent, plenty of circular ejector marks mar the visible side of many parts, specifically landing gear doors and wells, bomb bay doors and interior, and bulkheads. The interior blemishes may not be obvious once the model is built, but the marks on the doors will be eyesores. Happily, the interior is full of detailed bulkheads.
Assembly for the wings, fuselage and engine nacelles is traditional left and right halves. The nose is separate for other versions. The single piece cowlings are also separate from the cowl flaps; the cowl flaps are part of the mounts for the uninspired single-piece R-2800 engines.
I am not an A-26 expert but the detailed cockpit seems correct for this version. It could use some ’gizmology’ and/or after-market parts because it is visible through the big canopy. Same for the bomb bay (offering bomb racks and bombs) and gunner position. The wheel wells feature a trace of detail inside the nacelles but nothing on wing visible through wells. All of those .50 caliber machine gun barrels are little more than sprue rods. The main gear has brake lines molded on.
The canopy can not be posed open without cutting it apart. It is nice and clear with well-defined frames.
Included is a large colorful decal sheet with good detail and registration, and includes the instrument panel. These allow you to build three USAF birds (olive drab or black schemes) and one for the French Armée de l'Air. Unfortunately, none of the decal choices are for World War Two. Oh well, I guess that is why we have aftermarket manufacturers.
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