KIT: Monogram 1/48 A/B-26C Invader
KIT #: 5508
PRICE: $24.98 MSRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Rick Reinbott
NOTES: 95 parts on 4 sprues; 9 clear on one sprue


The A/B-26C was the light bomber version of the Douglas Invader.  The A-26C was essentially identical to the A-26B, but featured a transparent nose with two forward-firing 0.50-inch machine guns on the starboard side. The bombardier sitting in the transparent nose permitted more accurate bombing from medium altitudes. Dual controls were fitted to the cockpit, with the second pilot being able to move in flight into the transparent nose to act as the bombardier.  The airframe, powerplant installation, defensive armament and systems were otherwise identical.  The modifications introduced on the A-26B production line were also introduced on the A-26C line. The clamshell canopy appeared beginning with the A-26C-30-DT block.  The water-injected R-2800-79 engines wing panels with internally-mounted guns, increased tank capacity, and provision for underwing rockets were introduced on the production line with the A-26C-45-DT block.

A total of 1091 A-26Cs were built. 1086 of them were built by Tulsa (A-26C-16-DT to A-26C-55-DT) and only 5 by Long Beach (A-26C-1-DL and A-26C-2-DL). Invader production ended at Tulsa in August of 1945, when the end of the World War II brought the cancellation of all further A-26C contracts.


Upon opening the rather large box, you’re presented with two bags each containing two sprues of parts.  A separate sprue, which is not bagged, contains the nine clear parts, including a support rod.  Monogram kits have a habit of not having the clear parts bagged, which would certainly be nice to prevent unnecessary scratching of the parts.  All parts are molded in black.  There are ejector pin marks on the fuselage interior parts, inside of bay doors, and the landing gear itself.  Though the kit contains some flash, it is kept to a minimum.  Detailing is of the raised variety; however, it actually is quite good.  The model looks to be real tail-sitter, so, unless you want to use the clear support rod, a lot of weight will be needed to keep it on its nose.  

 The interior detail is very nice, including a well done instrument panel, consoles, floor detail, and dorsal gunner’s position.  All of this will look quite nice through the clear nose and cockpit and dorsal gunner’s canopies.  The wing landing gear struts even have hydraulic lines molded in place.  A well-detailed bomb bay is included.  Ordinance and weaponry includes bombs (eight for the bomb bay and two to be mounted under the wings), machine gun packs under the wings and a dorsal machine gun barbette.  Although the box art and the decal and paint guide show the internal wing-mounted machine guns, none in fact are supplied with the kit.  A nice touch is that, although rockets are not provided, the interior of the lower wing contains pre-drilled holes should the modeler wish to add these.  The clear parts, although a little thick, are nicely done.

 The instructions are typical Monogram in that they are excellent, with the construction being broken down into 8 parts each containing various sub-parts.  The painting guide contains FS numbers for all the colors except Aluminum.  Markings are provided for two aircraft, with both in black.  One is the box top aircraft, “Dream Girl”, of the 34th Bombardment Squadron based in Pusan, Korea, in 1952.  This aircraft is at the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio.  The other is “Toni C”, also of the 34th Bombardment Squadron based in Pusan, Korea, in 1952.  Decals are well printed and very glossy.  The box art is also very nice and should provide some assistance in weathering the model, particularly with paint chipping and the exhaust stains on the engine nacelles that Invaders are so well known for.


There are aftermarket accessories that will enhance this model; however, it can be made into a very impressive model straight out of the box as well.  This kit was re-issued in late 2003 and has since been discontinued but you can still find it at many hobby stores and from on-line retailers.

January 2005


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