Revell 1/72 A-26B Invader

KIT #: 04310
PRICE: $15.50 on sale (31.00 SRP)
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Reboxed Italeri kit

HISTORY

The Douglas A-26 Invader (designated B-26 between 19481965) was a United States twin-engine light bomber and attack aircraft built by Douglas Aircraft during World War II that also saw service during several of the Cold War's major conflicts. A limited number of highly modified aircraft (designation A-26 restored) served in combat until 1969.

It was found to be a fast aircraft capable of carrying twice its specified bomb load. A range of guns could be fitted to produce a formidable ground-attack aircraft.

The type saw a lot of service during the Korean War as a night intruder as well as serving with the French during their conflicts in Southeast Asia and Northern Africa during the 1950s and early 1960s. Many other nations used the A-26 during the post war period as well.

THE KIT

This is a reboxing of the Italeri kit that was issued in 2006 as a B-26K. About the same time, Revell released the WWII/Korean War version, which is this kit. It is nearly totally flash free (I found a tiny bit inside one wheel), and while I did find ejector pin marks inside gear doors and the such, no sink areas. The interior is superbly done with most of it a single casting that includes the bombardier's compartment for the glass nose version (this is a gun nose). The instrument panel is a decal and the underside of the cockpit floor is the nose gear well (good luck getting out the ejector pin marks). A full bomb bay with racks and 8 500 pounders is included. I'm not sure how many B-26Ks actually carried bombs, but they are there for you.

This kit includes the 8 gun nose and provides a place to put weight (20 grams) as it will need it. The wings come with guns as well as the upper and lower turrets, which, on all the markings options, has a blanking plate for the lower turret. However, if using aftermarket decals to do a WWII version, the lower turret will be appreciated. The sprues include a full bay of bombs and under wing gun packs. The tires and wheels one one half are separate to make it easier to paint. The tires have been flattened and bulged as well so they look low on air.

Couple of other things. There is no detail in the main gear wells and  it seems the bomb bay doors are to be kept open as no closed option is shown. The kit, unlike the 26K boxing, is correct for an Invader of this period and does not have the larger fin/rudder of the 60's rebuilds. A last comment is that this one does have the vortex generators nicely molded on the right fuselage half with none on the left, which is correct. The kit itself is molded in silver plastic.

Instructions are typical Revell which means Revell only paint and lots of mixing for quite a few colors. There are markings for four aircraft. Two of them are Korean War with one being the box art plane in olive drab and neutral grey with a black nose. The fin and wing tips are in red. This one is well worn and has several sections of fresh OD on the generally faded paint work. Next is one that, like the first, is with the 13th BS/3 BW from 1950/51, but this one in in all black with red bits. The instructions suggest that the rudder and aft fuselage tip may be in silver. Next are two French planes from GB 1/19 'Gascogne in South Vietnam during the early 1950s. Both are in aluminum, but I'd hazard a guess this means unpainted metal. The first one has black engine cowlings, rear nacelles and scalloped area on the nose. There is a decal for the scallop outline. The other has olive drab inner engine cowlings and nose anti-glare panel. The decal sheet is very nicely done and offers full stencils for the option you choose.  

CONCLUSIONS

When I built the B-26K, I ran into a few issues concerning the fit of the gunner's transparencies, but nothing that cannot be fixed by an experienced modeler. The resulting model was very nice. I cannot overemphasize that you'll need a lot of nose weight, but with the hollow gun nose, there is lots of room for it when you cut away the bombardier's position during construction.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-26_Invader

July 2013 

Thanks to me for the preview kit.

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