Aussie Decals 48-015/16

Units: 22 Sq (the only RAAF unit to fly the aircraft)




Michael Leduc

 Although the AMT kits of the A-20 are long out of print, they seem to crop up everywhere--on the bottom shelves at hobby shops, online auctions and at swap meets. They really are very nice kits. They have nice detail and build up well out of the box and it is a shame that they are let down by poor quality decals. This is actually a problem that seemed to affect later issues of the kit after they switched production to Mexico. In any event this little problem of markings is one that needs to be remedied.

                Having accumulated quite a nice little stack of these kits I am always on the lookout for interesting markings. These RAAF sheets from Aussie decals certainly qualify--as the Boston III (A-20C) equipped 22nd Squadron were one of the first to use the A-20 in the six-gun straffer nose configuration that was later to become the factory standard on the A-20G’s. These “gunship” machines were to find fame with both Australian and U.S. units in the South Pacific, though most remember the B-25 Mitchell in this roll…

                Sheet A48016 deals with Boston III’s only. All three aircraft are Dark Green and Dark Earth over Sky. Perhaps the most interesting Aircraft here is the famous “She’s Apples”, (code# A28-9) which flew over 100 missions. There is also the option for the well documented aircraft “Indoor Sport” (code# A28-16).Finally there is the aircraft “J” for Jessica (code#A28-8)

 In order to make a Boston III you will need to make a few modifications to the cowlings of the AMT  kit. First of all the exhausts will have to be removed from the lover lip of the cowling and a single stack will have to be fashioned out of brass tubing to come from out the side. Some plastic may have to be shaved from the nacelles to get this new exhaust to fit. Probably the most difficult project is the 12 ovoid shaped cooling holes also need to be drilled into the cowling. Their position is noted on the decals instruction sheet. The glass nose of these Australian aircraft were all over-painted with camouflage, so the good news is—no masking!  But just to temper your excitement, an array of four .50 cal guns will have to be fashioned either with tubing or items from the spares box.

If you are not really one for kit modification then sheet  A48015 may have a bit more appeal. The option of  “Hilda Shane” is a nice one--plus the plane is an A-20G and could be built straight out of the box. This has some attractive nose art and is the standard USAAF scheme of the time of Olive Drab over Neutral Grey  with Medium Green splotching on the leading and trailing edges of wings and tail surfaces.

To me the most attractive aircraft of the lot is the second option here, “The Spirit of Sport” (code# A28-15), another Boston III in the Dk. Green/Dk Earth/Sky scheme. I particularly like the shield on the left side of the aircraft featuring the “Four sports” ie. Womanizing, Playing Cards, Drinking Beer, and Smoking! On the right side there is a representation of who I would assume to be General Yamamoto (any other ideas here?) (I'd say Tojo, Ed) getting clanged in the noggin with a boomerang. Incidentally, this same aircraft is featured on the Aeromaster sheet “Havoc Collection II” and has a slightly different “cleaner” interpretation of the artwork which I have included here just for comparison. In any event the Aeromaster sheet neglects to include the shield graphic, so as far as this aircraft is concerned I feel this Aussie decals sheet would be the way to go.

All in all this is an interesting set for an nice looking aircraft that has no shortage of interesting options. I highly recommend seeking out these sheets if the A-20 is of interest to you.

(Editor's Note: the April 2002 Scale Aircraft Modeling magazine has a very nice article on RAAF Boston/Havocs)



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