|KIT #:||HA 3220?|
|NOTES:||Die cast. Out of production|
In 1941 Douglas Aircraft Company began work on their twin-engined medium bomber, the A-26 Invader. By the end of production there were 2,452 aircraft produced in all variants. The A-26/B-26 was the only US bomber to take part in three wars: World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam. The confusion with the use of the designation began when the Martin B-26 Marauder was retired and in 1948 the USAF dropped the “A” designation, so the Douglas A-26 Invader became the B-26 Invader. The A-26 made its first European appearance in late 1944.
This particular plane was my father’s plane, (Robert C. Mikesh) in Korea at K-9 Pusan. The job was to do night interdiction attacking truck convoys headed south from China and North Korea. A similar B-26 could drop flairs (or from Dad’s Plane), to identify targets and drop ordinance. The plane usually carried 250lb bombs and were generally dropped 1-2 at a time. A secondary explosion told him they hit the intended target. Sometimes a truck is discovered the next day looking like it got pelted with a 250-pound shotgun blast. Lt. Middleton, and Sgt. Kitchen often crewed with him. “Monie” is short for Ramona – my Mom. Sadly, my father passed away in February 2022. 50 Missions in Korea (200+ in Vietnam flying O-2s). After my Dad left for the States, the plane was headed back to Japan for Maintenance. The left engine caught fire, and the Pilot and right seat guy bailed out. Tragically the person in the back (Gunner position) who was along for the ride was asleep and did not know the front crew bailed out. The plane smashed on a western beach of Japan.
Typical of Hobby Master, the quality is outstanding. As it is Diecast metal it will “Clunk!” when you set it down. The landing Gear is also Diecast metal and can take a rough landing. The model comes with a 3-man crew with clear canopy that can be removed to add/subtract crew. (Please don’t squish Dad!). Unfortunately, the crew is painted incorrect (brown – not Blue or green Flight suits) and some details are missing on the interior or painted incorrectly. But the clear parts are well done and fit perfectly.
The model has an option of landing gear up or down, bombay open or closed and can be mounted on the provided desktop stand. The stand will work, but it becomes very top-heavy, so be cautious. Details are nicely done and appropriate for a diecast model. As with many plastic kits we have built, there are a lot of ‘break-off’ parts like antennas and gun sights. These are not provided in this diecast model. AND with good reason… can you imagine picking up a diecast cactus? A good modeler can scratch build if so desired. The model does not come with wing-mounted ordinance, but again, a good modeler can add the flair canisters as desired. The locations for the hard point on the wing for ordinance is filled in with a plastic plug – but it can be remove and scratch-built details can be added.
The paint is FAR better than I can ever do. Overall, it is smooth and no trace of dripping or orange-peeling. The detail markings are well done – no doubt by computer painting as there is no trace of decal. Some ‘little’ things are incorrect, but I don’t want to spoil the illusion with more ‘nit-picking’ details. But as you can see from the actual photo and the model, it is pretty good.
Packaging is excellent as always. The model and parts are encased in a vacuum formed top and bottom so there is little to no movement. Still, it is heavier than many will expect.
If you were to compare the B-26 to a Tamiya or Hasegawa equivalent (if it were made), this has more defined panel lines. But not as bad as early Matchbox ‘trenches’. This is also lacking the Airfix “locomotive bolt” rivets. Overall, this is a beautiful model and I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars. If you can get your hands on one – I’d recommend it.
Note also that Airfix produced a 1/72 B-26 #591 and #05011 many decades ago. Microscale or Super Scale also provided 1/48 decals some time ago for the Monogram kit.
A-26 INVADER IN ACTION squadron/signal publications AIRCRAFT NO 37
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