AMT 1/48 A-20J Havoc
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The A-20G, delivered from February 1943, would be the most produced of all the series, with 2850 built. The glazed nose was replaced by a solid nose containing four 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano cannon and two .50 in M2 Browning machine guns. After the first batch of 250, the less-accurate cannon were replaced by more machine guns. After 750 aircraft had been built, a power-driven gun turret fitted with two .50 in machine guns was fitted, with the fuselage 6 inches (15 cm) wider as a result, and the ventral tunnel gun changed from a .30 in to another .50 in Browning. The powerplants were two 1,600 hp (1,200 kW) R-2600-23. Many A-20Gs were delivered to the Soviet Union. US A-20Gs were used on low-level sorties in the New Guinea theatre.
The A-20J was identical to the A-20G with one exception. It carried an additional bombardier in an extended acrylic glass nose section. These were intended to lead bombing formations, with the following standard A-20s dropping their bombs when signaled by the leader. A total of 450 were built, 169 for the RAF which designated them Boston Mk IV from the summer of 1944 onwards.
This kit has much in common with the other A-20 variant kits produced by AMT. The major difference is in the exhaust arrangement and the nose, at least in regards to the earlier A-20G kit.
The kit provides a nicely done cockpit with a goodly amount of detail. The raised detail needs to be painted on the side consoles and instrument panel. The seat lacks a harness so you'll have to go aftermarket for that. Also missing is the life raft that fits on the panel behind the pilot's seat. True Details did/does a resin wheel set that includes that. You'll want to get this as the kit's wheels have an odd looking tread that lost something in translation from the real deal to plastic. The interior has the nose gear well and bombardier's position attached to it. You need to pack in as much weight under the floor and behind the cockpit as you can to prevent tail sitting.
The kit offers the ability to have the bomb bay doors open, however, the bay itself is pretty Spartan so best to have the doors closed. A short wing spar is provided to help wing alignment. The rear turret should be attached and held in place with tape if you want it to rotate. The cockpit access panel can be posed open if you so desire. The tailplanes fit atop the aft fuselage and the fin slots into the top of that.
The instructions want you to glue the upper and lower wings together and install them prior to the landing gear and engine nacelles. You will have to attach the nacelles after the gear assembly otherwise you won't get the gear in place. Note that the positioning of the gear is too far aft and needs to have the mounting holes re-drilled to put the main strut almost up against the edge of the wheel opening. This will take some work.
Each of the cowlings is like the later B-25s where the upper portion goes into a collector while the lower exhaust has separate stacks. Each of these stacks is separate so patience is the key here. With those in place, the rest of kit as in landing lights, small rear windows, upper window, turret transparency, antennas and proper can be attached to finish off the model.
Instructions are well done and provide markings for two planes. One is the box art plane from the 410th Bomb Group just after D-day in 1944. The other is an RAF Boston IV. Both are in OD over Neutral Grey and the invasion stripes will require painting. The decals are nicely printed and though a bit thick, should still be viable.
This makes into a very nice and fairly large model. The landing gear position glitch can be corrected with a bit of work. Aftermarket decals have been done for this kit if you want something different. This kit has also been reboxed by Italeri
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