Revell 1/48 A-26B Invader
KIT #: 5524
PRICE: $2.00 (raffle win)
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2009 release


The Douglas A-26 Invader (designated B-26 between 1948 and 1965) is an American twin-engined light bomber and ground attack aircraft. Built by Douglas Aircraft Company during World War II, the Invader also saw service during several major Cold War conflicts. A limited number of highly modified United States Air Force aircraft served in Southeast Asia until 1969. It was a fast aircraft capable of carrying a large bomb load. A range of guns could be fitted to produce a formidable ground-attack aircraft.

A redesignation of the type from A-26 to B-26 led to confusion with the Martin B-26 Marauder, which first flew in November 1940, some 20 months before the Douglas design's maiden flight. Although both aircraft were powered by the widely used Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp 18-cylinder, double-row radial engine, they were completely different and separate designs, with some 5,300 Marauders produced to 2,503 Invaders.


When intially released under the Monogram label in 1993, it was welcomed by 1/48 modelers who had been wanting a 'quarter scale' Invader. At the time, engraved panel lines were becoming the standard so there was some disappointment in the raised detail, but overall, folks were pleased with the kit. It has since been reissued several times with the more recent kits being under the Revell label since Revell bought Monogram. The tooling for this and most other Revell-Monogram kits have departed to Germany so any future releases will be in blue boxes.

If you have ever built a Monogram kit from the 70s-90s, you will find the engineering on this one quite familiar. Plenty of cockpit and other interior detailing part of which will be nearly invisible once the kit is built. Some gear doors are molded into the gear well pieces and you are provided with some options.

First of all, you have to decide if you want to have the turrets. If you are building the military version, there is a chance that the aircraft carried them. These will need built and installed when the fuselage halves are joined. If doing the fire bomber, you have caps, and those can be added later. If doing the bomber, then you'll want to equip the bomb bay. For the fire bomber, you'll need to use those modeling skills to remove the hinges from the doors and position the doors closed.

Other military bits are rocket rails and wing mounted machine guns. Holes in the lower wing will need opened for these. The fire bomber won't need them. On the front, the kit provides the six gun nose for the bomber. Now if using aftermarket decals, you'll need to be sure that your choice uses this nose as many A-26s had an eight gun nose and for that you'll need to look for an aftermarket replacement or do some filling and drilling. The fire bomber will need the gun openings filled in. Pack this nose with weight as you'll need it.

Other nice things are 'weighted' wheels and a cockpit canopy that can be posed open. As a note, the fire bomber didn't have a rear gunner so the hole in the upper and lower transparencies where the sight sticks through will need to be filled.

Instructions are well done with generic and FS 595 color references. Markings are for two aircraft. One is the fire bomber in yellow and black. The other is an all black Korean War plane as in a museum. Two different registrations are provided for this plane as it has worn both of them while on display. There are aftermarket decals if you'd prefer something different. The kit decals are nicely printed and while a bit thick, should still be viable.


While this kit has been superseded by the more recent ICM version, it can be bought for considerably less than that newer kit and the end result will look nice on your shelf. Here is a photo of one of the ProModeler boxings I did many years back.


October 2022

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