B-26K Counter Invader
Italeri, 1/72 scale
S u m m a r y
|Contents and Media:
||116 parts in injected grey
styrene; 4 clear parts; markings for five aircraft.
available online from Hannants
||High level of detail; excellent
moulding; crisp surface texture (finely recessed
panel lines, and raised where appropriate); full bomb bay supplied; thin and
distortion free clear parts (packed in a separate bag); loads of ordnance options;
parts breakdown suggests that we will see the whole A-26 / B-26 family;
five marking choices.
||Early-style cockpit and wheels
depicted; no detail in main wheel bays.
by Brett Green
1/72 scale B-26K Counter Invader will be available from Squadron
All the boys and girls who ever asked Santa for a nicely
detailed 1/72 scale Counter Invader under the Christmas tree can now
have their wish come true, thanks to Italeri.
The Douglas A-26 was one of the longest serving WWII
bomber designs, with evolving versions of the Invader appearing over the
skies of Korea, Vietnam, Africa and Latin America.
The Vietnam-era aircraft is popularly known as the B-26K
Counter Invader, so called due to its counter insurgency role, but was
also officially labeled the A-26A Nimrod. The B-26K / A-26A variant may
be distinguished from the earlier versions in a number of respects,
notably the lack of turrets, different cowls, eight gun nose, cropped
propeller assemblies, the heavy external ordnance and the cockpit
Italeri's 1/72 scale B-26K is an all-new tool kit. Under
the attractive box art lie four sprues of crisp grey injection moulded
plastic with 116 parts attached. Two large sprues are generic. These
contain the fuselage halves, the wings and a number of major components.
The fuselage is designed with inserts at the top and bottom to
accommodate turrets although the turrets themselves are not required
(nor included) in this kit, suggesting that we will be seeing WWII and
Korean War version Invaders in the future. Guns are also moulded on the
leading edges of the wings. The instructions do correctly direct these
to be cut off, but these will be relevant for earlier Invaders too. The
two remaining identical sprues hold some of the unique elements of the
Counter Invader including propellers, cowls, engines and ordnance.
Click the thumbnails below
to view larger images:
Surface detail is crisp and fine. Panel lines are
recessed, while control surface demarcation is convincingly rendered by
way of deeper engravings. Some raised detail is also present as
appropriate, including structural features on the fin and the interior
of the fuselage. I could only find one tiny sink hole, and even this was
on the engine nacelle under the wing. Moulding is otherwise first-rate.
A high level of detail is present in this 1/72 scale
kit. The cockpit is very nice, although the configuration is actually
for a WWII-era aircraft. The B-26K featured side-by-side pilots with
dual controls. Italeri supplies a decal for the instrument panel, which
is probably acceptable in this scale. If this is not your preference,
however, I am sure that we will see plenty of after-market options for
the front office in the near future.
The kit includes a nicely detailed bomb bay with
Small details look great too. The Nimrod bristled with
vanes and antennae. These are delicately reproduced in plastic.
It is also good news that this release
includes a large amount of ordnance and related options. These options
include drop tanks. napalm tanks, wing tip tanks, bombs for the bomb bay
and as external stores, and rocket launchers.
Each R-2800 engine is a single part with the basic shape
of the crankcase, and the front half of the front row of cylinders.
They'll look okay when hidden behind the big props and inside the close
cowls, but are not mastered quite to the same standard as the rest of
Kit engineering is straightforward, with no frightening
prospects for construction. The undercarriage looks to be strong, with
the top of the gear legs being somewhat simplified as a compromise to
ensure positive fit with four locating pins inside each engine nacelle.
Although there is no detail inside the main gear bays, the nose wheel
well is quite complete and the open doors are cleverly moulded as one
with the sidewalls. The main gear legs even have brake lines moulded in
place. All tyres are bulged and flattened, although the wheels are
actually typical of earlier A-26 variants.
Clear parts are very thin and free of distortion.
The marking options are another high point.
Three Vietnam-era US Counter Invaders and two Congolese
aircraft (one from a CIA operational unit) are included on the decal
sheet. Wing walks and propeller stencils are also supplied on the sheet.
The decals themselves are crisply printed with thin carrier film and a
Italeri's B-26K Counter Invader looks like one of their
nicest 1/72 scale efforts to date.
It is well detailed, perfectly moulded, boasts
restrained surface features, has plenty of ordnance and marking options,
should be quite easy to build straight from the box and will look
impressive when finished, bristling with bombs and aerials.
Even better, we can probably look forward to seeing WWII
and Korean War A-26 variants in time for next year's Christmas Stocking.
Thanks to Italeri for the review sample
Review Copyright © 2005 by Brett Green
This Page Created on 19 December, 2005
Last updated 19 December, 2005
Back to HyperScale
Back to Reviews