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Douglas A-20B Boston

 

Italeri, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Kit No. 2656 - Douglas A-20B / Boston Mk.III
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 90 parts in grey plastic; 11 parts in clear; markings for four aircraft.
Price: 16.99 available online from Hannants
and available from most hobby retailers
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Good shape; crisply engraved panel lines; nicely detailed; plenty of marking options; very good quality plastic; four sets of markings supplied.
Disadvantages: Overscale tread pattern on main wheels; some fit challenges.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Brett Green


Italeri's 1/48 scale A-20B / Boston Mk.III may be ordered online from Squadron.com
 

FirstLook

 

AMT originally released their 1/48 scale A-20B/C Boston in the mid 1990s as the second in a series of four Boston/Havocs. This was a nicely detailed, generally accurate offering, and it was a shame that it disappeared from hobby shop shelves when AMT stopped producing aircraft models some years ago.

Italeri has now re-released this kit.

The outline of Italeri's 1/48 scale A-20B captures the spirit of the early Boston with its skinny fuselage, the rakishly angled horizontal stabilzers, glass nose and the near flat dihedral of the graceful wings. Engraved surface detail is very crisp and restrained. There are few sinkmarks or visible ejector pin mark and the undercarriage, engines and cockpit are adequately detailed.

 

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The kit includes some useful options, including alternate rear armament, open or closed rear gunner's position, two different styles of nose transparency (staggered or angled attachment to fuselage), external belly tank (ferry tank?) and nose gun blisters. The canopy may be also positioned open, displaying the life-raft stowage area. Other nice touches include moulded brakelines on the main gear legs and detailed gear doors. There's even a partial bomb-bay.

The most noticeable shortcomings of this kit are the main wheels. These feature an overscale fish-scale tread pattern. Although the raised detail in this release seem a little more subdued than the original AMT kit, these items will still best be replaced with either the True Details or MDC resin main wheels.

 

 

In addition, there is no detail inside the main gear bays. Some attention to this area will be worthwhile.

The original AMT kit was moulded in a pale coloured, very soft styrene. This material was so soft that it was easily gouged with a hobby knife, and was overly flexible. Italeri's release is moulded in a harder grey plastic - a definite improvement over the earlier Havoc.

Markings are supplied for four aircraft:

  • RAF Boston III based in Tunisia during 1943 finished in Dark earth, Middle Stone and Azure Blue.

  • RAF Boston III of 226 Sqn Swanton, Morley, April 1942 finished in Dark Earth, Dark Green and Sky

  • Free French Boston III of No. 342 "Lorraine" Sqn, 1944 finished in Olive Drab and Medium Grey

  • USAAF A-20B, 47th BG, 12th Air Force, February 1943 finished in Sand, Olive Drab and Medium Grey

Decals are printed by Cartograf in Italy to a very high standard. The markings are all in register and colours look good.


 

Construction Tips

I built AMT's A-20G back in 1995. This kit is substantially similar to the A-20B. Here are some of the observations I made at the time:

Fit was generally good. The wing spar was especially helpful in alignment. The cockpit is simple in parts breakdown but looks good when assembled and painted.

The nose section on the original AMT moulding was a poor fit. I completed the nose sub-assembly (parts 86,87 and 88) then added the nose to the assembled mid-fuselage. Lots of filler was needed for the join on both sides of the fuselage. The other problem is that this nose join is not on a "natural" panel line. I rescribed a number of panels after the nose was faired in.

In retrospect, I probably should have added each nose half to each fuselage half before assembling the fuselage. This would leave an easier to manage gap at the top and/or bottom seam.

Whatever sequence you use, don't forget to add plenty of weight in the nose for the tricycle undercarriage.

More filler was required at the lower wing root joint and around the engine nacelles. Fitting the bomb-bay doors was also challenging as there are few good locating points for this long, flexible part. Adding a few tabs of scrap styrene to the inside of the bomb-bay opening will provide a more secure bond for the bomb-bay doors.

Apart from these relatively minor wrinkles, the 1/48 scale A-20G Havoc was an enjoyable and relatively fast build.

 

 

Conclusion

 

I was delighted to see that Italeri has made the 1/48 scale A-20B Boston available again.

Italeri's A-20B Boston is an welcome addition to the line-up of 1/48 scale medium US, British and Commonwealth bombers.

Highly Recommended


Thanks to Italeri for the review sample.


Review Text Copyright 2006 by Brett Green
Page Created 03 May, 2006
Last updated 03 May, 2006

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