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  1. ICM is to release 1/48th Douglas B-26K Counter Invader kits. - ref. 48279 - Douglas B-26K Counter Invader, USAF Vietnam War Attack Aircraft - released Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48279 - ref. 48280 - Douglas B-26K with USAF Pilots & Ground Personnel NEW - IV quarter Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48280 V.P.
  2. DB-26B/C With Q-2 Drones (48288) 1:48 ICM via Hannants The A-26 was built by Douglas back in WWII as their successor to the A-20 Havoc. Two types were designed, The C with a glass bomber nose and the B with a full metal nose filled with either 6 or 8 .50cal machine guns, which coupled with the three in each wing gave it quite a punch, deserving of the Strafer title. It also had a pair of turrets on the fuselage mid-upper and dorsal positions, which were both operated by a single gunner using a complex remote mechanism that flipped between the upper and lower turrets depending on where the gunner was looking through his binocular sights. This trained the guns accordingly and also calculated the correct offset for parallax and lead, but was very complex and caused some delays to it entering service, and even more issues with maintenance in the field. Then in 1948 it was re-designated as the B-26 by the US Air Force to confuse us, and later on back to the A-26 just to complete that process of confuion. It was developed a little after the Marauder and despite using the same engines it was designed totally separately from its tubular colleague. It was initially less than popular in the Pacific theatre where its poor cockpit visibility due to the canopy and engine position rendered it unloved by the first users. It was more popular in the European theatre and was accepted as replacement for the Havoc fairly quickly. After the war it served in Korea, early Vietnam engagements and other conflicts, ending its days in US service with the Air National Guard in the early 70s. In the mid 1950s some Aircraft were converted to the Drone carrier role with the DB prefix to launch Ryan Firebee drones in support of combat training. The Kit This is a brand new tooling from ICM, initially released as the Solid nosed aircraft, this is now the glass nosed aircraft with the inclusion of new parts for that nose (though all the parts for the solid nose are still in the box) This boxing also includes underwing underwing drones the Q-2A and Q-2C drones which have been released separately by ICM. It arrives in the familiar top opening box with a captive inner lid on the lower tray, and inside are nine sprues in grey styrene, two in clear, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet. A quick look over the sprues reveals that panel lines are very crisp, narrow and restrained, the surface is matt and very neat-looking, with plenty of engraved and raised details on the parts, plus subtly indented flying surfaces mimicking their fabric covering. You might also notice that there are parts for an open or closed canopy, the open one having the flat top surface, while the closed canopy has the slightly blown roof that was used after 1944 to improve visibility. Construction begins with the cockpit, creating the pilot's seat, instrument panel (with instrument decals) with built-in door to the nose, centre console with throttle quadrant before adding those and the single control column to the floor. The aft compartment is built up around the front wing spar with a set of radio gear hanging from a pair of risers, then a pair of bombs on their racks, the reason for which will become clear in a moment. The port fuselage half is detailed with some side console and panel parts and then has the bomb racks, nose gear bay sides, forward spar with radio gear, rear spar in the centre of the bomb bay, sloped aft bulkhead and another frame behind that, followed by the cockpit floor, so you'll have to do some detail painting as you go. After this the starboard fuselage side is prepped, and here's where a little cautionary note about sink-marks on the exterior of my sample needs making. The right side of the cockpit and bomb bay with its detailed ribbing has caused the shallowest of sink-marks on the exterior, which would be best dealt with using a little filler before you get busy building. You could have dismissed it as oil-canning of the skin if it were consistent and on both sides, but as it isn't you'll need to decide whether you're going to fix it. Happily the majority of it is in areas that are open enough to allow easy sanding back of filler, so it shouldn't slow you down very much. With that and a quantity of detail painting you can then slide the starboard fuselage over the two spars. The instructions then have you building up the tail feathers, with the elevators having separate single-part flying surfaces, plus a two piece rudder to attach to the moulded-in tail fin. If you are using the glass-nose, it's a modular part that in real-world situations could be swapped for the gun-nose in a short time. This is built up and added on as a complete unit along with its glazing. The wings are next, and the lower parts have a smattering of flashed-over holes ready to drill out for bombs, gun-pods or drop tanks, plus three cartridge ejection chutes to be cut out for the wing mounted .50cals. The faces of the in-line radiator baths are added to the lower wings and then it's already time to bring the halves together. You'll notice that there are fairings and a hump in the upper wing where the engine nacelles will be, and these are separate assemblies to be built up later. First, the separate two-section flaps (oddly with no deployed option), and the ailerons are prepared and added to the trailing edge of the wings, the latter being of one piece each and slotting into wing via two tabs. The tip lights and underwing landing lights are added from clear parts, and a small insert is glued into the wing that includes three more barrel stubs each and will again need drilling out. At this stage the instructions have you sliding the wings onto the spars and gluing them in place. Whether you'd rather wait until you've added the engine nacelles though is entirely up to you though. Holes will need to be drilled as indicated in the bottom wing section to accept the drone pylons. There are of course two engine nacelles and these build up pretty much identically apart from their outer skins, which are handed to fit their respective fairings as you'd expect. They are split vertically, and each half has internal structure moulded-in, with bulkheads added fore and aft of the gear bays, coupled with bay lip inserts that bulk out the edges and also hold captive their bay door. This may require some clever masking and a little care during handling, but it shouldn't hold you back too much, as the hinge-points are relatively robust. The two halves are joined together, the prominent intake on the top of the nacelle is made up from two parts, then is added to the nacelle front which is in turn glued to the rest of the nacelle, with the completed assemblies attached to the wings from the underside, as yet without their engine cowlings or props. If making the clear nose version then ICM recommend adding 100g of weight into the front of each nacelle. The engines are added later in the build, and the Twin Wasps are depicted in their entirety with both banks of pistons, push-rods, ancillaries and reduction housing at the front, plus the collector ring and exhausts at the rear, the latter made up from eight parts each. So that they are fitted correctly and mesh properly with the nacelles, they are attached using a jig that is discarded later, so remember not to glue it in! Again the engines are identical and interchangeable with each other, and they fit to the nacelles with a teardrop-shaped tab, after which the engine cowling is slotted over them. The cooling flaps are last to be added in four sets around the rear of the cowling. The top of the fuselage is still open at this point, as it has an insert where the top turret was. Flipping the model over there is the same for where the lower turret would be. Another clear light is added to the very rear of the fuselage, and attention turns to the landing gear, which is of the tricycle variety as became the fashion in late war. Each of the three tyres are made from two halves with separate hubs applied from either side, then hung on their respective legs, which have retraction jacks and scissor links added along the way. The main airframe is ostensibly complete save for some antennae and the props, and if you've been sparing with the glue when assembling the engines, the latter should still spin once complete. Its then on to the drones. Rather than include the instructions from the drones ICM have put these into the main instructions. The down side for this is the fact that no individual paining instructions are included you have to rely on the small drones attached to the aircraft in the main decal instructions. Q-2A People think drones are a new thing for the military but in reality they are not. The Firebee was developed by Ryan for the new USAF in 1948 as a jet powered gunnery target with the first flight being in 1951. The USAF Designation was Q-2A, and when the US Navy bought them they designated them KDA-1. The original Firebees were air launched from a modified A-26, or ground launched using a RATO system. The system was later used by the US Army as well. Q-2Bs were fitted with a modified engine for higher altitudes. They were developed over time with the KDA-4 being the main USN version, however differences were mainly internal. The Royal Canadian Air Force purchased 30 KDA-4s which were launched from an Avro Lancaster Mk.10DC. This kit is a brand new tool from ICM, The kit arrives on one sprue for the Drone. The model will be just over 100mm long when built. Here unlike the original boxing there is no ground trailer in the box so these will just be for hanging from a kit as the pylons are on the sprue. Construction is fairly basic and starts with the full length intake/exhaust for the engine. The rear engine part is installed inside the tube and it can then go together. At the front a forward baffle/bulkhead goes in and then the nose bullet goes in front of that. This can then be installed in the main body and it can be closed up. The left and right main wings are two parts upper & lower, these have a V tab on them for where they join inside the main body. The tail planes are single piece. Tip tanks go on the end of each main wing, with arrow shaped end caps on the tail planes. A faring goes on the top of the drone. Q-2C In the late 1950s the USAF Awarded Ryan a contract for a new second generation Firebee this would become the BQM-34A or Q-2C. This was a bigger airframe with longer wings. One of the main recongition features was the fact the original nose intake was replaced by a chin intake for the new Continental J69-T-29A turbojet. As well as the USAF and USN the US Army had a ground launched (With Rocket assist) designated the MQM-34D, this version having a longer wing than the USAF & USSN ones. The main launch aircraft for these new drones was the DC-130. While initial production ended in 1982 the production line was re-opened in 1989 to produce more targets. These BQM-34S featured improved avionics and a new J85-GE-100 engine. This kit is a brand new tool from ICM, following on from their original kit. The kit arrives on one sprue for each Drone (shown once). The model will be just over 145mm long when built. Construction is fairly basic and starts with the full length intake/exhaust for the engine. The engine is installed inside the main body and it can be closed up, a triangular inert goes in the top. The left and right main wings are single parts, these have tabs on them for where they join inside the main body to lock together. The tail planes are also single part with tabs again to lock in place. single piece. End plates are added to the tail planes and the rudder goes on the top. Markings In this boxing there are two options included on the decal sheet, two in bare metal, the other in black. From the box you can build one of the following: Drone Controller DB-26C 44-35666, Holloman AFB, Late 1950s (Glass nose) Drone Controller DB-26B, 44-34652, Tyndall AFB, late 1950s (solid nose) The decals are printed anonymously, although they look like DecoGraph's output to my eye. They have good registration, colour density and sharpness, and include a number of stencils that are legible with the right eyeware. While drone markings are included on the main sheet, ICM have also included the sheets from the drone kits if you want something different. The modeller will have to source the instructions for these as they are not in this kit. Conclusion This model should make a fair few people happy. Detail is excellent and made so much nicer by the matt surface, and there's a fair proportion of the interior included for what is bound to be a popular kit. Following on from the drone kits it was highly anticipated the DB-26 would arrive and it has! Keep 'em coming ICM! Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  3. In 2019 ICM is to release a new tool family of A/-B-26B/C Invader kits: - ref. 48281 - Douglas B-26B-50 Invader, Korean War American Bomber - release expected in Q3 2019 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48281 - ref. 48282 - Douglas A-26B-15 Invader - release expected in Q4 2019 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48282 Dedicated decals by ICM: - ref. D48001 - Douglas A-26B/C Invader (WWII) - release expected in Q3 2019 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICMD48001 - ref. D48002 - Douglas B-26B/C Invader (Korean War) - release expected in Q4 2019 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICMD48002 V.P.
  4. A-26 Invader Late Type (7473 for Italeri) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby Kit wheels are generally in two halves, which means you have the resultant joins to deal with, possible mould-slip issues on single part wheels, and sometimes less than stellar detail due to the moulding limitations of styrene injection technology, especially in the tread department. That's where replacement resin wheels come in, with their lack of seamline and superior detail making a compelling argument. They are also usually available at a reasonable price, and can be an easy introduction to aftermarket and resin handling, as they are usually a drop-in replacement. This set arrives in CMK’s usual yellow-themed clamshell box, and contains three wheels on a single casting blocks that join the parts at the bottom contact patch of each tyre. They are a drop-in replacement for the kit parts once you have removed them from their pouring block, and all the wheels have a fine tread. The Good Year name detail is found on the sidewalls. There is some subtle weighting to the bottom of the tyres to give the impression of the airframe pressing down on the highly compressed air in the tyres. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. HobbyBoss is working on a 1/32nd Douglas A-26 Invader family. Sources: https://www.facebook.com/groups/767571186705677/permalink/2111108359018613/ https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/81228-132-douglas-a-26-invader-from-trumpeterhobbyboss/ V.P.
  6. Here is an Italeri 1:72 A26B Invader, Biafra 1967. The standard A26B was modified to represent the unique nose, the a/c had been used in France as a radar calibration/survey a/c. I had to improvise for the colours and decals. Both the rudder markings and the shark’s mouth being a mix of spray painting and decals. This was the colorful Johnny Zumbach's mount in the early stages of the ill-fated Biafran secession attempt. This is one of two Invaders operated by the Biafrans with help from their friends. Inspired by the Helion Publishing title "Biafra- The Nigerian Civil War 1967-1970” It’s my second African Invader, the other being the Congolese A26K. Apparently there is also a B25 to be made in these colours but I have to find out more info. Regards Brian
  7. B-26B Invader Pacific War Theater (48285) 1:48 ICM via Hannants The good old B-26 Marau… no, wait. The A-26 Invader? Hang on, erm... B-26 Invader. That's it, as long as it's after 1948 as that's when it was re-designated as the B-26 by the US Air Force to confuse us, and later on back to the A-26 just to complete my befuddlement. It was developed a little after the Marauder and despite using the same engines it was designed totally separately from its tubular colleague. It was designed to replace the A-20 Havoc, but it was initially less than popular in the Pacific theatre where its poor cockpit visibility due to the canopy and engine position rendered it unloved by the first users. It was more popular in the European theatre and was accepted as replacement for the Havoc fairly quickly. Two types were designed, The C with a glass bomber nose and the B with a full metal nose filled with either 6 or 8 .50cal machine guns, which coupled with the three in each wing gave it quite a punch, deserving of the Strafer title. It also had a pair of turrets on the fuselage mid-upper and dorsal positions, which were both operated by a single gunner using a complex remote mechanism that flipped between the upper and lower turrets depending on where the gunner was looking through his binocular sights. This trained the guns accordingly and also calculated the correct offset for parallax and lead, but was very complex and caused some delays to it entering service, and even more issues with maintenance in the field. After the war it served in Korea, early Vietnam engagements and other conflicts, ending its days in US service with the Air National Guard in the early 70s. It continued in civilian service as a fire bomber and in other roles, such as actor in the film Always with Richard Dreyfuss playing its brave but ill-fated pilot. The Kit This is a brand new tooling from ICM and a lot of folks have been waiting for, hoping for something to replace the old Revell Monogram kit of yore. Here it is! The main difference ion this boxing is the inclusion of underwing rockets and the 6 gun solid nose. . It arrives in the familiar top opening box with a captive inner lid on the lower tray, and inside are eight sprues in grey styrene, one in clear, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet. A quick look over the sprues reveals that panel lines are very crisp, narrow and restrained, the surface is matt and very neat-looking, with plenty of engraved and raised details on the parts, plus subtly indented flying surfaces mimicking their fabric covering. You might also notice that there are parts for an open or closed canopy, the open one having the flat top surface, while the closed canopy has the slightly blown roof that was used after 1944 to improve visibility. That might give you some latitude in case you can't wait to build a WWII aircraft. Construction begins with the cockpit, creating the pilot's seat, instrument panel (with instrument decals) with built-in door to the nose, centre console with throttle quadrant before adding those and the single control column to the floor. The aft compartment is built up around the front wing spar with a set of radio gear hanging from a pair of risers, then a pair of bombs on their racks, the reason for which will become clear in a moment. The port fuselage half is detailed with some side console and panel parts and then has the bomb racks, nose gear bay sides, forward spar with radio gear, rear spar in the centre of the bomb bay, sloped aft bulkhead and another frame behind that, followed by the cockpit floor, so you'll have to do some detail painting as you go. After this the starboard fuselage side is prepped, and here's where a little cautionary note about sink-marks on the exterior of my sample needs making. The right side of the cockpit and bomb bay with its detailed ribbing has caused the shallowest of sink-marks on the exterior, which would be best dealt with using a little filler before you get busy building. You could have dismissed it as oil-canning of the skin if it were consistent and on both sides, but as it isn't you'll need to decide whether you're going to fix it. Happily the majority of it is in areas that are open enough to allow easy sanding back of filler, so it shouldn't slow you down very much. I'll be using some Tamiya Basic on mine in due course and have no doubt it will be just fine. A 0.8mm hole is drilled in the section behind the canopy and the two remaining bomb racks are added inside along with an internal detail panel, nose gear bay side, and a hatch that does a credible impression of a toilet lid. With that and a quantity of detail painting you can then slide the starboard fuselage over the two spars, and it would be a good idea when fitting those spar parts to let them set up with the starboard fuselage taped in place to ensure they make the correct angle when they're set in place permanently. The instructions then have you building up the tail feathers, with the elevators having separate single-part flying surfaces, plus a two piece rudder to attach to the moulded-in tail fin. The gun-nose appropriate to the decal option being built needs to be selected and added.. The fixed lower and rear section of the nose are built up out of three parts, making space for the 40g of nose weight you are encouraged to fit before you add the single cowling panel that covers the gun bay, with a pair of four barrel gun-inserts added through the holes to depict the .50cals. You'll need to drill out the muzzles or take the lazy way out and get a set of Master barrels, such as the P-47 set until they get their own specific set. The nose section is a straight-forward butt joint to the fuselage, with a small half-moon cut-out that should help align it. The wings are next, and the lower parts have a smattering of flashed-over holes ready to drill out for bombs, gun-pods or drop tanks, plus three cartridge ejection chutes to be cut out for the wing mounted .50cals. The modeller will also need to open up the holes for mounting the rockets if using them. The faces of the in-line radiator baths are added to the lower wings and then it's already time to bring the halves together. You'll notice that there are fairings and a hump in the upper wing where the engine nacelles will be, and these are separate assemblies to be built up later. First, the separate two-section flaps (oddly with no deployed option), and the ailerons are prepared and added to the trailing edge of the wings, the latter being of one piece each and slotting into wing via two tabs. The tip lights and underwing landing lights are added from clear parts, and a small insert is glued into the wing that includes three more barrel stubs each and will again need drilling out. At this stage the instructions have you sliding the wings onto the spars and gluing them in place. Whether you'd rather wait until you've added the engine nacelles though is entirely up to you though. There are of course two engine nacelles and these build up pretty much identically apart from their outer skins, which are handed to fit their respective fairings as you'd expect. They are split vertically, and each half has internal structure moulded-in, with bulkheads added fore and aft of the gear bays, coupled with bay lip inserts that bulk out the edges and also hold captive their bay door. This may require some clever masking and a little care during handling, but it shouldn't hold you back too much, as the hinge-points are relatively robust. The two halves are joined together, the prominent intake on the top of the nacelle is made up from two parts, then is added to the nacelle front which is in turn glued to the rest of the nacelle, with the completed assemblies attached to the wings from the underside, as yet without their engine cowlings or props. The engines are added later in the build, and the Twin Wasps are depicted in their entirety with both banks of pistons, push-rods, ancillaries and reduction housing at the front, plus the collector ring and exhausts at the rear, the latter made up from eight parts each. So that they are fitted correctly and mesh properly with the nacelles, they are attached using a jig that is discarded later, so remember not to glue it in! Again the engines are identical and interchangeable with each other, and they fit to the nacelles with a teardrop-shaped tab, after which the engine cowling is slotted over them. The cooling flaps are last to be added in four sets around the rear of the cowling. The top of the fuselage is still open at this point, as it has an insert with the top turret to fit in place, with another for the dorsal turret fitted later on. The remote turrets are both made up together with the ability for the twin .50cals to be left movable if you wish. The top turret has its mechanism and ring made up first, with the two halves brought together on either side of the insert before being glued into the fuselage closing up that area. Then the gunner's compartment with simple seat and periscope is made up and installed under the glazing that sits behind the top turret. Flipping the model over, the lower turret is added to the insert and glued in place too. Another clear light is added to the very rear of the fuselage, and attention turns to the landing gear, which is of the tricycle variety as became the fashion in late war. Each of the three tyres are made from two halves with separate hubs applied from either side, then hung on their respective legs, which have retraction jacks and scissor links added along the way. Happily these can be fitted late in the build, so the open bays can be masked quicker than if they were present. Speaking of bays, you can depict the bomb bay open or close by using either a one piece door for closed, or two separate doors with internal detail for open. This is nice to see, as it's always a little tricky to join two doors and get them aligned with the fuselage so there's minimal join-lines. The main airframe is ostensibly complete save for some antennae and the props, and if you've been sparing with the glue when assembling the engines, the latter should still spin once complete. Your final choice is bombs, tanks or gun-packs hung under the wings. The bombs are made up from two halves each with a spinner insert in the rear and their attachment points moulded into the port side, the gun-packs have a handed three part pod that fits around the central gun-tray, and the drop tanks are simple two-part assemblies with their attachment points moulded into the port side again. They are all mounted on pegs, and fit into their holes that you remembered to drill in the wings before you closed them up, didn't you? Markings In this initial boxing there are three options included on the decal sheet, one in bare metal, the other two in olive drab, one of which has a bare metal leading-edge panel to the tail and an all-over olive drab finish. From the box you can build one of the following: B-26B-50-DL, 437th BS, 319th BG, Machinato, Okinawa, July 1945 (Overall NMF, with blue tail) B-26B-50-DL, 344th BS, 319th BG, Machinato, Okinawa, July 1945 (Overall NMF) B-26B-51-DL 89th BS, 3rd GB, Okinawa August 1945 (OB/Gray) The decals are printed anonymously. They have good registration, colour density and sharpness, and include a number of stencils that are legible with the right eyeware. If you forgot to ream out those cartridge chutes in the wing before you closed them up, some kind soul has added two decals with three black rectangles to help you out. Conclusion This model should make a fair few people happy, and consign a lot of old Monogram kits to deep stash or eBay as a result. Detail is excellent and made so much nicer by the matt surface, and there's a fair proportion of the interior included for what is bound to be a popular kit. Smear a little filler into those light sink-marks before you get started, and no-one will know they're there. Keep 'em coming ICM! Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  8. A-26/B-26 Invader Brass Undercarriage (for ICM) 1:48 Aerocraft Models To the joy and surprise of modellers ICM recently gave started a new line in A-26/B-26 Invade kits. These are large and impressive kit and a bit weighty Ali at Aerocraft has thought of this and has been busy at work creating this set to replace the kit parts in tough brass to alleviate any concerns. The set arrives in an unassuming ziplok bag, with three parts inside, all made from brass. With two main gear legs and the nose leg. Preparation of the brass parts will involve removal of the casting gate with a file or a motor-tool at very low speed. The moulding marks on the top and bottom of the part should be similarly easy to remove using a small file with sanding sticks used to smooth it out once the task is complete. Conclusion This set not expensive by any stretch of the imagination, and guarantees resilient gear legs for years to come, providing you use either super-glue or epoxy to attach it to the plastic. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. B-26C-50 Invader Korean War (48284) 1:48 ICM via Hannants The A-26 was built by Douglas back in WWII as their successor to the A-20 Havoc. Two types were designed, The C with a glass bomber nose and the B with a full metal nose filled with either 6 or 8 .50cal machine guns, which coupled with the three in each wing gave it quite a punch, deserving of the Strafer title. It also had a pair of turrets on the fuselage mid-upper and dorsal positions, which were both operated by a single gunner using a complex remote mechanism that flipped between the upper and lower turrets depending on where the gunner was looking through his binocular sights. This trained the guns accordingly and also calculated the correct offset for parallax and lead, but was very complex and caused some delays to it entering service, and even more issues with maintenance in the field. Then in 1948 it was re-designated as the B-26 by the US Air Force to confuse us, and later on back to the A-26 just to complete that process of confuion. It was developed a little after the Marauder and despite using the same engines it was designed totally separately from its tubular colleague. It was initially less than popular in the Pacific theatre where its poor cockpit visibility due to the canopy and engine position rendered it unloved by the first users. It was more popular in the European theatre and was accepted as replacement for the Havoc fairly quickly. After the war it served in Korea, early Vietnam engagements and other conflicts, ending its days in US service with the Air National Guard in the early 70s. It continued in civilian service as a fire bomber and in other roles, such as actor in the film Always with Richard Dreyfuss playing its brave but ill-fated pilot. The Kit This is a brand new tooling from ICM, initially released as the Solid nosed aircraft, this is now the glass nosed aircraft with the inclusion of new parts for that nose (though all the parts for the solid nose are still in the box) This boxing also includes underwing rockets. It arrives in the familiar top opening box with a captive inner lid on the lower tray, and inside are nine sprues in grey styrene, two in clear, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet. A quick look over the sprues reveals that panel lines are very crisp, narrow and restrained, the surface is matt and very neat-looking, with plenty of engraved and raised details on the parts, plus subtly indented flying surfaces mimicking their fabric covering. You might also notice that there are parts for an open or closed canopy, the open one having the flat top surface, while the closed canopy has the slightly blown roof that was used after 1944 to improve visibility. That might give you some latitude in case you can't wait to build a WWII aircraft. Construction begins with the cockpit, creating the pilot's seat, instrument panel (with instrument decals) with built-in door to the nose, centre console with throttle quadrant before adding those and the single control column to the floor. The aft compartment is built up around the front wing spar with a set of radio gear hanging from a pair of risers, then a pair of bombs on their racks, the reason for which will become clear in a moment. The port fuselage half is detailed with some side console and panel parts and then has the bomb racks, nose gear bay sides, forward spar with radio gear, rear spar in the centre of the bomb bay, sloped aft bulkhead and another frame behind that, followed by the cockpit floor, so you'll have to do some detail painting as you go. After this the starboard fuselage side is prepped, and here's where a little cautionary note about sink-marks on the exterior of my sample needs making. The right side of the cockpit and bomb bay with its detailed ribbing has caused the shallowest of sink-marks on the exterior, which would be best dealt with using a little filler before you get busy building. You could have dismissed it as oil-canning of the skin if it were consistent and on both sides, but as it isn't you'll need to decide whether you're going to fix it. Happily the majority of it is in areas that are open enough to allow easy sanding back of filler, so it shouldn't slow you down very much. A 0.8mm hole is drilled in the section behind the canopy and the two remaining bomb racks are added inside along with an internal detail panel, nose gear bay side, and a hatch that does a credible impression of a toilet lid. With that and a quantity of detail painting you can then slide the starboard fuselage over the two spars. The instructions then have you building up the tail feathers, with the elevators having separate single-part flying surfaces, plus a two piece rudder to attach to the moulded-in tail fin. The glass-nose is appropriate for this model, but as it's a modular part that in real-world situations could be swapped for the gun-nose in a short time. This is built up and added on as a complete unit along with its glazing. The wings are next, and the lower parts have a smattering of flashed-over holes ready to drill out for bombs, gun-pods or drop tanks, plus three cartridge ejection chutes to be cut out for the wing mounted .50cals. The faces of the in-line radiator baths are added to the lower wings and then it's already time to bring the halves together. You'll notice that there are fairings and a hump in the upper wing where the engine nacelles will be, and these are separate assemblies to be built up later. First, the separate two-section flaps (oddly with no deployed option), and the ailerons are prepared and added to the trailing edge of the wings, the latter being of one piece each and slotting into wing via two tabs. The tip lights and underwing landing lights are added from clear parts, and a small insert is glued into the wing that includes three more barrel stubs each and will again need drilling out. At this stage the instructions have you sliding the wings onto the spars and gluing them in place. Whether you'd rather wait until you've added the engine nacelles though is entirely up to you though. There are of course two engine nacelles and these build up pretty much identically apart from their outer skins, which are handed to fit their respective fairings as you'd expect. They are split vertically, and each half has internal structure moulded-in, with bulkheads added fore and aft of the gear bays, coupled with bay lip inserts that bulk out the edges and also hold captive their bay door. This may require some clever masking and a little care during handling, but it shouldn't hold you back too much, as the hinge-points are relatively robust. The two halves are joined together, the prominent intake on the top of the nacelle is made up from two parts, then is added to the nacelle front which is in turn glued to the rest of the nacelle, with the completed assemblies attached to the wings from the underside, as yet without their engine cowlings or props. The engines are added later in the build, and the Twin Wasps are depicted in their entirety with both banks of pistons, push-rods, ancillaries and reduction housing at the front, plus the collector ring and exhausts at the rear, the latter made up from eight parts each. So that they are fitted correctly and mesh properly with the nacelles, they are attached using a jig that is discarded later, so remember not to glue it in! Again the engines are identical and interchangeable with each other, and they fit to the nacelles with a teardrop-shaped tab, after which the engine cowling is slotted over them. The cooling flaps are last to be added in four sets around the rear of the cowling. The top of the fuselage is still open at this point, as it has an insert with the top turret to fit in place, with another for the dorsal turret fitted later on. The remote turrets are both made up together with the ability for the twin .50cals to be left movable if you wish. The top turret has its mechanism and ring made up first, with the two halves brought together on either side of the insert before being glued into the fuselage closing up that area. Then the gunner's compartment with simple seat and periscope is made up and installed under the glazing that sits behind the top turret. Flipping the model over, the lower turret is added to the insert and glued in place too. Another clear light is added to the very rear of the fuselage, and attention turns to the landing gear, which is of the tricycle variety as became the fashion in late war. Each of the three tyres are made from two halves with separate hubs applied from either side, then hung on their respective legs, which have retraction jacks and scissor links added along the way. Happily these can be fitted late in the build, so the open bays can be masked quicker than if they were present. Speaking of bays, you can depict the bomb bay open or close by using either a one piece door for closed, or two separate doors with internal detail for open. This is nice to see, as it's always a little tricky to join two doors and get them aligned with the fuselage so there's minimal join-lines. The main airframe is ostensibly complete save for some antennae and the props, and if you've been sparing with the glue when assembling the engines, the latter should still spin once complete. Your final choice is bombs, tanks or rockets hung under the wings. The bombs are made up from two halves each with a spinner insert in the rear and their attachment points moulded into the port side, the drop tanks are simple two-part assemblies with their attachment points moulded into the port side again; the rockets re 7 individual ones for each side.with the mounting stubs moulded on They are all mounted on pegs, and fit into their holes that you remembered to drill in the wings before you closed them up, didn't you? Markings In this boxing there are three options included on the decal sheet, two in bare metal, the other in black. From the box you can build one of the following: A-26C-45DL, 8th Bomb Sqn, 3rd Bomb Group, Korea 1953 (Overall Black) A-26C-55DL, 729th Bobm Sqn, 452nd Bomb Group, Korea 1951 A-26C-45DT, 728th Bomb Sqn, 452nd Bomb Group, Korea 1951 The decals are printed anonymously, although they look like DecoGraph's output to my eye. They have good registration, colour density and sharpness, and include a number of stencils that are legible with the right eyeware. However the read markings on the sheet for the all black aircraft look to bright, the ones on ICM's desperate Korea sheet looked more in keeping with the duller red markings seen on these aircraft. Conclusion This model should make a fair few people happy. Detail is excellent and made so much nicer by the matt surface, and there's a fair proportion of the interior included for what is bound to be a popular kit. Smear a little filler into those light sink-marks before you get started, and no-one will know they're there. Keep 'em coming ICM! Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  10. B-26B/C Invader Decals Latin America Countries (D4803) 1:48 ICM via Hannants The brand new tool Invaders in 1:48 from those fine folks at ICM are really great kits. This set of additional decals has been produced for those aircraft which saw service on the Korean War. Invaders were some of the first aircraft to be involved flying at the time from their vases in Japan, and the last aircraft to conduct combat operations with the last mission just 24 minutes before the ceasefire was signed. In they accounted for an impressive 38,500 vehicles, 406 locomotives, 3,700 railway trucks, and seven enemy aircraft on the ground destroyed. The set arrives in a re-sealable foil bag stapled to a header card, with the decals covered by a sheet of translucent paper to keep moisture from damaging the carrier film. There are options for four airframes on the sheet, The decals are printed under ICM's banner, and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a commendably thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The few stencils included are crisply printed and legible under magnification, which is always a sign of good printing and attention to detail. From the sheet you can decal one of the following (or more subject to the caveat above): B-26B, 2/5 G.Az Brazilian Air Force, Natal Air Base 1962 B-26B, 2/5 G.Az Brazilian Air Force, Natal Air Base 1962 (aircraft fitted with replacement Black nacelle) B-26C, Colombian Air Force 1951 (All black Air craft) B-26C Cuban Air Force 1957 (All black aircraft) Additional scrap diagrams show the nose area with the engines out of the way to enable correct decaling of the red prop-warning lines and other decals in that area. On the back page the wings are covered with decal placement for the stars and wing walkway boxes. Conclusion A really nice set of decals that expand your options for the new kit (when it arrives we'll be sure to review it), or for the old Revell/Monogram kit if you have one knocking about. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  11. B-26B/C Invader Decals Korean War (D4802) 1:48 ICM via Hannants The brand new tool Invaders in 1:48 from those fine folks at ICM are really great kits. This set of additional decals has been produced for those aircraft which saw service on the Korean War. Invaders were some of the first aircraft to be involved flying at the time from their vases in Japan, and the last aircraft to conduct combat operations with the last mission just 24 minutes before the ceasefire was signed. In they accounted for an impressive 38,500 vehicles, 406 locomotives, 3,700 railway trucks, and seven enemy aircraft on the ground destroyed. The set arrives in a re-sealable foil bag stapled to a header card, with the decals covered by a sheet of translucent paper to keep moisture from damaging the carrier film. There are options for four all black airframes on the sheet, with only one set of national markings, so if you're setting up an Invader production line you'll need some appropriate stars & bars to complete your mission, but those shouldn't be hard to find (hint: there's one set in the box of the kit!). The decals are printed under ICM's banner, and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a commendably thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The few stencils included are crisply printed and legible under magnification, which is always a sign of good printing and attention to detail. From the sheet you can decal one of the following (or more subject to the caveat above): B-26B-61-DL, "The 4th Chadwick, Lt Col R Fortney, CO of 13th BC/3rd BG, Korea spring 1953 (Red nose, wingtips, tailtip, and engine fronts) B-26B-30-DT, (with B-26-15 nose) "Martha Ann" 3rd BG, Korea mid 1952 (Yellow wingtips and tail tip) B-26B-55-DTL, (Rabbit nose art) 95th BS, 17th BW, korea 1952 (Blues wing and tail tip) B-26C-45-DT, (The only Glass nosed aircraft on the sheet) 8th BS, 3rd BG, Korea July 1953 (Yellow wing tips, tail tip & engine fronts) Additional scrap diagrams show the nose area with the engines out of the way to enable correct decaling of the red prop-warning lines and other decals in that area. On the back page the wings are covered with decal placement for the stars and wing walkway boxes. Conclusion A really nice set of decals that expand your options for the new kit (when it arrives we'll be sure to review it), or for the old Revell/Monogram kit if you have one knocking about. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  12. A-26C-15 Invader (48283) 1:48 ICM via Hannants The A-26 was built by Douglas back in WWII as their successor to the A-20 Havoc. Two types were designed, The C with a glass bomber nose and the B with a full metal nose filled with either 6 or 8 .50cal machine guns, which coupled with the three in each wing gave it quite a punch, deserving of the Strafer title. It also had a pair of turrets on the fuselage mid-upper and dorsal positions, which were both operated by a single gunner using a complex remote mechanism that flipped between the upper and lower turrets depending on where the gunner was looking through his binocular sights. This trained the guns accordingly and also calculated the correct offset for parallax and lead, but was very complex and caused some delays to it entering service, and even more issues with maintenance in the field. Then in 1948 it was re-designated as the B-26 by the US Air Force to confuse us, and later on back to the A-26 just to complete that process of confuion. It was developed a little after the Marauder and despite using the same engines it was designed totally separately from its tubular colleague. It was initially less than popular in the Pacific theatre where its poor cockpit visibility due to the canopy and engine position rendered it unloved by the first users. It was more popular in the European theatre and was accepted as replacement for the Havoc fairly quickly. After the war it served in Korea, early Vietnam engagements and other conflicts, ending its days in US service with the Air National Guard in the early 70s. It continued in civilian service as a fire bomber and in other roles, such as actor in the film Always with Richard Dreyfuss playing its brave but ill-fated pilot. The Kit This is a brand new tooling from ICM, initially released as the Solid nosed aircraft, this is now the glass nosed aircraft with the inclusion of new parts for that nose (though all the parts for the solid nose are still in the box) It arrives in the familiar top opening box with a captive inner lid on the lower tray, and inside are nine sprues in grey styrene, two in clear, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet. A quick look over the sprues reveals that panel lines are very crisp, narrow and restrained, the surface is matt and very neat-looking, with plenty of engraved and raised details on the parts, plus subtly indented flying surfaces mimicking their fabric covering. You might also notice that there are parts for an open or closed canopy, the open one having the flat top surface, while the closed canopy has the slightly blown roof that was used after 1944 to improve visibility. That might give you some latitude in case you can't wait to build a WWII aircraft. Construction begins with the cockpit, creating the pilot's seat, instrument panel (with instrument decals) with built-in door to the nose, centre console with throttle quadrant before adding those and the single control column to the floor. The aft compartment is built up around the front wing spar with a set of radio gear hanging from a pair of risers, then a pair of bombs on their racks, the reason for which will become clear in a moment. The port fuselage half is detailed with some side console and panel parts and then has the bomb racks, nose gear bay sides, forward spar with radio gear, rear spar in the centre of the bomb bay, sloped aft bulkhead and another frame behind that, followed by the cockpit floor, so you'll have to do some detail painting as you go. After this the starboard fuselage side is prepped, and here's where a little cautionary note about sink-marks on the exterior of my sample needs making. The right side of the cockpit and bomb bay with its detailed ribbing has caused the shallowest of sink-marks on the exterior, which would be best dealt with using a little filler before you get busy building. You could have dismissed it as oil-canning of the skin if it were consistent and on both sides, but as it isn't you'll need to decide whether you're going to fix it. Happily the majority of it is in areas that are open enough to allow easy sanding back of filler, so it shouldn't slow you down very much. A 0.8mm hole is drilled in the section behind the canopy and the two remaining bomb racks are added inside along with an internal detail panel, nose gear bay side, and a hatch that does a credible impression of a toilet lid. With that and a quantity of detail painting you can then slide the starboard fuselage over the two spars. The instructions then have you building up the tail feathers, with the elevators having separate single-part flying surfaces, plus a two piece rudder to attach to the moulded-in tail fin. The glass-nose is appropriate for this model, but as it's a modular part that in real-world situations could be swapped for the gun-nose in a short time. This is built up and added on as a complete unit along with its glazing. The wings are next, and the lower parts have a smattering of flashed-over holes ready to drill out for bombs, gun-pods or drop tanks, plus three cartridge ejection chutes to be cut out for the wing mounted .50cals. The faces of the in-line radiator baths are added to the lower wings and then it's already time to bring the halves together. You'll notice that there are fairings and a hump in the upper wing where the engine nacelles will be, and these are separate assemblies to be built up later. First, the separate two-section flaps (oddly with no deployed option), and the ailerons are prepared and added to the trailing edge of the wings, the latter being of one piece each and slotting into wing via two tabs. The tip lights and underwing landing lights are added from clear parts, and a small insert is glued into the wing that includes three more barrel stubs each and will again need drilling out. At this stage the instructions have you sliding the wings onto the spars and gluing them in place. Whether you'd rather wait until you've added the engine nacelles though is entirely up to you though. There are of course two engine nacelles and these build up pretty much identically apart from their outer skins, which are handed to fit their respective fairings as you'd expect. They are split vertically, and each half has internal structure moulded-in, with bulkheads added fore and aft of the gear bays, coupled with bay lip inserts that bulk out the edges and also hold captive their bay door. This may require some clever masking and a little care during handling, but it shouldn't hold you back too much, as the hinge-points are relatively robust. The two halves are joined together, the prominent intake on the top of the nacelle is made up from two parts, then is added to the nacelle front which is in turn glued to the rest of the nacelle, with the completed assemblies attached to the wings from the underside, as yet without their engine cowlings or props. The engines are added later in the build, and the Twin Wasps are depicted in their entirety with both banks of pistons, push-rods, ancillaries and reduction housing at the front, plus the collector ring and exhausts at the rear, the latter made up from eight parts each. So that they are fitted correctly and mesh properly with the nacelles, they are attached using a jig that is discarded later, so remember not to glue it in! Again the engines are identical and interchangeable with each other, and they fit to the nacelles with a teardrop-shaped tab, after which the engine cowling is slotted over them. The cooling flaps are last to be added in four sets around the rear of the cowling. The top of the fuselage is still open at this point, as it has an insert with the top turret to fit in place, with another for the dorsal turret fitted later on. The remote turrets are both made up together with the ability for the twin .50cals to be left movable if you wish. The top turret has its mechanism and ring made up first, with the two halves brought together on either side of the insert before being glued into the fuselage closing up that area. Then the gunner's compartment with simple seat and periscope is made up and installed under the glazing that sits behind the top turret. Flipping the model over, the lower turret is added to the insert and glued in place too. Another clear light is added to the very rear of the fuselage, and attention turns to the landing gear, which is of the tricycle variety as became the fashion in late war. Each of the three tyres are made from two halves with separate hubs applied from either side, then hung on their respective legs, which have retraction jacks and scissor links added along the way. Happily these can be fitted late in the build, so the open bays can be masked quicker than if they were present. Speaking of bays, you can depict the bomb bay open or close by using either a one piece door for closed, or two separate doors with internal detail for open. This is nice to see, as it's always a little tricky to join two doors and get them aligned with the fuselage so there's minimal join-lines. The main airframe is ostensibly complete save for some antennae and the props, and if you've been sparing with the glue when assembling the engines, the latter should still spin once complete. Your final choice is bombs, tanks or gun-packs hung under the wings. The bombs are made up from two halves each with a spinner insert in the rear and their attachment points moulded into the port side, the gun-packs have a handed three part pod that fits around the central gun-tray, and the drop tanks are simple two-part assemblies with their attachment points moulded into the port side again. They are all mounted on pegs, and fit into their holes that you remembered to drill in the wings before you closed them up, didn't you? Markings In this boxing there are three options included on the decal sheet, two in bare metal, the other in black. From the box you can build one of the following: A-26C-16DT, 553rd Bomb Sqn, 386th Bomb Group, Beaumont-sur-Oise, France, March 1945 A-26C-20DT, 86th Bomb Sqn, 47 Bomb Group, Grosseto, Italy Early 1945 (Overall semi gloss black) A-26C-30DT, 646th Bobm Sqn, 410th Bomb Group, Beaumont-sur-Oise, France, June 1945 The decals are printed anonymously, although they look like DecoGraph's output to my eye. They have good registration, colour density and sharpness, and include a number of stencils that are legible with the right eyeware. Conclusion This model should make a fair few people happy. Detail is excellent and made so much nicer by the matt surface, and there's a fair proportion of the interior included for what is bound to be a popular kit. Smear a little filler into those light sink-marks before you get started, and no-one will know they're there. Keep 'em coming ICM! Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  13. B-26B-50 Invader Updates (for ICM) 1:48 Eduard ICM have given us a nice new Invader to replace all those old kits in our collective stashes, and it’s a very nice kit too, but if you want to take the detail to the next level (I hate that phrase!), you should have a look at these sets from masters of Photo-Etch (PE) Eduard. As usual with Eduard's PE and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. B-16B-50 Upgrade Set (491055) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass, with a small sheet of pre-printed clear acetate. A complete set of new layered instrument panels with the new curved glossy dials overprinted, and centre consoles are the major parts on the painted set, with new seat and cockpit details; radio gear faces; plus sidewall instrumentation and structure also supplied. Additional parts are also included for the rear crew section under the glazing of the aft gunner's position, with the kit gunner's equipment adjusted to fit the new PE parts, utilising his seat, the main part of the sighting mechanism, and the pad removed from kit part 19. All the rest is replaced, and you will need a short length of 1mm rod as the base for the seat. It may have escaped your notice, but the new pre-painted instrument panels that are being produced by Eduard currently have a gloss finish to the instrument faces, replicating glass on the real thing. Somehow they also manage to get these surfaces to look slightly convex, which improves the look and realism of the replacements to the kit parts. This appears to be a by-product of their new LööK resin instrument panels, which are also pre-painted and have glossy dials. B-16B-50 Undercarriage & Exterior (481003) This larger set of bare brass set contains some important upgrades, such as a complete skin for the engine nacelle mounted gear bays, which will need some of the basic interior detail removing beforehand. Oleo-scissors, new hinges for the bay doors and skins, plus some intake grilles, air splitters and spoilers finish off the set. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Bobcat Hobby Model Kits has just announced a new tool 1/48th Douglas A-26K "Nimrod" Counter Invader kit - ref. Source: https://twitter.com/bobcat_model/status/1083588949254098944 A direct competitor for the future ICM's Douglas A/B-26 Invader kits - link V.P.
  15. Hi all and here's my latest result of sticking plastic bits together, Airfix's ancient A-26 Invader built up as Tanker 59. Along with its sister ship, Tanker 57, these were part of the firebombing fleet owned & flown by Lynch Air Tankers of Billings, Montana for the 1989 Steven Spielberg film, “Always”. The real a/c survived its firebombing career and is now in a museum in Texas. This was my first Civil build and was part of a tribute GB in memory of our late IPMS Ireland member and all-round gent, Don Whitaker who built beautiful Civil 1/444 jets and props. RIP Don. The build thread is here but to recap: Kit: Airfix A-26 Invader (1975 boxing) Scale: 1/72 Build: Some homemade detail in the cockpit but otherwise OOB. Extras: 20g in the nose, cockpit and engines. Sanded all the rivets off and a minor rescribe. Paint: Halfords primer from a can. Brush painted with Revell Acrylics. Flory Models Wash, Klear, Pastels for weathering. Decals: A-26 from Draw Decals (thanks Greg) Goofs: Lots! - the nose never fitted properly (or the clear bits) and the wing leading edges should have a prominent droop that was designed to help with low-speed handling. The nacelles fit was.....testing. And I think the nose art is back too far...Acch....here are the pictures! Cheers, Dermot Airfix Douglas A-26 Invader_Air_Tanker (6) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Airfix Douglas A-26 Invader_Air_Tanker (5) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Airfix Douglas A-26 Invader_Air_Tanker (16) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Airfix Douglas A-26 Invader_Air_Tanker (9) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Airfix Douglas A-26 Invader_Air_Tanker (7) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr
  16. A-26B Invader Update Sets (For Revell) 1:48 Eduard The old Monogram Invader is an oldie but goodie, and as such it's the detail that needs a hand-up to meet modern day requirements, with a welcome re-release early in 2018. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner, allowing you to get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. The larger sets are supplied in Ziploc bags to make replacing them easier, and the PE is on the backside of the package. Interior (49896) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass, with a small sheet of pre-printed clear acetate. A complete set of new layered instrument panels with the new curved glossy dials overprinted, and centre consoles are the major parts on the painted set, with new seat and cockpit details; radio gear faces; sidewall instrumentation and canopy internal structure also supplied. Additional parts are also included for the rear crew section under the glazed of the aft gunner's position, with the kit gunner's equipment adjusted to fit the new PE parts, utilising his seat, the main part of the sighting mechanism, and the pad removed from kit part 19. All the rest is replaced, and you will need a short length of 2.6mm rod rounded at each end to play the part of a pair of replacement cylinders that are fitted into the new assembly. Finally, the gunner's hatch can be cut out and replaced with a new PE door, with a piece of the included film used to replicate the window, while the rest is used for the pilot's gunsight. It may have escaped your notice and they don't show up too well in these scans, but some of the new pre-painted instrument panels that are being produced by Eduard currently have a gloss finish to the instrument faces, replicating glass on the real thing. Somehow they also manage to get these surfaces to look slightly convex, which improves the look and realism of the replacements to the kit parts. This appears to be a by-product of their new LööK resin instrument panels, which are also pre-painted and have glossy dials. Zoom! Set (FE896) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL (FE897) In case you don't already know, these belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. As well as the Pilot's four-point harness, you also get a set of lap belts for the forward gunner, rear gunner, and navigator's seats. Undercarriage & Exterior (48953) This larger set of bare brass set contains some important upgrades, such as a complete skin for the engine nacelle mounted gear bays, which will need some of the basic interior detail removing beforehand. Oleo-scissors, brake drums and gear leg fittings are applied to the struts, with new hinges for the bay doors. A few small parts are added to the exterior of the airframe, such as hand-holds, intake details, and ammo chutes for the gun blisters. Bomb Bay (48954) Another large set for this important area of the aircraft, unless you're closing up the doors of course! Firstly, lots of small details are removed to allow the detail skins to be fitted to the sidewalls, forward and aft bulkheads, with an additional piece on the curved part of the spar that runs through this area. Airflow disruption "fingers" are fitted to the leading edge of the bay, and inside the underneath of the top turret mechanism is then built up on the remainder of the inaccurate kit part, which will require a little removal of plastic, and rolling of a cylinder that is part of the assembly. The bay doors are also given new interior skins, plus more accurate and detailed hinges, while the bomb racks are added in pairs over each sidewall, holding two of the kit bombs (or resin alternatives) per rail. The kit bombs also have new fins, shackles and spinners attached before installation. Masks (EX591) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the greenhouse canopy and other glazing. In addition you get a set of hub/tyre masks for all the wheels including the double nose wheel, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Hi all! After a very brief hiatus, the next colourful bird has rolled out of the paint shop. As you can see, she is a Douglas A-26B Invader, or correctly a TB-26B, as she was when operated by the Fuerza Aerea Chilena (Chilean Air force). Depicted as “849”, the last Invader delivered to Chile, she was a target tug. Formerly she was operated by the 2nd Target Tow Squadron, United States Air Force from Mitchell Field. See: http://www.hempsteadplains.com/2ndtow.htm. The tail emblem is from that unit. These last two Invaders (848 and 849) ended their operational days with 8 Grupo at Antofagusta Air Base. “848” still exists as the base gate guard. The kit is the Italeri A-26B Invader (1/72). With this build my easy and obvious option was to build “848” as she is illustrated widely and you can find her on the net. However, I came across the image below. My interpretation of the image is that it was taken in Tucson. My only evidence for this is that the full image has an F-100 landing overhead. It was kindly supplied to me by Danilo Villaroel Canga . He is an expert on all things Chilean Air Force, having written books and he maintains a blog on the subject. He has been a great source of inspiration. This machine intrigued me and so I attempted to interpret the Black and white image below with a few others to get the colours and markings correct. She appeared to have retained some of the “Arctic Red” areas on the wings and tail and was then overpainted with the Dayglo areas. I haven’t seen any plan views of this so this is where I used my judgement. They may not be perfect but it is my best effort. I used some “modellers discretion” too, which I don’t like to do but I got to the end of the road with my research with some questions un-answered, particularly the colour of the pale areas on the nose, wing panels and rear fuselage. Danilo was sure it was yellow but I’ve gone for Dayglo/Fluorescent Red Orange. In construction terms the only real changes were the deletion of the turrets, the addition of the TT apparatus and the opening behind that from where the tow banner was dropped. An image of this is below: I have not been able to locate any images of the mechanism internally and as it is not visible I elected not to try and replicate it. So what did I do/use? Italeri A-26B Invader kit (1/72) Deleted the turrets and blanked the upper with plasticard. Built the TT apparatus and installed it underneath Blanked the nose gun ports Filed out the interior of the engine cowlings and added exhausts with half round Plastruct rod. Painted with Humbrol 27001 Aluminium Metalcote, 33 Black, 34 White, 189 Insignia Blue, 153 Insignia Red, 209 Fluorescent Red Orange (undercoated with white and yellow), 226 Interior green, and others. Varnished with Gloss and Mattcotes. Exhaust stains sprayed with very weak pale tan, brown and black. Decals came from the FCM Latin Invaders set although in the end I used almost nothing as I printed the Chilean “shield” (the sheet one has an incorrect blue), the unit badge, the serials (Amarillo). The white star on the rudder, stencilling and red lining came from the sheet. Antennas from Uschi Panel lined and dirtied with Flory Dirt and Sand, plus the use of Tamiya Weathering sticks. I hope she finds a friend out there..... Martin Adding more images:
  18. Calling all Invader experts! For a TB-26 was the gun laying apparatus in the rear section removed? Where the turrets blanked over with circular flat plates? I think from memory that the Airfix kit includes these plates? What are the gun arrangement options. Many I am looking to build have them set in a horizontal plane rather that the two vertical sets of 4 in the Airfix and Italeri kits. Thanks. Martin
  19. Does anyone out there are any references (images) for the TB-26 Invader, please? Martin
  20. A 1/32nd Douglas A-26 Invader in view (by HpH?) ?? Source Scale Aviation Modeller International: https://www.facebook.com/ScaleAviation/photos/a.1799764573582175.1073741832.1736227789935854/2353552251536735/?type=3&theater To be followed. V.P.
  21. I recently got some very kind replies to my request for information on the undersurface of a USAAF B-25J in the Mediterranean Theatre. I had thought of also doing the 1/72 Italeri kit of the Douglas A-26B in service in the Italian theatre as a companion to my MTO Hasegawa B-25J. The Italeri instructions offered decals for (amongst others) a Douglas A-26B, 44-34486, of the 47th Bomb Group in Italy in 1945. It had a bold red/range tail with the numbers '58' superimposed in black and yellow wingtips. The problem is that the Osprey book on the A-26 ('A-26 Units of World War 2') says that the same aircraft, 44-34486, with the same bold red/range tail (and '58') was an aircraft of the 69th Reconnaissance Group in France in 1945. The site Wings Pallette does likewise: http://wp.scn.ru/en/ww2/a/294/3/0#4 I have searched the internet and can't find any evidence to support either view - that is that the aircraft served with the 47th Bomb Group or the 69th Reconnaissance Group. Both Groups apparently used the A-26 at the end of the war though I can't find any photos of the A-26 with the 69th Rec Group. Photos of various A-26s with the 47th Bomb Group are available but although these show that the aircraft carried a number on the tail, the number is smaller than that shown in the Italeri kit and there seems to be no sign of that red/orange stripe on the tail. Any comments? Thoughts? My gut instinct is that the 47th Bomb Group seems more likely. As I understand the USAAF followed RAF practice in NW Europe, using code letters on the fuselage whereas numbers on the tail and fuselage were used by USAAF Groups in Italy. If I can't get this confirmed either way I may wait for the new Kitsworld decals for the A-26 - they appear to offer markings for aircraft in NW Europe rather than Italy but they do look very nice. Regards Hugh
  22. It's back down to small scale for me at present as house move is probable - so I don't want to risk stuff that will be easily damaged.This is a Dragon kit with two in one box one navy and one marines, both nicely equipped with 12 Rockeye cluster bombs each, plus fuel tanks. I've built the navy one undercarraige up as I intend to display it on a stand with a Navy Hornet(at some point in the future !!). My first Dragon kit and I was quite impressed with the build quality and how it went together. The hardest bit was hanging the bombs they still look a bit 'off' and the yellow decals which I cut myself are far too wide. I'll excuse myself and plead small scale. Enjoy and feel free to comment Paints: Vallejo model air Cheers for looking
  23. Hi, chaps, Does anybody know, whether the invaders in the movie were just movie livery, or real planes got their role in the movie? Unfortunately, I lost the backup thanks to RAID failure to look even what I'm looking for..
  24. Douglas A-26 Invader. "Hard to Get" is an A-26 Serial Number 44-35710 displayed at The Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Addison, Texas. This is an airworthy aircraft. Pics thanks to GeorgeUSA.
  25. After its 1/48th H-75 Mohawk and F-86K ( http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/55146-148th-f-86k-sabre-dog-by-musthave-available/?hl=musthave ) kits, the French company MustHave is to release a brand new tool (and not a Revellogram reboxing!) 1/48th Douglas A-26B Invader kit. Box art V.P.
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