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Found 16 results

  1. Does anyone know where I can lay my hands on drawings of the disruptive camouflage pattern for the Boston/Havoc? The best I can do is the instructions for the Special Hobby 1/72 Boston III but the patterns (DE/DG) on that bear no relation to the colour demarcations on the 771 Sq Boston (EDSG/DSG) shown in colour on the cover of Sky Over Scapa? The old Ducimus Camouflage & Markings booklet deals more with early all-black schemes..
  2. Hello all; I hope you have a great Christmas and are looking forward to the new year. There's a long story behind this build, literally a 12 year effort across two continents. The full story, as usual sits on my website. The short version is that this one started as a build for a friend; he wanted a super-detailed RAF Boston. I ran out of enthusiasm and interest long before it was finished and it became a shelf queen. For some reason I kept the carcass though, and eventually, after a move to Australia, I retrieved it from Canada on a return visit and finally finished it a couple of months ago. As usual, comments and critique are welcome. Thanks for looking. Mark.
  3. Hi comrades! Here is my take on AMT kit. Despite the kit's age, it was a pleasant build. Aftermarket used: Foxbot decals (excellent!) Eduard brass (intermediate, not everything helpful) True detail resin wheels and rescue inflatable boat - (nice) Montex masks for canopy and standard markings (excellent) Quickboost engines, cowlings and browning's - (good, but engines were additionally wired ) Scratchbuilt: engines wiring, wheel wells wiring, wings navigation lights, tail light enhanced. Thanks for looking The build is here
  4. RAAF A-20A's, in May 1943 it was agreed between 5th AF HQ and RAAF HQ that with the losses and shortage of new aircraft that the 89th BS 3rd BG would hand over their A-20A's to 22 Sqn RAAF when the total number got below 15 aircraft in the Sqn, in Oct 43 89th BS had reached that level and with new A-20G's being available in the new year, 9 of the last 15 A-20A's were transferred to RAAF control, these were war weary aircraft having served with the 89th since the start of 1941 and brought out to the Pacific when the unit deployed in 1942, these aircraft had upward of 70 + missions each and were worn out. These aircraft were transferred to 15 ARD in Nov 43 for repair and modification and the first aircraft was not issued to 22 Sqn till early 1944, several were broken up for parts and some stored at 15ARD, only about 4-5 were operated by 22 Sqn for only a few months mainly in the training role to take the load off the operational DB-7B's and A-20C's. These aircraft were in the Std US Olive Drab over Neutral Grey in US service but it appears were repainted into the same scheme as the DB-7B's of Dark Green/Dark Earth over Sky (could be Sky , NG or Sky Blue), photo's exist of only 2 x A-20A's in RAAF service. While with 22 Sqn only 3 operational missions were ever flown with A-20A's, A28-34 and A28-35 , by Jun 44 all A-20A's were withdrawn from use , used as parts sources and converted to components in early 1945. The odd aircraft out was A28-39 this aircraft was transferred to 3AD and stripped to NMF, had all armour and armament removed and used as a test aircraft and test pilot and pilot training aircraft . it was struck off charge in 1945 and scrapped in 1948, the last Boston in RAAF service. A28-32, (US data 40-0085 "She's Right" with 89th BS) A28-33 , (US data 40-0143 "Cracker Jack" with 89th BS) A28-34, (US data 40-3160 "Hell's Fire/FIFI" with 89th BS) DU-B with 22 Sqn A28-35, (US data 40-0162 "Kentucky red/The Shadow" with 89th BS) A28-36, (US data 40-0077 "Baby Dumpling" with 89th BS) A28-37, (US data 40-0118 "Bloody Bucket" with 89th BS) A28-38, (US data 40-0139 "Maid in Japan" with 89th BS) A28-39, (US data 40-0144 "Salome" with 89th BS) A28-40 , (US data 40-3159) A28-34 DUB 22 Sqn 1944, note DG/DE scheme , std RAAF 36" 5/3 roundels in all 6 positions, 24" Sqn codes and serials in white, fin flash , note upper panel on nose is still the Perspex access panel , also 2 angled panels in lower nose remain Perspex, also ADF fitted. How she looked with 89th BS early 1943 A28-39, stripped to NMF and with post June 44 markings , 48" 5/2 roundels , fin flash and serial in black, note most of nose converted back to Perspex panels. Amberley 1945 used as a test and chase aircraft for new Mustangs, being in NMF and with all armament and armour removed was a very fast aircraft. being scrapped 1948. With 89th BS early 1943
  5. Special Hobby is to re-release the MPM 1/72nd Douglas Boston Mk.III Intruder kit - ref. 72398 Source: http://www.specialhobby.info/2018/11/sh72398-boston-mkiii-intruder-boxart.html Box art V.P.
  6. As a follow up to the A-20G's and Beaufighters in RAAF service I did , here is the A-20C's. By the end of Sept 1943 22 Sqn was in dire straits, they were down to about 6 operational DB-7B's and despite several more in Australia trying to be brought up to operational std the Sqn was almost non operational , in early Sept 43 steps were already in motion to get 22 Sqn more A-20 Boston's , 9 x A-20C's left over from the P-70 conversion program were made available and began arriving at 3AD Amberley from mid Sept to late Oct 43, these were quickly reconverted back to the Bomber/Strafer role and had long range tanks , bomb racks and ADF fitted, these aircraft were unique in that they had an armament of 5 x .50's fitted to the nose , unlike the DB-7B's and A-20A's which had their .50's clusted in a group of 4 firing thru what had been the bomb aimers panel , the A-20C's had 3 x .50's mounted across the nose above the bomb aimers glass panel, they also had the cheek .30's replaced with a .50 and the blister with the second .30 removed giving them 5 x .50's in the nose, also with the bomb aimers glass being retained a strike camera was mounted in the nose to record strafing attacks, these aircraft were turned around as fast as possible by 3AD Amberley and only had their US markings and serials crudely painted over and RAAF markings and serials applied, many publications in the past have stated these aircraft were painted all over Foliage Green, probably because they look very dark in B&W photo's , but as was pointed out to me by Peter Malone, the paint was too rough to be a new coat of Foliage Green and the aircraft were needed desperately by 22 Sqn, records show these aircraft were at 3AD for only 2-3 weeks each before dispatch to 22 Sqn only enough time to fit them out , and get them serviceable , not time for a repaint. A28-23 to A28-30 (23 DU-O, 24 DU-P, 25 DU-N, 26 DU-Q?, 27 DU-R?, 28 DU-U, 29 DU-V? and 30 DU-W) were all delivered to 22 Sqn thru Oct 43 in std US Olive Drab over Neutral Grey, RAAF markings were std 36" 5/3 ratio roundels in all 6 positions with the RAAF roundels covering the centre of the US stars and bars - (to give positions on wings and fuselage) Std RAAF fin flash and Mid Grey serials under the tail. these aircraft were the first to have ADF fitted to them with 22 Sqn as the role of 22 Sqn as the A-20C's was coming on strength was long range airfield suppression missions and barge strikes on New Britain from Goodenough Island in preparation for the landings on Cape Gloucester . The A-20C was faster and had longer range than the DB-7B's and took the majority of the missions thru late 43 into the first half of 1944 . There are two variations to the Std OD/NG scheme worn by the A-20C's at 22 Sqn and that was A28-25 DU-N which was badly damaged in a bombing mission in early Nov 43 when a bomb prematurely exploded under the aircraft doing serious shrapnel damage to the aircraft , it was returned to 26 MRU who rebuild it over 6 weeks and also repainted it in the same scheme as the DB-7B's Dark Green/Dark Earth over Sky (lower surface could have been Neutral Grey, Sky Blue or Sky no-one knows), she then returned to service with 22 and served till scrapped in early 45, The other oddity was A28-31, this A-20 never served with 22 Sqn but was retained at 3AD Amberley as a test and training aircraft, this A-20 was the only A-20C Boston in RAAF service to actually be painted in the correct attack aircraft scheme of all over Foliage Green, she also had the later 32" 5/2 ration roundels , fin flash and grey serials, it was also the only A-20 in RAAF service to be fitted with tropical intake filters and despite having the 5 x .50 nose fit of the other A-20C's retained a full glass nose, she was scrapped in Tocumwall at 7 CRD in mid 1945. DU-O, DU-U and DU-W Sqn codes were not used on the later A-20G's as these A-20C's were still in use with the A-20G's. 3 x nose .50's on unidentified A-20C Loading nose guns , note strike camera behind bomb aimers glass unidentified A-20C, note upper single .50 , DB-7B's and A-20A's ran twin .30/.303 A-20C undergoing maintenance, nose and cheek .50's and strike camera visible, this is the same aircraft in the top photo with the nose guns , but I have not been able to identify it. Either A28-23 DU-O or A28-24 DU-P, unable to confirm which, note how far the .50's stick out of cheek position compared to .30/.303, and how rough the paint is, lines on all the panel joint lines is staining/fading from tape to seal joints during sea voyage from US, also note outline of removed cheek blister. A28-28 DU-U, note how rough the overpaint of the US markings are , also this was the only A-20C with an ADF loop not a faired ADF like all the others. A28-30 DU-W A28-31, note nice even all over Foliage Green Scheme, later style markings and tropical intakes and glass nose, photo 3AD late 1944 and at Tocumwall in 1945 awaiting scrapping.
  7. Ok after the Beaufighter thread with the minefield of schemes I thought I would do something a bit more definite, Boston's are my favourite subject and have been researching them for years, much is written about the early Boston III's but little is written about the A-20G's they were only used on ops for about 4 months before most were written off in a night bombing raid by Japanese aircraft on Morotai on 22/23 Nov 44 destroyed over half the Sqn which then converted to Aust build Mk 21 Beaufighter's, The Sqn did not want to convert to Beaufighter's as they much preferred the Boston ( many of the pilots in the Sqn had flown Beaufighter's and wanted to keep Boston's) and the US 5th AF was willing to supply more Boston's but the RAAF HQ decided to go with an all Beaufighter strike fleet. Unlike the earlier DB-7B Boston III's and A-20A's and A-20C's which were on RAAF strength , the A-20G's were on "Loan" from US 5th AF stock and all serviceable A-20G's were returned to 5th AF after withdrawal from service. In the 4 months of service with 22 Sqn they flew more missions then the previous 20 mths combined with the earlier model Boston's and build up an excellent reputation with A-20 units with the 5th AF, 22 Sqn operated side by side with the 417th BG for 3 months on Noemfoor Island and got most of there spares from the group , all serviceable A-20G's were assigned to the 417th after use with 22 Sqn. All RAAF A-20G's were brand new aircraft either straight from the US or from US stock held at Finschafen (not second hand as some sources quote)(except for 6 x early A-20G-10's used as training a/c) and as they were new aircraft and on loan from the US operated in Std US scheme of Olive Drab with Medium Green Blotches over neutral Grey, they were not repainted in any RAAF paint schemes but did have repairs painted Foliage Green or new Olive Drab paint. The 29 x A-20G's were delivered in 5 batches and this is were the markings changed with each batch. Sqn code letters were issued alphabetically on delivery or when an A-20G replaced one of the older DB-7B's or A-20C's. DB-7B's A28-11 DU-L , A28-18 DU-Y and A-20C's A28-23 DU-O, A28-28 DU-U and A28-30 DU-W stayed on strength at 22 Sqn when the A-20G's arrived so these Sqn code letters were not used on the A-20G's. Batch #1 A28-50 to 60 and 64 This first batch of A-20G's were new delivery -40 aircraft direct from the US to 3AD Amberley in Jun 44, these 12 aircraft were modified to RAAF spec and also had a RAAF designed strike camera fitted to the rear of the R/H engine nacelle, the rear cone of the nacelle was truncated and a strike camera fitted into the empty area in the back of the Nacelle, this was operated by the pilot on his strike run and took photo's of the bomb damage , it also allowed the lower .50 to be used during low level bomb runs something std US A-20's could not do if the rear crewman was using a camera for bomb damage assessment thru the lower hatch. These aircraft were marked exactly as per the RAAF instruction AGP Pt 3 issued 26/5/44, which we will see caused problems, "Bomber" roundels were to be of the 5/2 ration 48" in diameter, serials were to be 8" Medium Sea Grey on fuselage side fwd of leading edge of Horizontal stab and Sgn codes to be 36" high on each side of fuselage, 34 wide x 24 high fin flash and all US markings painted over. well the Boston fuselage was not big enough to take 48" roundels and 36" Sqn codes and with the serial fwd of the Horizontal stab the Sqn codes covered the serials, when the aircraft got to 22 Sqn and coded were applied , 24 " was as big as could be applied and on some aircraft the code letter even partially covered the fuselage roundel , the last two aircraft of this batch had unofficial 40" roundels applied to try and fit the fuselage better. Roundels in 6 places on these machines. A28-50 DU-A, A28-51 DU-B , A28-52 DU-C, A28-53 DU-D, A28-54 DU-E, A28-55 DU-F, A28-56 ?, A28-57 DU-J, A28-58 DU-K, A28-59 DU-M (DU-M applied both sides not the usual reverse on R/H side), A28-60 DU-P and A28-64 DU-N. Batch #2 A28-61 to 63. This second batch were also new delivery -40 aircraft from the US to 1AD Laverton in Jul 44, after 3AD tried to follow the official instructions 1AD interpreted them differently, the serials were applied under the horizontal stab on the fuselage side and 32" "fighter" roundels were applied which better suited the space on the Boston fuselage side, no fin flash was applied and all US markings over painted. The strike camera mod was not fitted. Roundels in 6 places on these machines A28-61 DU-R, A28-62 DU-S, A28-63 DU-T. Batch #3 A28-65 to 68 This third batch came from US stock at Finschafen and were new delivery -45 aircraft in Aug/Sept 44, markings start to get rough now despite being new aircraft the US markings are just brushed over and 32" roundels applied , no fin flash is applied and the A28 is dropped from 65 onward only had two digit serials. Roundels in 6 positions on these machines. A28-65 DU-G, A28-66 DU-H, A28-67 DU-V ( DU-V was also the same both sides), A28-68 DU-X (also DU-X both sides) Batch #4 A28-69 to 74 This batch were the second hand A-20G-10's from the 417th BG only used as training aircraft not used on ops and never had Sqn markings applied Batch #5 A28-75 to 78 These last 4 Bostons were later model -45's (some of the last A-20G's built) straight from the US to 22 Sqn On Noemfoor island in Oct 44, these Boston's were unique as they ran mixed markings , the US stars and Bars were retained on the wings and the US serial retained on the tail with RAAF roundel applied to fuselage sides with Sqn codes and 2 digit RAAF serial under horizontal stab, why the mixed marking no one is sure, some of the reasons mentioned were friendly fire incidents from US troops (unless it had Stars and Bars they shot at it ), also these were Loan aircraft so maybe the MU became lazy and just applied RAAF markings to Fuselage sides ( I have seen RAAF P-40's and C-47's that retained the Stars and Bars on wings).Roundels only on fuselage on these machines. A28-75 DU-A, A28-76 DU-?, A28-77 DU-? , A28-78 DU-R. The CO of 22 Sqn did not like art work or individual markings so personalisation was rare, the CO's aircraft A28-60 DU-P had a May 44 Vargus pin up on his aircraft and was called "Hilda Shane" , after his Wife and Son and had approx. 20 mission marks on it ( ground crew applied the artwork one night , the CO relented and said it could stay but no other art work was to be applied it also had polished spinners as the CO's aircraft, A28-55 had 9 mission marks unusually on the R/H side not the normal L/H side and A28-78 was called "Topsy" also unusually marked on the R/H side, these are the only individual markings I can find on RAAF A-20G's. A28-52 DU-C, note large 48" roundel , Sqn codes (C) covering serials , note strike camera mod rear of R/H engine nacelle A28-54 DU-E, note 48" roundel , fin flash, Sqn code (E) covering serial, also in background A28-67 DU-V - reversed Sqn code on R/H side and 32 " "fighter" roundels and no fin flash applied and two digit serials to later batches.. A28-60 DU-P undergoing repair post raid on Ambon 05 Oct 44, note reduced 40" roundel , fin flash, Sqn codes covering serial and strike camera position A28-59 DU-M post raid on Morotai late Nov44 (Aircraft written off), note 48" roundel , reversed Sqn codes on R/H side, removal of modified aft R/H nacelle fairing for strike camera , fin flash and covered serials. A28-63 DU-T post crash landing Noemfoor 06 Sept 44, note serial under tail not covered by Sqn Code , 32" roundels. A28-67 DU-V L/H side. A28-78 DU-R, "Topsy" note mixed markings, US Stars and Bars under wing and serial retained on tail, overpainting of nose cone and around US star and bar on fuselage side , may be Foliage Green (note semi gloss finish), 32" roundel
  8. I've started an early (W-serialled) Boston III. I believe (pse correct if I'm wrong) that these were ordered against a British contract and that therefore the fuselage interior would be UK interior green. But what of other interior areas like the wheel wells and engine cowling interiors? Zinc chromate yellow? Thanks in advance for your help.
  9. Hello All, Was there an OTU for the Boston and Mitchell bombers in England? If not, from where would replacement aircrew have come? TW
  10. Morning all and Happy New Year from Canberra. It's been a little while since my last post in RFI, so here's some photos of the last four models completed for 2016. All 1/72 in case you're wondering. By the way, this post has taken about an hour to put together due to the delights of Photobucket. Any suggestions for an alternative that doesn't give me time to start and finish a Lancaster?? First is Airfix's Blenheim If from 226 Squadron at RAF Digby, Lincolnshire, spring 1940... The second ever Mosquito built - W4051 from 1 PRU, RAF Benson, August 1943. This is the Tamiya kit with AlleyCat engine nacelles... An Airfix Beaufighter from 404 Squadron RCAF, RAF Strubby, August 1944... and finally MPM's Boston III from 88 Squadron, RAF Oulton. This aircraft was piloted by F/Lt Johnny Reeve on the Eindhoven raid, 6 December 1942.
  11. This group build has been my main focus for this year and I have given it a lot of thought. I love the MTO and everything about it, it's probably the part of the war I read/know most about, so this GB was always going to be a tough decision! However I have avoided ny natural impulses to jump to malta with a trio of blue spits and gone for something I don't do often. I have always liked the following three AC's for their agressive and powerful looks, it must be the big radials strapped to the wings! They looks very American in my eyes, or a least how I see American aircraft looking, fast and powerful! Like class muscle cars.... but in the the sky.... So enough ramble here is the muscles Untitled by robert mulvey, on Flickr No I did not get the marauder for the 55p woolworths price tag. They are a mixed bag, the italieri one being of the lowest standard out of the three, but the will not be lots of clever rescribe work or detailing. ....I plan to get these finished! So the options I intend to complete. B-25 will be my first American airforce build, and in NMF which will be a first for me! Transfers are form the hase boxing of 'bottoms up ii'. This is also a little gift to the wife, she is a yoga teacher and supposedly this is a yoga move! Untitled by robert mulvey, on Flickr And she is also a fan of the pin up look on it and the colour.... its cool I am told bottomsup by robert mulvey, on Flickr An in game computer generated image off Google B25_DSC4312 by robert mulvey, on Flickr And a better view done by a much better modeller than me on JAM forum! As ever pictures found on Google but if anyone wants them removed then let me know and they are gone! Next is the airfix marauder and I must say I am really rather impressed with the amount of detail in this kit, especially considering the age. She will be done as the below SAAF marauder from the hannants Med twins part 1 sheet, which has had the great input of forum member Tony O'toole. Nice work Tony it's a cracking set. Untitled by robert mulvey, on Flickr Untitled by robert mulvey, on Flickr Untitled by robert mulvey, on Flickr And then finally it's the revell Boston, the best for detail and the newest out of the lot! It will be built OOB as it comes with a set for a RAF bomber in Italy. ... which is also on the Xtradecals set Untitled by robert mulvey, on Flickr So that's a south African, American and a brit all walk into a group build.... let's see what happens! Cheers Rob
  12. Special Hobby is to release in June 2016 a 1/72nd Douglas A-20B\C Boston with a UTK-1 dorsal turret kit - ref. SH72337 Source: http://www.specialhobby.net/2016/05/sh72337-20bc-boston-with-utk-1-turret.html V.P.
  13. A-20B/C "Boston with UTK-1 Turret" 1:72 Special Hobby The A-20/DB-7 Havoc, known in Royal Air Force circles as the as the Boston, was a light bomber developed by the California-based Douglas Aircraft Company. Designed to a US Air Force specification issued in 1937, the aircraft’s first customer was actually the French Air Force, representatives of which had been impressed by its performance whilst visiting the USA as part of a pre-war purchasing commission. Those aircraft not delivered to France by the time the armistice had been signed in 1940 were taken up by the RAF instead. The Soviet Union was a major user of the type, with the Soviet Air Force and Soviet Naval Aviation acquiring nearly 3000 Bostons before the end of the war. In the harsh winter conditions on the Eastern Front, it was found that the rear gunners suffered in the elements and so the UTK-1 turret was fitted, sometimes with higher calibre armament. It's around nine years since the first iteration of this kit was released under the MPM Production label. The kit has been re-released at least eight times since then, including a re-box of the Boston Mk.V by big boys Revell. This time around the kit includes extra parts in resin, plastic and photo etched brass for a Soviet version fitted with the UTK-1 mid-upper turret. Inside the box are the usual five sprues of grey plastic and two sprues of clear plastic (the original sprue plus a new sprue for the turret transparencies. Together they hold over 160 parts, which is very respectable for a kit of this size. The mouldings look crisp and clean and there are no flaws in the plastic as far as I can tell. Surface details are comprised of fine, engraved panel lines and convincing textures on the rudder and horizontal tail. Although Special Hobby have had their money's worth out of these moulds, they seem to be holding up well and the overall impression is pretty good. The cockpit is rather well-appointed for a kit in this scale. It is made up of a floor, seat, rudder pedals, two-part control column, instrument panel, sidewalls and bulkheads. Details on parts such as the instrument panel are picked out with fine, raised details. The bomb aimer/observer position is just as good and includes a very nice bomb sight. The reworked rear gunner's position is just as good, with nice extra details such as spare magazines for the lower defensive machine gun. The new turret is a multi-media affair, with new plastic parts (including a gun moulded from clear plastic – presumably for logistical reasons) and photo etched details for the fine stuff. Once the fuselage halves have been joined together, the wings and horizontal stabilisers can be assembled and fixed to the fuselage. Unlike some limited run kits, the parts have location tabs and slots to help ensure a positive fit. The prominent nacelles, which house the large Double-Cyclone engines, are each made up of seven parts, while the engines themselves are made up of three parts – two rows of seven cylinders and the reduction gearing. They are nicely detailed and should look good once assembled. The undercarriage looks well detailed, but frighteningly complex. Each of the main gear legs is made up of no fewer than six parts, plus the wheels themselves. I would recommend taking great care over these stages in the instructions as you don't want to end up with a wonky aeroplane when you come to rest it on its boots. The main gear legs actually fit directly to the wings, and it is possible to fit the rear engine nacelles over these parts afterwards. This should make things a little less frustrating as you will be able to place the parts precisely rather than having to stuff them inside a cramped undercarriage bay, but it will obviously make the task of painting the model a little more laborious. The remainder of the build is concerned with the addition of the transparent parts and some fine details such as the the radio antenna and propellers. The transparent parts are thin and clear and shouldn’t present any problems, although I have not been able to check to see how well they fit at this point in time. Markings for two aircraft are provided on the decal sheet. A-20B Havoc 'White 20' in US camouflage scheme with over-painted markings and a caricature of the Adolf Hitler on the nose; and Boston III 'Yellow 5' in British camouflage with over-painted markings. The decals are nicely printed and look quite thin and glossy. Conclusion This is the only modern tooling of the Boston in 1:72 scale, so it’s fairly easy to recommend it to modellers interested in adding the type to their collection. It looks good on the sprue, although opinion seems to be divided as to how easy it is to build. Some people have reported fit issues whilst others have stated that the kit practically falls together. Nevertheless, it is still the best Boston out there and with the interesting twist of the new turret and marking options, it can be firmly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Boston Mk. V/A-20J 1:72 Revell The A-20/DB-7 Havoc, better known to those with an interest in the Royal Air Force as the Boston, was a light bomber developed by the Douglas Aircraft Company of Long Beach, California. Designed to a US Air Force specification issued in 1937, the aircraft’s first customer was actually the French Air Force, who had been impressed by its performance whilst visiting the USA as part of a pre-war purchasing commission. Those aircraft not delivered to France by the time the armistice had been signed in 1940 were taken up by the RAF instead. The first squadron to be equipped with the Boston was 88 Squadron of Bomber Command. By the War’s end, no fewer than 24 squadrons had operated the Boston, either as a light bomber or night fighter. A handful of aircraft were converted to Havoc I Turbinlite standard, with a powerful searchlight in the nose, designed to illuminate enemy aircraft for accompanying night fighters. Unfortunately the huge searchlight made the Turbinlites an easy target and this particular chapter of the Boston’s history was not a successful one. The A-20 was also widely used by the USAAF and by the end of the war, almost 7,500 of the type had rolled off the production lines. Revell have been kind to those of us who choose to model in 1:72 scale over the last six weeks or so, as this kit follows hot on the heels of their Harrier GR Mk. 7/9 and Heinkel He 115. As with the aforementioned kits, this is also a re-release of a kit originally tooled by another manufacturer - this time from MPM of the Czech Republic. Nestled inside Revell’s familiar bright blue box are four sprues of grey plastic and a single sprue of clear plastic. Together they hold a total of 118 parts, which is pretty respectable for a kit of this size. There is no flash present anywhere and as far as I can see, there are no flaws in the plastic. Surface details are comprised of fine, engraved panel lines and there is a convincing stretched fabric effect on the rudder and horizontal tail. The overall impression is very favourable indeed. The cockpit is rather well-appointed for this kind of model. It is made up of a floor, seat, rudder pedals, two-part control column, instrument panel, sidewalls and bulkheads. A decal is provided for the instrument panel, but it isn’t really needed as the instruments are picked out with fine, raised details on the plastic parts. The bomb aimer/observer position is just as good and includes a very nice bomb sight. The crew positions are completed by the mid-upper turret, which is a little more basic than the other positions, but still good enough to pass muster. Once the fuselage halves have been joined together, the wings and horizontal stabilisers can be assembled and fixed to the fuselage. The parts have location tabs and slots to help ensure a positive fit. The prominent cowlings, under which hide the large Double-Cyclone engines, each have to be fitted with nine cooling vents. Fortunately Revell’s instructions are very clear in this regard, so you shouldn’t have any problems. The engines themselves are made up of three parts – two rows of seven cylinders and the reduction gearing. They are nicely detailed and should look good once assembled. The undercarriage looks well detailed, but frighteningly complex. Each of the main gear legs is made up of no fewer than six parts, plus the wheels themselves. I would recommend taking great care over these stages in the instructions, lest you end up with a wonky aeroplane when you come to rest it on its tyres. The main gear legs actually fit directly to the wings, and it is possible to fit the rear engine nacelles over these parts afterwards. This should make things a little less frustrating as you will be able to place the parts precisely rather than having to stuff them inside a cramped undercarriage bay. The remainder of the build is concerned with the addition of the transparent parts and the remaining fine details. These include the radio antenna and DF loop as well as the .303 Browning machine guns. The guns are very nicely recreated and the cooling sleeves in particular are convincingly detailed. The transparent parts are thin and clear and shouldn’t present any problems, although I have not been able to check to see how well they fit at this point in time. Two options are provided for on the decal sheet: Douglas Boston Mk. V, No, 13 Squadron, 232 Wing, Royal Air Force, Italy 1944; and Douglas A-20J Havoc, 646th Bomb Squadron, 410th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force, USAAF, Gosfield, England, June 1944. Both aircraft are finished in Olive Drab over Neutral Grey. The decals are nocely printed but they look a little matt. Conclusion As this is the only modern tooling of the Boston in 1:72 scale, it’s fairly easy to recommend it to modellers interested in adding the type to their collection. It looks very good indeed on the sprue, although opinion seems to be divided on how easy it is to build. Some people have reported fit issues whilst others have stated that the kit is a breeze to build. Nevertheless, it is still the best Boston out there and can be firmly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit
  15. Gday All, for what will probably be my final build for the year (if I dont finish that Dragon Opel Blitz on the bench) and the second half of my Boston double build I present my Italeri Boston finished as a strafer from 22 SQN RAAF Did you really think I was just going to do a RAF one Tony O Toole? Kit is the standard Italeri/AMT A-20B/C kit with redroo tropical cowlings and decals. The cowlings fit like a glove, msot impressive, unfortunately the decals were impervious to any and all setting solutions used and refused to sit down into the panel lines. I wish I had of masked the roundels, however I thought the redroo decals were spot on for clolour to match faded RAAF decals, and their decal instructions are second to none. This is one of thoswe builds that did not turn out as well as I thought it would, the boston is a nice kit but the landing gear and door attachment leave a lot to be desired and are literally the weakest parts of the kit. Macine gun barrels, (which need to be bent back up, I notice are from Vector for the 50's and Master Barrel for the .30's. If you have not used these two brands before, do so, they really add to the final look. Finished with Humbrol enamels and weathered using various shades of same. I tried the oil dot technique, the lesson I learnt here was do your panel line wash first!! Still undecided on the value of this technique. For those wondering what I am talking about, it involves dabbing tiny dots of various colours of oil paint all over the model, then scrubbing them into the paintwork to subtly alter the tones of the paintwork Anyway, on to the pics
  16. Douglas Boston IIIa 'Over D-Day Beaches' 1:72 Special Hobby The Boston / Havoc was relatively fast, manoeuvrable and rugged. That coupled with the fact that it had no real handling vices, it was well liked by aircrew. The aircraft was born from a USAAC specification for an attack aircraft in 1937. Douglas designed the Model 7a powered by two 1100hp P&W Twin Wasp engines in competition with North American, Stearman and Martin. Despite its manoeuvrability and speed, there were no orders made initially from the US, but there was interest from France. Overlooking the ‘Neutrality Act of 1935’ development continued with support from France and an initial order was made by them of 270 aircraft. With the collapse of France in 1940, the aircraft that had been delivered were shipped to North Africa, but fell under the control of the Vichy government although never got much use against the Allies. The remainder of the order was sent to the UK. The Boston I was underpowered at 1050hp using P&W Wasps and lacked the range needed for daylight operations in to Germany. The Boston II brought further power from the Wasp engine delivering 1200hp, but the Boston III was a major improvement and was brought in to service with the RAF in the summer of 1941. Using Wright Cyclone engines of 1600hp, it had much larger fuel tanks important for the ‘Light Bomber’ missions the RAF needed from it and better armour protection. Amongst its first combat missions, 99 & 226 Squadrons took part in an attack against the German warships Scharnhorst, Prinz Eugen and Gneisenau which were returning to German ports from Brest in Feb 1942 in what has become known as the ‘Channel Dash’. In 1943, 342 Sqn (Free French) became the fourth squadron to operate the type. Under the control of the 137th Wing of the 2nd Tactical Air Force along with 88 & 107 squadrons, they focussed on bombing targets in Northern France including coastal defences, communications and German Airfields. Bostons were also used in the night intruder role across Europe and in Northern Africa contributing to the fall of German occupied Tunisia in May 1943. In all, 13 RAF squadrons operated the Boston with a further two SAAF squadrons supporting the North African front. The kit The A-20 series of aircraft from MPM have been around since 2007 following the first release of the A-20G with its solid nose. The first ‘glass nosed’ British / French kit came in the guise of the later Mk.IV/V. Having built this kit, it was very impressed with the quality of both detail and general fitment and it builds up in to a beautiful rendition of the Boston. There were a few minor issues I had to deal with and I’ll pick them up later. This new Boston III under the ‘Special Hobby’ brand differs most notably from the later version by having a rear gun opening rather than the Martin turret as well as a panelled nose glazing. On opening the kit, you’re presented with 5 medium grey sprues, one clear sprue and a resin one containing the smoke laying tubes used on some aircraft. Detailing on the parts is extremely well done. The fine smaller parts are exactly that, very fine and well detailed. Surface finish is superb, finely recessed panel lines leave you in no doubt as to the quality of the kit. I can’t see any signs of sink marks and flash is minimal. The instruction booklet is A5 in size printed on good quality gloss paper with colour throughout. The steps are clearly drawn and easy to follow. Assembly starts with the cockpit and rear gun station interiors. Detail here is more than adequate for the most part. Separate side wall detail is supplied to enhance the detail in the cockpit. The only thing that is lacking is the dingy that resides behind the pilot which if you decide to leave the canopy open will be an obvious omission. I made one out of rolled up tissue paper for the mk.IV I built soaked in Kleer before painting which gave a good representation when complete. Assembly of the engine rear nacelles comes next. Again, more than enough detail is presented both internally and externally. With the interior complete, they are simply fitted in to the fuselage halves before sealing them up. Be aware at this point, the kit is a tail sitter (guess how I know? !!). An instruction included for a 10g weight at the front but there isn’t much room. My suggestion would be to include more weight located below the dingy stowage which is a little further backwards but much more room to house it. There will be a little space in the nose section below the floor later in the build, but better to have too much than too little! As mentioned previously, surface detail on the fuselage is very refined with finely recessed panel lines and the fabric effect on the rudder subtly represented. The carburettor intakes above the wings come as separate parts and fitment is good. Quality of surface detail on the wings mirrors that of the fuselage in terms of quality. Assembly of the engines and cowlings comes next. Be careful here on which version you want to build as two variants have the type with exhausts protruding through the cowling covers, whist the other two have the exhausts backed together in a ring behind the cowling. For the former, the small exhausts protruding from the cowlings are individually fitted which is a little time consuming and fiddly to place accurately as per the instructions, but look good once in place. Both banks of cylinders are provided with good representation of the cooling gills on each cylinder block and a separate gearbox. Assembly of the gear is again a little fiddly due to the framework that has to be assembled for the main legs to sit on. My recommendation here is to dry fit the nacelle around the assembly before the glue dries to make sure that it doesn’t foul correct fitment of the nacelle once everything has hardened. I found fitting the clear parts to be a little problematic on my previous build. Having heard of others who had the same issue, be prepared in case this arises in your build albeit a different version but the same configuration. The windscreen on mine didn’t quite align to the contours of the fuselage and I ended up snapping it on the Mk.IV trying to bend it under hot water. The nose part was also a little difficult to align to the main fuselage, so I’d recommend plenty of dry fitting before you insert the floor part in to the glass section to see how it all lines up. The issues I had could well of been self- induced on the glass nose, but looking at it on the shelf now, everything looks well. The floor section within the nose includes the side panel details and an additional bomb sight and seat is supplied too. The rear gun station instructions are leaving me a little confused. The drawings show the guns to be positioned protruding rearwards over the top of the fuselage, but the clear part is supplied in the ‘closed’ position. I can’t see how this will work unless you cut away the clear section that opens up on the real aircraft. The rest of the detail pretty much ‘bolts’ on to the built aircraft including gun side blisters, aerials, props, wheels and gear doors. The interior of the gear doors and opening canopy section are nicely detailed too. If you decide to do the version with the smoke generators, the resin parts are fitted to the lower fuselage bomb bay doors. The decals Four schemes are provided in the kit, all from the D-Day period as you would expect from the title! They are printed by Aviprint. Register is good as is colour richness. I don’t remember any issues affixing them on my earlier build. The schemes are: 1. BZ264 / RH-B – 88 Sqn RAF operating from RAF Hartford Bridge, Hampshire 1944 2. BZ389 / RH-E – As above but with smoke generators (Operation Starkey) – operated as decoy to D-Day plans 3. BZ208 / OA-G – 342 ‘Lorraine’ Sqn sporting French roundels – RAF Hartford Bridge July 1944 4. Unknown serial / OA-A – 342 ‘Lorraine’ Sqn sporting British roundels – RAF Hartford Bridge July 1944 Conclusion Having built the Mk.IV version a couple of years ago, I can thoroughly recommend this kit if you’re wanting to build a Boston. The detail and generally assembly is good but watch for the few issues I mentioned with the clear parts. MPM also do a coloured etch set to accompany this if you prefer a little more detail, but the basic kit looks good without. Review sample courtesy of
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