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AMT 1/48th Scale Douglas A-20J Havoc 'Starize'

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Time to pitch my offer into this group build and it's going to be an A-20J of the 155th Night Photo Squadron from the 10th PR Group, a distant relative of the 10th TRW RF-4C that carried the same markings whilst based locally to me at RAF Alconbury during the 70's - 80's. I'm going to add a few extras to the kit to spruce it up a bit including the Lone Star Models cockpit and True details wheels. I've also ordered the Lone Star Models Bombardier station but I'm not sure how much of this would have been carried on a Recon plane. I'm also struggling to find any information on this particular plane, so if there is anyone who can help I will be grateful for the info.

A few pictures to start: -

The Box and Kit bits (purchased recently from another BritModeller - ScimitarF1): -



The decals: -



The first of the extras: -


The distant cousin: -


I made a bit of a start taping a few bits together to get an idea of the fit and it's not too bad. I am surprised that it's smaller than I imagined it would be, which does help with handling and future storage of course.


I can't wait for the cockpit bits to arrive so that I can get a move on with this but for now I'll have to content myself with building up the other stuff, engines etc.

More soon


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Good choice - I think those AMT kits are pretty good actually. You made a good decision to get rid of the kit wheels as they are pants. Watching with interest :popcorn:

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Great choice. :thumbsup2:

It's a pretty nice kit. I built one when they first came out. My only bit of advice would be to be careful with the landing gear, as it's a bit delicate. Also, do plenty of test fitting with the nose parts and the intake inserts that go in the upper wing. A little sanding here and there will sort the fit in these areas nicely.

Look forward to seeing this one come together. :popcorn:

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As Smiffy says a little bit of care and it builds up quite well. I would also recommend that you join the solid parts of the nose to each fuselage half before joining the fuselage halves together to make life easier.

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Thanks for the advice guys, it's always good to be forewarned of these potential pitfalls.

I've found out a little bit more about the recon version of this plane now and one question that I had about armament. I'd read someone's post on a different forum saying that his uncle had flown this plane and it was unarmed. The Warpaint series of books has one for the A-20 that says that the A-20J bcame an F-3A in it's reconnaissance guise and all defensive armament was still carried but that, beside the camera's in the rear of the bomb bay, additional camera's could be carried when the forward fixed guns were removed. I'm much too lazy for that level of accuracy so this one will have to be built with the guns in place. In any event I can't find a single picture of the front camera's so building them would be pretty tough to do anyway.

I've had a fairly lazy day today with not modelling and so no pictures for tonight but tomorrow is another day and a start will be made in gluing something together.

Watch this space


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  • 3 weeks later...

Time for a long overdue update. I guess, like most, that I've been distracted by the Olympics but still managed to get a little bit done. I got fed up waiting for the Lone Star resin cockpit to turn up and went with the kit one, which isn't too bad. I need to get some belts for the seat but they are on their way from Hannants and should arrive Monday, fingers crossed. Once they arrive I can finish up this part and get on with gluing the fuselage together.




I've also got the wheel bays together. I didn't waste too much effort on these as they really are dark and difficult to see in once in place.



The top turret has been finished as well.



I got the undercarriage parts together and sprayed Neutral Gray. They just need a gloss coat and some weathering to finish. They are very delicate but quite strong once together. I didn't really consider a SAC replacement because it would disappoint me having to pay so much for no visible improvement. I'd guess that they're a lot stronger though.


The instrument panel has been painted black, glossed and some Mike Grant decals popped on to lift it a bit, just need to matt it down and dry brush some highlights on.


I took Graham's advice and glued the fuselage sections together. It will make assembly easier later on when I come to join the halves together.



And the insides painted. I used Vallejo Zinc Chromate Green for all of the internal parts.


And finally a few major assemblies got glued together and painted where required.



All in all not a bad update but still a lot to do before it looks like an aeroplane.

Back soon with some more.


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Great start Pete.

Here's a new one to me. I didn't know this one existed in 48. I will be watching with great interest.

This model hase also been available from Revell a couple of years ago and I also have seen the G version in some Italeri boxing.

The revell version hade the G as J in the box.

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Paul the cockpit does look pretty good out of the box and once in place will look plenty good enough, considering how little will be seen anyway. Just waiting on the seat belts to arrive and I can push on and see.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Time for a small update on this one. I'm unable to get on the Forums via my laptop at the moment for unknown reason and so updates are going to be small and infrequent until I get it sorted, or not at all if I don't. I've got the cockpit all finished and glued in place and made a start on getting the fuselage buttoned up. The hardest part is the glazing around the front as you've got to be so careful with the glue. It also left a gap between the fuselage halves once I had glued the glazing in place as well but nothing that some Mr Dissolved Putty couldn't cure. I'll let the pictures do the talking for the rest: -

One half glued up: -


I spent ages putting the instrument panel dial decals on and you can't see any of it once the other side is on: -



Lead weight added where I could get it: -


The fuselage halves together and beginning to look like a plane: -


That little gap at the front: -


No idea how i'm going to mask this yet: -


Nice fitting tail plane: -


Any finally one more of that gap, that's now gone as you'll see next post: -


A bit of cleaning up to do next and then start getting the wings and things on.

Back soon


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Very nice indeed Peter. I like that a lot - be interested to see how you finish her - those US Mediums got quite dirty and weathered as they were well used

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Nice process sofar. I masked the turret with it's own glass (naturaly masked as well) but tape the mg's first.

I can't remember if there were any difficulties with the front part on my model?!

Keep up the good work.

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Thanks guys and gals for the interest. I've managed to get a little bit more done but still not enough to get the wings on yet. The life raft has been painted and dirtied up and now sits in it's little space behind the pilot. I also got the undercarriage finished and ready to glue on, once the wings are in place. The biggest job was getting the front glazing glued on and cleaned up. I took the plunge and sanded it completely followed by some micro-meshing afterwards. It still needs a bit more polishing but it looks a whole lot better than it did on Tuesday. A coat of Future should then bring some shine back to it, fingers crossed anyway. Onto some pictures: -

The gap at the front has been filled and a view of the life raft: -



The glazing as it looks right now, sad but getting there: -


The undercariage all ready for being hidden by the wheel bay and gear doors. It's amazing how little you can see of it after everything else goes on: -



I also took the plunge and carefully opened up the holes in the pilots entry door structure, took some time but worth it as it's quite visible: -


Last one for today, all the little cowling vents glued on and ready for a clean up: -


I'm beginning to see the light on this one now and want to get those wings on soon.


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