Douglas A-20G Havoc
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||MPM Kit No. 72551 A-20G Havoc (D-Day Havocs)
|Contents and Media:
112 mid grey plastic parts on five sprues, 9 clear plastic parts on one sprue, 69 PE parts on one fret, decals for four aircraft plus an 8 page A5 sized instruction booklet with history, parts plan, 23 build diagrams and 4 pages of paint/decal artwork.
USD$42.12 available online from Squadron
from GBP£16.85 available online from Hannants
Highly detailed inside and out, injection moulded clear parts, PE by Eduard partly pre coloured and excellent decals.
||Colours in Paint/decal instructions are too dark. Life raft hatch can be modelled open but there is no life raft to go in it.
||Finally, new mouldings of the Boston/Havoc that will make many fans of this aircraft happy.
MPM's 1/72 scale A-20G Havoc is available online from Squadron.com
The A-20 Boston/Havoc was designed by Jack Northrop and Ed Heinemann as the Douglas DB-7 and sold to France, Belgium and Great Britain. After the fall of France, the British took over the remainder of the French and Belgian orders and named them Boston Mk. I and II to distinguish them from their own DB-7B/Boston III.
The USAAF named the DB-7 the A-20 Havoc and apart from some British aircraft requisitioned after Dec. 7, their first major production order was of A-20Gs. These aircraft had more powerful engines, a solid gun nose and only two crew members but later blocks introduced a twin gun Martin powered turret in a widened fuselage in the dorsal position.
They were noted as being very fast (339 mph at 12,400 ft) and maneuverable but as there was no way for the crew to change places, if the pilot was hit, the rest of them had to bail out.
Until recently, if my memory serves me correctly, we only had two main-stream Boston/Havocs in 1/72nd scale, one each from Airfix and Matchbox (later re-released by Revell). I think the Matchbox was superior to the Airfix offering but still lacked detail and had the Matchbox trade mark, bloody great trenches everywhere. However, earlier this year, MPM came to our rescue with a new moulding of the A-20G. Hopefully, other marks will follow later.
This is the second A-20 from MPM. The first, with South-West Pacific markings, was reviewed by Mick Evans in July 2008 and apart from the decals and box art is identical to this one. Consequently, I recommend you read it before this one by following this link and I will just point out the differences.
First and foremost, there is a brand-new colour photo-etched fret suppyling additional detail for the cockpit and airframe.
While Mick's subject had decals for the South-West Pacific, this one has markings for four (4) USAAF Havocs carrying D-Day stripes.
The first is an A-20G-35, s/n 43-10195, 8U-U, “Queen Julia” from the 646th BS, 410th BG, France, second half of 1944. In Olive Drab upper surfaces with Medium Green blotches and Neutral Grey below, it only had D-Day stripes on the lower surfaces although the upper surface stripes can still be seen where they've been over-sprayed with OD. It also has “Queen Julia” in white on a red spot with a white out-line on either side just below the canopy and a black and white striped rudder.
Next is A-20G-25, s/n 43-9224, 5H-E, “La France Libre” of the 668th BS, 416th BG also in France, 1944. The same colours as above but with the name and nose art on the left hand side only and an all white rudder.
The third is A-20G-35, s/n 43-10208, 5D-S, “Es For Sugar” belonging to the 644th BS and the same BG, location and time as “Queen Julia” above. It carries the same colours and markings as that aircraft except, like the second, it has the name and nose art on the left side only.
The last example is from the same BS and BG as the second and therefore has the same colours as it but differs in having full D-Day stripes top and bottom and the black and white striped rudder like the first and third aircraft. It's A-20G-25, s/n 43-9701, 5H-H. It has no nose art and was stationed in England, June 1944.
The decals in this kit, by Aviprint, are beyond reproach with excellent register, good colour density and minimum carrier film. The paint/decal instructions are not so good. Yes, they are in full colour but they are simply too dark. All four aircraft have Medium Green 42 blotches on their upper surfaces but the colours are so dark that you can't see it. I've noticed this with other MPM and Special Hobby kits of late and I think there isn't much point in doing them in colour if you can't see the demarcations between colours. They would serve their customers better by going back to the line drawings.
This and the earlier A-20G kit are fine examples of just how far MPM has come over the last ten or so years. Sure, the Airfix and Matchbox kits will only be a fraction of the cost of one of these from MPM but it would take a very good modeller indeed, to get the result that us average modellers can obtain from one of these with only slight effort.
Thanks to MPM / Special Hobby for
the review sample
Review Text Copyright © 2008 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright © 2008 by
Page Created 19 October, 2008
20 October, 2008
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