by: Andy Brazier [ ]
The Douglas A-20B was used as an attack, light bomber and night fighter aircraft and the first version of the Havoc to be produced in large numbers for the USAAF, but it lacked self-sealing fuel tanks and did not have enough armour.
In October 1940 Douglas received an order for 999 A-20Bs, all of which were produced at their Long Beach factory. The A-20B resembled the French DB-7A, having the same square edged glass panels in the nose. The lack of self-sealing fuel tanks meant that the A-20B was not really suited for front line combat duties, although 665 were sent to the Soviet Union under lend-lease. Eight more went to the US Navy as the BD-2.
The A-20B was powered by the same Wright R-2600-11 as the last few A-20As. It was armed with 0.50in Browning machine guns - two in the nose and one in the dorsal position, and one
0.30in gun in the ventral position. It could also carry the nacelle guns of the
A-20A but these were rarely installed.
Packed in a top opening box with a very nice painted picture of three Havocs in level flight, the five grey sprues are packed in a sealed bag, with the one clear sprue in a separate bag.
The parts are flash free, and pin marks look to be tucked away in places that wouldn't require any work to remove.
The detail on the exterior looks exceptional with fine recessed panel lines along with numerous fasteners and rivet detail. The control surfaces are a little heavy with the fabric effect but a quick pass with some sandpaper should take care of that.
Detail for the interior is a bit his and miss. There are quite a few parts to the interior and it should look pretty busy once completed, but none of the parts are particularly well detailed. The seats are missing the harnesses, the pilots side consoles are near enough devoid of any detail and the instrument panel is a raised affair for dials and switches. The floors and bulkheads have some nice detail, but on the whole it seems a bit of a letdown, especially as the whole nose is transparent. Should be interesting to see if any A.M comes out for it.
The engine nacelles, which include the main wheel wells, are rather nice, with each engine made up of three parts each. Two cylinder heads and a crankcase for each engine are well detailed and should look pretty good with a coat of paint.
The main wheel wells have a bit of interior detail, in the form of spars for the side walls, and an actuator for the floor. The front wheel well is pretty much the same.
The undercarriage legs look rather delicate, so care will have to be taken when removing them from the sprue. Detail wise they are quite good, but no brake lines are moulded onto them.
The wheels have no tread detail, but the hubs are nicely done with some raised and recessed detail moulded onto them.
The only weapons for this kit are one 0.50in Browning machine gun in the dorsal position. The nose machine guns aren’t modelled, but the clear section for the nose has the muzzle ports incorporated into it. No internal weapons are supplied as the bomb bay is modelled closed.
The clear parts are distortion free and very clear. You get two different types of nose glazing, but the one to use with this kit is the “stepped” type, as the diagonal shaped one is for later variants.
Instructions and markings
My review sample didn’t come with any instructions as they were not ready at the time, but I downloaded them from CMK’s site.
The instructions are printed in the normal black line drawings’. The build sequence is a little bit all over the place regarding each step, but each step is easy to follow. Internal colours are given throughout the build.
The markings are I do believe are printed in black and white and show top bottom and side profiles for the three different markings.
For colour versions a visit to CMK’s site is worthwhile for the instructions.
All paint numbers are for the Gunze line of paints. Colour names are also used.
The decals are printed by Aviprint and have very little carrier film around them. They look to be thin and are in register, with the U.S national flag looking quite exquisite with the stars and bars.
Three different aircraft can be modelled.
1 – A-20B Havoc, 41-3157/17, 84th Bomber Squadron, 47th Bomber Group, North Africa, 1943.
The original standard camouflage of Olive Green uppers was over painted with sand blotches, with the ailerons painted a solid sand colour. The upper glazing for the nose was painted olive drab to protect the bombardier from the sun. The lower half of the aircraft was painted Neutral Grey.
2 - A-20B Havoc, 41-3117, “Lady Jean”, 47th Bomber Group, Algeria, North Africa, 1942.
Standard camouflage of Olive Green uppers and Neutral Grey lowers. This aircraft carried the U.S National flag on the tail and wings.
3 - A-20B Havoc, 41-3148/34, “Miss Burma”, 86th Bomber Squadron, 47th Bomber Group, Italy, 1943.
Standard camouflage of Olive Green uppers and Neutral Grey lowers.