Wreaking Havoc: 1/48th AMT/ERTL A-20G Havoc
Back in the 90's AMT / ERTL released their Havoc series including the A-20B/C, A-20G, A-20J and P-70 variants. These were all nicely detailed kits with recessed panel lines, of an overlooked subject in 1/48th scale. The molds have since been acquired by Italeri and re-released. (I believe Revell AG also did a re-release of this kit.) For their time these kits were quite respectable and still hold up decently today.
Notable Kit Features:
Raised detail instrument panel & sidewalls
Finely engraved panel lines
Positionable overhead cockpit hatch
Main spar provided for solid wing mount and proper dihedral
Bomb bay doors are molded closed (kit provides cut line to position doors open)
Landing gear doors are molded closed (kit provides cut line to position doors open)
Weighted wheels (but incorrect tread)
Basic engine detail (though not much is visible through the cowl openings)
Optional ventral fuel cell over bomb bay doors
Choice of .50 cal or 20mm gun barrels for nose
At a hobby show I came across a set of decals for the A-20G “Green Hornet”, which served as part of the 675th BS, 417th BG in the PTO, 1944. I picked these decals up to substitute for the kit decals, probably influenced by the 1966 - 1967 television show, starring Van Williams as the Green Hornet/Britt Reid and Bruce Lee as Kato.
Fictitious "fish scale" tire treads (Substitute True Details 1/48 A20 Wheels set or heavily sand down the tread)
No Life Raft provided (stowed in visible section just behind pilot) Substitute True Details raft or build your own
No structural details inside the main gear bays
No structural details inside the bomb bay
Some aircraft had additional armour plating added (missed this detail on my build)
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Heavily sand down the treads on main gear
Used aftermarket decals (MSAP #4835)
The kit built up much easier than I was expecting with only minor fit issues that were easily overcome. The paint scheme for this aircraft was the Green (FS 34087) over Gray (FS 36173) with some darker green scalloping along some of the upper surface edges. Weathering should have been heavier in hind-sight.
The After-Build Report:
After seeing how nice the first of these A-20 Havoc kits was, I picked up as many of the series that I could, whenever I came across them reasonably priced. The only one I never found was the A-20J kit. I would recommend these kits for model makers of any skill range. Out of the box you can get a nice aircraft built and the experienced model maker will have an opportunity to put some extra detail work into this kit turning it into a great subject for the display shelf.
Completed build #127 - November 2010 using the 1/48th scale AMT #8894 kit.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers