Friday, April 7

HK Models bring more Havoc in May....

Hong Kong Models not messed around in releasing a European Theatre version of their 1/32nd scale Douglas A-20G Havoc. This one with three marking choices for the one kite & beautiful box art. See what we know about it in our preview...

HK Models bring more Havoc in May....

Douglas A-20G Havoc Over Europe
From Hong Kong Models
1/32nd scale
Kit No #01E039
Plastic injection & Photo-etch kit
Metal landing gear
Marking choices for three aircraft
Expected: May
The Subject: The Douglas A-20 Havoc
Flown by the Allies in the Pacific, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Russia, the versatile A-20 went through many variants. Initial design work for the A-20 began in 1936 as a private venture of the Douglas Company to design a light attack and reconnaissance aircraft.  Work was delayed by a series of major design changes that increased the size of the aircraft, gave it larger engines and focused the design as a bomber. 
 First flown in October 1938 the aircraft attracted the interest of the French Air Force and the first orders actually came from France rather than the U.S. Army.  France and Belgium briefly used the aircraft before those countries fell to the Germans.  Many of the aircraft were diverted to Britain where they were operated under the names Boston and Havoc.  The U.S. Army adopted the British name Havoc when they began receiving their A-20s after 1939.  

A Douglas A-20 Havoc pulls up  after an attack on the Japanese fleet during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea.
The A-20G, which reached combat in 1943, was produced in larger numbers than any other model. By the time production ended in September 1944, American factories had built 2,850 "solid nose" A-20G models. Attacking with forward-firing .50-cal. machine guns and bombs, the A-20G lived up to its name by creating havoc and destruction on low-level strafing attacks, especially against Japanese shipping and airfields across the Southwest Pacific.

A-20G Havoc ("Eloise") from the 312th Bombardment Group 
The A-20G, delivered from February 1943, would be the most produced of all the series, with 2850 built. The glazed nose was replaced by a solid nose containing four 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano cannon and two .50 in M2 Browning machine guns. After the first batch of 250, the less-accurate cannon were replaced by more machine guns. After 750 aircraft had been built, a power-driven gun turret fitted with two .50 in machine guns was fitted, with the fuselage 6 inches (15 cm) wider as a result, and the ventral tunnel gun changed from a .30 in to another .50 in Browning. 

1945 - An A-20G Havoc of the 669th Bombardment Squadron / 416th Bombardment Group.
The power plants were two 1,600 hp (1,200 kW) R-2600-23. Many A-20Gs were delivered to the Soviet Union. US A-20Gs were used on low-level sorties in the New Guinea theatre.

The only remaining flying A-20G's nose gun bay in detail
In most British Commonwealth air forces, the bomber variants were known as Boston, while the night fighter and intruder variants were named Havoc. The exception was the Royal Australian Air Force, which used the name Boston for all variants. The USAAF used the P-70 designation to refer to the night fighter variants.

The Kit: A-20G Havoc in 1/32nd scale from Hong Kong Models:
Anyone familiar with the initial release test shots from HK in 32nd scale would know the groundwork for this completely newly tooled kit. HK models have gone to great lengths to recreate the stressed skin effect on the exterior of this model. 
When held to the light, one can see the curved and indented panels of the aircraft skin. The rivets are finely tooled in different sizes as well.

Full gun nose setup can be shown open to the maddening crowd if you like
This kit will include metal undercarriage legs and of course, a nose weight to stop it becoming a tail-sitter. 

Marking choices - three in one?
Marking choices are set as three choices for the A-20G in the box. It may seem a little confusing, but these are all the same aircraft, two of the schemes are for the kit  when it was called "Miss Laid" while the other is for the aircraft after D-Day when it was renamed "La Libre France" - got it? Good!
The Decals: A decal sheet is provided that covers the aircraft at three distinct times in its lifespan. The instrument panel is also included on the sheet...

The timeline for this kite:
1/ Douglas A-20G-25-DO, Havoc #43-9224. 670th BS/416th BG, Wethersfield, UK, 20th June 1944
This is the first of the markings in the timeline, and as you can see on the nose, it has significantly less bombing mission markings on the nose and striking D-Day invasion stripes on the top of the wings.
The aircraft's nose at this point of it's life, with far fewer bombing mission marks on the nose.

2/ Douglas A-20G-25-DO, Havoc #43-9224. 670th BS/416th BG, A-55 Melun/Villaroche, France, 5th pf October 1944
The second part of the markings show the kite with the complete mission markings on the nose. You will notice on the profiles the painted over top invasion stripes (or just weathered off not 100% sure)
"Miss Laid" was the first A-20 Havoc to complete 100 missions without a failure or abort mission. A well-known photograph of the aircraft and her crew after the milestone mission mark.

3/ Douglas A-20G-25-DO, Havoc #43-9224. 670th BS/416th BG, 1944

"Miss Laid" was latter renamed "La France Libre" to participate in a ceremony in Paris honouring the accomplishment of 100 missions.
You can see the much more PC repainted nose here with the local friendly inscription. Note that the old nose art is still faintly visible through the olive drab...
A picture taken at the ceremony to commemorate the achievement.
A little later, showing signs of wear on the nose already...
This kit is slated for a May release - We will have more on this kit when it is released. Check the Hong Kong Models page for more info on their releases...