Tuesday, November 7

HK Models new 1/32 Boston MK. IV / A-20J/K Havoc in time for Telford...

Hong Kong Models are going for the glass-nosed Boston MK. IV / A-20J/K Havoc in their latest 32nd scale release. The kit will be making its preview at Telford, but we have some release info and photos of the real kites in our preview...

HK Models new 1/32 Boston MK. IV / A-20J/K Havoc in time for Telford...

A-20J/K Havoc / Boston MK. IV 
From Hong Kong Models
1/32nd scale
Kit No #01E046
Plastic injection & Photo-etch kit
Metal landing gear
Marking choices for three aircraft
Expected: December
Price: $207 USD from Hobbylink Japan
The Subject: The Douglas A-20J/K Havoc / Boston MK. IV 
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.

A-20J of the 410th BG, 647th Bomb Squadron
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-20J Havoc named “Bootsie Paula E” You can see the angular Perspex nose shape on this J model in this photo.
In most British Commonwealth air forces, the bomber variants were known as Boston. The A-20J/ Boston carried an additional bombardier in an extended acrylic glass nose section. These were intended to lead bombing formations, with the following standard A-20s dropping their bombs when signaled by the leader. A total of 450 were built, 169 for the RAF which designated them Boston Mk IV from the summer of 1944 onwards.

A-20J-10-DO Havoc/43-10129, of the 416th Bomb Group destroyed by flak over Beauvoir, France, on May 12, 1944.

The Kit: A-20J/K Havoc / Boston MK. IV 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. This one has the Perspex nose of the bomber and observation type.
You can see the details of the internal structure in these CAD images.
Full opened up Perspex nose with bomb-aimer's station 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. The fuselage spine radio gear and inner rear fuselage can be seen nicely here below...

Marking choices:
Marking choices are set as three choices for the A-20J, A-20K & Boston IV in the box. This one way the kit trumps the original release, with three different aircraft instead of the same kit painted in three different variants. 

 A-20J-10-DO, s/n 43-10137: "6Q-B" from the 647th BS / 410th BG, France, Early 1945
"Douglas A-20 'Mama Lou' of the 410th Bomb Group at a 9th Air Force base in France." Douglas Havoc A-20J 43-10127 "Mama Lou" (coded 6Q-B). Assigned to 647BS, 410BG, 9AF USAAF. Suffered a landing accident RAF Manston 12-May-44. 
One of the most photographed bombers of the 647th Squadron, Mama Lou retains special historical significance for a long lifespan including the Battle of the Bulge missions carried out by the mighty 410th.

A-20K-15-DO s/n 44-613: "7X-T", 645th BS / 10th BG, France, Early 1945.
Douglas A-20K-15-DO Havoc 44-613 “Helen” of the 410th Bomb Group, 645th BS. You can see an interesting feature on the photo below with the almost bare metal on the engine nacelles, most probably from the exhaust heat.

Boston IV, BZ515: "RH-G", No.88 SqnRAF, Vitry-en-Artois, France, 31st March 1945
"RH-G Gen Jallopie" from the 88th Squadron in the RAF was used primarily as a recon bird. This would give a clue to the nose art name. "Gen" was the name for intelligence gathering or information, while a jallopie, is , well, a jallopie (a vehicle)!
Bostons RH-D and RH-G (banking off) of RAF No 88 Squadron searching for Scharnhorst in 1942.

The Decals: A decal sheet is provided that covers three aircraft from the Havoc family. The instrument panel is also included on the sheet...
The second sheet has the markings for the Boston...
This kit is slated for a December release - We will have more on this kit when it makes its debut at the Telford show this 11th 7 12th of November.
Check the Hong Kong Models page for more info on their releases...