1/72 Douglas Boston
Mk.III RAF And SAAF Service
A-20 Havoc or “Boston” as it was known in the British and Commonwealth Armed
Forces was a twin engine medium bomber that served in fields as far apart as
North Africa to Russia. The aircraft was well liked by its crews, and was
described by pilots as a “pilot’s plane”, and a pleasure to fly, most
notably for its speed and its ability to handle like a fighter.
The Boston MK
III gained attention in the RAF for taking part in such exploits as the attacks
on the German warships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen during the Channel
Dash, and as support aircraft during the infamous Raid on Dieppe.
arrived in the South African Air Force in late 1941, equipping No.12 Squadron
and No. 24 Squadron just in time to see the fiercest fighting of the North
African Campaign, pressing home their attacks by day or night with such
intensity that they were nicknamed “the 18 imperturbables” by the Germans.
They fought through the Battle of El Alamein and by the 16 December 1942 had
flown their 2000th sortie against the retreating Germans.
images below to see larger images
The MPM 1/72 kit joins its two
existing offerings of the 1/72 Douglas A-20G D-Day and Pacific Havocs released
in 2008, and for the first time allows modellers to have a go at the SAAF and
RAf versions of the aircraft. No-doubt modellers will be expecting the Russian
and French Bostons in future releases.
The box consists of 5 sprues of
finely engraved injection moulded plastic parts numbering 161 pieces and one
clear sprue featuring 10 pieces.
The detail in this kit is really
excellent, especially in terms of exterior panel lines, which are recessed and
crisp, never shallowing to obscurity or becoming too deep. The surface of the
aircraft in comparison to the photographs at hand shows a wealth of details
especially the underside of the wings, where every access panel and hatch is
painstakingly etched. The cockpit houses some of the finest work in some areas,
in particular the instrument panel although some of the wall mounted equipment
in the bombardier’s section show has some nasty flash and an ugly artefact of
plastic that would have to be picked out with a scalpel tip. The cockpit is
constructed out of 7 pieces and has the option of having the canopy open, giving
a modeller the opportunity to show off some inner detail. Sadly the inflatable
dinghy which is quite easy to spot isn’t present in the kit, but with some
aftermarket accessories this should pose no problem.
The engines and engine nacelles
have crisp detail on the cylinders and crank-cases, and apart from light flash
fit together beautifully and are itching for some good weathering paintwork and
washes to show off all the exterior and undercarriage bay detail. A special note
at this point on the interior of the undercarriage doors which has the finest
rivet detail I have ever seen on 1/72 scale. The fabric detail on the control
surfaces is really well presented, it is neither exaggerated nor overly dramatic
and gives the effect of stretched canvas beautifully.
Decals are printed by AviPrint,
and (much like the kit they are meant to grace) are finely detailed and are
accurate in terms of colour and register.
There are decals provided for 4
- Boston Mk.III, AL290/OM-K, RAF
No. 107 Squadron, Great Massington airbase April 1942
- Boston Mk.III, AL683/V, SAAF
No. 24 Squadron, Zuara, Tripolis, Libie, March 1943
- Boston Mk.III, AL693/RH-U, RAF
No. 88 Squadron, Attlebridge, May 1942
- Boston Mk.III, AL693/RH-U, RAF
No. 88 Squadron, Oulton, End of 1942
In conclusion I would heartily
recommend this kit to modellers with a little experience, and cannot wait to see
it in its battered and weathered desert finish on my shelf.
I would like to
Japan for this review