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Italeri 1/48 A-20B Boston III Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2006 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject A-20B Boston III Scale 1/48
Kit Number 2656 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $44.00

First Look


The Douglas A-20 started life as the DB-7, a light twin-engined fast bomber designed by Douglas for sale to France. First flown in 1939, many of these aircraft did not get delivered before France fell to German occupation. Instead, these aircraft were diverted to Great Britain where they were designated Boston and put straight to work as training aircraft and night fighters. The night fighter version was designated by the British as Havoc.

The A-20 was the export DB-7/Boston built to US Army Air Corps specifications. The main difference between the two aircraft was the DB-7/Boston was powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney R-1830 engines whereas the A-20 received the R-2600 and was fitted with US armament and avionics. The Boston III was the UK production version of the USAAC A-20C, differing in armament and avionics.

Here is another Italeri release from the AMT/ERTL molds - the early A-20 Boston/Havoc. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on five parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts.

As with most aircraft projects, this kit starts in the cockpit. Straight out of the box, the kit offers a nice cockpit tub that can be painted to highlight many of the details present. The AMS modeler will want to use an Eduard photo-etch detail set to improve the instrument panel and add additional details in the cockpit. Look for the A-20 sets released for the AMT/ERTL kits.

The cockpit and rear gunner/observer's station install into the cockpit halves as well as a plate simulating the interior of the bomb bay and a main spar. The main spar is definitely long enough to ensure the proper dihedral of the wings when they're installed.

The bombardier's nose attaches to the front of the assembled fuselage.

You have the option of posing the rear gunner/observer's dorsal station open or closed and with different armament options depending on the country the aircraft is serving. An optional ventral fuel tank can be installed over the bomb bay doors, probably left over from the night fighter version.

One of the interesting assembly steps is the main landing gear. The gear structure is build up on the underside of the wings before being enclosed by the lower engine nacelles. This probably means that leaving the main gear off the aircraft until after painting is not an option here.

The kit decals provide four options:

  • Boston III (A-20C), 41-19404, RAF, Tunisia, 1943
  • Boston III, Z2249, MQ-D, 226 Sqn, Swanton Morley, RAF, April 1942
  • Boston III, BZ201, UA-G, 342 Sqn, Free French, 1944
  • A-20B, 41-3001, 47 BG/12 AF, Algeria 1943

This kit still looks nice out of the box and will definitely look great after assembly. The AMS modeler will want to find some Eduard photo-etch details to dress up the aircraft further, but this model will definitely look nice on your scale flightline.

My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!