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AMT's 1/48 scale
Douglas A-20G Havoc

by Charles Landrum

 

Douglas A-20G Havoc
51st Mine and Torpedo Air Regiment (MTAP), Soviet Naval Aviation, Baltic Sea Fleet, 1944-1945



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Introduction

 

Here are some photos of my A-20G built up from the AMT/Ertl release of the kit. It depicts an A-20G-30 that flew with the 51st Mine and Torpedo Air Regiment (MTAP), Soviet Naval Aviation, Baltic Sea Fleet, 1944-1945

The Soviet Union was the largest user of the A-20 Havoc family. It was well liked and pressed into service by Soviet Naval Aviation in an anti-shipping role in the hard fought Baltic region where neither side ever enjoyed maritime supremacy.

The A-20G was a good anti-shipping platform, stable with lots of firepower forward. It also proved to be a capable torpedo bomber. Because of the size of the Soviet torpedoes they would not fit in the bomb bay, so two locally manufactured bomb racks were fitted, one on either side of the fuselage. These racks could also carry large armor piercing bombs. Due to the weight of the torpedo, typically only one was carried. To compensate for the decrease in range brought about by the size of the torpedo, the Soviets put additional fuel tanks in the bomb bay and sealed the doors.

 

 

This model depicts this as well as an additional field modification which created a navigation position aft of the gun turret. It was not a successful and some A-20Gs eventually had the guns removed and glazing inserted in the nose, similar to the A-20J, to improve navigation.

 

 

Construction

 

This kit took a long time to build. I wasn't sure what scheme the aircraft would wear when I started, but I was originally leaning toward the South West Pacific Area. So I started hacking away on the model awaiting inspiration.

I decided early to open up the ventral gun position and so I needed to detail the aft fuselage. The ventral gun came from a B-24 kit. The turret was a joy to build and required little in the way of enhancement.

 

 

My original plan had been to also open the bomb bay, but I lacked detailed pictures of this area so I closed it. I also hated the empty look of the kit's main wheel wells, so I spent a lot of time detailing this area as well. In fact work in this area caused me to put this kit on the shelf for a while.

During the hiatus, a lot of information came out from Russia in the role of the A-20 in the Baltic. I had my subject! Plus a Soviet torpedo bomber variant, allowed me to seal the pesky bomb bay! The modifications were not that difficult, just the research to precisely locate the mods. The torpedo was donated by a Nichimo Kate and then received a nose job to blunt it. The bomb racks were scratch built from photos.

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

The website about Lend-Lease to Russia had interviews and many photos and links to a Russian site on the 51st MTAP. According to the accounts, the paint held up well on these planes and resisted chipping. So in creating my olive drab scheme, I faded the paint, but chipped little off.

 

 

From the pictures, the planes looked to be very well maintained. While I am not sure if this particular aircraft carried kill markings, I couldn't resist copying those of another aircraft to give my model more life.

 

 

Conclusion

 

The model did well in the IPMS-USA 2004 Region 2 Convention, taking third in a hotly contested multi-engine category. It was at that show, that Rafe Morrissey of the DC Chapter took the sharp photo of the engine turning up. My youngest son Brian provided the air start!

 

 

I like the looks of the A-20, it is lean and mean like its famous older brother the A-26!



Aftermarket products used:

  • Eduard A-20 B/C Set
  • Eduard A-20 Exterior Set
  • True Details A-20 Wheel Set with liferaft
  • Premier Navigation Lights


References:


Charles Landrum is a defense consultant now retired from the US Navy. A US Naval Academy Graduate, he spent the bulk of his 20-year naval career at sea serving on six ships of the Atlantic Fleet including USS SAIPAN, USS ENTERPRISE, USS BIDDLE, USS HAYLER, USS HARRY E. YARNELL and USS KIDD. He also accumulated time and experience on the ships of the NATO navies, especially Canadian. An avid modeler and HyperScaler, he concentrates his modeling efforts on the ships and aircraft of the US Navy. He and his family continue to reside in Norfolk

 

Additional Images

 

Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Text Copyright 2005 by Charles Landrum
Page Created 03 May, 2005
Last Updated 03 May, 2005

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