Revell 1/48 A-26B Invader
KIT #: 5524
PRICE: $27.50
DECALS: options
REVIEWER: Drew Pratt
NOTES: Reissue


“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away…”* or they get reassigned.  Here’s an aircraft that really fits the latter. First appearing in 1943 and like Forrest Gump it began showing up in some novel places; it first appeared in most theaters of WWII, then Korea, and then Bay of Pigs. The A-26 was even rebuilt for Vietnam and it is now fighting fires at home. Not to mention those that found they way into Foreign Service! But, many will be happy to know that some are even being bought back and restored as collectable war birds.

Following on the A-20s success Douglas developed the A-26 to fill the need for a high performance light bomber. Taking cues from similar aircraft like the Mosquito, the Invader had a single pilot cockpit as well as such advanced features as remote defensive barbettes. With laminar flow wing, clean design and PW 2800, 2000HP engines, the Invader was a hot rod for her day. B models had a solid gun nose for ground attack while C models had a bombers glass nose. The history of the Invader is long and colorful and instead of trying to cover it all here, I invite you to enjoy what has already been documented about this amazing aircraft.


            For those of us of a certain age, one look at the box art will fill your ears with “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”** from the movie Always of 1989. Monogram (now Revell) was at their best; good interior detail, raised panel lines and a mostly decent fit. Upon opening the top of the box you will find 156 pieces on four sprues in three cello bags (that’s “sell-oh”), one being the clear parts and the other (thankfully) are molded in gray, not black.

Now you do have options for one of three aircraft: Two are military examples in overall black or a civilian fire fighter. As this is a B model you are on your own to find a correct bulged canopy for the civil option. Curiously the instructions mention a bulged canopy being included, but alas, no. Even the box art shows the original canopy.  A great feature of these old kits is the figures and you get three with this one: Two standing flight crew and a mechanic carrying a tool box. “Things under wings” include gun packs and rockets on zero length launchers. The bomb bay can be displayed open with a load of eight 300lb bombs. You get a choice of tires, bulged or not. The engine detail is only engine fronts. The interior shows its age with the detail ranging from simplified to clunky, worry not o sufferers of A.M.S., there are plenty of aftermarket detailing upgrades for you. This is the ‘09 release and until one of the new kids adds the Invader to their catalog, this is the only game in town for a 1/48th Invader.


 If you have a hard time making up your mind (may I suggest Avon?) this is NOT the kit for you; for example: What time period? Painted or bare metal? Military or civil? Domestic or foreign? O.O.B. or fully detailed? And finally clean or post mission? Seriously though, this is a great kit and it surprises me that a subject so well served in 1/72nd scale has only the Revellograms for 1/48th and although they fade out of production, it seems you can usually find one of these great 1/48th  kits with little effort. 

Now if you’ll excuse me… I must go wipe the confused look off my son’s face and force him to sit through “Always”.


 *- Douglas MacArthur

** - The Platters

Various websites and kit instructions.

Drew Pratt

August 2012

 Kit comes courtesy of my incredible family as a gift.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and  fairly quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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