These are my impressions of the kit. The instruction are typical Monogram. They still are using the letter reference for calling out paint colors. The fuselage is split vertically with the front cockpit and bombardier areas trapped between the fuselage half. There are also two other bulkheads and two wing spars that must be trapped at the same time. Follow the instructions and you will have no problems. The horizontal stabilizer is a one piece molding and in my opinion
a good idea as you just slip it in and do not have to worry about it. You may need to glue only one side to the vertical tail let it dry and then pull it over, then glue it to the other side to avoid a small depression on one side. Mine had a slight warp on the left half. Then square of the tail for the rear
transparency. I'll use crystal kleer for the access windows under the tail. The
gunners cockpit is well detailed with a minimum of flash and some injector pin
marks. The gunners station can be assembled and dropped in when ever you want in the construction sequence. I made a few swipes with a file on the right fuselage opening and one on the left side and the canopy was a flush fit. Not much can be seen after this is in place. The front cockpit and bombardiers station can be
seen very well and should receive a little extra work. I used the true details
update set through out the construction of this model. I did not use all the
True Detail parts as I preferred the Monogram detail. These photo etched parts
really bring out the cockpit. The nose transparency is no problem, but the
pilots canopy has a major edge at the back where it meets the fuselage. I fixed
the by layering some sheet plastic and filler then sanding to the correct shape.
The gun turret must have the slots filled (see a B-29). I filled mine with green
putty, rescribed the outlines (as on the B-29), sanded to the correct profile,
drilled holes for the guns and mounted gun made from tubing and brass wire. The
turret can be installed after the fuselage is assembled.
The wings are pretty straight forward and the engine nacelles fit with only a
little filler needed. The front of the nacelles is a separate part and will need
a little adjustment to fit flush with the rest of the nacelles. The gear doors
and wheel well detail are molded in one piece, and can be added after the model
is painted. This also means the landing gear must be added after painting. The
only problem the landing gear is the wheels. Monogram represented the grooved
tread patter as a series of raised steps. Sand these down and rescribe the
grooves or a checkered pattern. If you want to open up the spokes, just scrape
the inside of the spokes until the plastic filling the hole is paper thin, punch
out and clean up. The engines are molded with only the front row of cylinders
and impressions of the rear cylinders detail is minimal. this in my opinion is
the poorest part of the kit. The engines can't be seen very well anyway. one
cation drill out the hole for the prop shafts as they are heavily flashed over.
One of the engine cowls had a major sink mark on the inner ring leading air to
the engine. The front of the cowlings must be beveled to enable the engines to
fit without binding. I mounted my props on brass tubing with sleeve fit on
another piece fitted to the engine. Take your time when removing the props from
the trees. The wings mount over the spars sticking out of the fuselage and have
some front and back movement. I trimmed some of the notch on the wing to allow
it to be moved forward. I also cleaned up the face of the joint on the wing to
achieve a better fit with a minimal gap. The joint on the bottom of the right
wing was wider than the wing root and required a little filler to bring it
flush. Remember to open up the hole for the under wing stores and antennas.
Paint schemes can very from AAF OD for the late World War II, all black in
Korea, camouflage for SEA. These machines where also seen in natural metal. The
Navy also used this aircraft and some colorful schemes were produced. Good
references are a must.
Decals I don't know. I'll try them but will not use the nose art.
Now you must be wondering, will it set on it's gear without weight. No. Where
to put the weight? Not much room in the nose, so the only option is the
nacelles. Try to get it as far forward as possible. It takes a lot, you might
want to consider the clear prop that goes under the rear fuselage.
Is this really an A-26 B/C yes, but. Looking through the Squadron in Action
series, I believe this model is really a RB-26C. An A-26 did not always have a
lower turret (B's did) but most did as far as I could tell. RB-26's didn't.
B-26C's also had wing guns and could carry underwing rockets, bombs and fuel
tanks (P51 tanks can be used).
Modifications to this kit can be simple to major. I chose to add the wing
guns from plastic tubing and brass wire. I also used the rockets from a Monogram
P-38 (2 kits for 14 rockets) to install on my kit. If I did it again I would use
tubing and sheet plastic. The bottom turret could be cast, carved or borrowed
from a B-29 kit. I just left it off. I would like to see a gun nose late
version, lower turret, rockets and fuel tanks for this kit. The K model as used
in SEA would also be interesting.
This kit is good but I believe Monogram is starting to fall behind the other
kit companies. My major complaint is panel lines. They could have done away with
the bomb bay interior and had recessed panel line IMHO. I also feel that this
kit was probably rushed, or there would have been a lower turret at least. The
extra flashed over hole must have been for the rockets, hey what's the deal.
Still this kit will build into a great model with a little work.