B-26B Invader French Air Force Vietnam 1955 – Revell 1/72
The B-26 Invaders used by the French in Vietnam were surplus American aircraft of which many had been used in the previous Korean war. Some aircraft had even seen service in the Second World War. For the French Air Force these aircraft filled a gap as they had no real usefull machines for ground attack duties in that time. Around 123 Invaders were given to the French on a long term loan basis. Some machines were used later in the North African area with the de-colonisation of the French teritories in the Maghreb.
As many of the Invaders allready had a tough service life, the looks did not get any better when the
French Air Force started to use them.
The Revell kit is a re-box of the Italeri Invader kit and gives the option to build either American of French machines out of the box.
With my interest in the French Air Force a nice choice, and as it happens I picked up this kit second hand for a bargain.
It also has given me the opportunity to try out some things with the worn all natural finish, by using various metal colors from the Vallejo Metal Colors Range.
During the build I encountered some fitting issues, specialy with the nose, the wing attachements and landing gear bay for the nosewheel. All things could be overcome with some TLC, some evergreen strip and filler. A point of interest was the amount of counterweight needed to avoid a tailsitter. 20 grams was distributed in the nose and front part of the engine cowlings to keep things level. After a basecoat in black I started with the first coat of the metal colors from Vallejo. Semi matt aluminium is the overall aluminum basis, followed with tone variations in duraluminum and dark aluminium. A coat of gloss clear and after that the decals went on with highlighting of some panellines. after this a layer of matt clear to get rid of the shiny looks. Wheathering was done using pastel powders, black, umber, dark and light gray. Some oilstreakes were done using Vallejo black wash. Antenna wire is ultra fine rigging wire from Ushi van der Rosten. Some new techniques tried and tested. Learned new tricks and overall very pleased and I hope you all like it too.
As allways your reactions are welcome. Cheers, Ferry
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