We’re Being Invaded! Actually ICM’s B-26B Invader 1/48, it’s here.
It truly has been a great end of the year. With anticipating announcement earlier in the year now becoming available. Then those we have been waiting for like the AMK F-14D that seem like it would never be produced, during that span Tamiya announced and soon produced not only the F-14A but their own F-14D Tomcats while AMK was fumbling away their cat. But finally landed during the summer. Then their amazing P-38 finally hitting the shelves in early October. But in the shadows we finally get the new IMC B-26B-50 and it’s a doosie. It was on the porch when I got home.
Monogram first released their initial B-26C in 1993, a glass nose version in black plastic and upper turret only followed by the ProModeler A-26B with the gun nose and upper and lower rear turrets in 1995 in grey plastic. In the late 90’s DML had planned a series of A/B-26 Invaders that never bore fruit. The most recent new mold B-26 Invaders were introduced by Italeri in 72nd scale about 10 years ago now, how time flies. Various shape issues have been pointed out by reviewers, not repairable, but in the end it still looks like an Invader. For some it was a deal breaker, those who overcame those issues have built excellent models out of them. I built the first issue back in the mid 90’s not knowing at the time there was an issue. Too me it was a typical minor challenging Monogram kit to build, and not only the kit but using the Paragon set to modify it to a B-26K Counter Invader. It is the very first model I ever posted on I modeler back in 2013.
Now let see what is in the box, yummy! The kit comes in a nice glossy box top that you lift and then you have a birthday cake? Actually a white box that you lift the lid and reveals the model in one big self sealing bag. Though thankfully the clear parts are in their own bag among all the sprues. The instruction sheet is at the bottom of the box with the decal sheet under the instruction booklet, my kit did have one of the corners dog eared as it was caught up against the wall of the box. The kit is molded in medium grey plastic.
The instruction booklet is international, paint guide/table which calls out Tamiya or Revell paint as reference, parts map and then the construction starting with the cockpit. ICM’s approach is to build the sub assemblies with in the main flight deck, before culminating in assembling the whole cockpit as a unit. Not familiar with ICM as this is my very first ICM kit, so it will be an adventure when it comes to start building it.
The decal sheet is for 3 USAF Korean war birds in OD or bare metal finish. ICM also provides a nice color fold out of all 3 schemes that is provided in the kit. The decal sheet on my kit was a bit dog eared on one corner, but no damage to the decals.
Now that we are done with the paper work, lets look at some plastic. Starting with Sprue A. Which contains the fuselage halves, horizontal tails, the rear lower turret insert and cockpit floor. (will check that as it may be for the rear compartment.)
The fuselage halves are designed in a modular configuration which tells us of future releases, (the next being the B-26B-15 maybe before the end of the year). Fine engraved panel lines. No rivets except for around the wing roots and fasteners in some of the service panels on the horizontal tail. Interior has the stringers and framing within. Electrical boxes molded into the cockpit. One thing to note the door window on the RH rear fuselage is rectangular in a horizontal position, on the Monogram kit it is vertical. Check your references as it may come both ways as shown on a couple of images found
Sprue B contains the LH upper and lower wings, ft and rear wing spars moulded with the forward and rear bomb bay bulkheads. Detail gain fine and crisp, the interior bits also are nice no flash on any of the parts. Wings has separate flying surfaces. So drop the flaps and pose the ailerons if you wish. The wheel well front walls are show some detail. So far things looks really good on the kit.
Sprue C, contains the RH upper and lower wing panels, LH/RH engine/wheel bay nacelles, bomb bay doors. The engine nacelles have well defined details with in the wheel bays. With front and rear walls included will enhance the landing gear when installed. The bomb bay doors can be displayed open. The details in the interior side of the doors are well done.
Sprue D contains the Pratt & Whitney R2800 Double Wasp radial engines. Almost a model in itself. Separate exhausts, crank case, collector and conductor rings, pushrods, lots of detail for the engines very nice. Hamilton Standard props, Bomb Racks, nicely done wheels separate from the tires,making them easy to paint and assemble. The engine cowls again continue the trend of well done panel lines. The engine firewall mount also serves as the forward section of the nacelles.
Sprue E, is the largest sprue in the kit, and it contains ton of well detailed parts. The nose and main gear struts. Nose and main gear doors. Which are excellent, and like the recently reviewed P-38, they are designed with similar attachment points with hinges and part of the interior walls which eliminates the chance of being knocked off.
The nose wheel has well defined spokes.
The pilots instrument panel has detailed instruments, though a decal is supplied for the gauges. Flaps and ailerons as well as the drop tanks are also on this sprue.
The gun nose is designed as a clam shell. upper half has possibilities to display open, great opportunity for some that wish to add to this feature. Or great to add some weight to keep the nose down. Also plenty of electrical boxes and radios to add into the interior.
Sprue F are the tires, in plastic, easy to assemble and paint. No bulge or flat spots are present to show weight.
Finally the clear sprue, G, the glass is crystal clear, the framing well defined. The 2 types of canopies are supplied, the bulged side opening canopy and the flat with the tilt forward open crew entry door. Windows and lamps are also on the sprue.
And there it is, the new mold of the B-26B Invader. To finally have someone other than the long standing Monogram kits is quite good news. Much of the attention is on the Tamiya P-38, while about the same time ICM has provided what may be a new series of B-26’s, Next up is the B-26B-15 to be released in December. Now will we see a B-26K, Counter Invader, that would be cool.. ICM has designed the fuselage to just add panels that have the turret openings, while they are moulded in into the Monogram/Revell kit both of their kits, so they are different fuselages. The B with the upper and rear lower turrets while the “C” glass nose kit has just the upper turret, that kit is easier to convert into the K.
In conclusion the kit looks really good in the box. Parts look well detailed and very many ways to really enhance with the pose able flying surfaces. Engines can be displayed as if for maintenance, so many opportunities for super detailers. I may just add seat belts and resin wheels and will see what is out there on the decal market. ICM has hit a homerun with this one so far. I will pull down both Monogram kits I have the C and B for some comparison. I may just put the ICM kit into the build list in January for the new year plan. Kit courtesy of my BMW-Bless My Wallet.
1 additional image. Click to enlarge.