1/48th A/B-26 Invader, ICM/Monogram/Revell Review
With the new ICM new mold B-26B now in our hot little hands. Though overshadowed by the P-38 released about the same time. Still it was an anticipated and long awaited release that a lot of WWII model builders have waited for. I built the Monogram Invader first offering the glass nose A/26C, and converted it to the Counter Invader using the Paragon set way back in the late 90’s. I knew nothing at the time of shape issues. Other than it was a typical Monogram build with the usual bumps in the road which doesn’t take away from the end result. In the end it looked like an Invader too me, a Counter Invader at that. So let see what we had in the Monogram kit compared to the ICM. First I am not here to bash Monogram/Revell. Many built the kit for the love of the hobby and to have what was the only Invader in this scale to this point. Many builders didn’t even know about the fuselage issue until of course the perfecto’s figured it out. Face it this is not the only kit that has shape issues, there are far more worse out there. Like the Banshee and the F-80, and others have been much worse from other manufacturers.
This review will be to focus on just the fuselages. Others say the nose is also too long. And the tail as it sweeps up is off also.
The side profiles of the three fuselage 2 Monogram and the one ICM. On the ICM kit, the fuselage is designed to be modular, in other words for future releases the upper and lower turrets are inserts when on some glass noses the rear lower turret is deleted, not in all cases but will allow to build schemes that have that feature. The Monogram show totally 2 different fuselages for each kit, the black plastic A-26C glass nose, the first release has the rear turret deleted (which makes this kit the easier of the 2 to do B-26K conversion) where as the B-26B gun nose grey fuselage has both upper and rear turrets molded in. The interior molded in details are quite similar on all 3 kits.
Now one thing I did notice is that the RH rear side window is horizontal on the ICM kit and both Monogram kits are vertical in shape. I happen to have a couple of Italeri’s 72nd scale B-26 kits, and they also have the RH side rear window in the vertical position. Found a few images of the A/B-26 from different periods and they show the window being vertical also. But I also found a couple of images with no window in that position. Not to say this is incorrect as I did run across an image with that window being in the horizontal position, I just can’t find it at the moment. So I will not say it is wrong. Check your references.
Now to address the number one issue of the Monogram kit. Until now there was no way to tell why the fuselage just didn’t look correct by those who get anal about things. So taping both halves and sit them side by side, you can see and it’s obvious how much wider the Monogram fuselages are compared to the ICM kit. Now as you look at the real birds, how sleek and slender the fuselage looks, and now look at a built up Monogram Invader. You can see more Douglas A-20 Havoc with Invader wings and tail bolted on. The wider fuselages make the plane not as sleek and slender once you see the difference. I for one didn’t see it until now after the comparison. Still I will build these two along with the new ICM. The new ICM kit is definitely a new mold. The flying surfaces are separate parts compared to the molded on featured on the Monograms. This kit is just as exciting to me as the new Tam Lightning is. And with all kinds of new kits coming on line soon. This year is going to end with a bang.
1 additional image. Click to enlarge.