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Bob Torres
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Matchbox 1/72 Douglas A-20G Havoc (Green Hornet)

December 10, 2022 · in Aviation · · 31 Comments

Another build from the Group Build to celebrate Matchbox's 50th Anniversary to when they first released plastic model kits.

This may not be the best out there but I feel for its time, Matchbox did a nice job on providing the model world a decent looking later A-20 , Boston Mk. IV/V.

Not a hard build, I added a little something to some areas lacking details. The cockpit area did receive some extra work (built up the instrument panel, side walls and rear bulk head), the nose gear had the torsion links made and added. Both propellers were thinned down a little.

Before painting the model, I did some pre-shading by using a Sharpie black marker.

I used Tamiya acrylic paints, The Olive drab XF-62 on the first two coats, on the final it was lightend down by adding a few drops of XF-80 and 81. The Neutral Grey is XF-53. The green on the leading and trailing edges is XF-5. The blue I came up with the mix. The green on the fwd leading edge was made a little darker with a black fine point oil marker and smudged with a cotton swab. I did the same for each exhaust streaks.

The kit's original decals were used except for the small letter "P" on the nose in between the guns. The original decals looked fine except they were printed off-centre of the clear film. The small letter "P" broke apart when applying so I used a "P" from a Microscale sheet. The rest is from the kit, I applied the Micro Scale Decal maker and for the most part it did the job. The only decal that showed a little damage was on the right side of the vertical stabilizer big letter "P". Later I had to keep applying the Micro Sol and gently pressed the decals into place, this took a little while to tame them into place.

All and all I am pretty happy with this build. I made this kit over 40 years ago but it disappeared a while ago and it was one of my favorite builds from that time. It is nice to have the Green Hornet displayed on my shelf again.

Aircraft History: Built by Douglas Aircraft Company. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as A-20G-25-DO Havoc serial number 43-9407. Shipped overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History: Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 417th Bombardment Group "Sky Lancers" (417th BG), 675th Bombardment Squadron "Dauntless Demons" (675th BS). Nicknamed "Green Hornet" with the nose art of a hornet holding an aerial bomb with both hands and running. Tail code "P" and a blue diagonal stripe with a white edge at the tip of the tail. The pilot who flew this ship was Lt. John Pryor.

On March 21, 1944 assigned to the 312th Bombardment Group, 388th Bombardment Squadron. No known tail letter. During September 1944, scrapped at Finschafen Airfield, Papua New Guinea.

15 additional images. Click to enlarge.


31 responses

  1. Nice results, Bob! Well done.

  2. Fine work, Bob. I thought it was the AMT/Italeri 1/48 version at first. Detail and finish are excellent. Weathering is spot-on. I really like the Green Hornet markings. I have these in 1/48 and it is one of my favorite Pacific theater schemes for the A-20.

    • Colin, thank you for the complement. Ever since Matchbox first released this kit, I always like the Green Hornet markings, definitely an eye catcher. I bet it looks nicer in 1/48th scale.

  3. Excellent job on the classic Matchbox kit, Bob! Great to have Green Hornet displayed on your shelf again!

  4. Beautiful result on this classic kit, Bob @v1pro
    The blue accents make it stand out really nice.
    A great replacement of your previous Havoc.

    • Thank you John! The blue accent first looked too light when first applied but after the gloss and flat coats were applied, it looked a lot better. And yes, I am happy to have this back again.

  5. I really like this, Bob. I have a soft spot for Matchbox. They were usually decent kits of interesting subjects. That A-20 still looks good. Not only did it blow away the competition from Airfix and Revell when it was new, it was a different variant.

    • Thank you John. Back in the 70's and 80's I built many Matchbox kits. Kits like their Stranrear, Walrus, Siskin were like second to none...my friend built their 1/32 Bf-109E and that was something to look at. And yes when this A-20 was released, Frog, Airfix and Revell looked pretty bad. But in Revell's defence, under all of those rivets hides a pretty nice A-20C/Boston Mk.III. It does need work but it at the end it dies look pretty nice.

  6. Bob this is a blast from the past. You have taken me on a very nostalgic trip back to my childhood when I built the "Green Hornet". You did a stellar job on this A-20. Well done!

  7. You sure that's not a Hasegawa kit? Awesome looking Havoc, vey nice to see another Matchbox kit completed, Bob!
    I recently found this kit at used kit sell-off at nearby Hobby Store - seeing your build confirms I made a great purchase.
    Great idea with the Sharpie.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

    • Thank you George, I have one more Matchbox kit to finish in this Group Build. You will enjoy this kit, they always need some extra work in the usual places but will end up looking nice.

      This was my 4th build using the Sharpie method. I think my Sea Fury and this build came with the results I was expecting.

  8. Good looking A-20, Bob. Didn’t know an old Matchbox builds up so nicely. I’ll have to try your Sharpie technique.

    • Thank you Eric, Matchbox had a few that build up looking like a toy but they did make some kits that really builds up very nice looking build.

      In regards to the Sharpie technique, on this build I used Tamiya acrylic, thin down to almost like water coloring levels and it was hand brushed. It takes a few coats and the Sharpie lines will still bleed through depending on how the paint is thinned.

      On my Sea Fury I used Tamiya acrylic paint but airbrushed. The Sharpie lines disappeared easier.

    • I just realized that you recently completed your A-20, beautiful work on your build! This poor Matchbox kit will look pretty simple to your build.

      • Thanks! It was a long haul building that Early A20 but I sure enjoyed it. And that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

        • Your progress updates on your A-20 build was awesome! That was probably the best I've seen on the A-20 in any scale, plus the details that went into the build and in the writing was amazing. I am glad that you enjoyed that build for all of us to learn from it.

  9. Bob, @v1pro , this turned out great !
    It is beautiful . Good job !

  10. Fifty years you say? Yikes. Nice job,Bob!

  11. 50 years, time passes so quickly, nice work on this classic kit, and, most importantly, you really enjoyed it, and that shows in the finished model.

  12. Great work! Decals wase useful after so long time?

  13. Looks great - you brought some life into this old kit.! This same kit was one of my earliest builds back into the hobby - no putty, no weathering, and nylon thread for aerials.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

    • Thank you Greg, I am going to keep building these old kits. I wish I still had the one I made over 40 years ago. Nice job on your build, nice to see it next to Airfix's A-26 Invader.

  14. Very nice work Bob! I love the type, and you've done a crackin' job on this one! 👍

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