1/72 Douglas Boston Mk.III model kit

 product # 272559   $49.09 from Hobby Link Japan

Product Article by Dean Reynolds on Aug 9 2010


1/72 Douglas Boston Mk.III RAF And SAAF Service


The Douglas A-20 Havoc or “Boston” as it was known in the British and Commonwealth Armed Forces was a twin engine medium bomber that served in fields as far apart as North Africa to Russia. The aircraft was well liked by its crews, and was described by pilots as a “pilot’s plane”, and a pleasure to fly, most notably for its speed and its ability to handle like a fighter.

The Boston MK III gained attention in the RAF for taking part in such exploits as the attacks on the German warships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen during the Channel Dash, and as support aircraft during the infamous Raid on Dieppe.

The Boston arrived in the South African Air Force in late 1941, equipping No.12 Squadron and No. 24 Squadron just in time to see the fiercest fighting of the North African Campaign, pressing home their attacks by day or night with such intensity that they were nicknamed “the 18 imperturbables” by the Germans. They fought through the Battle of El Alamein and by the 16 December 1942 had flown their 2000th sortie against the retreating Germans.

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The Kit

The MPM 1/72 kit joins its two existing offerings of the 1/72 Douglas A-20G D-Day and Pacific Havocs released in 2008, and for the first time allows modellers to have a go at the SAAF and RAf versions of the aircraft. No-doubt modellers will be expecting the Russian and French Bostons in future releases.

The box consists of 5 sprues of finely engraved injection moulded plastic parts numbering 161 pieces and one clear sprue featuring 10 pieces.

The detail in this kit is really excellent, especially in terms of exterior panel lines, which are recessed and crisp, never shallowing to obscurity or becoming too deep. The surface of the aircraft in comparison to the photographs at hand shows a wealth of details especially the underside of the wings, where every access panel and hatch is painstakingly etched. The cockpit houses some of the finest work in some areas, in particular the instrument panel although some of the wall mounted equipment in the bombardier’s section show has some nasty flash and an ugly artefact of plastic that would have to be picked out with a scalpel tip. The cockpit is constructed out of 7 pieces and has the option of having the canopy open, giving a modeller the opportunity to show off some inner detail. Sadly the inflatable dinghy which is quite easy to spot isn’t present in the kit, but with some aftermarket accessories this should pose no problem.

The engines and engine nacelles have crisp detail on the cylinders and crank-cases, and apart from light flash fit together beautifully and are itching for some good weathering paintwork and washes to show off all the exterior and undercarriage bay detail. A special note at this point on the interior of the undercarriage doors which has the finest rivet detail I have ever seen on 1/72 scale. The fabric detail on the control surfaces is really well presented, it is neither exaggerated nor overly dramatic and gives the effect of stretched canvas beautifully.

Decals are printed by AviPrint, and (much like the kit they are meant to grace) are finely detailed and are accurate in terms of colour and register.

There are decals provided for 4 aircraft:

  • Boston Mk.III, AL290/OM-K, RAF No. 107 Squadron, Great Massington airbase April 1942
  • Boston Mk.III, AL683/V, SAAF No. 24 Squadron, Zuara, Tripolis, Libie,  March 1943
  • Boston Mk.III, AL693/RH-U, RAF No. 88 Squadron, Attlebridge,  May 1942
  • Boston Mk.III, AL693/RH-U, RAF No. 88 Squadron, Oulton,  End of 1942

In conclusion I would heartily recommend this kit to modellers with a little experience, and cannot wait to see it in its battered and weathered desert finish on my shelf.

Dean Reynolds

I would like to thank HobbyLink Japan for this review sample.

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Photos and text © by Dean Reynolds