The 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was constituted on the 28th of January 1942 and activated on 3 February 1942. The group was trained on B-24's then moved to the MTO during July and August of 1942. The unit was later assigned to Ninth Air Force in November of 1942, Twelfth Air Force in September of 1943, and the Fifteenth Air Force in November of 1943. The 98th first entered combat in August of 1942 by bombing shipping and harbor installations in Libya, Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, Crete, and Greece cutting enemy supply lines to Africa.
The unit received a Distinguished Unit Citation for actions in the Middle East, North Africa, and Sicily from August 1942 to August 1943 and was awarded another citation for its participation in the low-level assault on oil refineries at Ploesti on 1 August 1943. Although its target had already been attacked by another group, the 98th proceeded on its bomb run on Ploesti. The groups attack was led by Col John R “Killer” Kane who received the Medal of Honor for leading the 98th to complete this attack despite the hazards of alerted defenses, oil fires, and delayed-action bombs. The unit returned to the United States in April and May 1945, and was inactivated on 10 November 1945.
(Reference used: http://www.armyaircorpsmuseum.org/98th_Bombardment_Group.cfm)
This kit is essentially the same one that I reviewed previously HERE
on Aeroscale, so I will dispense with all the details, but here’s an overview about the kit details just to refresh your memories. Panel lines are recessed and consistent throughout. The forward portion of the fuselage is clear which makes painting the side windows easier as they are integral to the part. The same is true with the observation blister just forward of the windscreen. Decals are still used for the instrument panel. Interior detail is abundant but will be lost from view once the fuselage is sealed up. I will probably leave a substantial amount of it out when I build mine. Upper and tail turrets can be installed after painting is complete. The builder will have to be creative in finding places to put the copious amounts of weight needed to keep the plane on its nose gear. The forward portion where a builder would need to put it is very, very tight. The bomb bay can be built open or closed.
From what I have gathered the kit is selling well in its different configurations, namely the "D" and "J" models. The one that has eluded me thus far is the “J” in "The Dragon and His Tail" markings. I can’t bring myself to spend almost $100 for that particular kit based solely on the decal selection. Just got to be patient I guess or purchase the aftermarket set of decals I know are out there. Nothing has changed from the earlier release of the “D” model other that the choice of marking options.
Markings are provided for four aircraft from the 343rd Bomb Squadron, 98th Bomb Group. All are Desert Tan over Neutral Gray:
• Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs
• The witch
The only drawback I can think of for this kit is there are no masks for the canopy or other windows and the weight issues. This would have been a nice feature to this already quality kit. Hasegawa has been releasing quality kits longer than I have been walking the planet and hopefully they will continue to do so for years to come.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.