Monday 22 April 2024

The BR-20 bombers for Rapid Fire! Rules in 20mm size


Bombers from the 30s are one of my favorite themes in the history of WW2. I had these two Italeri Italian BR-20s for decades in the stash. Originally they were to be painted in Italian colors and fight in the desert or droping some bombs over England. But two other important users of the BR-20 were the Nationalist Spain and Japan. So, these two flew to these countries as I had no bomber for Franco and only one Betty for Japan. 

These kits are from the seventies but they withstood well the passage of time. These ones are from the 80s but look much more recent. My models had the German version on the cover and date from 1984. 

Around 1937 the Japanese bomber force was in desperate need for a modern bomber for its operations in China as their KI-21 Sally were taking too long to be produced. Knowing of its usage in the SCW, Japan bought 82  BR-20 from Italy. Like this they can be used in the war against China or in the first few months after Pearl Harbor against the Allies. 

The camouflage was the Italian one of the first 72 delivered (the second one of 10 was in the blotches camo you can see on the Spanish model). 

The big Hinomaru are provided in the decals and make the model quite striking. 

These should have been shown before the aircraft as they were made first. For a long time I wanted some bomber stands but all solutions didn´t seem right. So I glued two flutes using Araldite resin, as cyanoacrilate produces some vapor in the transparent plastic, and used two CDs as the ground base (heavily textured with small stones for balance) and the aircraft support base (painted sky blue). Like this the bombers are 35cm above the table in a relatively  stable base and fighters can be on top of one flute only at about 17cm height. 

The Spanish model was painted with green blotches using the same sand base as the Japanese version. 13 of them were delivered to Nationalist Spain. 

From period pictures this camouflage looks to have been very effective. Recently I saw a YouTube video on the shooting down of Yamamoto and apparently one of the strenghts of the US airforce in this action was the green painting of their P-38s which, coming from below and over the jungle, were undetected until the last second. 

All markings were hand painted. 

The markings are for an aircraft of squadriglia 230 whose symbol was was a stork catching a frog. 

Next: a video on the German 'specials' for Market Garden. 


  1. Nice work! The two glasses stuck together is a neat idea.

    1. Thanks. Don´t forget to glue the plastic flutes with resin as super glue leaves that boring white dust that you can´t take out from the inside.

  2. Two lovely bombers there with great camo schemes and a nice bit of history too:).

  3. Thanks Steve. There is something about these pre war bombers from many countries.