The Curtiss A-3B Falcon was the last attack development of the O-1 Falcon. It differed from the O-1 with the addition of two .30 caliber machine guns installed in the lower wings as well as under wing bomb racks. There were 29 A-3s delivered to the USAAC.
The Silesian Eagle (SE) A-3B consists of 69 resin pieces and a decal sheet for two schemes, both with the 90th Attack Squadron. The resin is exquisite and is definitely the best I have ever seen. While there are some pin/air holes, they are few and far between. The worst part in my kit with a pinhole is in the radiator, but I think it will be easy to clean up.
Construction naturally starts with the cockpit, and here is where you can tell the awesome amount of detailing that SE has achieved. There are a lot of wonderfully molded in details, better than any injected kit I have seen. To the fuselage halves you add the floor, both the pilot’s and rear gunner’s seats, control column and rudder bar. With the right amount of washes and dry brushing the detail will just come to life.
From here one follows the normal course of model construction. Add the lower wings followed by the tailpieces. After that the model is painted, and then the addition of the final pieces. I will naturally replace all wing struts since I don’t trust resin wing struts. However, I normally don’t replace the undercarriage struts.
Another example of the fine molding found on this kit is in the rear run and Scarff gun ring. Everything is in resin and everything is molded, including the “nibs” in the supports that the gun ring “clicks” into.
Unfortunately, here is where I have my biggest complaint with the kit – the packaging. Everything is packaged in two zip-lock bags, one for the major parts, the other bag containing all the smaller details. This means that the smaller parts can “bang around” each other, with the possibility of breakage. This is exactly what happened to me. Most of the parts for the rear gun mount are broken, and not easily fixed (especially since most are pretty small). If SE can correct this, then there I would have no complaints at all. Important note: there’s a hole in the pilot’s seat. That’s okay, because it actually belongs there and is not a molding problem.
Finally!! Someone is producing USA between the war aircraft, and two-seaters at that. If US ‘tweeners interests you at all, you are doing yourself a disservice by not purchasing this kit. Highly recommended. If the back of the box is to be believed, then SE is planning more US ‘tweeners – a couple more A-3s, doing a natural continuation with the O-1 series, and finally a Boeing PWD-9. Cool! (In fact, one could easily convert this A-3B into an O-1E by omitting the under wing guns and bomb racks.)