The Curtiss A-12 Shrike (Model 60) was a ground-attack aircraft designed in the early 1930s for the US Army Air Corps’ service. Based on the firm’s earlier type, the A-8, the new model was fitted with a radial engine instead of the A-8’s in-line powerplant and also incorporated some other changes. It was a two-seat all-metal monoplane, with the wing external bracing, and a fixed landing gear. It was powered by the Pratt & Whitney Hornet radial and was armed with four 0.30ʺ machine guns mounted in the wheel spats and with a fifth flexible weapon of the same calibre in the rear cockpit. Ten 30lb bombs could be carried internally, or four 300lb bombs externally or one 52-gal drop tank mounted under the fuselage.
The first A-12 Shrikes were delivered in November 1933. In total, 46 aeroplanes were produced and this type remained the USAAC’s main attack aircraft of the mid-1930s. However, it soon became obsolete and was phased out of frontline service by 1938. It served both in the mainland U.S. and in Hawaii.
Twenty A-12 aircraft, designated the Export Shrike, were sold to China in 1936. Equipped with a more powerful Wright SR-1820 engine, they were marginally faster. When the Japanese opened hostilities against China in July 1937, these planes were soon involved in combat, but many were soon lost on operations.
Colour schemes included in the kit:
1) Curtiss A-12 Shrike, s/n 33-217, Black 17, 13th Attack Sq., 3rd Attack Group, US Army Air Corps, Barskdale Field air base, Louisiana, 1935
2) Curtiss A-12 Shrike, s/n 33-238, Black 38/7, 8th Attack Sq., 3rd Attack Group, US Army Air Corps, Fort Crockett airfield, Texas, during Winter Manoeuvres, February 1935
3) Curtiss A-12 Shrike, Black 144, 26th Attack Sq., 18th Pursuit Group, US Army Air Corps, Wheeler Field air base, Hawaii, 1937
4) Curtiss A-12 Export Shrike, Black 2608, 26th Sq., 9th Attack Group, Chinese Nationalist Air Force, Shanxi province, North China, 1936
5) Curtiss A-12 Export Shrike, Black 2604, 26th Sq., 9th Attack Group, Chinese Nationalist Air Force, Shanxi province, North China, summer 1937