In the 1930s, the Northrop Corporation was the leading company in the field of aviation design, mainly thanks to fenomenal designer John Knudsen „Jack“ Northrop, who had worked for several other companies and had designed for them many of their most famous and successful aircraft. Having established his own firm, he introduced a whole range of all-metal aircraft named with letters of Greek alphabet. To US Army Air Corps requirements he developed an attack bomber aircraft, first version of which, the A-17 had fixed undercarriage and the later version, known as the A-17A was equipped with a retractable one. The first machines of the A-17A type were delivered to the USAAC in the beginning of 1937 and this type´s production was finished in September 1938.
The Northrop Corporation, as a subsidiary of the Douglas Aircraft Co. Inc., became El Segundo Division of the Douglas Company on August 31, 1937. Thus, export versions were designated Douglas DB-8 subsequent to this date. In 1939, following the German attack against Poland, the French Armée de l´Air send a Purchasing Commission to the USA to buy aircraft. Permission was given for the French to buy 93 of the redundant A-17A´s, but by the time the aircraft had been refurbished and re-engined, France had falled and the British Purchasing Commission took up the order. The British named the A-17A the „Nomad“, but it too was deemed to be obsolescent by the RAF and it was never put onto operational duty. Part of the RAF machines were transferred to SAAF training units, thirty-four of the RAF machines were sent to Canada to serve within the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in training and target-towing duties.
Two frames of the model´s styrene parts are accompanied by a clear injected canopy and resin parts of the propeller hub and the long exhaust tube with a heat exchanger. The decal sheet provides for two RCAF machines in highly attractive black and yellow livery (one of the machines can be modelled with two different styles of marking), there are also two RAF planes wearing standard Green and Earth camouflage, first of which was test-flown in the RAE and had its undersurfaces in Sky, while the other had black and white underneath) and finally two SAAF aircraft, one of them in Green and Earth again, the other with its yellow undersurface colour drawn up to middle of the fuselage height.