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  1. I am in with this one! I also picked up the SAC metal cockpit/landing gear set. I don’t really care about the metal gear so much- I really wanted the cast metal cockpit bits, as I have read that it is a real challenge to get the model to stop being a tail-sitter. I have a lot of choices on the markings, as you can see. I won’t do the kit options- I’ll do a different plane from the Doolittle mission- right now I’m leaning towards Doolittle’s plane. (Only a couple of the 16 planes had nose art, so in most cases it means just using a different serial number.)
  2. North American B-25C/D Mitchell (A06015A) 1:72 Airfix The Mitchell was a twin-engined medium bomber that served with distinction during WWII, with over 10,000 being produced by war's end. Named after General Billy Mitchell, the type reached prominence early on in America's entry to the war, as it was used in the famous carrier launched Doolittle raid on mainland Japan, leaving USS Hornet to bomb Japan, and attempting to land on fields in East China after the mission. It was a good aircraft to fly, and was well-liked by its crews, as well as being able to soak up a tremendous amount of punishment from the enemy and still remain flyable thanks to its rugged construction. These traits led to the Mitchell being used in almost every theatre of war, and in addition to bombing duties it was also converted to a "gun-truck" for ground attack, and was fitted with various armaments, including cheek mounted machine guns in fairings, and sometimes the 75mm cannon from a Sherman tank in a solid nose cone, as well as four .50cal brownings in the nose (B-25G) that was named ‘Strafer’, plus the turret guns that could be aimed forwards to add to the hail of munitions. The J-model was the last production variant in a long line of upgrades and improvements, and although many were built with glass noses, they were often converted in the field to a solid nose for ground attack duties. The Kit This kit was first released in 2018, and this boxing adds new decals to the existing tooling and new box art to match, depicting a gaggle of Mitchells flying low over desert terrain. Inside the box are five sprues of different sizes in dark grey styrene, two clear sprues, decals, and the instruction booklet, which is printed in colour with decal option profiles on the rear pages, accompanied by a separate page of profiles for the common stencils applied to the aircraft. Detail is good, and this 1:48 modeller was quite surprised by the small size of the Mitchell at this scale, probably because I’ve been handling a 1:48 B-25 kit recently for another review. It includes a detailed cockpit, bomb bay, turrets, and gun position details, with options for dropped or retracted flaps plus poseable tail surfaces, and raised or lowered wheels to add some personalisation to your model. Construction begins with the cockpit, based on a stepped floor, to which the twin control columns with integral centre console is added, with the instrument panel in front, applying a decal to depict the dials. A bulkhead is fixed to the front of the floor, and two crew seats are slotted into sockets in the floor behind the controls. Another bulkhead is slotted in from the side behind the crew, and an additional lower floor part it fixed to the bottom of the assembly after drilling out two flashed-over holes in one side. At the rear of the assembly, a further bulkhead with moulded-in spar is mounted, then the nose compartment is detailed with a small seat and a bicycle-like seat in the very front of the floor. The bomb bay is just behind the cockpit, and the fuselage halves are thinned here to accept the bay wall inserts, which also have the bay doors moulded-in to give it a strong join, and is detailed with the bomb ladders down the sides of the walls. A note in this step tells you to skip ahead if you plan to leave the bay doors closed, which I missed initially, so make sure you don’t. The cockpit assembly is installed on the port fuselage after detail painting, sliding it into position by feeding the spar through a hole in the side of the fuselage. Another spar is prepared with an extra layer to the bulkhead, located on circular pads, then it too is slipped into the port fuselage, adding 25 grammes of nose weight under the cockpit, making use of the box-like structure there. The bomb bay roof is fitted between the two bulkheads, and an insert is added to the belly behind the bomb bay with the socket for the belly turret and its pivot point moulded-in. The bombs are provided in this boxing, making four of them from three parts each, and gluing two on each side of the bay, adding retraction jacks and their mounts to the front of the bay opening. With both sides of the bay built and painted, the fuselage halves can be closed, and the seams dealt with in your preferred manner. If you elected to leave the bay doors closed, a separate part is included with a panel line down the centre to represent the two doors closed against each other. The wings are built on the spars projecting from the sides of the fuselage, adding the upper surface first, and installing the clear landing light lenses in the leading edge, drilling out some flashed-over holes, which are used to locate the aerodynamic fairings over the exhaust ports on the trailing edges of the wings. The lower surface is then glued in place, two clear inserts are fitted into holes in the fuselage sides behind the wings, which cater for various window arrangements through the different variants, and should be test-fitted carefully so that they are level with the rest of the skin of the model. The elevators are built from top and bottom halves with separate flying surfaces trapped during gluing, which can be deflected according to details given as the assembly is glued onto the rear of the fuselage ready for the rudder panels to be built. Again, the panels are made from two halves with separate rudders, one per side, and these too can be deflected according to the numbers given on the diagrams, plus another diagram that confirms that the rudder panels should be posed at 90° to the elevators. The next choice is whether to pose the gear up or down, with gear down the first choice to be described, starting with positioning the main gear legs, using the outer nacelle half as a jig to locate the strut, but not applying any glue to the nacelle part at this time. It can be left in situ while the glue on the gear leg cures, and in the meantime the engines and their cowlings can be made, which are common to gear up or down options. The front row of pistons has a central axle trapped between it and the reduction bell-housing at the front, then it is glued to the combined bulkhead/rear bank of pistons, providing detail that will be dimly seen through the spaces between the front bank of pistons, and via the cooling gills at the rear if you have sharp eyes. The cowling is prepared by adding seven small raised fairings around the main part, sliding the completed motor into the back of the assembly before fitting the cowling gills using the tabs and slots that are shown in the diagrams. The nacelle halves are joined together, assuming the glue has cured on the main gear legs, and these two parts are augmented by a short forward section on the outer half, then mounting a bulkhead and intake to the front, repeating this for the other side in mirror image. The completed nacelles are then lowered over the main gear legs and glued onto the underside of the wings. For the gear-up option, the legs are omitted, and the small curved bay door covers the opening before gluing the nacelles to the wings, removing the two hinges from one end first, which is done again in mirror image for the opposite engine. The engine cowlings are then glued to the front of the nacelles, regardless of the gear option chosen, then the two flap sections per wing can be glued in place lowered, or retracted by using different parts, doing the same on the opposite wing. Both wheel position options have the curved bump-stop at the very rear of the tail, then for the gear down option, separate scissor-links are glued to the legs, adding the doors and a retraction jack near the front of the bay. The wheels are each in two halves, and have a diamond tread pattern moulded into them, so take care aligning the halves once you have applied glue to minimise clean-up. The attachment points on the struts are specially designed to prevent mistakes, so check that the inner peg is aligned with the hole in the bottom of the tyre cut-out before you leave the glue to set. The Mitchell was unusual for a WWII bomber because of its tricycle undercarriage, and for gear-up the bay is covered by a small door that has been reduced in width prior to fitting. The gear down option has the strut inserted into the slot, a translucent scrap diagram showing how it should locate, then the uncut door is fitted to the edge of the bay, adding the wheel with separate outer hub to the bottom of the leg. The belly turret could be retracted so that it was almost flush with the airflow to increase speed and reduce fuel consumption whilst on the way to and from enemy territory and for landing. You have the option to pose it in either position, gluing the two machine guns into a different centre mount, depending on your choice. Both options are then inserted into the clear upper section of the turret, installing both in the cut-out under the belly, the mount holding each option at the correct attitude. The deployed turret clips into position without glue thanks to an expanding spring clip on the mount, but it is a one-time use clip, so make sure you’re ready to install it, and don’t be tempted to put it in early to see how it looks. The retracted turret has its guns aligned with two long recesses, so can be glued into position as there is only one possible position for them. Behind the turret is a crew hatch, which has four tabs around the lip that can support the door if you intend to leave it closed. To open it, the tabs should be cut away, fitting the combined door and ladder to the front of the cut-out, with the same process carried out on the door to the front of the bomb bay. The upper turret is next, fitting the twin machine guns to the central mechanism, and trapping them in position with another part of the assembly. The two ammo cannisters with a twin feed of link is glued to the front of the assembly, then the completed assembly is inserted carefully into the glazing, a scrap diagram showing how it will look from below. The completed top turret is then fitted into its cut-out, locating in a socket in the floor inside. The nose is open at this stage, allowing you to install a rack of ammo cans, plus the gun that is offset to one side of the bomb sight, which is another part fitted to the front lip of the floor. Under the nose is a small window that is inserted from below, then the top glazing is added, followed by the nose glazing, which has a flexible mounted machine gun pushed through the central hole, slotting the fixed gun through the other offset hole in the clear part as you install it. There are two styles of canopy included on the sprues, one for each of the decal options, and at this stage you can choose to seat the two pilot figures that are supplied or not. An astrodome is added to a hole in the fuselage behind the cockpit, fitting two landing light covers in the leading edges of the wings, installing some windows in the sides, and the glass dome in the tail. The final few parts dotted around the airframe include pitot probe in the port wingtip, two antenna masts on the spine, plus a D/F loop in an aerodynamic fairing, and the twin three-bladed props, one in each engine nacelle. Markings There are two decal options on the sheet, one in US service in a desert scheme, the other a lend/lease aircraft in Soviet service, each with a full page of profiles to help you complete the task. An additional page of profiles shows where the stencils are applied to both decal options, using line drawings to simplify the process. From the box you can build one of the following: B-25C Mitchell ‘OH-7’, 41-13207, 445th BS, French Morocco, 1943 B-25D Mitchel ‘09’ 42-87594, 1st Sqn., Uman Airfield, 1944 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A nicely detailed B-25 in this scale with plenty of personalisation options that belies the scale, with a couple of interesting and more unusual decal options, which combines to make for a welcome re-release. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Hello all, This model was built by my dad, it represents one of the B-25s that took part in the Doolittle Raid on April 18th 1942, 80 years ago this year. The model was painted with AK real colors, Gunze and Tamiya acrilycs. Dk decals were used along with the kit's own decals and PE was used for the interior. The kit was weathered with Tamiya enamel washes and a fine silver pencil for chipping effects. Numerous scratch-built improvements were added to the model. Hope you enjoy, Comments welcome! me!
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