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JimmyZ

1/72 Airfix B-25H/J Mitchell

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This will be my first "big" project. Reason being, I know this kit has some shortcomings that will need to be dealt with.

IMG_20150801_1521282_zpssadbi9r9.jpg

My first impressions upon opening the kit was the rivets all over the wings and fuselage, and apart from the control surfaces, lack of any kind of panel lines.

DSC_0002_zpshwnsx5gx.jpg

My first task will be to sand off most of the rivets (there's a profile of the plane in the Squadron Signal book showing panel lines and rivets). Most rivets on the plane would be flushed, but I will present them like conventional domed rivets.

Once done I will attempt to scribe the panel lines myself (first time attempting it). This might be a complete failure yet, so don't watch this space too closely ;)

I have set about 3 weeks aside just for this. I have not yet decided what I'm going to build either, but definitely not one of the options that came with the kit, and not a silver plane.

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Wow, what a project! Good start Jimmy, I'm in :popcorn:

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Well, it's funny how the mind blanks some past nightmares! I had all forgotten about this kit!!! It must be self preservation!

Whatever, the best of luck with this -25! But have fun!!!!

JR

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I remember this kit very fondly from my childhood and will be very interested to see how you get on with this.

Martin

PS: I always considered this kit gave great value for my pocket money with its many working features and alternative parts.

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I remember this kit very fondly from my childhood and will be very interested to see how you get on with this.

Martin

Me too must have built atleast a dozen of them as a kid....Happy Dayz :)

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I'm in - Love this kit looking forward to watching it come together.

Roger

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Thanks for the encouragement! Though I guess now there is no backing out...haha

A little bit of progress. Tested the scribing on the lower-inner part of the wing, came out allright-ish I suppose. I'm using Dymo tape and a type of artist knife with a swivel head (not sure what it's called).

I must say, this is delicate work and it's easy to screw up. Hopefully I will get better

Here is the part I have finished compared to the other side that I have not done yet. Still need to clean up a bit.

DSC_0009_zpsz5crgz9h.jpg

Also I drew the panel lines for the top half of the wing, ready to be scribed.

DSC_0010_zpsgtfpw1cn.jpg

I tried cleaning up the panel lines after scribing without compromising the rivets I left unsanded, but this proved impossible. So I will have to sand off all rivets, though it's not that big of a setback for me.

Cheers till my next update.

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Love how you say "Some shortcomings",the thing is about 900 years old :winkgrin: .

But,as Martin say's,fondly remembered and a great pal with all it's working features.

The late great Jeff Hawke said it was a gentleman's aeroplane,I reckon he wasn't far wrong.

One of my favorites is the old B-25 "Billy" Mitchell :coolio: .

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I was thinking, with all the scribing you have ahead of you, you might find it beneficial to get a dedicated tool, you will find the process a lot easier and quicker. Trumpeter do a nice one quite cheaply, got mine off Evilbay for under a fiver. Look under Trumpeter engraving tool.

Martin

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Ah yes, I too am one who built this kit many, many years ago whilst still a lad. I rather enjoyed it and I still have it. Not up to the standards of my Hasegawa B-25 kit, of course, but it was a product of its times (aren't we all). Good luck with yours!

Regards,

Jason

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I built one of these a few years ago and was forced to spend a lot of time sanding and filling etc. As the fuselage fits together unevenly it might be a good idea to leave the re-scribing of the vertical panel lines until after it is glued together, otherwise you will probably find yourself sanding away your new vertical panel lines and also risk them not meeting in the middle. Fuselage vertical panel lines are also much more difficult to re-scribe than wings because of the curvature and taper. Also if there is any small raised detail like tiny inspection hatches for example try not to sand them away as they are difficult to reproduce.

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IMHO the worst part of the Airfix B-25 are the nacelle doors of the main landing gear. They are very lengthy (the rectangular opening for the landing gear leg is very narrow); if you compare with B-25 drawings, or with an Italeri or Hasegawa B-25, you will notice the difference. Also, the fit is horrible.

A suggestion is, before all, to cut the landing gear leg from the "barrel" which serves to secure it to the nacelles; thus you can add the fragile landing gears after the whole kit is built (avoiding breaking them during the build). You can make a micro-hole (0.5 or 0.6 mm) on the cut end of the landing gear leg, and glue a piece of electronic wire for fixation (another corresponding micro-hole should be made on the "barrel"). This will provide more "room" to work on the nacelles. Both left and right doors can be glued together, with a piece of plastic (i.e., a small rectangle) glued over the junction (inner side), for reinforcement. After the glue has dried, cut off 2,5 mm from the large end of the doors. After the nacelle halves were glued together, then glue the doors on the nacelles; this will let a wider rectangular opening for the landing gear, so you will have to scratchbuilt a new and more large rectangular door. As the doors are now smaller, you will have to fill the "hole" between the door and the nacelle, gluing a small piece of plastic (a 2,5 mm rectangle). Seal all junctions (or gaps) with cyanoacrylate (gap-filling super glue). Later you can re-scribe the contours of the doors (not very easy, here a flexible ruler can be useful), or, after the model is painted, simply draw the contour lines with a thin black pencil.

The second "worst part" of the kit are the air inlet above the engines. They are rectangular, correct for post war aircraft, but if you want a WWII era Mitchell, they should be oval (oblong).

11180640_430898600431254_791891486735322

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Is this the same kit? Mine has raised rivets on the parts but your photo looked like they are indented.

DSCF7510_zpsf9vdcciq.jpg

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It is the same kit: Airfix haven't yet done a new tool Mitchell, but one to their present standards would probably sell very well when the competition is the horribly expensive Hasegawa or the rather basic Italeri offerings.

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The Italeri kit is a nice old kit, but like someone has already mentioned it is quite basic. Just in case you didn't know, the dark earth camouflage scheme shown in the Italeri painting instructions is totally incorrect.

I think I read somewhere that the Italeri kit is dimensionally far more accurate than the Airfix kit. From memory the Airfix fuselage is to narrow, not that it worries me.

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Is this the same kit? Mine has raised rivets on the parts but your photo looked like they are indented.

Yes, it's the same Airfix kit. The raised rivets were totally eliminated and new recessed panel lines were scribed. The landing gear leg had brake lines and a side arm added, as well as a 1,5 mm extension on top (because I had cut the legs very short). The shaft for the wheel was replaced by a metal rod (wire), because a new resin wheel/tire (with a very small hole for the shaft) would be used. I didn't like the original Airfix wheels.

The Italeri B-25B/C kit is good, but some people say that the rear part of the fuselage of the Italeri B-25J is not sufficiently deep. In fact if you take a half fuselage of a B-25B/C and a half fuselage of a B-25J, both Italeri, 1/72, you will see that they "mate" (of course, the tail ends are different, as well as the openings for the dorsal turrets). Italeri has provided a strange wall (bulkhead) behind the pilots cockpit, that doesn't exist in the real thing. Maybe they made it because the Italeri dorsal turret does not have any internal detail, which would be visible through the pilots canopy; at least the turret of the Airfix B-25 has a pedestal, which can act like a starting point for more detailing.

Edited by Convair

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I am looking forward to your progress so when I start mine, I will have a solid starting point. I am currently making a Testor 1/48 Phantom.

Lou

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I was thinking, with all the scribing you have ahead of you, you might find it beneficial to get a dedicated tool, you will find the process a lot easier and quicker. Trumpeter do a nice one quite cheaply, got mine off Evilbay for under a fiver. Look under Trumpeter engraving tool.

Martin

Thanks Martin. Yes if it makes the job easier I will definitely spend a few bucks, rather than screw up the kit or even worse, lose motivation to finish it. For me (or anyone in South Africa) ordering from ebay (or most places out of the country) is not that easy. I have ordered from overseas 3 times, and have only been successful once (still waiting on item #3 after 2 months). Also I will have to wait for about a month, judging from experience.

So I went shopping and possibly found a better tool, with interchangeable blades (8 different shapes), which I have yet to test.

The tool I started with has given me good results so-far, and I have not had any major issues or cockups. This is what the tool looks like

Untitled_zpsrdkyyoy7.png

But I am definitely open to experimentation w.r.t. scribing tools. I would like to have the best tool and good technique by the time I start the fuselage. At the moment I have just about finished the underside of the wings. The underside is taking a while cause I cannot just sand of all the rivets as there are some raised oval shaped lines that should stay there, so I have to carefully sand around them.

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IMHO the worst part of the Airfix B-25 are the nacelle doors of the main landing gear. They are very lengthy (the rectangular opening for the landing gear leg is very narrow); if you compare with B-25 drawings, or with an Italeri or Hasegawa B-25, you will notice the difference. Also, the fit is horrible.

A suggestion is, before all, to cut the landing gear leg from the "barrel" which serves to secure it to the nacelles; thus you can add the fragile landing gears after the whole kit is built (avoiding breaking them during the build). You can make a micro-hole (0.5 or 0.6 mm) on the cut end of the landing gear leg, and glue a piece of electronic wire for fixation (another corresponding micro-hole should be made on the "barrel"). This will provide more "room" to work on the nacelles. Both left and right doors can be glued together, with a piece of plastic (i.e., a small rectangle) glued over the junction (inner side), for reinforcement. After the glue has dried, cut off 2,5 mm from the large end of the doors. After the nacelle halves were glued together, then glue the doors on the nacelles; this will let a wider rectangular opening for the landing gear, so you will have to scratchbuilt a new and more large rectangular door. As the doors are now smaller, you will have to fill the "hole" between the door and the nacelle, gluing a small piece of plastic (a 2,5 mm rectangle). Seal all junctions (or gaps) with cyanoacrylate (gap-filling super glue). Later you can re-scribe the contours of the doors (not very easy, here a flexible ruler can be useful), or, after the model is painted, simply draw the contour lines with a thin black pencil.

The second "worst part" of the kit are the air inlet above the engines. They are rectangular, correct for post war aircraft, but if you want a WWII era Mitchell, they should be oval (oblong).

11180640_430898600431254_791891486735322

Thanks for these tips! I appreciate it.

More shortcomings I wasn't aware of, but I will deal with them now that I am aware.

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Is this the same kit? Mine has raised rivets on the parts but your photo looked like they are indented.

DSCF7510_zpsf9vdcciq.jpg

It's the same kit I believe, just reboxed with new decals. The rivets are definitely all raised.

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The one problem I recall from many years ago is that the dorsal turret stands too proud, leaving a gap above the fuselage at the sides.

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Thanks, I will keep an eye out for that. I normally build out of the box but attempt to do RCAF marking. In this case no RCAF squadron flew the Mitchell. RCAF pilots flew them while assigned to RAF squadrons. An RCAF officer commanded RAF 130 Squadron.

Lou

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The going on this is very slow, but at least I'm working on it whenever I get a chance.

I have completed 5 out of the 6 wing sections (only the starboard wing upper not completed, and a round of light sanding necessary on some parts. Surprisingly the process is getting easier and the result looks better than when I started.

Here is the completed port upper wing

DSC_0006_zpsyds9uwsq.jpg

I have also started painting the cockpit, as I will scribe the fuselage once it's glued together to make sure there are no panel lines that do not line up at the seams.

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I've now realised I may have to choose which version I will build sooner than planned. My options are limited to H and J models, though there are two possible configurations for the J, namely the conventional bombardier nose (which Airfix was kind enough to provide in the kit), and the 8 gun solid nose. However the B-25H had a single pilot seat on some or most it seems. The J's would all have both pilot seats again. Means I have to decide before completing the canopy...

I would welcome any input so will post my decal options on my next post.

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