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Tweener

Post-War Mitchells

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I've just started on the big Monogram 1/48 B-25J, and though I like the looks of the Finito Benito, Next Hirohito decal scheme, I am more interested in doing something post-war for a change. I know that B-25s were used by both Air Training Command and Material Air Transport Command, but finding period photo's has so far tended to elude me. I'm curious as to whether anyone knows if there were any standard markings used for these birds, and if so what they were / if decals are available for them. 

 

As of now, the plan is to make the bird seen below, assuming it is in any degree of standard markings. I don't know if it it just me, or are most of the engine cowlings finished in flat black?

 

Thanks in advance,

Tweener

 

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Try searching for TB-25 Mitchell instead - just did and google came up with quite a few. 

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I watched a TV programme the other day about Air racing in the USA. Apparently a Mitchell was entered at one point during the 1960's?

Unofficially they took passengers during the race! I think it was race number 26 and this was painted on the fuselage stars & bars.

Now there would be a model!

 

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Posted (edited)

As Boman says, most USAF post-war Mitchells were J models converted to TB-25 spec. Mid upper turrets removed, a lot of the glazing painted or skinned over especially cockpit roof and nose, and as you have noticed a lot had black paint around the nacelles to camouflage the Eternal Oil Leaks. 

Also: usually different exhausts.  To quote Wikipedia because I'm in a hurry:

In its USAF tenure, many B-25s received the so-called "Hayes modification" and as a result, surviving B-25 often have exhaust systems with a semi-collector ring that splits emissions into two different systems. The upper seven cylinders are collected by a ring while the other cylinders remain directed to individual ports.

Edited by Work In Progress

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6 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

As Boman says, most USAF post-war Mitchells were J models converted to TB-25 spec. Mid upper turrets removed, a lot of the glazing painted or skinned over especially cockpit roof and nose, and as you have noticed a lot had black paint around the nacelles to camouflage the Eternal Oil Leaks. 

Also: usually different exhausts.  To quote Wikipedia because I'm in a hurry:

In its USAF tenure, many B-25s received the so-called "Hayes modification" and as a result, surviving B-25 often have exhaust systems with a semi-collector ring that splits emissions into two different systems. The upper seven cylinders are collected by a ring while the other cylinders remain directed to individual ports.

WIP- you are correct, sir!

 

It was said you could  always identify a B-25 pilot as they were very often deaf in the ear that faced the engine nacelle...my late father said it was the noisiest prop-driven airplane he ever flew in on  the inside- he said the T-6 he flew in flight training at Randolph Field in '44 was the noisiest on the outside! The Hays modification made the airplane bearable for flight crews, trainees, and passengers. A lot of postwar civil conversions also used the Hayes exhaust mod for the same reason, and can be seen on many restored B-25 warbirds.

Mike

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Posted (edited)

Hi

   If you wanted a post war RAF one there is a thread here

 

 

 

 

 

fetch?id=3718993

 

 

   of a G retro fitted post war with a glass nose

 

   cheers

     jerry 

Edited by brewerjerry

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Tweener said:

I've just started on the big Monogram 1/48 B-25J, and though I like the looks of the Finito Benito, Next Hirohito decal scheme, I am more interested in doing something post-war for a change. I know that B-25s were used by both Air Training Command and Material Air Transport Command, but finding period photo's has so far tended to elude me. I'm curious as to whether anyone knows if there were any standard markings used for these birds, and if so what they were / if decals are available for them. 

 

As of now, the plan is to make the bird seen below, assuming it is in any degree of standard markings. I don't know if it it just me, or are most of the engine cowlings finished in flat black?

 

Thanks in advance,

Tweener

 

spacer.png

All I can say about decals in 72nd scale for this particular aircraft right now is to be patient.  There might be something out by the end of the year.  Besides ATC and MATS (Military Air Transport Service), SAC also had a number of them floating around during the 50s.  Note also that the top turret opening will have to be filled in.  As of now I don't know of any aftermarket items to take care of the turret opening or using the other style carb intakes.  At least this aircraft had the OEM carb intake.

Later,

Dave

Edited by e8n2

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

I watched a TV programme the other day about Air racing in the USA. Apparently a Mitchell was entered at one point during the 1960's?

Unofficially they took passengers during the race! I think it was race number 26 and this was painted on the fuselage stars & bars.

Now there would be a model!

 

Not sure about an air racing B-25 Mitchell, but during the inaugural California 1000 air race in October of 1970, besides the P-51s, Bearcats, and Sea Furies, there was also an A-26 Invader and Super Snoopy (!), a DC-7 flown by Clay Lacy.  He ended up in sixth place out of a field of 20 aircraft.  Do a search on You Tube and you can find a video of the race.

Later,

Dave

Edited by e8n2
Added date of race.

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I saw the A-26 in there, but a DC-7? wow. I think it was a programme on PBS, which we get as a free channel over here.

There was some great footage and I was surprised to learn that ladies were only allowed to race in their own class in T-6's.

The whole thing apparently almost faded away, sponsorship at times included a Casino and a 'Gentlemens Ranch'.

There was film of British air racing too. A very educational programme.

Cheers, Pete

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Posted (edited)

I remember Clay Lacy driving that DC-7 around the course. I was just a kid and thought it the coolest. maddest thing ever

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Check out this website for the full info. Also the pic of his "human fly" DC-8 display

http://airportjournals.com/clay-lacy-the-planes-ive-flown-the-people-ive-known-part-2/

Edited by Work In Progress

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There are several pictures and enough info on the Mitchell in MATS service in this book: 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Aircraft-United-Military-Transport-Service/dp/1857800877

 

If you can't find a copy or simply don't want to buy one, I can give you a summary: MATS operated a good number of TB-25J and N as multi-engine pilot proficiency trainers. The aircraft received originally were TB-25J, later most were converted by Hayes to the TB-25N standard. In addition a number of F-10 (B-25Ds converted for recce missions) were used by MATS Air Photographic and Charting Service. At the peak of MATS use, as many as 58 B-25s of various variants were in use. These had all been retired or transferred to other services by 1958.

 

All pictures show relatively standard sets of markings, and the picture you linked shows a very typical set. Going into some details:

 

Colour scheme: overall natural metal. Later on at least some aircraft the roof was painted in white with a cheat line in IIRC Insignia Blue between this and the rest of the airframe.

Engine nacelles were indeed in black, with the exception of the cowling... mostly, as one aircraft is shown with black on the cowling too. If the cowling is left in NM, then a band is sometime painted around the cowling in colour (unit related colour?), The picture showing black cowlings shows the whole leading edge ring of the cowling painted in some colour.

The upper tips of the tails were often painted in colour. In your picture they look green, that fits with the green band around the cowlings

The colour scheme shown in your picture is the most common.

 

USAF titles: early: small U.S. AIR FORCE titles above the serial number on the outer sides of the tails,

Later: on the front lower fuselage, likely in Insignia Blue. I expect them over and under the wings as well, per standard USAF practice. Your picture shows this later arrangement

 

MATS band on the tails, always. Your picture likely shows an aircraft with a replacement rudder, so the band is not complete. The band is both inside and outside the tails, but MATS is written only on the outer sides.

 

"Fleet number" in 3 digits on fuselage front (in your picture it's 632): always present on the trainers always in that position. IMHO in black. F-10s don't seem to have this.

 

Serial number, always on both outer surfaces on the tail, in black. When the aircraft became 10 year old, acquired the O- prefix before the serial number.

 

Buzz number: for the B-25 it was BD-xxx, with xxx being the last 3 of the serial number. Always under the tail for MATS aircraft I've seen, but I've seen this on the front fuselage on at a few aircraft (not MATS). Mind, I've even seen a picture of an aircraft with two sets of buzz numbers on the fuselage... definitely non standard ! Early use of the buzz number required this to be also painted under the left wing, can't see it in the pictures but in your picture this should not be present

 

Last 4 digits of the serial number: in a yellow field with black (?) edges below the cockpit. Your picture shows this, the position was the same on all aircraft. This was introduced with the larger U.S. AIR FORCE titles, was absent in the earlier markings system.

 

MATS emblem: early, large and below the cockpit. Later smaller and just forward of the buzz number on both sides. Your picture shows this later scheme,

 

Some of the features I mentioned can be applied to all postwar USAF B/TB-25s. In particular the regulations concerning USAF titles, serials and buzz numbers would have been the same. One aspect that I can't confirm is if aircraft were at some point painted in aluminum lacquer, the pictures I have all show natural metal, but this was in the late '50s repainted on many types. I've seen pictures of B-25s that may indicate aluminum paint, but I don't think many B-25s lasted so long into the late '50s-early '60s to be repainted.

 

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22 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

I saw the A-26 in there, but a DC-7? wow. I think it was a programme on PBS, which we get as a free channel over here.

There was some great footage and I was surprised to learn that ladies were only allowed to race in their own class in T-6's.

The whole thing apparently almost faded away, sponsorship at times included a Casino and a 'Gentlemens Ranch'.

There was film of British air racing too. A very educational programme.

Cheers, Pete

That's a different race altogether.  The California 1000, which went away a long time ago, was an unlimited class race, hence all the old fighter and attack aircraft besides Super Snoopy.  The first race was 1000 miles, the next couple of races before they stopped it were 1000 km.  Because of the distance most aircraft had to make a pit stop, something unheard of before in unlimited air racing.  There is, or was, a seperate T-6 class, but I know of no restrictions on gender of the pilot.  Air racing is not really my thing but I vividly remember going to the inaugural California 1000 with my Dad, brother, and step-brother.  Just a few months later, a new freeway interchange that we had passed through but was not yet completed, was destroyed in the February 9th, 1971 Sylmar earthquake.

Later,

Dave

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20 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

There are several pictures and enough info on the Mitchell in MATS service in this book: 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Aircraft-United-Military-Transport-Service/dp/1857800877

 

I have that book and it is an excellent source of inspiration for future projects.  MATS also operated some A-26s as well along with a number of different fighter aircraft.  During the 50s the 57th FIS in Iceland belonged to MATS, so there you have an operational fighter squadron belonging to a organization dedicated to transport duties.  Who would have thunk it?!

Later,

Dave

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