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Issues with Italieri B25H


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Hello all,

 

I read in the February issue of Scale Aircraft modelling where the Italieri B25 H/J was dissected badly.  The fuselage is short in depth, the tail plane needs to be pushed back some, the tail gunner canopy needs to be increased in size, etc. Shocking to me since this model was considered acceptable when compared with the old Airfix and Matchbox versions prior to the new Airfix B25 rendition. From the article, I get the impression that you could combine the old Airfix or Matchbox fuselage with the Italieri wings( the only part without serious errors). Can someone expand on this issue? On the other hand, depending on whose drawings you use, the error could be from the draftsman or not scaling the drawings properly before printing. Sometimes I think we rely on the accuracy of scale drawings a little too much. Any way, my query stands but I hope I did not open the proverbial "can of worms".

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Italeri kit - the B-25 later series (including B-25H/J) has a slightly deeper fuselage than the earlier series. The Italeri kit is halfway between them - I would suggest it is not so much a draftsman's error as a manufacturing compromise.  It's only noticeable if you know to look.  What is considered "shocking" or "acceptable" is a personal judgement.

Drawings - You make a good point - there are 100+ surviving B-25s, many in the USA. I am sure there are many that would be accessible to you to take measurements of the most important dimensions to assess scale drawings. It's the only way to do it.

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I was very surprised that the Italieri kit had that many issues. No issue that no kit is ever perfect or accurate, However,  that this kit needed this much work to create a reasonable reproduction of the original is a bit much.  Still I wonder if combining a Matchbox for old Airfix fuselage would overcome most of the issues described in the article.

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Hello Juan R-S

I do not know about the old Airfix kit, but the Matchbox kit has wider and somewhat more boxy fuselage than Italeri kit. I have no idea which kit is at fault, though. By the way, I built Italeri B-25 J kit nearly forty years ago and it looked like a proper B-25 model to me. Unfortunately, I cannot provide a photo, as some time ago in the middle of the summer I took it out of my glass cabinet and than absent mindedly put it on the window shelf. Cheers

Jure

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1 hour ago, Juan R-S said:

However,  that this kit needed this much work to create a reasonable reproduction of the original is a bit much. 

This depends on your point of view. Made up, an Italeri B-25H kit looks a lot like a B-25H. If you are one of the minority that can tell by eyeballing the finished product that it is out in some aspects then sure, modify it or buy a Hasegawa kit. If you're not one of the B-25 tifosi who can tell those things at a glance, then ignore the rivet count & make it from the box, add as much after market as you heart desires or not & you'll still have a result to be proud of that will look a lot like a B-25H, possibly even a beautifully built one. IMHO, it is possible to over agonise over inaccuracies that the biggest percentage of people will never spot. Make it for yourself in a way that will make you happy is the bottom line, as I see it anyway. :)

Steve.

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1 hour ago, stevehnz said:

This depends on your point of view. Made up, an XXXX kit looks a lot like a XXXX. If you are one of the minority that can tell by eyeballing the finished product that it is out in some aspects then sure, modify it or buy another kit. If you're not one of the XXXX tifosi who can tell those things at a glance, then ignore the rivet count & make it from the box, add as much after market as you heart desires or not & you'll still have a result to be proud of that will look a lot like a XXXX, possibly even a beautifully built one. IMHO, it is possible to over agonise over inaccuracies that the biggest percentage of people will never spot. Make it for yourself in a way that will make you happy is the bottom line, as I see it anyway. :)

Steve.

Steve wise words indeed, your original post should be pinned at the top of every modelling forum so I've edited it to make it generic :) .

I know I can certainly get dragged into agonising over inaccuracies that I am only aware of because I've read about them when I should just have fun building them instead.

 

Duncan B

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One thing about the Italeri is that the cockpit bulkhead behind the seats (part 13A) is pure fiction. 

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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6 hours ago, stevehnz said:

... If you are one of the minority that can tell by eyeballing the finished product that it is out in some aspects then sure, modify it or buy a Hasegawa kit. ...

 

I've second what Steve says every day. I have learnt the hard way that buying a sub-standard kit results in massive amounts of work and little joy.

I'd buy the better kit, even if it cost multiple amounts of the cheaper, based on my completion rate: It's much higher for e.g. Hasegawa, Tamiya and Eduard than for almost every other make.

 

/Finn

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10 hours ago, Juan R-S said:

Hello all,

 

I read in the February issue of Scale Aircraft modelling where the Italieri B25 H/J was dissected badly.  The fuselage is short in depth, the tail plane needs to be pushed back some, the tail gunner canopy needs to be increased in size, etc. Shocking to me since this model was considered acceptable when compared with the old Airfix and Matchbox versions prior to the new Airfix B25 rendition. 

The shallow rear fuselage was noted long ago: I don't recall whether awareness of the other associated problems go back that far but if you mean "acceptable" as meaning accurate, then no it wasn't so considered.  On the other hand, in other ways it was (and is) a rather nice kit.  Other meanings of "acceptable" are used above, and seem fair enough to me.

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What the others have said is correct. The Italeri B-26B/C/D/G kits were the more accurate of their B-25 releases, with the exception of the incorrect rear cockpit bulkhead, as pointed out above, and with the glass nosed versions, the nose transparency is too narrow in plan view; the props are not the best, but workable; (Quickboost replacemants are available) the R-2600 radials aren't the best, but can either be detailed or replaced once again by Quickboost resin engines. The rear fuselage depth is correct for the glass and solid nose versions. If you just want a solid nosed Mitchell with the 75 mm cannon, then an Italeri B-25G kit would work.  

 

The Italeri B-25H/J kits, on the other hand, have a rear fuselage depth that is too shallow, and as  pointed out; it  is between the releases with no tail gun position and the H/J/PBJ-1J kits in depth. IIRC, the rear fuselage on the real airplane was deepened by 7 inches (I would need to look that up for sure.) to accommodate the new tail gun position. In addition to this error, all of the issues of the above-listed kits would still apply.

 

The Hasegawa kits are so much better, but are either very expensive or unavailable. Revell did rebox the Hasegawa strafer B-25J, which would be cheaper than the  Hasegawa kit, but it was the strafer version that had the nose guns mounted in the nose transparency, which was painted over except for the center panel. IIRC there is a resin 75mm gun nose conversion available, but the maker's name escapes me at the moment.

 

As for the tail gunner's canopy and horizontal stabilizer location issues, I was not aware of them, but both of these appeared to be correct to me- been a while since I rattled the parts, so I would like to see the kit review you saw to find out how they arrived at that conclusion.

 

If you want a 75 mm cannon equipped Mitchell, then the most accurate kit would be the Hasegawa B-25H; the least expensive would be the Italeri B-25G, but be aware many G's had a rudimentary tail gun position with a tall canopy and a single .50cal gun and,  waist gun positions added , so check for photos of the one you want to model. (We had a long and very informative discussion on building a Mitchell with the early tail  and waist gun positions a while back, and you could look for it- lots of text and detail photos, as I recall.)

 

Hope this information will be helpful

Mike

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3 hours ago, 72modeler said:

What the others have said is correct. The Italeri B-26B/C/D/G kits were the more accurate of their B-25 releases, with the exception of the incorrect rear cockpit bulkhead, as pointed out above, and with the glass nosed versions, the nose transparency is too narrow in plan view; the props are not the best, but workable; (Quickboost replacemants are available) the R-2600 radials aren't the best, but can either be detailed or replaced once again by Quickboost resin engines. The rear fuselage depth is correct for the glass and solid nose versions. If you just want a solid nosed Mitchell with the 75 mm cannon, then an Italeri B-25G kit would work.  

 

The Italeri B-25H/J kits, on the other hand, have a rear fuselage depth that is too shallow, and as  pointed out; it  is between the releases with no tail gun position and the H/J/PBJ-1J kits in depth. IIRC, the rear fuselage on the real airplane was deepened by 7 inches (I would need to look that up for sure.) to accommodate the new tail gun position. In addition to this error, all of the issues of the above-listed kits would still apply.

 

The Hasegawa kits are so much better, but are either very expensive or unavailable. Revell did rebox the Hasegawa strafer B-25J, which would be cheaper than the  Hasegawa kit, but it was the strafer version that had the nose guns mounted in the nose transparency, which was painted over except for the center panel. IIRC there is a resin 75mm gun nose conversion available, but the maker's name escapes me at the moment.

 

As for the tail gunner's canopy and horizontal stabilizer location issues, I was not aware of them, but both of these appeared to be correct to me- been a while since I rattled the parts, so I would like to see the kit review you saw to find out how they arrived at that conclusion.

 

If you want a 75 mm cannon equipped Mitchell, then the most accurate kit would be the Hasegawa B-25H; the least expensive would be the Italeri B-25G, but be aware many G's had a rudimentary tail gun position with a tall canopy and a single .50cal gun and,  waist gun positions added , so check for photos of the one you want to model. (We had a long and very informative discussion on building a Mitchell with the early tail  and waist gun positions a while back, and you could look for it- lots of text and detail photos, as I recall.)

 

Hope this information will be helpful

Mike

That is awesome info you posted. I will look into the early discussion on the B25's.  I may go ahead and build the Italieri kit after all and decide what alterations to make it. Now to look for some good info and plans of a B25...

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11 hours ago, Juan R-S said:

Now to look for some good info and plans of a B25...

I have several books with nice-looking plans of Mitchells - I have never compared them but I would be surprised if they are all the same. Would I start carving up a kit on the basis of them? Not unless I could verify some of the cardinal dimensions. I have never measured a B-25 but if you are keen enough on the accuracy you are talking about, you might want to go and do just that.

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15 hours ago, 72modeler said:

The Italeri B-25H/J kits, on the other hand, have a rear fuselage depth that is too shallow, and as  pointed out; it  is between the releases with no tail gun position and the H/J/PBJ-1J kits in depth. IIRC, the rear fuselage on the real airplane was deepened by 7 inches (I would need to look that up for sure.) to accommodate the new tail gun position. In addition to this error, all of the issues of the above-listed kits would still apply.

 

ISTR an article a few years back, probably in Scale Aircraft Modelling, when some brave masochist had a go at correcting the errors in the Italeri B-25H/J, complete with fuselage splice, but my indexing is not good enough to find it.  More recently @Brian Derbyshire had an article in the Feb 21 Scale Aircraft Modelling (pp.68-70) in which he improved the Italeri kits, not with the goal of producing a 100% accurate replica but of producing a better B-25 from Italeri kits already in the stash but rendered redundant by the Airfix kit.  Still includes things like deepening the forward fuselage and correcting the inner wing incidence angle for both Italeri kits.

 

15 hours ago, 72modeler said:

If you want a 75 mm cannon equipped Mitchell, then the most accurate kit would be the Hasegawa B-25H; the least expensive would be the Italeri B-25G,

If your pockets are bottomless, the best option for a B-25G nowadays is the CMK conversion for the new Airfix B-25:

 

CMK 7448 1:72nd scale B-25G Mitchell 75 MM Gun Nose Conversion Set for Airfix | CMK7448 | 8595593127880 (davecoleysemporium.co.uk)

 

Seems like a lot of money for a new nose-cap, however exquisitely moulded.  NB just fitting the Italeri nose cap to the Airfix kit does not work: IIRC, there are non-trivial discrepancies in both height and width.  You'd probably need to slice and dice it.

 

HTH.

 

PS How do I copy and paste a link nowadays?  You can see the one above hasn't worked.

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3 hours ago, Seahawk said:

Seems like a lot of money for a new nose-cap, however exquisitely moulded.

The CMK set comes with decals, photoetch and film instruments as well.

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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I've always thought the Italeri B-25s (all variants) looked more like caricatures than actual scale representations (going back to when I first built one around 1980.)  Too skinny, glass nose too pointed, engine cowls too tapered, vertical stabs too rounded, and that upper turret...ugh!   The molding and surface detail are more refined than the old Airfix H/J, but the shapes are certainly no better.  Airfix's new B-25B/C/D however is by far the best Mitchell in 1/72, with the Hasegawa H/J coming in second.  I've never owned or built the Matchbox kit so I can't comment.   Ironically, until the Hasegawa and new Airfix kits came out, the old Monogram Snap-Tite B-25B was probably the most accurately shaped in 1/72 (unfortunately due to it's nature it was sorely lacking in detail and suffered from major gaps and overly thick transparencies.)

 

SN

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