On the Bench: 1/48 Revell/Monogram B-25J Mitchell
What the Hell’s Going On Here?
Yesterday, I put the massive HK Models B-25 back into its box, for a myriad of reasons. The summer heat, the lack of certain aftermarket items, and most importantly just where I’ve been at mentally. I’ve been at that kit for over a month, with precious little to show for it.
Rather than keep slogging away at a kit that’s overwhelming me, I’ve decided to shift gears to a commission build – which is coincidentally a B-25J Mitchell from the exact same bomb group as the big Mitchell I’ve set aside. Why is the 340th so popular? I think part of it is simply that there are decals for several of the 340th’s aircraft. That and the striking mix of bare metal overpainted with green – a measure taken in the aftermath of a Luftwaffe raid on the group’s airfield. And in the case of this particular aircraft, there’s a personal connection involved. I’ll just leave it at that.
The Revell Kit
Considering this is a commission build, and one that will need to thus be shipped (I’m already shaking at the thought), it was mutually agreed to forego the larger HK kit in favor of the venerable old 1/48 Monogram kit, which is these days sold as a Revell.
Despite the raised panel lines and age of the molds, the Monogram B-25 is actually a rather solid kit. When you poke around its sprues, you can see immediately just how much inspiration Wingscale/HK took from it in designing their 1/32 kit. A ridiculous number of subassemblies actually have the exact same build mechanics, only 50% smaller and sometimes lacking in crispness of detail.
A quick test-fit reveals that everything goes together more or less as it should, though there’s some gap issues where the engine pods meet with the undersides of the wings. Barring any nasty fit issues with the clear parts, I imagine dealing with that will be the greatest challenge of this build. The rest of the fit of the major airframe is actually very good, even if the wings are a bit sloppy on the wing spars.
As for aftermarket, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Eduard makes a very thorough, if not colorized, photo etch set for the old girl. Likewise, True Details makes a wheel set that is hands down the best thing I’ve ever seem them produce. Another area in desperate need of attention is the gun barrel detail on the .50 cals. I’m planning to replace these, likely with Quickboost barrels as I used on the PV-1.
Being lazy in the presence of so much clear stuff to deal with, I also broke down and purchased a mask set.
Stay tuned…this one will be a longer term build…but it will be fun all the same, and a good run for whatever I ultimately decide to do with the HK kit.