On the Bench: 1/32 HK Models B-25J Mitchell

The North American B-25 Mitchell

The North American B-25 Mitchell was a hard-ridden workhorse of World War II that gained instant fame in early 1942 as the plane that carried out the daring Doolittle Raid over Tokyo. I won’t bother recounting the versatile bomber’s history here – suffice to say it served in a variety of theaters, was flown by everyone from the USAAF and Marines to the RAF, the Dutch, the Soviets, and even the Mexican Air Force. It served as a bomber, a ship-hunter (and mastered the technique of skip-bombing against Japanese shipping), a gunship and even as a photo reconnaissance platform.

Strangely, despite its general notoriety (it’s a far more recognized aircraft than the USAAF’s other medium bomber, the B-26 Marauder), it didn’t serve heavily with U.S. forces in Europe, and was totally absent from their arsenal in the drive from Normandy toward the Rhine. Though B-25s did take part in the Italian campaign, where they savaged enemy logistics operations and faced everything from Luftwaffe attacks on their airfields to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1944.

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1/32 HK Models B-25J Mitchell – First Look Review

I recently joined the review team over at Scale Plastic & Rail. While that won’t impact my posts here, from time to time you’ll likely see posts announcing a new review I’ve published over there.

The first of these is for that crazy-anticipated kit, HK Model’s new B-25J Mitchell.

You can check the review out HERE, and stay tuned for the impending build log right here! I’m in San Antonio for a long weekend at the moment, but work begins on the big B-25 just as soon as I get home!

In the meantime, here’s a taste of the monster!

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On the Bench: 1/48 ProModeler Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver

The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver

Throughout much of its development and early deployment, the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was plagued with problems, delays and disappointments. It was disliked by aircrews and carrier skippers and dismissed by foreign governments, who cancelled their orders in droves. By the SB2C-4, the teething problems were largely ironed out, and the massive dive-bomber found its adherents. But you know what they say about first impressions. Continue reading

On the Bench: 1/48 Monogram Ju 87D Stuka

The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka

It’s strange how certain aircraft are just instantaneously associated with certain chapters of World War II. When you think of Pearl Harbor, Wake Island and the early Japanese march across the Pacific, it immediately conjures images of the A6M Zero. Battle of Britain? The Spitfire and Hurricane. The US daylight bombing campaign will always be associated with the B-17 Flying Fortress, just as the firebombing of Tokyo and atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will always be linked to the B-29 Superfortress. Stalingrad? The IL-2 Sturmovik.

And when you think about the German blitzkrieg, you immediately think of the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka. Continue reading