Bombers of a Modest Size

I’ve only recently broken into HK Models’ massive 1/32 B-25J Mitchell, but I’ve already come to a realization.

It’s friggin’ HUGE.

You’re probably thinking, “thanks, Detective N.S. Sherlock”, but bear with me a moment.

The size is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it’s gloriously awesome. It’s like having an M4 Sherman as your car.

But it’s also gloriously impractical. With a wingspan of 24″, the B-25 is simply too big to fit in my display cabinets. Fortunately, my desk is huge, so it’s got a nice corner reserved. But what about the others I’ve got in the stash? The 1/48 B-24 (27.5″ wingspan) and PBY Catalina (26″)? The 1/32 Ju 88 (22″)? Where will they go? I’ve only got the one desk…

Side-by-side with the not-small Revell PV-1 Ventura

So I’ve made a decision. From here on out, the big bomber stash is on lockdown, and I’m setting the maximum wingspan for any future purchases at 20″.

Where does that leave me with the heavies? SOL?

Nope. Instead I’ve made another decision. For subjects that would exceed my 20″ wingspan in 1/48 scale, I will consider…gasp…1/72 scale. Basically, this means transports and heavy bombers. In fact, I’ve already snagged a few – Italeri’s C-47, Revell’s recent B-17G Flying Fortress, and Hasegawa’s Avro Lancaster Mk. III and B-24J Liberator. Curiously, caving to 1/72 has also landed me firmly in some modern kits. Revell’s Fort and both Hasegawa heavies are well-detailed and, by all accounts, very well engineered. Certainly better so than the 35-year-old 1/48 scale kits. And they’ll fit very nicely in my display cabinets!

Got a size limit for your builds? Sound off in the comments!


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!



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