HK Models B-25J Mitchell Build Log, Pt. 1 – Internals

Now that I’ve started work on this monster of a B-25, I’ve come to realize there are basically two ways to approach the build.

The first is to plan, plan, plan. There are so many subassemblies that need attention, and that all have to come together in a magic leap from one step to the next. For example, closing up the fuselage requires finishing out not only the cockpit, but the column for the turret gun, the bomb bay, the waist guns and ammo belts, and the rear gunner’s position. And the nose strut, which as to be installed to the underside of the cockpit floor before the halves are joined.

The second route is to proceed haphazardly, and find yourself doing multiple things twice or three times, or four. Like spraying interior green, or weathering, or what-have-you.

Despite my best intentions to pull off the former, I find myself wallowing in the latter more and more. Continue reading

New Job and a Celebratory Kit

My posting frequency has dropped off in recent weeks.

I want to take a moment to explain why.

First, work itself has been crazy, taking on new projects and seeing those I’ve been fighting for for some time really gaining traction. It’s left me a bit too exhausted to fire up the computer at night and pump out new posts…or finish drafts (such as the last PV-1 build post).

On top of that, an amazing new career opportunity presented itself about a month ago, and putting a presentation together for the final interview removed me from the bench entirely for a good week or so.

But, I’m happy to report that this week I received and accepted an offer for this new position, one that has me all kinds of fired up.

I’m hoping that, now that the hectic past few weeks are behind me, I’ll get new posts up with more regularity,  so stay tuned for some fun stuff, especially as the B-25 continues!

In the meantime, it’s become something of a custom for me to go out and splurge on something slightly ridiculous to celebrate a new job. Last year it was the one-two combo of Dragon’s Panzer IV Ausf.J Last Production and Tasca’s M4A3E2 Jumbo.

This time around?

MDC’s 1/32 Hawker Typhoon!

The Tiffy is easily my favorite WWII British aircraft (sorry, Spitfire) and, like the P-47 it’s not quite as cool as, is an absolute beast of an aircraft that proved phenomenal at making things on the ground go boom.

In 1/32 scale, it’ll definitely be a commanding presence!

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.

Continue reading

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!