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.
The HK Models Kit
I highly recommend that you read the review of this kit that I wrote for Scale Plastic & Rail, but to recap, it’s a beautiful kit, and stupid-big. Put side-by-side with Monogram’s 1/48 B-24, the HK Mitchell dwarfs the Lib.
It’s so big that, when the airframe’s together, well, I’m going to have to figure out a different backdrop for my photography!
Displaying the finished kit will be another challenge. There’s no way this monster is fitting in my display cabinet, but I’m making room for it on the desk.
As great as the overall kit is, it falls short in a few areas. The absence of an included nose weight to keep it on its wheels. The guns, which are weak compared to the rest of the kit. And the tires.
I’ll be using aftermarket items to make up some of the difference. As of this writing, there are no aftermarket tires available. Hopefully I’ll build slow enough and the aftermarket will move quickly enough that the situation will change by the time I need to add the tires.
Some aftermarket I will be using, however, includes a Profimodeller nose weight, canopy mask, and a fantastic armament set to cover the prominent .50 cal barrels sticking out all over the plane.
Stay tuned – this one’s going to be a ride!