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!


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Rick says:

    Good luck with your “Prime Directive” Doogs’. Will look forward to read your reports as you tackle those heavies.

    My eyes can barely work on a 1:48. Doing a repaint on a 1:48 plane built by my Dad over 20 years ago. I am struggling with this scale.

    I cannot imagine going back to 1:72 which was my favorite scale when I had young eyes. I might consider 1:48 for multi-engines. My stash is all 1:32 and I have enough 1:32 ‘s to keep me busy for a long time.

  2. Doogs says:

    Yeah, back when I built jets (around the time of Desert Storm) I was pretty much exclusively 1/72. When I got more into WWII stuff, I switched to 1/48.

    I wouldn’t want to go close to 1/72 for fighters (though I’m considering maybe one or two for some forced-perspective photography), but with the bombers, I figure as long as I can get the glass masked, the rest shouldn’t be so bad. They’re actually sizable kits…a 1/72 B-17 is relatively comparable to a 1/48 Mossie…

  3. ted upcott says:

    I’d hate to see you have to gime up on big ones. A 24″ or 26″ wingspan will usually fit a 20″ shelf at an angle. But why not a super cabinet in a corner with a 24″ or 30″ shelf, space and wife permitting.

  4. Harv says:

    Well if its too big, I can take it off your hands. I like them big !……Harv

  5. Dave Osborne says:

    I can appreciate the ‘awesomeness’ of the big builds, as well as the aging factor; hell, I’m not getting any younger at 43. But, as I’ve commented many times, 1/72 has always been almost exclusively my aircraft scale. I can realistically get almost anything from the Fokker Dr.1 to the B-36 and B-52, so I salute your decision to procure the medium-to-large aircraft in 1/72, Doogs. Coupling the space demands with the variety available will reward you with an impressive display.

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