The end is in sight! It’s amazing to think I first started this kit more than five months ago…and that it’s been back on the bench for more than two.
So far, it’s been BUILT, PAINTED, and MARKED. Now comes the home stretch of weathering and seeing to all those final details. Here we go!
October 19 – Semi Gloss
Once the decals had a chance to cure, I went over the B-25 with Gunze Semi Gloss Clear. Mistake. Seems the lacquer clear has enough bite to mess with the paintwork. It wasn’t bad, but it did pop up in a few places on the wings, where the light coats of Olive Drab started to show the black undercoating a bit more than I was keen on. So out came the Olive Drab for some touch ups.
October 20 – Flory Washes
With the semi gloss down to seal the decals, I busted out one of my favorite modeling products, Flory Models’ clay-based wash. My go-to color is usually Dark Dirt, a sort of brown-black slurry that works wonderfully on most finishes, and particularly well on natural metal finishes. I used this for the lower surfaces, but kept it away from up top. Once thing I’ve discovered is that, over certain colors, the Dark Dirt doesn’t work right. Blues, I think, accentuate the red tones and make the wash just look brown. And under Olive Drab and other dark greenish-brown shades, the stuff just vanishes. So I used black along the upper surfaces.
Once the washes dried, I went back and wiped the surfaces down with dampened paper towels, removing most of the surface wash, but leaving it in recesses like rivets and panel lines. The paper towels I used were also crap, and left little fibers everywhere. Joy.
October 21 – Alclad Klear Kote Matte
After removing the paper towel leavings with a stiff brush and a can of compressed air, I sprayed the B-25’s upper surfaces with Alclad’s Klear Kote Matte. The quest for the perfect gloss continues, but I do love Alclad’s light sheen, matte and flat coats.
Once the matte coat was curing, I eagerly stripped the masks off the clear parts…
While I was at the airbrush, I went ahead and painted some final bits – wheel hubs, the gun covers on the waist and tail turrets, and so on. Most of the parts got the Alclad treatment, and the gun covers were painted with an eyeballed mix of Gunze Propeller Color, Dark Earth, and Olive Drab.
Not too long now!
October 22 – Details, Details
The B-25’s in the home stretch of detail work now, with the focus shifting toward small bits like the tires, landing gear elements, and the Profimodeller machine gun barrels.
The tires were painted with Vallejo Dark Rubber. The gun barrels were primed, then painted with Tamiya X-1 Black cut with some flat base. Once that dried they were drybrushed with Model Master Dark Anodonic Gray Metalizer. I’ve found that I rather like DAG, as it’s more restrained than silver or aluminum, but still noticeable (unlike, say, Gunmetal).
In addition, the engines were glued into their cowls and chipping work begun along the access panels with a Prismacolor silver pencil.
October 24 – Chipping, Nose Guns
With the matte coat cured, I pulled out my trusty Prismacolor silver pencil and applied chipping to the propeller blades, leading edges of the wings, various access panels, and so on. The pictures of “Bottoms Up II” and it’s 340th Bomb Group brethren don’t show much in the way of chipping on the olive drab, so I kept it relatively light.
While I was at it, I also installed the nose .50 cals.
October 25 – Tires
After floating around in the “to be installed” bin for what seemed like forever, the ailerons and inner flaps finally got installed using some Loctite gel CA.
Additionally, I found to my dismay that the fit of the bomb bay doors – which I’d intended to close for easier packaging for shipment – just didn’t fit well at all. So I decided to spread them open (pity I’d neglected the bomb bay…but this kit is so massive that it really shouldn’t be turned over). This meant shooting the insides with Tamiya AS-12, then using the Dremel and some Hawkeye’s Polishing Powder to gleam them up a bit.
I also busted out some MiG Russian Earth pigment to grunge up the tires.
And put a matte coat on the tailgunner’s gun bag:
October 26 – Cowls and Flappy Bits, Oh My
So close. This night was dedicated mostly to installing final bits – tires, gear bay doors, bomb bay doors, MV lenses on the underside of the port wing, etc. Fussy work, but it had to happen sometime.
October 27 – Exhaust Staining & Guns
If you look at pictures of the B-25s of the 340th in flight, you’ll notice two things about the exhaust stains. First, they’re crazy. These aren’t the little wisps of staining you find on hangar queens, but massive streaks extending back across the wings as the exhaust carried back with the airflow. Second, they aren’t black. They’re light. This was actually pretty common among American aircraft, and you can see similar light grayish tan exhaust stains on P-38s and P-61s.
To recreate these, I used MiG Concrete Pigment, which is a nice, light chalky gray. This was worked in and swept back with a wide brush, then blown out of the rivets and panel lines with some light puffs from a compressed air can.
The exhaust running along the engine booms under the wings was further streaked down in the direction of gravity (think gradual rain runoff) with an Aqualon Wisp brush…the best thing ever for vertical streaking in my opinion.
With the exhaust stains done, the Profimodeller gun barrels were installed, and after 93 days at the bench, I finally got to call the B-25 done!
Thanks for following along! Be sure to check out more in COMPLETED BUILDS!