North American B-25J Mitchell – “Bottoms Up II”

Vital Stats

  • Manufacturer: HK Models
  • Scale: 1:32
  • Aircraft: North American B-25J Mitchell
  • Markings: “Bottoms Up II” | 340th Bomb Group | 15th Air Force | Corsica | Summer 1944
  • Aftermarket: HGW Seatbelts | Profimodeller Gun Barrels | Relish Props | Eduard masks | Maketar Paint Masks | KitsWorld Decals
  • Paints: Gunze Sangyo Mr. Color | Alclad II | Model Master enamel | Vallejo Model Color


As I’ve said many times before, there’s only one word to sum up this kit – epic. In size, in complexity, in the number of rivets dotting its surface, everything about this kit is, well, epic.

Is it perfect? No. But the places where it drops the ball are small potatoes, and the kinds of things – like gun barrels and tires – that can be replaced with a simple aftermarket part.

Is this kit for everyone? Hell no. It’s got a two foot wingspan and nearly that much in length. You can just tuck this onto a bookshelf. It’s also pricey, and a fairly demanding build. But man, when it comes out the other side, it has serious presence.

If you’re even thinking about taking this thing on, do it and don’t look back. This is the kind of kit you build for the experience of building it. I know it won’t be my last.

Detail – 4

External detail is overall exceptional, as long as you stick to the airframe. The kit does fall down in terms of the .50 caliber barrels and the tread detail on the tires. On the inside, the kit only slightly improves on what you’ll find in the ancient 1/48 Revellogram kit. Most of it is closed up, so it’s not the end of the world, but still, at this price I expected more.

Engineering – 4

Overall, the engineering on the big B-25 is exceptional, particularly the slide-lock wing mounts and the buildup of the Wright engines. There are, however, a few fussy assemblies that seem over-engineered. The individual cowl panels being one place where I’d offer the option of a single piece. Likewise some of the various flap pieces seem needlessly fussy.

Fit – 4.5

The HK is no Tamiya, but what is? Outside the sheer excellence of Tamiya’s 1/32 offerings, however, the fit on this beast is as good as they come.

Instructions – 3

Honestly I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the HK instructions. To start, the instruction book is very large and very unwieldy, making it difficult to situate on the bench without getting in the way. The build-up diagrams are generally solid, but sometimes they neglect views to see how a certain piece lines up, or they give you two options without any guidance on which one if for which build (the flap actuators come to mind). The paint callouts, too, are rather vague and sometimes just leave parts out altogether.

Markings – 1

The kit decals are a travesty consisting of the most basic of markings for one ship. Honestly, a kit playing at this level should have a far more complete decal sheet.






9 Comments Add yours

  1. wilsford6187 says:

    This re3view helped me make a decision. I wont be parting with $165.00 for this kit. If it were closer to 90.00 I wouldn’t hesitate.

  2. Pete says:

    Beauty. Congrats on such a nice build. Too bad you have to send it off. Please share your feedback on how it was received by the Bottoms Up Vet.

  3. Jackson Hastie says:

    Hey Doogs this plane sure is a beauty i wish i was half as good as you mate. You should get the airfix 1/24 mosquito that would be something. 🙂

    Cheers, Jackson

  4. Steven woods says:

    Hi lovely work Doogs. Question have you encountered your windows have attracted fine spray dust on the inside when you unmask? Other I do a brilliant job then unmask and holy f..k the windows have gotten a big frosting of fine overspray that seems to find its way inside the aircraft also most like its sticking via static. . I don’t future my windows, simply cos I’ve never tried it. Was wondering if you get this bad thing happen when your windows have had a dunking in future.

  5. Gary Josey says:

    It all looks great to me but then i’m just a lowly engineer, not a critic of models. I am old so not able to build these things anymore and would be interested in finding someone who could build various models for me @ cost +profit.
    Kind regards to all, Gary

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