Accurate Miniatures' 1/48 scale
by Michael Schine
North American B-25B Mitchell
Eduard's 1/48 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc Late will be
available online from Squadron
To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Lt Col Jimmy Doolittle’s Tokyo Raid (2012), I broke out the Accurate Miniatures 1/48 B-25B kit that I had for over a decade.
Overall, the kit was excellent, but it had a few inaccuracies. In a nutshell, the B-25 had a glorious, historically significant career. However, most of the B-25's contributions to WWII were later variants - the B-25C/D, B-25H and B-25J. Of the over 6600 B-25's built, only 120 of them were the early production "B" model.
However, it was the B-25B that was used for Jimmy Doolittle's Tokyo Raid. Unfortunately, the kit was closer to to a C/D variant. So, corrections needed to be made in order to make it into a more accurate "B" model.
I used the following aftermarket parts to correct some the following kit inaccuracies:
Cowlings from Cutting Edge.
Cowl flaps and upper cowl scoops from Parts-R-Parts.
Exhaust pipes from Parts-R-Parts. Early B-25s had a long exhaust pipe on the port engine, and a short stubby one on the starboard engine. The supplied kit parts were identical parts for both sides, and they didn't come close to what either exhaust pipe was supposed looked like.
Installed a Parts-R-Parts 60 gal fuel tank in the place where the aft bottom turret was removed.
Installed a Parts-R-Parts 500 lb incendiary bomb. Plane 7, like most of the other planes in the Doolittle Raid, carried three 500 lb high explosive general purpose bombs and one incendiary on the Doolittle Raid. The kit just gave you HE GP bombs.
Other corrections to the kit:
Port and starboard wing tip mounted Navigation lights were molded to represent later variants of the B-25. I sanded those off, and installed Navigation lights in the correct position for a B-25B.
Added a anti-collision light to the upper fuselage, just forward of the Direction Finder.
Air to ground signal lights were molded into the bottom of one of the wings. These were not present in early B-25s. These lights were filled in.
Outboard fuel caps were molded into the top of wings. These were not present in early B-25s, and they were filled in.
Fuel vent pipes were molded in the rear of the engine nacelles. The pipes were removed.
The kit provided a part for the Norden Bombsight. The Norden Bombsight was removed from the Doolittle Raider aircraft for a couple of reasons. 1. We didn't want them falling into enemy hands, and 2. Norden Bombsights were ineffective when used at low altitude. Bomb runs for Doolittle's aircraft were at 1500'. The Norden Bombsight was replaced with a simple aluminum sight that better facilitated low altitude bombing. This bombsite was called a few different things; Greening Bomb Sight (after the person who designed it), and the "Mark Twain" bombsight. Anyway, I scratch-built this bombsight out of Evergreen plastic.
To represent an armor reinforcement plate aft of the turret, I painted decal paper, cut it to shape, and applied it.
Model Master enamel was used. I did a lot of research to verify the correct interior colors. The interior of most WWII aircraft predominantly Zinc Chromate green, the kit directions pointed to a lot of aluminum and dark green within the interior. As it turns out, the directions were pretty accurate. The aluminum color actually represents a corrosion preventer that was impregnated with flakes of actual aluminum, then applied as a paint. This is the color of the bomb bay and wheel wells. The flight deck and bombardier section of the plane was painted dark green at the factory. The model has a very nicely detailed interior. Unfortunately, much of it cannot be seen. However, it is all in there and you can see it in the pictures.
For the exterior, I pre-shaded the panel lines with black before applying the Olive Drab over Neutral Grey top colors. I used a lighter shade of Olive Drab for the control surfaces. The deicing boots were a challenge. Lots of tape! The boots were masked off and painted flat black.
Kit decals were used. No issues.
Model, Images and Text
2013 by Michael Schine
Page Created 24 May, 2013
24 May, 2013
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