Monogram 1/48 B-25H Mitchell




$5.50 in 1977


Two options


Roger Jackson


Alternate colors and decals used


            The B-25H was North American Aviation’s first purpose-designed and built low-level strafer.  While the previous ‘G’ model had validated the concept of mounting a large bore artillery piece in a suitably-sized airframe, this version was still deemed deficient in the firepower department, both offensive and defensive.  As field commanders in the CBI and SWPA clamored for an updated low-level attack platform with more guns, North American’s design team responded in dramatic fashion with a new gunship.

          In a major redesign of the Mitchell’s layout, engineers at NAA revamped the lion’s share of the B-25’s fuselage.  Forward, an additional brace of .50 caliber machineguns were added to the standard cannon-equipped B-25G nose while another pair were mounted externally under individual fairings flanking both sides of the cockpit.  Waist guns, a common field-expedient retro-fit on many early Mitchells, were standardized as staggered ‘bay window’ installations with a single .50 caliber weapon at each position.

          The troublesome periscope-sighted, retractable Emerson belly turret was finally and thankfully deleted since the aircraft’s new mission would generally preclude conventional high-altitude combat operations with the potential for an interception from below, and its combat effectiveness had been dubious at best.  In any event the only task the cantankerous belly turret ever accomplished with any degree of reliability was to make the navigator (the designated gunner) airsick.

          A new Bell-designed twin-gun powered tail turret was mounted at the rear of the fuselage to protect the ship from stern attack.  This unit provided an excellent field of fire and armor protection, with enhanced comfort over the previous depot-level mod center or jury-rigged tail guns since the rear fuselage was deepened by seven inches and widened by four inches to better accommodate the gunner.

          The reconfigured fuselage and the new tail turret presented a severe center-of-gravity problem to NAA’s engineers so in a final gesture, the Bendix dorsal turret was relocated from the waist to the navigator’s well behind the cockpit, orphaning the navigator/cannoneer’s primary MOS.  Of secondary benefit to the waist gunner was the additional room for his weapons and the ammunition magazines feeding both the waist and tail guns. 

The single-pilot cockpit layout was carried over from the B-25G, with some of the aircraft’s command set radio equipment relocated from the waist to the now-surplus navigator’s well.  A lighter 75mm cannon was introduced in a modified mount with an improved recoil buffer system, saving some 400 pounds and thus permitting the installation of additional armor plate for crew protection.

           Late in 1940, T/3 (paygrade equivalent to a corporal) Robert Jackson applied for and was accepted as an Air Corps cadet after serving a year and a half in the U.S. Army Signal Corps.  His aptitude exam demonstrated a proclivity for aerial gunnery so off to Buckingham Army Air Field, Florida for gunnery school he went.  Following graduation he was sent to Columbia, South Carolina for advanced combat crew training.

          About this time the Air Corps decided that enlisted flight crew personnel should be multi-MOS qualified; that is, they should be proficient in more than one area of expertise.  Gunners would be instructed in additional duties besides their weapons.  Hence, some became engineer-gunners, some became radio-gunners, while yet others would become armorer-gunners.  All were allowed to choose their secondary specialties.

          I asked Robert  why, with his interest in and fondness for radios and his Signal Corps background, he didn’t choose the radio gunner rating.  “Oh I gave it some thought”, he replied.  “But in those days you had to learn code.  I used to see those radio gunner shmoes in the evenings after the bugler blew retreat.  They’d still be stuck in the billets at 8 o’clock in the evening  with their faces glued to a code manual…what the hell, Columbia was a coed college town back then, and I had a car an’ ninety bucks a month plus flight pay.  Besides, I liked playin’ with guns better than pounding out code all day long.”

          So, as luck and providence would have it, Robert—my Dad—became an armorer-gunner.  At the end of his schooling in South Carolina, he and several hundred other Air Corps personnel volunteered at the request of the War Department to travel to England on a highly classified exchange program.  Though officially neutral, the U.S. Government felt it vital that our military forces gain some combat experience since the United States was sure to be drawn into the ever-burgeoning hostilities.

          Dad departed in the spring of 1941, sailing across the Atlantic on a US-flagged commercial liner.  He was attached to the RAF’s Coastal Command, flying the ASW variant of the Wellington.  By the seventh of December 1941 he had logged eight combat missions as a tail gunner, including one successful surface attack on a U-boat.  The day after Pearl Harbor most of the U.S. contingent was embarked aboard a Liberty ship and sent back to America.  My Dad had orders to report back to Columbia for debriefing and further combat training.  At that time, gunners were being farmed out to the various types of multi-engined aircraft.

          Dad had trained in the Hudson in Florida and flown the Wellington in combat.  He liked the medium bombers and had taken a shine to the Mitchell with its exotic twin-tail configuration when he’d previously been at Columbia.  He went down to the base S-2 (the personnel office) and thusly filled out his “dream sheet”.  The personnel orderly—in later times his type would be known by the contemptible acronym “REMF”—took a look at my Dad, looked at the form, looked at Dad again, then drolly announced “you’re our boy”.

          Sergeant Jackson packed his B-4 bag and headed for Eglin Field, Florida where the training there would include low-level simulated night attacks and non-stop over-water flights to Havana, St. Croix, and Bermuda.  In May of 1942 Dad and his new crew were ferried to Hunter Army Air Field in Georgia, where they took delivery of a brand new B-25C.  A new squadron had been formed at Eglin designated the 490th Bomb Squadron (Medium) and my Dad had been assigned to it as “cadre personnel”.  The unit’s orders were to proceed to Kurmitola, India via the southern Atlantic route.  The initial deployment was six ships but one was lost en route.

          Combat operations commenced almost immediately, with the 490th tasked to provide tactical support to the Allied forces under both General Stilwell and Lord Mountbatten as they grappled with the Japanese Army’s attempts to cut the Burma Road and put India proper in jeopardy.  During this time, the squadron discovered and developed the “glip” bombing technique for dropping bridge spans which were of critical import to the Japanese Army’s movements.

          The 490th became so adept at destroying these river crossings and railroad trestles that the unit adopted the nickname “The Burma Dental Clinic”, with “Bridgework is our specialty” as its motto.  Rail yards, airfields, and troop concentrations were also prime targets and many of these missions were escorted by elements of the 23rd Fighter Group, known previously as ‘The Flying Tigers’ under General Clair Chennault.

          As an armorer-gunner, Dad was responsible for both the guns and the bombs aboard his aircraft.  He recalled a time when the squadron returned to the field still fully bombed up after an aborted mission.  The 490th, lacking the usual stateside amenities, had limited equipment for off-loading bombs.  The standard procedure was to lower them out of the bay with the B-25’s built-in winch.

          Dad saw the folly in that right away, what with the heat and the dust and the sure-to-be-sore-for-a-week biceps.  “What the hell”, he told me.  “I got places to go, people to see, things to do, and money to spend…I ain’ got time for this sh*t.”  So, after defusing six 500-lb GPs, he removed the delicate tail-fin assemblies, crawled up into the nose and yanked the ‘salvo’ handle.

          Out tumbled the bombs accompanied by six loud thuds as three thousand pounds worth of composition B-and-amatol-filled cast iron cases impacted the PSP planking underneath the ship.  Bright boy that he was, Staff Sergeant Jackson was unaware that a delegation of dignitaries, including a United States Congressman, were touring the base that afternoon.  When Dad did the dastardly deed the visitors were only fifty yards from the aircraft and as the bombs rumbled to the ground poor ol’ “Senator Foghorn” fainted dead away.  The flight surgeon accompanying the retinue was stupefied, convinced that the politician had had a heart attack!  Needless to say, my Dad was not the squadron CO’s “fair-haired boy” that day…

          Dad is convinced that the 490th was one of the first units to give its bombardiers the ol’ heave-ho and instead fit more guns into the noses of its Mitchells.  Mebbe so, mebbe not, I think the jury’s still out on that one.  In any event, four- and six-gun installations became commonplace in the squadron with depot-designed package guns added as they became available.  Ships now sported as many as fourteen guns, too many for one armorer to clean and service.  There was also the not-insignificant matter of loading the weapons and back then .50 caliber ammo was shipped loose in crates.  Each round had to be interlocked into a belt manually with a hand-cranked linking tool.

          Four or five thousand rounds worth of belted ammunition meant several hours in the meager shade provided by the wing or shielded from the rain by a dry-rotted tarp while sitting on a stool or a jerrycan, linking, linking, linking.  Entrepreneur that he was, Dad finally trained a couple of the local Indian kids to perform this laboriously repetitive detail for him.  In exchange, he’d give ‘em half of his beer ration or toss ‘em a few rupees.  Ah, capitalism…

          Once, a major from the 341st Bomb Group (the 490th’s parent unit) showed up to perform an IG-style inspection of the squadron’s aircraft and facilities.  He was, in Dad’s words, a “non-rated jibboney” just out to aggravate the troops (in today’s parlance such a creature would be known as a “wing weenie”).  Dad’s flight engineer happened to be conducting a 50-hour maintenance inspection of their ship’s engines and had pulled one of the props off to replace it.

          After writing gigs on virtually every plane in the squadron for such hazardous infractions as “cordite stains on fuselage”, “chipped paint on boarding ladder”, and “congealed bird turds on stabilizer”, he got to my Dad’s aircraft.  Now in the absence of ladders or work stands, to climb on top of a B-25 the normal point of purchase was to stand on a toolbox or a stool in front of an engine, shinny up the prop, hook one’s foot on the bottom lip of the cowl ring, then hop on up.  Reverse the procedure and down you go.  The obnoxious major, strutting like a Prussian field marshal, spent several minutes on top of Dad’s aircraft as he gigged the ship for various and sundry offenses. 

          Meanwhile, Dad the and flight engineer finished pulling the last six spark plugs from the engine that this sad sack had climbed up on.  When the major decided he’d seen enough and tried to climb down, he grabbed hold of the closest prop blade and--with no cylinder compression due to the missing plugs--spun himself into a ten-foot free-fall and fractured both ankles and a wrist upon impact.  To add insult to the major’s injuries, in the mad dash to get him to the infirmary, his onerous clipboard containing every annotated discrepancy in the squadron mysteriously “disappeared”.  A small ‘victory’ perhaps, but it helped to make up for months of overdue mail, crappy chow, no beer, lack of……well, never mind.

          When the cannon-equipped Gs and later the Hs were received Dad had to learn the manual-of-arms for a 75mm field piece.  Though it was quite accurate and effective, there were some special precautions necessary for the safety of the navigator/cannoneer.  The breech recoiled some 26 inches into the navigator’s well when the weapon was fired and if a crewman were standing directly behind it the results were catastrophic without fail.  A number of unwary cannoneers lost their legs in this manner.

          Dad once flew a mission with a new crew that was short a gunner due to dysentery.  As their B-25G rolled off the target the aircraft was struck by a burst of ack-ack that blew the hinged metal hood off of the nose.  It crashed into the number two engine then tore off the right fin and rudder.  The prop refused to feather and the engine began to burn.  As the pilot fought to keep the crippled ship in the air the crew of newbies began to debate the prospects for bailing out.  Thankfully, the damaged B-25 refused to climb to a minimum safe bail-out altitude since parachuting into the Japanese-held jungle was sheer folly. 

“No white man had ever walked outta that sonofabitch…”, Dad recalled in retrospect, referring to the hostile terrain, “and I told ‘em so”.  They managed to get the fire out and the pilot nursed the ship back to friendly territory where they executed a landing of sorts at an RAF auxiliary field.  It was a wheels-up arrival as they’d lost everything in the starboard nacelle, including the hydraulics for lowering the landing gear.  Though they all walked away the aircraft was a total write-off, useful only for salvage.

          The 490th’s First Sergeant—an S-1 personnel-type by training—decided one day he’d like to ride along on a combat mission and mebbe pick up an Air Medal.  Despite the fact that he wasn’t even gunner-qualified, the squadron commander acquiesced and ordered the NCOIC of the radio maintenance shop to show the top kick how to work the radios so he wouldn’t be total dead weight in the ship.  The NCOIC, one MSgt Arnold Spielberg (father-to-be of filmmaker Steven Spielberg) agreed, and off the First Sergeant went, daring but naïve.

          The mission was a low-level strike on an airfield with 23-lb parafrags and triple-A was minimal.  Only one ship was hit, and only by a single rifle-caliber machinegun round.  It was the aircraft in which the first shirt was riding in.  He was sitting in the jump seat next to the radio and the round entered the fuselage on the port side just aft of the wing, tore through the flimsy un-armored seat, and lodged in his left buttock.  “Ah, poetic justice…” as my Dad gleefully related the sad tale.

Dad and his crew flew three different B-25s called the “Leggy Lady”, allegedly named in honor of aircraft commander 1st LT Donald Reed’s magnificently endowed wife.  The first was a B-25D that they just plumb wore out and had to be relegated to squadron hack duties, useful only for beer runs and R& R trips to Bombay.  The second ship was an “H” model which was lost with an alternate crew when the fuselage life raft inflated in flight, blew out of its hatch, then struck and tore off the left tailplane and fin.  It happened on a low altitude training sortie and all aboard were killed.  The third and final incarnation of the “Leggy Lady” is the one depicted with this model.  Dad flew her until late 1944 when he was rotated home then ordered to Wendover Field in Utah to begin training in B-29s. 

          The new cannon-armed gunship was not the immediate and unqualified success that its designers or the field commanders who had demanded it had hoped.  The installation of the cannon, combined with the multiple machinegun layout caused structural problems with the adjacent sheet metal and most SWPA units receiving this variant either supplanted the 75mm with a pair of .50 calibers or turned the ships over to Air Service Command for replacement with the newer and somewhat more versatile B-25J.

          Conversely, units in the 10th and 14th Air Forces based in the CBI liked the new strafer with its ‘big punch’ and used them quite effectively during the drive to push the Imperial Japanese Army out of the Assam and Irrawaddy Valleys.  Many were used in the flak-suppression role, escorting bomb-laden formations of B-25Js against well-defended high-value targets.  They served admirably until the spring of 1945, when these units began re-equipping with the Douglas A-26 Invader.

On balance, the B-25H was a robustly sturdy and trustworthy ship, well-liked by her crews and well-respected by her enemies.  1000 were built by North American Aviation’s Inglewood, California facility and nearly all were sent to the Pacific theaters.  236 aircraft were delivered to the Navy as the PBJ-1H with the majority of them assigned to the Marine Corps for patrol and night interdiction missions.

          Late production block Hs were equipped with zero-length stub mounts under the outer wing panels for 5-inch HVARs while some were also fitted with fuselage shackles for a pair of Tiny Tim rockets.  The Marines used these to good effect near the end of the war in the anti-shipping role.

          Postwar service was extremely limited as most B-25Hs had been deployed overseas in combat.  Simply put, they’d had the wings flown off of them and only a handful were deemed airworthy, serving as target tugs and hack aircraft.  Since they were all single-pilot aircraft, they couldn’t be used as proficiency trainers and most were rapidly scrapped.  A few survived as museum exhibits and at least one was restored as a “warbird” and is currently flyable.


            Monogram’s B-25H kit contains 117 parts molded in dark olive green, seven clear pieces, decals for two aircraft, and a comprehensive instruction pamphlet offering a recommended assembly sequence, generic color specifications, and a brief history of the prototype.  A bonus in the original issue is a full color brochure featuring a diorama built by Shep Paine using this kit.

          This model has one of the most detailed interiors ever offered with more than a third of the parts destined for the cockpit, bomb bay, and the gunners’ positions.  All components are crisply molded with outstanding detail on all viewable surfaces.  The only gaffs are the instrument panel and control yoke assembly in the cockpit—they are B-25J pieces, instantly recognizable by an astute observer.  Not to fear, the error is correctible by some modest reconfiguring of the panel, cutting away the non-existent co-pilot’s rudder pedals, and removing the corresponding control yoke.

          The exterior detail consists of petitely-raised panel lines, delicately depicted doped-fabric control surfaces, and raised relief details where appropriate.  The model is engineered to assemble conventionally, with a pair of half-spars routed through the bomb bay to assist in aligning the wings and lend structural support.

          The landing gear, though a bit simplified, is adequate for the mission with well-detailed wheel hubs, diamond-treaded tires, and inlet casting detail on the interior surfaces of the doors.  The struts themselves are well rendered, lacking only brake lines.  Missing too are the actuator rods for the main gear doors, though this is easily remedied.

          The transparencies are Monogram’s typically molded jewels with the framework exceptionally sharp, making the masking process during paint prep a snap.  A minor omission is the clear camera port behind the bomb bay, also easily added.  Three figures are included though two of them have seen duty before with the previously released P-61 and B-17 kits.  The FNG is a nicely done seated pilot, replete with leather A-2 flight jacket and the de rigueur “50-mission crush” garrison hat.

          The engines, cowlings, carburetor scoops, and props look the part with 14 individually molded Clayton ‘S’ stacks included to maintain fidelity to the prototype’s cowlings when assembled.  Simple dry-brushing will pop the details out on the representations of the kit’s Wright Cyclone engines though the purist may find pleasure in adding additional items as desired.

          Optional features available include positionable bomb bay doors, forward nose hood, and both front and rear escape hatches.  A scale stepstool is included and intended to brace against the rear entry ladder, thus supporting the model on its tricycle landing gear for those modelers who by choice or accident forgo adding the necessary ballast.  A trio of 1000-lb bombs are included for the bomb bay and make a great visual impact if the doors are attached in the open position.

          Decals are included for two B-25H-1-NAs, specifically: 43-4357, with nose art and named “Leroy’s Joy”, and: 43-4381, with nose art and named “Dog Daize”.  Both aircraft were assigned to the 82nd BS, 12th BG, 10th AF and were based in Karachi, India.  One caveat: both ships are early production blocks and as such, both aircraft carried package guns on the starboard side only (confirmed by photographic evidence).  The left gun packs and the corresponding interior ammo cans should be deleted during assembly for either of these versions.  The decals themselves are colorful and on-register.  However they are matte-finished and extremely thick, and will refuse to behave despite the use of the most powerful setting solutions available—they should be replaced with aftermarket products.


            I began construction with the fuselage, pre-painting the various interior sub-assemblies at each step.  As most of the crew areas are visible to some extent, a model of this complexity really benefits by spending the time necessary to highlight the detailed components.  A flat black wash followed by dry-brushing light gray provided credibility to the cockpit and gunners’ stations.  I drilled out the ends of all the machinegun barrels and added a few details to the breeches of the waist guns since they can be plainly seen through the windows.

          As the fuselage took shape I planned out my methods for concealing the ballast needed to prevent the model from ending up a tail-dragger.  Ultimately, I ended up filling the nose, nose gear well, the crawl space, and part of the bomb bay with lead fishing weights plus a few glued into the forward engine nacelles.  Very little of the 75mm cannon is visible so deleting it and filling the crawl space was no show-stopper.  A short piece of 3/32” brass tubing was used to replicate the visible muzzle portion in the nose. 

          Since this model was to be a gift to my father, it would have to survive a 3000-mile car ride home and (presumably) endure years and years of zealously diligent dusting by my cleanliness-conscious mother.  As such, I decided to build the model in a “clean” configuration, dispensing with the open forward hood, escape hatches, and bomb bay.  The antenna wires and masts were omitted for this very same reason.  I said a prayer for the pitot tube and glued it into position.

          The only real problems I encountered were the method for installing the dorsal turret and the fit of the right wing.  The turret is designed to rotate but its retainer is to be inserted through the forward escape hatch then attached to the bomb bay bulkhead and I’d already glued the hatch closed.  In the end I trimmed off the enlarged boss on the turret’s shaft and affixed it solidly to its mount with a single drop of Crazy Glue.

          The slots for the wing’s half spars are not quite symmetric from side to side and will cause the right wing to have noticeably more angle-of-incidence than the left.  I did not spot this initially—my Dad pointed it out after the model was completed (even at 58 his eyes were still pretty sharp).  A minor adjustment to the spars during construction will easily correct this.

          Fit of the airframe components was generally good though gaps at the nacelle-to-wing seams will require filling and sanding, despite my carefully pre-fitting these parts.  Micro-Weld and Weld-On #3 were used for the basic construction while Elmer’s white glue was used to attach all the transparencies.  I assembled the wheels, filed a flat spot in each, then set them aside to be installed after painting.  After re-sanding a few stubborn seams and dusting the model with a tack cloth it was off to the paint shop.


            My Dad chose to have this model finished in silver though I was reasonably certain that it should’ve been painted in standard OG/NG camouflage due to the low digit serial number.  Nevertheless, I sprayed the model overall with Pactra Flat Aluminum enamel.  Less temperamental than the available metalizers of the time and nearly bulletproof when compared to Testor’s silver, this paint dried rock hard in 24 hours (no small feat in the humidity-laden air of the Ft. Meade, MD area) and allowed me to mask off and paint the antiglare panels the next day.

          Squadron “Magic Mask” liquid was used to cover each window, pane by pane with a 000 sable brush.  This was a great product…I wish they still made it.  I painted the gun barrels dark gray and used Elmer’s white glue to simulate the elevation travel shields for the dorsal turret blister.  The canvas boots for the waist and tail gun mounts were brush-painted with various greens and khakis to give a worn look, while the carburetor scoops, oil cooler vents, and the backs of the exhaust stacks were treated to a flat black wash.  As a final touch, I used an ‘HB’ draftsman’s pencil to draw along the movable control surface hinge lines, then attached the wheels and gear doors.  On to the decals…

          As it was related to me there were three different caricatures of Lt. Reed’s wife which corresponded to the three aircraft previously described.  The B-25D had carried a Vargas-type girl similar to the pose featured on the Air Force Museum’s B-24D “Strawberry Bitch”.  The second version was as shown in the accompanying photograph.  The third rendition was nearly identical to the “Leroy’s Joy” artwork on the kit’s decal sheet.  The pose was on the money though Dad recalled the clothing (if one could call that “clothing”) somewhat differently.

          Undaunted, I decided to make a go of re-configuring the gal into the final “Leggy Lady”.  After locating a willing model and attiring her in the appropriate accouterments from the “Frederick’s Of Hollywood” catalog, I took a few snapshots and had them enlarged to 8x10.  Thus, with these photographs to provide visual inspiration, I repainted the kit decal to correspond with my “reference” pics.

          The revamped vamp now sported a black bra, garter belt, and silk stockings.  I also changed the hair style and color then re-tinted the flesh tones, adding additional shadows where needed to produce a more three-dimensional effect.  When I was satisfied, I sealed the decal by spraying it with a heavy coat of Micro-Flat.  After it dried I applied the decal conventionally using clear nail polish to anchor it in place.

          For the 490th BS insignias on the nose I started with a white decal disc that was outlined in black.  A smaller black disc decal was superimposed in the center, followed by bits and pieces from a Microscale squadron emblem sheet, sectioned together to resemble a pair of pilot’s wings with a skull at the top.

          The aircraft’s name was hand-lettered onto clear decal film then applied normally.  Generic Microscale items were used for the national insignia and serial numbers, while scraps left over from a B-17 sheet were used to create the ship’s scoreboard.  A proper data block was assembled from two or three P-51 data decals while service markings for the fuel tanks came from Microscale’s Airacobra sheet.  A light coat of Micro-Flat and the model was ready for duty.



          Monogram’s B-25H kit is one of those timeless quarter-scale classics, often imitated but never quite equaled.  Line, shape, and proportion are all there, with enough out-of-the-box detail to produce a genuinely convincing replica without the need for today’s obligatory battalion of aftermarket “upgrade” sets.

          Aside from the erroneous inclusion of a B-25J cockpit, which gave those interested parties an inkling of versions yet to be released, this kit is a real gem and any competent modeler with average skills and conventional hobby supplies should have no problem assembling a realistic model of this legendary aircraft.

          The B-25H kit is currently out-of-production but examples can still be found at swap-meets and on ebay.  In its stead, Monogram (now Revell-Monogram) re-released the kit in B-25J guise, offering both glass-nosed and eight-gun strafer variants.  Recently, a ProModeler edition appeared, which added weighted tires, upgraded decals, and armament options to the basic glass-nosed ‘J’.  In all cases the kits are identical to this version, save for the nose pieces and the decals.

          I built this model in about three weeks, presenting it to my Dad in the spring of 1979.  I figured it would hold together for ten years or so, when the glue joints would fail, the paint would flake off, and/or my Mom--ever the neatnik--would have a horrible “ground handling accident” with it and consign the model to the garage, ever closer to departing on its final mission to become the local landfill’s newest resident.

          Home on leave at Christmas in 1987, I had to replace the pitot tube.  Dad blamed Mom for her excessive use of the feather duster; Mom blamed Dad for his carelessness while ‘flying’ the model from his recliner while watching “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo”.  I reminded him of the ‘old-and-bold pilot’ adage, cautioned my Mom about the fragility of plastic airplanes, and replaced the AWOL pitot tube with a new one constructed of chrome steel and a hypo needle.  Other than that, the ol’ gal was still in remarkably good shape.

          Recently, I journeyed home again (January 2003) only to find the Leggy Lady had lost her right main wheel—doubtless due to another ‘hard landing’ though Dad vociferously denied it.  The real culprit was probably a combination of age, the solvent-type cement, and the continuous stress of the model’s weight.  A close examination showed the portside wheel in just about the same state of affairs so I preemptively removed it as well, drilled both hubs and strut knuckles out, then reattached the wheels using large steel pins as axles.

          Dad was amazed the invisibility of the repairs, and after I re-qualified him in “taxiing” and “ground handling”, the model reassumed its ‘duty station’ perched atop one of the many glass cases containing all the alabaster geisha dolls that he had brought back for my Mom on his Air Force tours to the Orient.  I dusted it, polished the glass, and inspected it carefully for the tell-tale signs of ‘seam rot’ or evidence of decal disintegration.  None was found, even after 24 years…I think this model is good for another ten or fifteen!


B-25 Mitchell: In Action – Ernest R. McDowell, Squadron-Signal Publications

 North American B-25 – J.V. Mizrahi, Challenge Publications

North American B-25A/J Mitchell – Richard Ward, Arco Publishing

 Famous Airplanes Of The World, No. 58; B-25 Mitchell, Bunrin-Do Publishing

 Air Classics; Air Power; Air Combat, various issues, Challenge Publications

 Personal interviews and observations

  North American Aviation advertisement courtesy of the Saturday Evening Post

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has nearly 250,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page