Hasegawa 1/72 B-25J Mitchell 'Foreign Air Force'




3200 yen


3 aircraft


Scott Van Aken


2007 Limited EditionA real beauty


The B-25 Mitchell is arguably the best medium bomber of the war. I say arguably as there are folks who have their own preferences, but one thing for sure, it served on all fronts and in rather large numbers from the beginning of the war until the end.

The J version was one of the last large, mass produced variants of the Mitchell and it was this sub-type. Many of these were supplied to Allied nations of the time, including the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and France. The aircraft was often modified and used post-war. The vast majority of extant B-25s are J models that were converted to TB-25J trainers. Thanks to the large number of spares that were available for this airplane, many of these were later converted back to B-25J bomber configuration by war bird owners.  


When you open the box, and look at the parts layout, you may well think 'Accurate Miniatures'. It is quite similar in this regard, but then again, there are only so many ways to mold a kit of a certain aircraft so that is more than likely the reason why.  Some similarities are in the way the wings are done, the horizontal stab, the gun turret, and the interior are all very much like the larger Accurate Miniatures kit.

 As you might expect, detailing is outstanding with all the interior bits and pieces and all the outside panel lines just in the right place. In the cockpit, the seat belts are molded on the seats (a first for Hasegawa, I do believe) and all the instruments are decals. The kit also lacks the cockpit sidewall detail that AM supplied, probably due to lack of space.

There is a full bomb bay and it will be interesting to see if the bay doors can be built closed or not. The cowling will require little pieces of ejector stub to be glued on, and that was one area I'd hoped Hasegawa would have made a modification. The sprues on this kit are identical to the basic boxing, and that includes the glass gun nose as used in the Southwest Pacific. The instructions would have you use this nose, but don't as European Theater Mitchells were not modified as strafers, though some did carry the factory side gun packs. Check your references if you decide to use these as they were often removed to reduce weight.  No info on supplying nose weight is provided as the kit offers a small support for the rear crew entry door but if you do not want to rely on a prop, you'll have to be clever in the way that you place weight.

Instructions are standard Hasegawa with Gunze paint references. There are three options, maybe four. Two are Soviet with OD, Neutral  Grey and Dark Green upper surfaces and Black undersides from unidentified units in 1944. The other in OD over Neutral Grey is with 342 squadron of the Free French AF. The markings diagram says it is for two planes, but they must be nearly identical. Decals are nicely done and a bit thick, but should work just fine.


I would say this is the best 1/72 B-25J on the market and will not only make a nice model in the markings provided, but can be the basis for a number of other options using aftermarket.

September 2016 

Thanks to me for providing this one.

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