Hasegawa 1/72 B-25J Mitchell Solid Nose "38th Bomb Group"
|PRICE:||$52.00 SRP 34.05 from GreatModels|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The B-25 was arguably the best medium bomber of WWII. Developed just before the US entered the war and in service with several bomb groups, the plane was fast, carried a decent bomb load for a goodly distance, and most importantly, was an aircraft that was easy to fly. This trait made it preferable to the other widely produced US medium bomber, the faster B-26 Marauder.
Though the aircraft served in the Mediterranean with the USAAF, it was in the Pacific where the aircraft saw the greatest service, flying from bases all over the southwest Pacific and in the CBI. The Mitchell was continuously developed and though the airframe itself changed little, the late war B-25J with the 8 gun nose was much more heavily armed than the initial B-25B version that went on the Doolittle raid of 1942. By mid-war, it was discovered that the Mitchell made for an excellent strafing platform and was eventually fitted out with a mass of guns; having up to 12 .50 cal machine guns that could fire straight ahead when the 8 gun nose and a pair of 2 gun side packs was fitted. The fire from these guns was withering to anything in their past and one could easily say that the B-25 was the first practical gun ship.
Hasegawa's B-25 has become the de facto kit to have in this scale for the later Mitchell variants. The detailing is superb with full bomb bay, full interior, nicely engineered parts and a raft of possible markings options. This particular set differs from the standard production one only in that it has a solid gun nose in place of the clear one that is usually associated with the B-25. Everything else it the same. For a look at the base kit and how it builds, visit this review.
Where it does differ is in the decals that are provided. This one has markings for three aircraft of the 38th Bomb Group. Each of the squadrons in this group had an animal head on the nose of their aircraft. These wild markings were rather common in the SWPA and added a lot of esprit de corps to the units, who operated under rather harsh conditions. These are all pretty much late war planes as the dedicated gun nose version did not leave production lines until early/mid 1944. The three options are for the 405th BS as shown on the box art with the Green Dragon markings and green fin tip, the 71st BS's Grey Wolf marking with the yellow fin tip, and the 328th with their Tiger head. Only the nose of this latter plane is shown so the serial and fin tip marking are unknown. I don't doubt that some research will turn up more information in this regard. Fortunately, Hasegawa has provided a batch of serial decals for this use. The decals are well printed and should produce no problems at all. As usual, Gunze paint references are provided.
For those building a collection of 1/72 Mitchells, this is another superb kit to add to the mix. If you have never had the pleasure of building one of these, why not give it a try.J
You can get this and many other superb kits at GreatModels and get them at a savings as well.
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