EagleCals #25 for Dutch B-25C/D
Sheet also available in 1/72`
Contents: One 5 1/2" X 8" (14cm X 20cm) decal sheet. A booklet with color profiles, application instructions and b&w images of the subject aircraft is included. A separate insert provides other b&w images of the subject aircraft.
Advantages: Crisply printed by MicroScale. Unusual subject aircraft featuring nose art on each. Covers B-25C/D's and a B-25J in RAF markings with the possible application of D-Day stripes. Offers alternatives to the usual USAAF aircraft. The images of the subject aircraft enhance the usefulness of this set by relieving the model builder of the need to find or buy other research material. C1 roundels are printed in separate colors leaving alignment up to the model builder.
Disadvantages: Enough roundels for only two aircraft. The serial numbers and marking notes provided do not jibe with other published information about 320 Sqn. B-25's.
Recommendation: Recommended as an alternative to B-25's in WWII USAAF markings.
This sheet is a very welcome addition to the limited collection of decals available for the 1/48 B-25. The sheet provides markings for four aircraft from 320 Dutch Squadron. At last, we have a good set of RAF markings for the B-25.
All of the bombers on this sheet have nose art and the bomber greenhouse. The instruction sheet and separate insert have color profiles and b&w images of the featured aircraft printed on the glossy paper characteristic of EagleCals. The images increase the appreciation of this decal set.
The decals are sharply printed with those areas that could suffer from poor registration provided separately. Custom printed by MicroScale, the decals appear to be of very good quality. Squadron codes and the appropriate portions of the roundels and fin flashes are printed in dull red.
Markings are provided for:
Mitchell II B-25D-25 NO-U FR207 "Flak Joy"
Mitchell II B-25C-10 NO-B FR141 "Ouwe Jongens" (guess that means Good Old Boys, or perhaps the reference is to the Genever bottle in the nose art)
Mitchell II B-25D-15 NO-C FR198 (a crocodile cartoon on the nose, C for Croc)
Mitchell III B-25J-15 NO-Z "Battling Bastards/Margriet"
The problem with this sheet has to do with the aircraft serial numbers and the application of the D-Day stripes as suggested in the instruction set.
In Mr. Norm Avery's book, B-25 Mitchell, The Magnificent Medium, the following information is listed for the 320 Sqn. aircraft that bore the NO-B codes:
B-25C-10 NO-B, FR 144, s/n 42-32275, struck off charge 30 Jul 43, ditched
B-25C-10 NO-B, FR 141, s/n 42-32272, struck off charge 20 Mar 44, lost in action
B-25D-20 NO-B, FR 186, s/n 42-87132, struck off charge 19 Dec 44, write off
Presuming that this listing is correct, the aircraft featured on the decal sheet NO-B FR141 could not have borne D-Day strips as it was lost in action on 20 Mar 44. The images on the instruction sheet, which appear to be of this aircraft, are consistent with the engine nacelle configuration of a B-25C-10 aircraft. NO-B FR186 being a later D model would have had the engine cowl fairings characteristic of the factory installed Clayton "S" stacks and would have had the D-Day stripes painted on. Mr. Hans Berfelo kindly provided information that NO-B FR141 "Ouwe Jongens" was lost on 20 Mar 44 with the loss of four crew during a mission to bomb V2 launch platforms
The Mitchell III FR201 featured on the sheet bears the serial number of a Mitchell II, B-25D-25 s/n 42-87322, also coded NO-Z. The Mitchell III NO-Z is listed in Avery's book as KJ596, a B-25J-15 s/n 44-28965. Mr. Berfelo provided information that confirms that Mitchell III NO-Z should be KJ596.
So, these are the aircraft that can be built from this decal set:
Mitchell II B-25D-25 NO-U FR207 "Flak Joy" (D-Day markings probable)
Mitchell II B-25C-10 NO-B FR141 "Ouwe Jongens" (without D-Day markings, the ten bomb mission marker option is for the aircraft earlier in its service life)
Mitchell II B-25D-20 NO-B FR186 (use the last two numbers from FR198 and flip upside down to get "86", D-Day markings would have been applied)
Mitchell II B-25D-15 NO-C FR198 (could be built with D-Day markings)
Mitchell II B-25D-25 NO-Z FR201 (could be built with D-Day markings)
Mitchell III B-25J-15 NO-Z "Battling Bastards/Margriet" (obtain KJ596 serial number from another source)
The color notes state that the external colors were 41 Dark Olive Drab over 43 Neutral Gray - the standard USAAF scheme. However, in the September 1971 issue of IPMS magazine, Mr. Malcolm Scott, a Navigator/Bomb Aimer with 139 Wing (98, 180, 320 Sqns.) stated, "By the end of 1944 comparatively few Mitchells wore the standard daytime scheme of dark green and dark earth on the upper surfaces nor were they in the American olive drab. It may have been because the removal of the black and white invasion strips was dealt with more speedily by spraying overall in one colour but when I joined 180 Squadron in November 1944 nearly all the Mitchells of 139 Wing were finished in a grey green colour…The underside colour (usually divided in a straight line) was grey…". Mr. Scott provides the colour mixes using Humbrol paints. Perhaps one of the readers can provide further information on this paint scheme.
A very useful and recommended decal set, especially with the Accurate Miniatures B-25C/D or the Accurate Miniatures B-25B with appropriate parts from the Accurate Miniatures B-25G conversion set. These decals could be used with the Revell 1/48 B-25C.
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