Accurate Miniatures 1/48 B-25C/D Mitchell

KIT #: 3431
PRICE: ~$40-50.00
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Initial 1999 release


The B-25C was an improved version of the B-25B, its powerplants were upgraded from Wright R-2600-9 radials to R-2600-13s; de-icing and anti-icing equipment were added; the navigator received a sighting blister; and nose armament was increased to two .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, one fixed and one flexible. The B-25C model was the first mass-produced B-25 version; it was also used in the United Kingdom (as the Mitchell Mk II), in Canada, China, the Netherlands, and the Soviet Union (number made: 1,625).

Through block 20, the B-25D series was near identical to the B-25C. The series designation differed in that the B-25D was made in Kansas City, Kansas, whereas the B-25C was made in Inglewood, California. Later blocks with interim armament upgrades, the D2s, first flew on 3 January 1942 (number made: 2,290). During production of the B-25C/D, the exhaust was switched from the collector exhaust of the earlier planes to the ejector exhaust that were used on later versions. Though built in fair numbers, the later B-25J variant was built in greater numbers. After the war, the B-25C/D rather quickly disappeared from the inventory, though the later J models were flying in one form or another into the 1970s.

When Accurate Miniatures decided to venture into large kits, they made the wise choice to pick the early B-25s for a subject. The reason was probably two fold. One is that Monogram had a very nice later B-25H/J version so no need to repeat what had already been done. Secondly, the only 1/48 early Mitchell was the elderly Revell kit from the 60s.

The result was this kit, which is superb in every way. Now it seems that no kit is perfect, at least not in the eyes of some, with the main complaint being that the engine cowling openings were too small. Easy enough to fix with a piece of rolled up sandpaper. This kit comes with weights to prevent tail sitting and a set of masks for the canopy and fairly intricate nose artwork. This latter item is a great idea for no decal can really properly cover all the compound curves of a B-25's nose. The masks also provide for the engine cowling markings.

There is a ton of interior detailing, much of which will be invisible when the model is completed, but, like the Monogram kit, it is there for those who like all that stuff. You get a nicely detailed cockpit and navigator/bombardier's compartment. There is also a full bomb bay whose ends double as wing spars. A long range fuel tank is an option if you don't want to fill the bay with bombs.

Upper and lower turrets are provided and really need to be installed when the fuselage halves are joined. Note that many B-25s eliminated the lower turret and a blanking plate is provided (though not mentioned in the instructions. Note also that many aircraft had reinforced areas for under and forward of the guns. Templates are provided so you can make these out of .10 inch plastic. Same with wind shields for the side guns. One thing of which to be aware is that the nose gear must be installed prior to closing the fuselage halves. Wise modelers will be some sort of protection around this while continuing construction to prevent it from being broken.

The nose section is separate so that the G model can be done with the same tooling. The kit provides different forward sections depending on if you are building a standard bomber or a strafer. Side gun pods are included for the strafer and holes need to be opened to install these. Other options are for a tail gun position such as was on the B-25J, though I don't recall seeing images of any C/Ds with this feature.

Instructions are in a vertical landscape format with each construction step having a building sequence along with color information. There are notes all over the place when it comes to optional pieces so you really do need to do your research if building something other than what's offered by the kit. Markings are for two planes. One is 'Dirty Dora' as shown on the box art with the 345th BG and this one uses the extra masks. The other is a desert sand painted plane with the 340th BG. Decals are nicely done and there are aftermarket if you want something different.

This is still considered to be the best early B-25 kit on the market. It has since been re-boxed by Italeri, Academy, and Revell so isn't impossible to find, despite the demise of Accurate Miniatures. I find it a bit amazing that I've built two B-25Gs, but not any of the C/Ds. I should fix that.


June 2023

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