Hasegawa 1/72 B-25J Mitchell "Solid Nose Part 2"

KIT #: 00813
PRICE: 3400 yen SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2006 limited reissue.


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 in that it has a solid gun nose in place of the clear one that is usually associated with the B-25. It also does not use the side gun packs. If you are using aftermarket decals, check to see if those gun packs are installed or not. One nice thing about the gun nose is that there is room for nose weight, which can be problematic with the glass nose version. 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 two aircraft of the 345th Bomb Group. The box art plane is 'Betty's Dream' from the 499th Squadron. This aircraft has blue forward cowlings. The other option has the parrot's head markings from the 498th Squadron. Instructions have this plane with white forward engine cowlings. This is incorrect and they should be yellow, not white. You will also need to paint the forward portion of the nose yellow prior to applying the markings. Decals are nicely printed, but the white parts are off white so you may want to consider aftermarket. 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

April 2021

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