Sheet #

Superscale 72-692 for 345 BW B-25D's




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Review By:

Scott Van Aken



Undoubtedly the most interesting theater of operations in terms of USAAF medium bomber units was the Southwest Pacific. These units operated in New Guinea and later the Philippines. What  makes them really interesting is that they did a lot of work developing the gunship. These aircraft were mounted with a number of extra guns so that they would become more efficient ground attack weapons. 

It was the 345th BW that really developed the B-25 gunship and got North American as well as Douglas to add this subtype to their production lines later in the war.

This is one of Superscale's later sheets so has a decent set of instructions and also includes references, the best of which is 'Warpath Across the Pacific', by Lawrence J. Hickey. It is highly recommended if you have an interest in the subject.

There are four aircraft on this sheet, all of them early B-25s with unit built gun installations. You get all the insignia needed to do all four subjects. For a kit, far and away the best one to use would be the Italeri B-25C/D. It is currently OOP, but Italeri does release this kit from time to time so it should not be difficult to locate. As with all decals, it is best to have a photo rather than completely trust the drawings in the instructions.

First is 'Blunder Bus' a 499BS B-25D-5. Unlike its compatriots, this one has no white tail band, though is painted in OD over neutral grey like the others on the sheet

Next is a 501BS B-25D-15, 'Thumper'. This particular aircraft has a rather hefty scoreboard.

'Jayhawk' a 499BS B-25D-5 was one of the few to actually survive combat and was transferred to a service squadron late in 1944. 499 BS aircraft of this time had azure blue painted cowling fronts.

Finally, is the B-25D-25 of the 501st BS named 'The Gay Mare'. Like the other 501 BS aircraft, this one has a red painted cowl.

All in all a great sheet of early war B-25 gunships.

Review copy courtesy of me and my now empty wallet!

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