Twin Big Gun: 1/48th Monogram B-25H Mitchell
Another old kit that still has some merit is this 1977 Monogram release of their B-25H Mitchell. The kit is very typical of what you can expect of Monogram products of the time, with good interior and exterior details and fine raised panel lines. With some patience you can build a good rendition of a Mitchel at a very reasonable price.
Notable Kit Features:
Well done interior with raised details throughout the fuselage
Bomb bay basic details provided with wing spars as well
Pilot and crew hatches may be displayed open or closed
Basic gun details provided for optional open front nose hatch
Decent top turret gun detail
Optional side-pack guns included
Nice landing gear detail
This is the Big-Gun Mitchell with the 75 mm gun in the nose designed for anti-ship operations (mainly driven by the need in the PTO (Pacific Theater of Operations). Lt.Col. Paul Gunn worked with North American engineers to finally come up with this heavily armed Mitchell version that could be fitted with up to fourteen .50 caliber machine guns as well as the 75 mm cannon. Included in some of these kits was a colour pamphlet on a diorama build by one of the "Master Modelers" at the time, Sheperd Paine. That certainly inspired me to try out dropping the flaps and leaving the hatches open on this build.
Sheperd Paine's diorama of "ToadfaceII" using the Monogram B-25H Mitchell kit
Some flash and ejector pin marks present on this old kit
Cockpit reported as not accurate for type (but little of it can be seen)
Engines are moulded into the backplate (but still look decent)
Some fit issues in the nose area, engine nacelles and tail
Armoured plates moulded onto nose
A LOT of weight needs to be added to the nose area to get this one to sit properly (Alternatively a tail prop is provided)
Brake line details could be added to the landing gear
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Replaced 75mm gun barrel with brass tube
Hollowed out exhaust outlets on engines
Cut out and dropped flaps
Weighted the tires
Sanded off raised panel lines
Used 3rd party decals (from Super Scale 48-992)
I finished my kit in the markings of a Mitchell from 82nd BS / 12th BG named "Vikin's Vicious Virgin" as I liked the animated nose as well as the nose art on this one. Paint colours were the standard USAF WWII finish of FS34087 (Olive) over FS36473 (Gray) with some light paint fading effects added. A dark wash was used to bring out recessed lines and control surfaces. Paint chipping was applied on props and leading edges using a silver pen.
The After-Build Report:
This kit is still a go-to option despite its great age. The shape and overall detail is good and a detailer could certainly add away to this one (through scratch build or aftermarket items) to bring out the best in this aircraft model. Considering its reasonable cost and availability, I would still recommend this kit. If you want a higher grade base to start with, the Accurate Miniatures Mitchells were excellent. These same moulds were later released by Italeri and Academy (although they didn't do this exact version - how about an "G" model instead or a B, C, D?).
Completed build #128 - November 2010 using the 1/48th scale Monogram #5500 kit.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers