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

by Ian Robertson


North American B-25B/C Mitchell


Accurate Miniatures' 1/48 scale B-25B/C Mitchell is available online from Squadron.com




This is the Accurate Miniatures 1/48 B-25D Mitchell in the markings of “Near Miss”, an aircraft of the 498th Squadron, 345th Bomb Group, serving in New Guinea, late 1943. 

A superb color photograph of this aircraft can be found in Jeffrey Ethell’s book “World War II Nose Art in Color” (1993, MBI Publishing Company, ISBN 0-87938-819-6).  The photograph shows slight paint chipping on the leading edges of the wings and on the propeller blades, but overall the aircraft appears in good condition. 





This is the third Accurate Miniatures B-25 kit I have built and posted on Hyperscale.  As mentioned in my previous articles, I have two important tips for building this kit:

  1. Hold off on adding the front landing strut until late in construction - it will break off if you add it in step 9 as suggested. 

  2. Hold off adding the dorsal turret until the model is complete, including the paint and decals.  The turret will fit into the completed fuselage if you remove the small tab located beneath the gun barrels.  Painting around the turret would be a nightmare.   



Other than these order-of-construction issues, I find the model to be quite an easy build, although time consuming owing to the level of detail and length of seams.  The fit is very good and the detail is superb.  Nevertheless, there are some nagging accuracy issues that should be mentioned. 

By now many are aware of the criticism concerning the engine cowls on the Accurate Miniatures B-25 kits, so I will not repeat it here.  For those still in the dark you can refer to my article on the B-25G http://www.kitparade.com/features01/b25gir_1.htm, where I compare the Cutting Edge replacement cowls to the kit cowls.  On the present model I opted once again for the Cutting Edge replacements.  No other aftermarket additions to the model were made, apart from etched metal seatbelts from Eduard and decals from Albatros Modelworks. 

With all the attention paid to the shape of the engine cowls and the presence of a toilet (with reading material) in the rear fuselage, little mention has been made about the shape of the astrodome just aft of the cockpit.  To me it seems overly large and bulbous when compared to photographs.  Therefore, in an effort to improve its appearance, I filed the base of the astrodome so that it would sit less prominently atop of the model.  Not a perfect fix, but an improvement. 



Painting and Markings


Albatros Modelworks has produced an attractive set of markings for thirteen B-25s (Sheet # 48008, entitled “Dragons and tigers and girls…..oh my!”), including the subject of my model, “Near Miss” with its striking falcon’s head (no, it’s not a parrot).  It was my intention initially to rely exclusively on the decals for the nose art.  However, it soon became apparent that the decals would not fit well over the complex shape of the model’s nose (that’s a tall order for any decal manufacturer - no criticism intended to Albatros Modelworks!).  Therefore, I opted to paint most of the nose art and use only portions of the decals.  The Albatros decals were invaluable as templates for the painting masks I made from Tamiya tape. 



I began by painting a base coat of light grey over the entire nose up to the cockpit.  I then sprayed the forward section of the nose insignia yellow.  Using the masks I developed from the decals,  I sprayed the red portions on each side of the mouth, and then the black mouth itself.  Next, I masked off the forward area of the nose and sprayed the green on the rear portion of the falcon’s head.  I used a mixture of Polly Scale RLM82 (light green) and Pullman green (dark green) to create a suitable color.  The entire falcon’s head was then masked in preparation for painting the aircraft’s camouflage.   

Before applying the camouflage I painted the vertical tail fins white (with a hint of black) and the cowl rings insignia yellow, and then masked these areas until painting was complete.  The underside of the aircraft was painted with Polly Scale’s neutral grey acrylic.  The upper surfaces were painted in several shades of olive drab using AeroMaster and Polly Scale acrylics.  

In preparation for decals, I sprayed the model with a coat of Future floor wax to create a glossy surface.  I used the Albatros decals for the falcon’s eyes, the jagged white and black stripes at the back of the head, the mission markings, the “Near Miss” artwork, “Hilda” on the engine cowl, and the tail codes.  I used the Accurate Miniatures’ decals for the national insignias.  The eyebrows on the falcon’s head were hand painted because my reference photograph showed that they were slightly different on the aircraft than those portrayed on the decals.  Unfortunately, the pilot’s name was missing from the decal sheet.  Also, the number of missions marked on the right side differed from that on the left side.  I modified the left side to match the mission number shown in my photograph, which also agreed with the number on the right side. 



The thin black lines along the color demarcations on the falcon’s head were decals cut from spares.  Consistency in the width of the strips was achieved by taping a pair of #11 exacto blades together while cutting the decals.  The strips were then applied to the model and trimmed for length as necessary. 

Weathering on the model was kept to a minimum.  Exhaust stains were sprayed on the engine nacelles, and some light paint chipping was applied to the leading edges of the wings and on the propeller blades.





Although far from perfect, the Albatros decals provided me with the raw materials and inspiration to pull off a complex and bold paint scheme.  I am pleased with the result, and I applaud Albatros Modelworks for producing such interesting subjects.  I look forward to using other decals from the same sheet on future B-25 projects.  However, I think I’ll avoid artwork that wraps around the entire nose!





Images were taken outdoors with a Nikon Coolpix 5400 digital camera.  The “unsharp mask” tool of Adobe Photoshop was used to restore some of the clarity and crispness lost during image compression.



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

B-25 Mitchell Units of the MTO
Combat Aircraft 22
Author: Steve Pace
Illustrator: Jim Laurier
US Price: $19.95
UK Price: £12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 April 25, 2002
Details: 96 pages; ISBN: 1841762849
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Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2005 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 04 February, 2005
Last Updated 04 February, 2005

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