North American B-25 Mitchell Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part I

Mitchells! This is a small batch of Mitchells, the 2018 Airfix C/D and the 2008 Hasegawa B-25H and J. These are both nice kits, but Mitchells came in a variety of variants and were subject to conversions and modification in the field. The Pacific Mitchells also present some painting challenges, but the artwork is irresistible.
Here are the main sprues from the Hasegawa kits. Parts breakdown is conventional, and these are molded in the typical Hasegawa hard plastic with finely engraved panel lines.
Sprue “C” has the tail assembly and various interior and detail parts. The fuselage gun packs are optional, not all Mitchells carried them. Locating holes for the gun packs are to be drilled out from the inside to accommodate aircraft with them. The kit provides only one style, so some subjects will need some help from the aftermarket.
Sprue “E” has the engine and other details, sprue “D” is interior parts. The engine is basic, but what is there is good and will look the part with a little added detail. The included bomb load is two 1,000-pound bombs. The interior bulkheads include sections of the main spars to help get the dihedral right.
The Hasegawa business model is to release several versions of the same basic kit with different detail parts and decals. On the top are the unique sprues for the B-25H, on the bottom sprue “M” and “J” are for the B-25J.
The Airfix B-25C/D is a quality kit, but the plastic is much softer the Hasegawa’s. The kit features finely engraved panel lines. Airfix has fired their trench digger, the panel lines on their more recent kits look just right. There is also subtle rivet and fastener detail in some areas which sets of the panel lines nicely. Note the bombay doors are molded into the interior detail – no broken doors on this model.
Sprue “C” has the engines, which are pretty well rendered. The kit provides optional flaps to represent both raised and lowered positions, but the raised option has a sink line through the middle which will require filling. The bomb load here is four 500-pound bombs.
The tail surfaces are all positionable. Also included are two options for the cowlings, one with the single exhaust port and the other with the individual ports.
There’s lots of aftermarket for the B-25, here is a sample. I am really impressed with the Master gun barrels, they are incredibly detailed and really draw the eye.
I began with the engines, Airfix is the lighter plastic, Hasegawa is darker. The top row is stock kit parts, the bottom row is dressed up a bit. For the Airfix engines I added ignition wires to the back row. For the Hasegawa engines I added wires and push rods.
Here are the main wheels with resin aftermarket – Airfix, Hasegawa, Eduard, and Quickboost. The Quickboost is the smallest of the group. From my perspective none of these are so bad they will detract from the finished model, your mileage may vary.
A comparison of the engine cowls, Quickboost on the left, Hasegawa on top, and Airfix below. The cowling opening is 36” in real life, which is 0.5” in 1/72 scale. I measured the openings, Quickboost came in at 0.508”, and went egg-shaped when I removed the casting block. Hasegawa was too small at 0.466”, which doesn’t sound like much but is noticeable. Airfix came in at 0.492″ but went to a perfect 0.500” after the interior mold seam was removed. I expanded the openings with a 0.5” drill bit from the garage, the widened kit parts are on the left, uncorrected parts on the right.

Part II here:

7 thoughts on “North American B-25 Mitchell Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part I

  1. Oh boy!!! This’ll be great! I’m going to follow this with great interest since I’ve got the initial Hasegawa J in the stash, a couple of the Eduard re-box of the J, and a couple of the “Gunn’s Bunny” that was recently released. I’d heard about the Hasegawa cowlings, but as you pointed out, that’s a pretty straightforward fix. My concern, and something I think I’ll just have to resign myself to live with, is the way Hasegawa messed up the nose glazing on the J. I want to use the brass Master-Model brass barrels for the solid-nosed J, but I’ve yet to figure out just how to prep the nose for their mounting after the painting is done.

    I’ve never seen you do a batch-build on a set of twins, I’m really looking forward to this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of the reasons I was drawn to the strafers as they had solid or painted noses. That will allow for an easier fix for the Hasegawa glazing problem. I don’t think it’s an insurmountable issue, especially if I don’t have to polish the nose glazing clear again.

      I’ve done a few batches of twins before, but not in awhile. This will be fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This brings to mind a comment I made a few months ago on a Flickr post of a vintage B-25 photo — and since I am quoting me I am not going to use quote marks, Interesting insignia/tail art. Looks like it was painted green while having the cheek gun packs in place, note what looks like bare-metal ovals below wing leading edge.
    And directly ahead of each a circular stain right where the gun barrels end in the photos I’m looking at in a Google image search of B-25 cheek guns.

    Liked by 2 people

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