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

One of the Airfix B-25Cs will be in a desert scheme. Here is the banded paint scheme in all its masked-up glory. The color separations are masked with “worms” of poster putty and Frog Tape from the hardware store. The turret opening and engine nacelles are plugged with foam to protect the interior.
The same model after painting with most of the masking removed. The scheme is Olive Drab and Sand over Neutral Gray, all three colors deviate a bit from the Mr. Color jars. The Olive Drab was mixed with tans and applied in layers to vary the shade, likewise the Sand was darkened up with darker browns. The Neutral Gray undersides were lightened with white mixes to accent the panels.
A similar technique was used on the other three aircraft which are all Olive Drab over Neutral Gray. There was considerable variation in Olive Drab shades on USAAF aircraft, due to differences in the original mixes and the also the way they weathered. I left the cowlings off the aircraft with intricate nose art so I could get at the nose area easier. DK provides a decal for the white cheat lines on the cowlings, but I chose to mask mine rather than try to get the color separations exactly right.
This is where things went sideways. The white lines on the nose art decals are printed in left and right pieces. The decals themselves are a dangerous combination of thin film and grabby adhesive, which makes them particularly resistant to sliding around for proper positioning. While I did separate some portions which looked like they could be problematic, my decal just refused to slide into position and soon was a torn ball of decal film and ink. Also note the gap in the white line between the decals on the top of the nose.
Dirty Dora was even worse. I cut away all the outer boundary portions of the white trim so I could have better control of each section – I made six sections in all. This didn’t solve everything, it appears the decal is slightly bigger than it should be. The inner lines on the bat wings are not supposed to touch the bottom boundary line. In addition, the scoreboard is miss-aligned and the whole nose art is further aft than it should be. With the decals on it was all was too depressing to even look at. After considering my options, I have stripped off the nose decals from both Dirty Dora and Pretty Pat and pushed ahead with the other two. I haven’t given up yet, replacement decals are on the way from Hannants. Hopefully I’ll be able to wrap up this build next week!

Part VI here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/10/07/north-american-b-25-mitchell-batch-build-in-1-72-scale-part-vi/

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

    1. I knew the decals would be the challenging part of the build from the start. You are pretty much obliged to mask off the colored part of the nose first. I will trim the borders off the main decal and apply them in sections, which will give me a little less than +/- one millimeter adjustment in overall dimensions. If I positioned the mask within those tolerances it should work.

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