1/48 Revell B-25J Mitchell Gun Nose kit

Product Article by Dave Johnson Feb 23 2010


The B-25 was named in honor of General Billy Mitchell, one of the early pioneers of U.S. military aviation. By the end of the B-25 production line, nearly 10,000 B-25s in their different variants models had passed the factories floors. The first flight of the B-25 was during August 1940 and the last country to retired them was Indonesia in 1979. The B-25J variant had a transparent nose, but many of the delivered aircraft were modified to have a solid nose as some interesting field modifications were happening in the Pacific theater. Since the B-25 was an excellent low-level Raider, crews required extra forward facing machine guns to suppress ground targets while the crews were making their low level skip bombing passes. With skip bombing the need of bombardier wasn’t required and ground crews were retrofitting extra ammunition trays to feed the newly fitted 50 caliber machine guns that had been fitted into the nose. Many of these B-25s were also fitted with the strap on gun packs on each side of the fuselage, just on the lower aft of the cockpit.

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The copyright on the box states 2009, but the Revell/Monogram B-25 tooling dates back to the 1970’s. The kit is mold in a hard gray plastic, not the soft silver-ish plastic like pervious releases with a total of 129 pieces and 7 parts on the clear sprue bring the total part count to 136 parts.

The detail on the kit is nicely done, considering how old the tooling date back too. It has very fine raised plane lines and highly detailed interior compartments as most of there past releases. The interior compartments includes Ammunition storage boxes, radios, storage lockers and the upper turret has nice detail. Also included is a complete bomb bay and positional bomb bay doors to view the payload, and the crew access hatch is also positional. 3 Figures are included with the kit, a standing and seated pilot and a mechanic, which are molded very nicely. I sure these will look great once painted.

The engine assembly’s are very basic and lack detail, but the engine cowls would cover up most of that detail anyway. An addition of an ignition harness would improve the appearance.

Also included are the side strap-on gun pods and the extra armour plating on the side of the fuselage, which is molded on. The kit supplies you two optional schemes, one with and with out the pods. If you are going to choose to model another B-25J you will need to check you references regarding the pods and armour plating and other configurations.

Also, nice feature are the diamond tread wheels, which have the weighted look molded to them. Talking about land gears… you will need to fit a quite a bit of ballast weight to the nose section. In the nose area the kit supply’s you ammo belts and boxes the complete 50 caliber machine guns to fill in the spot. These will not be seen once the nose section is glued on. I would recommend leaving these parts out and utilize the gain space for the ballast weight. There is no indication in the instructions on how much weight you will require. The fitting of the 50 caliber gun barrels will be an easy to fit with some CA/super glue, once that area filled with the ballast weight. If you’re doing a scheme with the bat or face that a lot of B-25’s wore, it may easier to add the barrels once that area has been decaled or painted.

The decals have hardly any carrier film surrounding them and have nice colour registers.

The two optional schemes supplied in the kit are, a Natural Metal Finished B-25J-32 called “Sunday Punch” of the 12th Bomb Group, CBI 1945. Sunday Punch wears a pinup girl lying on her back underneath the cockpit and snarling fanged face painted on the front. This airframe also carriers the strap-on gun packs.

The second option is a Olive Drab over Neutral Gray, B-25J-10, 44-29375, of the 17th Reconnaissance (Bomb) Squadron, 31st TRG, Lingayen, Luzon, 1945. This B-25 doesn’t carrier any kind of nose art or pinup girls.

The detail of this kit is well done, and would look great once built out of the box. If someone went the extra step and re-scribed the kit and added some aftermarket products, you surly would have an outstanding model that would look excellent next to other B-25 variants from other manufactures.

I would like to thank the team at Hobby Link Japan, for supplying this review sample.

Dave Johnson

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Photos and text © by Dave Johnson