B-25B Doolittle Raid

Published: March 24th, 2016     
Product Image
Box art
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette - IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/48
Company: Academy Models
Price: $64.00
Product / Stock #: 12302
Product provided by: MRC

Academy has rereleased the Accurate Miniatures 1/48th scale B-25B in Doolittle Raid markings and it is a welcome sight as this kit was getting rarer as the days passed. Inside the box, you get all the plastic parts associated with the initial release as well as a decal sheet covering all 16 planes. The parts are well molded and even 12-15 years later, they are flash free and excellent. The clear parts are superb also.

I will forgo the history as most are well aware of the raid by Lt. Col. Doolittle and his pilots and there are many excellent references and even some fun movies referring to the raid. I have wanted to build this kit for a while ever since trading it off to a friend a while back and jumped at the opportunity to build it.

I did include two parts of aftermarket in the build. First, I bought Eduard's masking set. Between the canopy and greenhouse front, it made for an easy masking and was worth it. Secondly, I added Scale Aircraft Conversions metal landing gear. The reason for this will be explained later but it is almost a necessity if you are as ham handed as I can get.

Accurate Miniatures set a new standard when they came out with their kits as they were very detailed and the B-25 series was no exception. Construction starts with a full interior. Cockpit, bomb bay and a full interior are included. The cockpit is nice. I did include Quickboosts seats here as they included molded in seatbelts. The turret is excellent also. There are two things to point out while building the interior. First, there are 8 windows added that glue from the inside. Make sure these are glued in well as there is a fair amount of handling later and they can be punched in causing problems later (based on experience) and there is no way to reseat them. Second, in step 6, they instruct you to add the nose gear. You can do this but it protrudes out and I managed to break it twice before replacing it. You can add it later but it will take some fussing around to get it settled into a small opening. My advice is to add the metal gear from SAC which is superb.

Once the interior is done, you can seal up the fuselage and add the tails. The front of the fuselage is added here and before you add it ...ADD WEIGHT...a lot of it. The original kit came with premade weights. There is room next to the wheel well and you need to fill it. I didn't and made a tail sitter out it no matter how much more weight you add elsewhere. The glass is added and the greenhouse and nose fit well. The canopy needed faired in around the bottom. Also, I wanted the bomb bay doors closed and that took some coercion and putty but not bad.

The wings are built separately, but watch which exhausts and cowlings you add as the Doolittle ones had a specific set to represent the B version. As far as filling, the fuselage took some on the top seam and the wings around the top inserts but the rest was good. The engines were built and look great inside the cowlings.

Time for paint...pretty basic. WWII olive drab over neutral gray. This was easy with the wings fitting so well that almost no masking was needed except for adding the deicing boots and the exhausts. When these were done, I added the wings to the fuselage so I weathered consistently.

I added the decals before weathering and after a couple good clear coats and ran into two problems. First, the decals did not want to snuggle without some encouragement. I tried the basics but settled on Solvaset and Mr. Mark Softer which after several baths and prodding, settle nicely into the lines, etc. The second problem was an almost invisible alignment issue which left a slight white edge to the stars. I solved this with a bottle of insignia blue and a fine paint brush and covered it easily. Another gloss clean coat and we were ready for washes.

I used Flory black wash to emphasize the panel lines (awesome stuff) followed by an over spray of weathered olive drab concentrating on the flying surfaces. I didn't weather too much as I prefer it that way and finished with a couple flat coats to prepare for finishing.

I added the wheels, all the antennae's, the pitot tube and the entry ladders and tail skids followed by another flat coat and then removing the masking. I added a nice base for the pictures (sadly propping it up on Styrofoam)

The kit is not the simplest kit to build but it is the best B-25 out there and with patience, it builds into a fine replica of one of America's most historic planes. I would recommend that you have a few kits under your belt and I do recommend the metal landing gear (and to actually add weight unlike yours truly). If you do all of that, you will have a great looking kit.

My thanks to the excellent people at MRC Academy for the opportunity to build this kit.

  • Quickboost seats
    Quickboost seats
  • Cabin interior
    Cabin interior
  • Cabin interior
    Cabin interior
  • Cabin interior
    Cabin interior
  • Cabin interior
    Cabin interior
  • Overall view
    Overall view
  • Nose closeup
    Nose closeup
  • Engine detail
    Engine detail
  • Top gunner
    Top gunner
  • Left rear view
    Left rear view
  • Tail gunner
    Tail gunner
  • Underside
    Underside
  • Fuselage detail
    Fuselage detail
  • Wing detail
    Wing detail
  • Right front
    Right front
  • Front view
    Front view

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