Aurora 1/32 B-25 part 2
by Luca Pennacchietti
Building the Aurora 1/32nd scale B-25J... the second part.
After the two fuselage halves have been glued together, extensive filling was needed along the seem. In fact I needed to raise the height of the model where the glass nose was to be attached, and this ended into a gap between the two halves. After filler has been sanded off, I scribed all the panel lines and made all the rivets by a riveting wheel sold by MicroMark. It actually leaves dashes instaed of dots unless you carefully sand the sides of the wheel itself. The final effect is much interesting. The B-25 had overlapping metal panels covering the fuselage as you can see in this outstanding pic:
Both raised or recessed panel lines are inappropriate to replicate this.However I didn't want to go any further from scribing lines as I usually do.
A note to all modelers wanting to build a detailed Mitchell, in any scale. I have the Squadron In Action and the Detail & Scale books, plus many other books, booklets and magazines on this airplane. NONE of them has correct representations of the panel lines!! I said NONE! You MUST check pics of actual aircraft to understand where they are. Expecially about the whole fuselage (because of the overlapping sheets). I found big mistakes! I spent about 50 hours researching, drawing and scribing panel lines and rivets (and still have doubts)! I can tell that the Monogram 1/48th scale model is a source for correct panel lines planning much better then books. For example, it seems that almost nobody has ever drawn an additional glass below the nose on earlier Mitchells, though it's pictured at page 43 in D&S N°60. It's also visible in wartime pics. Again the ventral opening panel to allow panoramic photos aft of bomb bay is on the wrong fuselage half. And again at page 77 it is written that "each of the elevators had movable trim tabs that were controlled by actuators on both the upper and lower surfaces", and there are 2 pics one from above and one from below proving this....Hummmm, two actuators each tab simply cannot work! The view from above is of a wartime machine, the view from below is an airplane in a museum....Checking wartime pics, there are no actuators on the underside of elevators! They reversed the elevators on the museum machine and thus you think they are on the underside as well! They are only on the upper surface. I can't understand how these mistakes may happen on a welknown airplane of which so many survive all around the world.
Starting from the glass (clear vac) nose provided by Guillows in their balsa model of the Mitchell, I made some resin masters to vac my own nose. Unfortunately Guillows is more about 1/30th scale (if not 1/28th) the 1/32nd and making some resin copies of its inner face allowed me to reduce the size. I own a Mattel vac machine and the usable area is small. My glass nose is thus made of 4 parts, joining together where the struts are on the real aircraft. In these photos this area is covered with tape. Of course everything in the bombardier compartment has been made from scratch, apart the seat on the bulkhead and the machine guns. More later on this.
The canopy is the Aurora piece, brushed over with much Future. All clear areas again are covered with tape. Inside, I put two pilot figures because I wanted to add life to the model.
Waist guns glasses are vacuformed over a resin master got from Guillows' parts. You can see the photoetched gun sight in this pic taken earlier during building:
The rear gunner clear parts are still missing from the model. Tails are still not glued into position
Engine, cowling and propeller are simply taped into position.
The resin half wheel is just to show the final effect. It's a resin copy of a master made out of half the Guillows' wheel, half a P-35's wheel and some thinned plastic copies of Monogram's Mi-24 cabin ceiling used as tread.
I'm working had to finish this model in a month or so....Hope you enjoyed!
© 2005 Luca Pennacchietti