Merit? You bet. Monogram and Accurate Min issued different version; Monogram
the H and J (glass & gun nose), AM the earlier B, C & D (I believe).
While the AM kit has better detailing, esp. on the surfaces, it includes a
LOT of interior detail I doubt you'll ever see. Unfortunately they modeled
the cowlings on one with a narrowed cowl opening, which is wrong for any WW
II Mitchell. The nose in front of the windscreen also slopes too much. These
problems may not seem like much (to a lot of people it's not) but to others
it jumps out at you.
The Monogram kits have good detailing and more accurate shapes. You may
have to spend more time with seams, although nothing bad. Also, the panel
lines are raised. Again, more important to some than others. Prtsonally, I
think the Monogram kits are much better value for the $ and easier to fix
Thanks all for the input. My Significant Other has been noodling me for
some time to make her a B-25 'like the one Daddy flew in.' I've
suggested we go further and try to make one that Daddy DID fly in.
Unfortunately, his answer to the question: "What models did you fly in?"
usually produces the answer "all of 'em", and "What squadrons did you
fly in?" with "A bunch." All I've never been able to nail down is that
it was 6th Air Force in the SoPac . But plastic is on sale at Hobby
Lobby this week and that makes the Monogram B-25-J only about $15.
Unfortunately, your Father in Law's response is not un-typical. Many
of those who went through the war just want to forget it. I learned more
about my Father's W.W.II service from two old buddies who showed up for
his funeral than I ever heard from him.
I've got quite a few walkaround pics of the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum's
B-25J, "Briefing Time" posted on Photobucket. These may help you for a
Monogram B-25J in particular, but you may also find some of them useful
for the AM kits.
which puts me in contact with a large number of
former military aviators either on the museum volunteer staff or as
visitors. On average, there is only about 1 in 10 aircrew that can
recall what their plane was painted like and far fewer that can
actually recall any specific markings. This seems to apply to just
about any military pilot regardless of era or combat experience. But
remember, after all, these guys were just doing a job and sometimes
just trying to stay alive, not doing historical research. So if you're
interested in doing aircraft marking research using a veteran as a
primary source, don't expect too much information. Although I will say
that one of our staff vividly recalls flying with Charles Lindbergh
when he visited this guy's P-38 unit in the Pacific. He vividly
recalls their first mission when they were scrambled to intercept a
group of Japanese fighters. The group gets airborne and they look
around and can't spot Lindbergh. They call him on the radio and he is
still on the ground methodically going through the startup checklist!
This person is also one of the few that recalls the marking details of
one of the aircraft he flew. He told me, "I think it might have been a
famous P-38. It was named "Putt Putt Maru" and it was the commander's
aircraft. The CO was a guy named McDonald and I remember being pretty
intimidated stepping up to the airplane and seeing all those "Rising
Sun" flags on the side of the cockpit".
HOWEVER, talking to a veteran is a GREAT WAY to discover fascinating
stories that will never be published. I recently arranged for a WW II
B-17 pilot on the museum staff to speak at our monthly IPMS meeting and
he gave quite a presentation. Although on paper, he was a fully
qualified B-17 pilot, he had never actually flown in the left seat by
the time he got to North Africa. He had plenty of hours in the right
seat when his commander asked him to be the aircraft commander for a
newly arrived rookie aircrew. He said he wondered if the new crew was
impressed by his meticulous adherence to the checklist on all the
procedures and hoped that they didn't notice that he'd never actually
"flown" a B-17 before. He also told a story of how they were assigned
to destroy a bridge near a village in southern Italy. Their first
mission wasn't totally successful. Their second mission wasn't
completely successful either. On their third try, the noticed that the
villagers apparently had blown the bridge themselves because they were
tired of the aircrew's poor marksmanship and the errant bombs dropped
on the village. He also had another amusing story of how they had
repeatedly attacked a German airfield in southern Italy to put the
runways out of action, which they did. As the allies advanced, their
airbase advanced too and they ended up flying out of the very airfield
they had routinely been bombing and now had to fix all the damage they
Talking to veteran pilots is also a great way to learn about how they
actually used their aircraft. I found out that a guy I work with was a
Huey aviator with the HAL-3 Seawolves in Vietnam. Again, he had great
stories that no one will ever hear along with some interesting
information about the HAL-3 UH-1s. He noted that the older UH-1Bs were
preferred over the newer UH-1Cs because the hydraulic system was
simpler and would usually keep working when hit while the more
complicated C system usually failed. He also said they used to pile
flak jackets in the lower nose viewports to stop small arms fire. "I
could see forward and down plenty good through the main windows and I
didn't want to take any rounds from that angle, if you know what I
mean" he said. So that's a little detail for a future UH-1 project
(now I've got to figure out how to model a pile of flak jackets!).
One other way that you can get useful modeling information from
veterans is to ask if they have any photos you can take a look at.
I've gotten some great material for modeling details from photos in
veteran's collections. In one instance, a former Army National Guard
member that was an acquaintance of one of our IPMS members recently
passed on and left a large unbuilt aircraft kit collection to be sold
at an IPMS-arranged garage sale. One of the items was a box full of
old photo albums which I quickly glanced through before deciding to buy
a couple. When I got home and took a closer look, I found I had
acquired a number of high-quality color photos taken in the early 60s
on the flight line of the local ANG base. There were some beautiful
color photos of 60s-vintage military aircraft markings that I had never
So my main point with all this is - Talk To A Vet. Be aware that some
feel uncomfortable talking about wartime experiences with complete
strangers so approach the subject "diplomatically". I usually start by
asking about their branch of service, rank, their job, and where & when
they served. Most modelers know quite about their particular area of
modeling interest and most veterans are surprised and impressed with
that knowledge and usually appreciate that they are talking to someone
that is genuinely interested in what they have to say. Once you get
past the preliminary questions above, that is usually enough to get
them talking on their own. One of the things I became aware of early
in my experience as a museum volunteer is that veterans are EVERYWHERE.
I would work with guys who looked just like ordinary worn-out old men
that turned out to be lively, fire-breathing young men in their youth
who told stories of guts and courage that would curl your hair. It
also taught me a lot about people and how you really can't judge a book
by its cover (just like everyone always told you, right?).
So get out there and Talk To A Veteran!
Martin,I couldn't agree with you more.I started attending a new church
several years ago and was approached by a man in his eighties who welcomed
my wife and I to the church.He asked what i did for a living and I said at
present I was a stay home dad,having retired from the US Navy a couple of
years before.His eyes lit up at that and started tellng me he'd been in the
Navy during WW2.I told him I'd been an airdale.He then got my interest by
telling me he had been a radio operator/technician on B-24s at Guadacanal in
1943.He was in a squadron,VD-1.The next time we met ,he had a folder with
some newspaper clippings and B&W photos of him on the Canal.He was 23 but
looked 13! A couple of neat photos of his a/c and the surrounding mangrove
swamps.He was overjoyed that someone took interest in his military
service.Sadly,he told me that no one in his family ever got too excited
about hearing of his experiences.I hung on every word.Everett passed from
this earth earlier this month.I'm happy I had the opportunity to listen to
what he had to say.By all means,talk to a vet!
Ditto. There's the "official record", and then there's the personal
stories of what happened (which I put far more stock in) - and there's
no better way to get them than from the guys that were actually there.
When and if you're fortunate enough to meet one of them.
in article _6Ykh.757$ firstname.lastname@example.org, Daniel at
snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMAmeritech.net wrote on 12/28/06 6:07 PM:
I built the glass-nose J fifteen or twenty years ago. I remember it as a
reasonable build with decent fit. I took the model out of the display case
just now and noticed how heavy it is, which reminded me of the struggle to
find enough places to put enough weight to keep the nose down, but that'd be
a challenge with any brand. The panels lines are indeed raised, but they're
pretty finely done. I used NMF on the undersides of mine; the panel and
access hatch detail looks quite satisfactory. The one problem I remember
having with the kit was getting the main landing gear anywhere near
vertical. Now, after however many years of supporting the weight, they've
splayed out a lot and look really odd. Be forewarned that you may want to
modify the way they mount in the nacelles.
Squadron has metal landing gear for Monogram's B-24, I bought a couple
and they are nice. I am hoping they will continue the trend. I can think
of a number of 1/48 and 1/32 kits that would benefit from pewter or even
brass L.G. Tamiya's Lancaster is a prime example.