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Building a B-25C

n by Robert Karr

This model is Monogram's 1/48th scale B-25J converted to a B-25C. The photo of it was previously featured in Fine Scale Modeler, February 1995.

Backdating to a C/D version involved first and foremost moving the top turret to the mid-rear of the fuselage. I changed also the individual exhaust pipes around the cowl to manifold collector rings exiting out a single pipe. Then it was time for the most difficult part - narrowing the height of the rear fuselage. This last operation was accomplished by slicing out a narrow "V" in both halves from just behind the wing root , reaching a maximum depth of appox. 1/8 inch and squeezing the tops and bottoms together. Much putty followed!

At the same time as the general rear mods were going on, I filled the big waist windows and cut newer smaller ones to the rear .After all was smooth and seamless, the real fun began because I decided to add so-called "oil-canning". This is the effect of dimpled sheet metal stretched over a frame work and was particularly noticable on the well worn and hard worked Pacific B-25s. I got this effect by first drawing all the internal structure- bulkheads and stringers- on the out side of the fuselage. I then took an X-Acto blade and rounded the tip by grinding it .Using this home-made tool I then gently scraped shallow troughs where the pencil lines were. A few swipes of sand paper, a coat of primer and my fuselage looked like sheet metal pulled around a framework! The rest of the mods were standard detail stuff - fine wire and sprue for engine and cockpit detail.

The nose was heavily weighted to rest on the nose gear.All transparancies were vacuum formed. Little special details included three light .30 machine guns around the tail- one out of each new small window and one in the tail.These were a field modification and were not manned. They were bungee-sprung and fired by the pilot
on strafing runs.

I also put a crew in my Mitchell and modified the starter controls to match what was carried out in the field. The crews considered the standard factory starting method clumsy and had their mechanics change these controls. I've built my crew from the finger-bones out with their hands in the correct positions at the moment of start-up.

The side gun packages were little blocks of wood and all gun barrels were a commercial product but I can't remember who made them! All paint was heavily weathered.

A special thanks to Harry Terrell Jr., a B-25 pilot of the "Green Dragon" squadron for the inside info.

Robert Karr is a modeler and an artist who produces consistantly fine work in 2 and 3 dimensions. His work can be viewed on the web by visiting Robert's web site Aviation Art by Robert Karr (Ed.)


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