B-25G “Shark Mouth”
Academy continues to re-release the Accurate Miniatures series, which in my opinion is a very good thing. Despite their age, Accurate Miniature molds have very good surface detail and they have held up pretty well. There is virtually no flash at all. I only had to clean up two parts for a bit of flash.
Originally, Accurate Miniature released the B-25G as a conversion set for their early mark B-25. This particular re-release brings you all the parts needed to assemble a B-25G in a single box, plus decals from Cartograf. As a plus, you get plenty of spare parts from the early mark (B/C/D) B-25s.
Construction starts with the interior of the airplane. That means cockpit, bomb bay, radio equipment, storage bins, fire extinguishers, and even a chemical toilet! Sadly, most of the detail will be lost inside the model and not visible once completed. Before I started construction, I decided not to install the extra detail parts which would be located behind the landing gear. That would only increase the chances of a tail-sitter. Those missing parts won’t be visible, anyway.
Among the non-visible parts is a whole gun carriage and gun. I actually choose to modify my model and add extra weights – to prevent a tail sitter – where the model calls for the installation of the gun. Again, the whole gun will not be visible, only the cannon muzzle is.
The instruction sheet says to install part K52 in Step 3, but you shouldn’t. That piece is for a different mark (B/C , I guess). If you follow the instructions you cannot install the 75 mm round rack. I made that mistake, so learn from me and don’t install that piece. Ironically, the next step of the instructions shows a drawing of the overall interior without piece K52.
Step 3 also calls for the assembly of the bomb bay, which doubles as a wing spar part. To ensure proper fit, I installed all the parts in the fuselage, then used a tiny ball of blue tack to keep them in place while running a very fine bed of Tenax to glue the bomb bay/wing spar sub-assembly. Be careful with the glue, so you can remove the subassembly for painting.
The instructions call for installing the nose landing gear and the dorsal turret before you close the fuselage. Actually, you can install both after the fuselage is fully assembled. For both the landing gear and the dorsal turret, you have to fiddle with the parts to get them through the openings, but it is easy to do. You might want to try with to install the parts with the fuselage sides taped – before you glue them – to get the hang of it and to learn how to move the parts in and out.
With all the interior parts assembled and painted, it was time to close the fuselage. There are two very long seams to work with. Take your time and run a little bit of Tenax along the seam and try to glue no more than one inch at a time. I was able to get a gap-free joint, although I had a minor step on the top of the fuselage. It was easy enough to sand it down and re-scribe a few panel lines.
The B-25G had a solid nose, which is also a handy place to add extra weight, in addition to the nose wheel well, as indicated in the instructions, and where the cannon is supposed to be (can you tell I was worried about having a tail sitter? Something really interesting is that the box side actually shows a tail sitter B-25 model!).
The twin tail assembly was a simple affair. Take your time and go slowly to make sure the rudders are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the horizontal tail surface. Adding the tail to the fuselage required a bit of filler, as you can see in the images.
The wings are large pieces and, as such, it is easy to end up with a gap or a step. As with the fuselage, run a bit of Tenax no more than one inch at the time, and you will have a gap-free/step-free set of wings. Ironically, I did end up with a gap in the landing light recess, but the clear part covered it.
The wing nacelles were easy to assemble, but when trying to assemble the carburetor intakes, I had to use some filler again (see pictures). Nothing terrible, but still some filling was needed.
Moving into the engines…they are very nice. Take your time and paint the cylinder heads in silver, run a black wash on them, and be prepared to be amazed when all that detail pop out at you. The crankcase also includes spark wiring (in plastic) that can be painted and washed for realism. I’ve read that the engine cowlings opening are too small and not to scale. I cannot say anything to that point, but if you like, it would be easy to enlarge them with a piece of sandpaper.
Painting was accomplished using Model Master Enamels Olive Drab and Neutral Gray. I pre-shade the models and post-shaded the center of the panels to get a nicely weathered, three-dimensional look to the model. After a coat of Future, the model was ready for decals.
Decaling was very easy. Cartograf is known for the high quality of their decals, and the provided decal sheet is no exception. The decals are thin, opaque, and they conformed to surface detail without the need to apply any solvent. I was surprised to see no stencils in the decal sheet. However, I am not sure if real B-25Gs had much in the sense of stencils, though.
Weathering was done by means of an enamel wash. I used different colors for the upper surfaces and the under surfaces. When the wash was dry (about 25 min), I used a piece of kitchen roll paper to wipe all the surfaces in the direction of the airstream to achieve a grimy, used-and-abused look that an attack airplane is supposed to have.
At his point, I was very quickly approaching final assembly. The landing gear is very easy to assemble, and the wheels have separate hubs, which makes painting a breeze. The B-25 had legs and feet!
Just before the final flat coat, I decided to replace the forward machine guns and the cannon with brass tubing. They are a bit out of scale, but they look nicer – and more menacing – than the solid plastic parts.
I finally added an antenna with E-Z line, and added the astrodome and clear part of the turret, and my B-25G was ready for the display case.
Academy/Accurate Miniatures’ B-25G is a very nice – and somewhat large – model. There is a small mishap in the instructions (part K52), but if you follow them and take time cleaning parts and aligning all the interior subassemblies, you will be rewarded with an impressive model of a significant airplane.
I would recommend this kit to intermediate experienced modelers due to the high part count and slightly challenge alignment of the internal parts.
I want to thank Model Rectifier Corporation and IPMS/USA for the review sample.