1/48 Monogram B-25J Mitchell

Gallery Article by Ramon R. Lomeli on Dec 3 2013



Hello ARC! Here is my Monogram B-25J Mitchell bomber. This one I actually managed to finish in under ten years! I was originally going to display this along with my demo reel (which included a 3d animation of a B-25) just before graduating from art school back in 2004, but plans changed and so this sat partially assembled until about a year ago. I built it mostly out of the box - I did get True Details resin wheels, and I also scratch-built seat backs and added foil seat belts for the cockpit. I simulated bungee cords to support the waist guns with wire, and in the nose I did the same as well as scratchbuilt a support bracket to fix the center .50 cal in place. Lastly, I wasn't happy with how the exhaust pipes were represented by solid bumps all over the engine cowlings, so I pressed winebottle foil over the exhaust shrouds, then cut them out to make 28 individual fairings. After then removing those plastic bumps from the cowlings, I cut 28 little pieces of aluminum tubing to represent exhaust pipes, glued them in place and covered them with the foil fairings I had made. Tedious but not difficult, and worth the extra effort. It was also cheaper than buying an aftermarket set! 


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I originally wanted to get some aftermarket decals but couldn't track down a set that I liked so I just went with the kit decals, opting for Jaunty Jo. After assembly and masking was complete, I primed the aircraft with silver Testors spray paint. Next came some pre-shading, then the camo colors were Model Master Acryl Olive Drab and Neutral grey shot through my Badger 150 airbrush, followed by lots of post-shading with lighter and darker variations of those same colors. I used MM Acryl Clear Gloss for my undercoat, applied decals using MicroSet setting solution, then Testors Dullcoat from a can to take the shine away. After all that, I went back and scratched away the paint with my fingernails and a toothpick to give it that "chipped paint" look.

Just to make my model stand out a bit, I built a base trying to simulate an airfield in the South Pacific. I got a wooden plaque and covered it with spackle, then while that was still wet I covered that with sand from my local beach. I added some Woodland Scenics diorama shrubbery and grass, and made my own palm tree from a twig in my yard and some feathers. The wheel chocks are bits of balsa wood cut to shape and painted. The bomb cart was a resin accessory but I forgot from where, and I worked up enough nerve to tackle figure painting with the crew that came with the kit. To tie the whole project together, my buddy Larry Quintana generously agreed to take this diorama down to the beach and shoot some photos for me. You can't beat natural lighting, and I thought it would look more convincing to have real ocean in the background. Thanks for the photoshoot, Larry!


Ramon R. Lomeli

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Photos by Larry Quintana Text by Ramon R. Lomeli