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Joe Caputo
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Revell 1/48 B-25B Mitchell

February 3, 2014 · in Aviation · · 11 · 4.3K

"Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" was a favorite movie (and book). Who could ever forget Van Johnson and the "Ruptured Duck". And so it was with me, when back in 1979, I built this BIG 1/48 rendition of one of my favorite (at that time) aircraft, and probably the most famous ever. (I made my own nose art)

Recently, I attended a Gatormodelers meeting, whose program included the "Doolittle Raid". I cleaned up this old model for two reasons. 1) to participate in the program, 2) to show an example of what modeling was like for me, pre-club, magazines, internet, etc. There was no filling, sanding or airbrushing, and very little reference to go by. Most the decals are gone because I knew nothing about applying them to a flat surface. This was/is the result. I'm showing it here for the same reason.

Also at the meeting was an "in progress" B-25-B, with all the bells and whistles. It showed how far rhe models themselves, had come. Considering it's age, buttoned up, the old still holds it own, with a little work. All that beautiful interior detail of the AM model is lost when the two fuselage halves come together. Of course the engraved panel ines of the AM hard difficult to duplicate, but we're talking 40+ years and 4X the cost. In between the two eras we still have the Monogram lineup, which also builds into a decent model, at a moderate cost.

I hope you enjoy another trip down memory lane, and can appreciate how far we've come., both in our skills and in the quality of models we have available to us today.

Reader reactions:
6  Awesome

5 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. I have enjoyed every B-25 and/or PBJ kit I have done, and still have a few kits available, with plans. I am also the proud possessor of an original brochure of the premier of the movie "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo", given me by the widow of a neighbor who attended it upon his return from 27 missions as a waist gunner in B-17's of the 379th BG in 1943-44.

  2. Joe,
    Sorry no pictures. Looks like you are pulling a Frank.
    FYI. Ted Lawson, (aka, Van Johnson) lived in Chico, CA before and during the time I lived there. My friend Stan knew him and had spoken to him many times throughout the years. I tried to get Stan to introduce me to him but by that time Stan told me he had become very reclusive and barely spoke to anyone. Even Stan had lost all contact with him. Sadly I never met Ted.

  3. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, those projects before anything was available to us, airbrush, dry brushing, other techniques that we only read about in Scale Modeler Magazine. Tube glue and brushes, xacto knife was all I used building those Revell, Monogram, IMC, MPC and Aurora kits. Your blessed that you have a couple of your builds, none of mine survived all the moves, life and career changes . Would have loved to have one to see compare the improvements over time. Thanks for sharing

  4. Great idea Joe. I'm impressed you still have models you built from way back. Still looks good to me.

  5. A lot of my models are gone, for various reasons, but I still have my first, an "Aurora?" F-90, on a stand. One of these days I'll drag it out, scrape off the dust, and take a couple pics. I enjoy the trip down memory lane too !

  6. great movie...still remember how cool mitchum looked on the carrier deck and of course van johnson falling on the floor in the arms of that sweet woman

  7. Nice clean build for 1979! It's a wonderful thing to have an old model you've kept all these years. It's a physical yardstick to measure your current work against and see how far your ability had progressed through the years.

  8. Joe, I'm really impressed that you've been able to keep this model for so long. Were you pleased with it at the time?

    • Yes, George, I was very pleased at the time. Back then the P-38, abd B-25 had to be my favorites. I had done plenty of car models, and armor, but had left aircraft for about 20 years. Back in those days I was impressed by it's size, and the way it looked. I built another Revell years later, with a lot different results. Then I switched to Monogram, and there's quite a few of them in my stash.

  9. It is always a good thing to keep a few older builds around to see how far you have progressed in this hobby. I still have the first kit I ever built, an Aurora Fokker Dr.1. I pull it out every now and then when I get to thinking about my sainted father. He was the one who purchased it for me and got me started in this insane hobby of ours.

  10. raised panel lines are accurate. all you have to do is visit any real aircraft and you'll see that aircraft panels slightly overlap each other. so the recessed panel line debate is over. recessed panel lines may look sexier but they are completely inaccurate. much more artistic skill is involved modeling 1960s monogram kits because they all have raised panel lines. sorry people but that is my opinion.

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