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Robert Knaack
37 articles

My Masterpiece

August 25, 2019 · in Aviation · · 31 Comments

I did this model a few years ago, but after seeing some really nice B-25s here on iModeler, I decided to share my -1J with you all. I call this my "masterpiece" because it's my best example of getting everything right. I managed to pull off the three-tone paint scheme free-hand, the canopies all turned out well, and the decals laid down nicely. A little bit of weathering completes the package. Hope you all like it.

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

31 responses

  1. Like it ? Oh yeah ! Love it. I have one very similar to it sitting in the display case. I dropped the flaps, offset the rudders and nose wheel. It came in second place at a local contest about 20 years ago.

    but it's still not as nice as yours...

    Well done.

  2. Really nice.

    One thing (a mistake we all have made): the upper Emerson turret does not have framing. What we have all mistaken for framing is the crazed area where the MEK was used to glue the pieces of the canopy together.

    Here's a photo of the only PBJ-1J left, restored to factory specs by the CAF SoCal Wing at Camarillo. You can see how if the light is right you could mistake the glued area for framing.

    (Not a critique of your very nice model - just information for all of us for next time we build a B-25 - and there is always a next time for building a B-25)

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

    • Same mistake many do when they build an A-1 Skyraider. Front window is glued, not framed.

    • I learned about that top turret right here on iModeler, too late for this bird, but as you say, always time for another B-25 to get it right!

      • Robert, @robgenev665
        I just learned something new, and want to share it with you. This is a Bendix turret and it did have the metal frame work... If you follow the links provided in some of the comments below, there's some great information.

        So you got it right... and so did the Monogram staff before computers were used for modeling purposes.

        • You also have to take into account the reference photo provided by TC is of a restored B-25, nice but may not have been the original top turret bubble. As Steve pointed out with that link showing the differences. The period photo of the B-25 that Louis provided clearly shows the framing.. May not be every case as so many field mods were done in theatre.

  3. Masterpiece is an appropriate adjective, Robert...that is an outstanding piece of modeling right there. VERY nice work, my friend. 🙂

  4. Very well done, Robert.

  5. Really nice. Love the B-25...

  6. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Nicely done and photographed Robert.

  7. Oh yeah! What's not to like especially in blue. Well done

  8. Nice job Robert. And as Haslam said, what's not to like about a blue Mitchell?

  9. An excellent job, kudos!

  10. That's a great looking PBJ - I've got mine masked and sitting under paper towels waiting for me to get gutsy enough to finally try my hand at airbrushing! Seeing yours makes me want to knock it out!

  11. Robert, the Monogram B-25 is a classic and does a very good job of representing the character and feel of what one would expect to see in a B-25. As a rule of thumb TC is correct however, your mileage may vary in finding specific a/c. I've come across turrets with sheet metal behind the gunners head. So photos and references are in ordering when doing a specific bird. I love the Navy paint scheme and your model brings that to the forefront. Like base ball, the turret is another excuse for taking a swing at making another kit. Two thumbs up. Thank you for sharing the photos. I've been enjoying my summer listening to the R2600 engines of a B-25 flying over head by my local CAF and your photos are a good reminder of the bird.


    I google searched photos of the top turret for B-25's... early model B-25 had the Bendix A-9 turret which was clear glued plexi while the later H and J had metal framing according to this site. Some restorations of B-25s have Martin turrets but, there not all to specs of the original planes according to the site below .

    Here is another site about the Bendix upper turret," When waist guns were introduced to the PBJ, the Bendix 250CE-4 was designed for mounting just aft of the pilot's compartment." Go to T-125 to T-34 for photo's of the turret...

    This is an instruction manual with photo's of the turret. Note the metal framing.

    • Hey Stephen @stephen-w-towle

      Here's a family photo showing my Dad's cousin sitting next to a B-25 turret. He was a top turret gunner in B-25's and flew from Corsica. Sadly he was also killed in a B-25 when the plane he was flying in was shot down over the target in Italy. He had flown 58 missions at the time of his death.

      This is a B-25 J model. You can see the metal framework just inboard of the nearest .050 MG. You can also see that the small cross brace next to his knee is metal as well.

      To me it also looks like the frame just outboard of the closest .050 MG is glued.

      Maybe there's a combination of sorts ? Metal framework and glue ?

      I couldn't open your last two links, but the first Google search showed a lot of great photos.

      Thanks for sharing.

  13. Nicely done Robert, the B-25 always looks good dressed out in Navy blue. I like it.

  14. Beautiful job! The next time I do a B-25, I think I'll do it in a similar scheme.

  15. Great looking model. There is really something cool about seeing something like a B-25 in the Navy scheme.

  16. Beautiful B-25!

  17. It is a master piece. Love the B-25/PBJ in USMC livery. Well done, as more and more research and documentation are finally being found on the Marine versions. Still quite lacking in material as these were used in the PTO. Just nice and refreshing to see one in this scale. Well eventually build one using this one as a point reference. Well done Robert, Thanks for sharing a seldom seen version of the Mitchell.

  18. Very nice. Such a good looking air frame.

  19. OMG! so thankful I found this I know I'm a year late but I just wanted to thank you for your beautiful model! my Father was a Radio gunner in VMB-443 that's him and his crew in my cover pics but man not too many know of the Seahorse bombing squadrons! once again thank you so much for honoring them

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