Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monogram Mitchell

For some reason, I only remember building Monogram models in my backyard on the picnic table. The 1973 B-25 Mitchell reissue was one of them. This was another early Gemco purchase, and built with minimal painting. I may have met my friend Phil by this time, and he had already been building models for some time. He would often come over to my house with his model building supplies, and we would build kits together. I remember he let me use a lot of his paints before I started buying them myself. Thank you Phil!
This was also another early model I kept in my collection much longer than others. In fact, when the original plastic gun barrels on the turrets broke off, I replaced them with toothpick ends painted black!
This was a fun model to rebuild after all these years. It's very simple, and although the box shows a nice chrome-silver sprayed factory model, the instructions say to leave it unpainted, since it's moulded in a brilliant natural color. It's not a very accurate model of the B-25J, but it was one of Monogram's first three plastic model airplane kits. The other two being the Douglas B-26 Invader, and the PBY Catalina.

One particular annoyance with this model however are the raised outlines for decal placement. This was a popular method model companies employed to help kids put the decals on in the right place. The problem is, decals adhere much better to completely flat surfaces. With the Microscale system though, this can be overcome to some extent without filing and sanding the outlines away, thereby preserving the original look of this historic model.
This is also another one of those early odd-scale kits designed to fit in a standard size box. I don't know how accurate the 5-inch rockets hanging under the wings are for a B-25J, but Monogram included them also in the B-26 Invader.
This is one model I remember with great clarity, and I'm happy to have it again on display in my office.

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