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In-Box Review
148
North American B-25G
Academy 1/48 B-25G "Shark Mouth"
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by: HG Barnes [ HGBARNES ]


_ORGINPUB:
AeroScale

HISTORY

In anti-shipping operations, the USAAF had urgent need for hard-hitting aircraft, and North American responded with the B-25G. In this series the transparent nose and bombardier/navigator position was changed for a shorter, hatched nose with two fixed .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns and a 75 mm (2.95 in) M4 cannon. Being one of the largest weapons fitted to an aircraft it's similar to the British 57 mm gun-armed Mosquito Mk. XVIII and the German Henschel Hs 129B-3, and Ju 88P heavy cannon (up to a 75 mm long-barrel Bordkanone BK 7,5). The shorter nose placed the cannon breech behind the pilot where it could be manually loaded and serviced by the navigator; his crew station was moved to a position just behind the pilot. The navigator signaled the pilot when the gun was ready and the pilot fired the weapon using a button on his control wheel.

The Royal Air Force, U.S. Navy and the Soviet VVS each conducted trials with this series but none adopted it. The G series comprised one prototype, five pre-production C conversions, 58 C series modifications and 400 production aircraft for a total of 464 B-25G. In its final version, the G-12, an interim armament modification, eliminated the lower Bendix turret and added a starboard dual gun pack, waist guns and a canopy for the tail gunner to improve the view when firing the single tail gun. In April 1945 the air depots in Hawaii refurbished about two dozen of these and included the eight gun nose and rocket launchers in the upgrade. ~Wikipedia~

THE KIT

Released in 2013 ACADEMY still have this listed on their 2017 catalog and since I couldn't find an in-box review on AEROSCALE thought you'd like to have a closer look. Yes this is the wonderful Accurate Miniatures model dating back to 1999 with the new parts and some spares left over. It's also been re-boxed under the Italeri label.

THE BOX

ACADEMY present a fantastic enticement to lure your hard earned dollars with the B-25G "Shark Mouth" doing what it was called upon to perform, although the big gun should have been more apparent. They also give some nice photos on the side and list the recommended paint. Major thanks for making the bottom tray out of sturdy cardboard!

THE PLASTIC

All the interior and surface detail is present from the late 90's yet there is some flash in places. Other areas have extremely thin plastic demanding cautious clean-up. So thin in fact you can easily see the light passing through. Eleven sprues are placed in four bags but unfortunately the fuselage was sandwiched between others and has a few light scratch marks. That said, the machine guns, bomb-sight, internal components and exterior riveting is fantastic. Naturally, there are aftermarket sets for the bomb-bay, cockpit and exterior, plus you can go with resin engines and metal undercarriage etc.. Clear Parts are passable yet have some warping. Several manufacturers make masks, but the definition of the plastic is such that you can cut your own.

INSTRUCTIONS

The fold outs are very clean and easy to read and I have to credit ACADEMY for making new sheets instead of copying Accurate Miniatures old ones. In particular are the arrows that show exactly where parts should be fitted. The only issue I have with them is the "?" or optional icons. Please tell the modeler why it's an option. Eighteen easy to follow steps bring you to the small foldout with the two markings choices;

  • 9th Bombardment Group, AAF Tactical Center, Orlando, Florida, October 1943. (Serial No. 42-64758)

  • 820th Bombardment Squadron, 45th Bombardment Group, Marshall Islands, December 1944. (Serial No. 42-64896)

DECALS

ACADEMY have chosen once again to have CARTOGRAF print their decals and again they did not disappoint having vivid colors, crisp detail and minimal carrier film. Missing, however, is the stencil data which in my mind should have been a no-brainer for the price of the kit. You can buy the stencil sheet when you take a walk down Aftermarket Road. :)
CONCLUSION

It will be interesting to see the fit on this one with the anorexic plastic and how filling, sanding, re-riveting and re-scribing will turn out. One thing is certain, I won't be pressing hard... Yikes! That said, this is a beautiful kit and well worth investing the extra for the aftermarket.

When purchasing your ACADEMY B-25G "Shark Mouth" please mention you saw a review on KitMaker Network AEROSCALE. Many thanks and enjoy your hobby.
SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent detail right down to the weighted tires, nice decals and easy to follow instructions.
Lows: Some flash, very thin plastic in places and the clear parts have a little warping. No stencil data.
Verdict: Plenty of detail out of the box with plenty more aftermarket options.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 12290
  Suggested Retail: $86 USD
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 13, 2019
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 81.82%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 82.72%

About HG Barnes (HGBARNES)
FROM: ALBERTA, CANADA

H.G. Barnes is a former voice artist and sales/marketing executive. Currently ghost writing, he's recently published the first of many Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, and Adventure novels. He's been building model kits of every genre since memory to go along with his short stories, yet aircraft h...

Copyright 2019 text by HG Barnes [ HGBARNES ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.



   

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