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 REVIEW: FoV B-25 "Green Dragons"

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pmmaker

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Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : Somers, Connecticut, USA

PostSubject: REVIEW: FoV B-25 "Green Dragons"   Tue Feb 21 2017, 11:16

I purchased this model a few years ago because I wanted an all silver, gun-nosed B-25 of the South Pacific.  Unfortunately, the only choices were the Corgi “Bats” which is extremely rare and very, very expensive or this FoV offering. I chose to go the FoV route.  I figured I would do a review just in case someone else was thinking of getting this model, but wanted some more information to base their decision on.

The Review

Overall mold:  This model is fairly accurate in terms of size and shape.  The model is very heavy and has lots of metal.  In doing a comparison with my Corgi “Heavenly Body” B-25, this model is spot on in terms of size and quite a bit heavier.  This model is 4mm longer, but that can be attributed to a different type of nose.  This model has the solid, 8 gun nose while my Corgi has the glass nose. The only negative I could comment on is the upper gun turret.  For some reason FoV has molded this turret too shallow in terms of its height and it sits too flat.  The bubble turret should be higher.  It is well molded and FoV even molded the turret retaining ring onto the fuselage.  

Fine details:
It is said the devil is in the details and that is true here too.  This model features finely engraved panel lines.  They are fairly deep (which is great for a Code 3 repaint) but not too wide.  Rivet detail is sparse, being limited to the engine area.  The rivet detail is recessed featuring two small concentric circles evenly spaced.  They look very realistic and add to the model.  Other fine details include the scoops on the engine cowlings, small antennae, clear landing lights on both wings, detailed landing gear struts and tires with threads and fine framing on all glass components.  The guns are made of a soft, pliable plastic (which is a problem as they are bent) and include the gas vents on the gun barrels. Both the waist and tail guns have the leather sheeting covering the area where the barrels protrude painted a brown color.  The model also features opening bomb bay doors which exposes a detailed bomb bay with engraved bulkheads and a staggered bomb load which includes olive drab bombs with the yellow stripes.  For all these positives, there were a few problem areas too.  The propeller blades have some silver over wash on them.  The yellow tips are the wrong yellow, are too large, and the black wash has bled onto them.  My model’s starboard propeller does not spin freely because the engine is not glued into the cowling exactly straight.  While not noticeable when looking at the model, closer inspection from above shows a very slight tilt to the left.  

Markings & overall finish:
Here is the main problem area.  Those collectors who want their models to be factory fresh pristine, this one isn’t for you.  The model is finished in a flat aluminum finish.  This gives the model the look of a plane that has seen much use in the hot, humid South Pacific sun.  The dragon nose art is well done and is not a decal.  The national insignia are sharp, but the blue is too light and on my model, the top wing insignia has a faint bleed through of the undercoat silver on the white bars.  The main issue is FoV’s wash.  The wash is too dark, too much, and too inconsistent.  The wash is so inconsistently applied that it affects the details.  The wash makes this model look very grungy and dirty. Some of the engraved panel lines have no black in them, while in other places the wash is thick and has left blobs of black to mar the surface.  These “blobs” are unsightly and have to be rectified.  The green on the tails is painted to match the green on the nose’s dragon marking.  But again, the wash has made it appear faded and dirty.  Another issue are the nose blister gun barrels.  Made of soft plastic, they are bent in any number of ways rather than being straight.  Bending them straight is not as easy as it sounds as they tend to want to go back to their original shape.  Fixing them requires a Code 3 modification which I will describe in the next section. So the overall finish of this model is its main problem area.  If you are an unpack and display collector, you probably will pass this one by.  But if you are like me and you don’t mind making a few simple modifications, this model can be a beautiful addition to your B-25 collection.

The Code 3 Mod

I had to do a few fixes and added some detailing to make this model stand out.  Here are the areas I modified.
Panel line wash: I used a fine tip Sharpie marker and inked in the panel and control surface lines that did not have ink.  Removing the wash would have been too time-consuming and besides, I like my models to have inked in panel lines.

Control surfaces:
I repainted these with Tamiya acrylic flat aluminum paint.  The original wash was too heavily applied and needed to be “toned” down.  It was easier to just over-paint the outer wing flaps and tail horizontal stabilizers.  Now they look much better.

Black blobs: Whenever possible, I used a sharp No. 1 Exacto blade and gently  scraped off the offending black.  In other places (such as around the engine nacelles) I repainted the area with the flat aluminum.

Propellers: I repainted the propellers black, added the yellow tips, and hand painted the Hamilton Standard propeller markings.

Exhaust/engine detail: Using my Tamiya pastels (the soot, rust, snow set) I added some exhaust staining around the engines (both upper and lower) and to the small vents on the upper wing. I also added gun exhaust around the nose guns.  As to the engines, I used my gun metal paint and using a fine brush painted the engines

Nose guns:  Here I tried to “bend” them to shape.  They just would not stay where I bent them.  Losing patience, I simply cut the barrels off, bent them a bit, and then I reglued the barrels back onto model. I glued them in a way that I used their “bend” to keep them where I wanted them.  So now instead of bending “outwards”, the bend keeps the guns pointed inward and straight.  Then I repainted them using gun metal paint.

So now I have a model that I really like and am proud to display.  Here is my model.  

pmmaker












Now how I'm displaying her in flight mode:






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PBRStreetgang

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PostSubject: Re: REVIEW: FoV B-25 "Green Dragons"   Tue Mar 21 2017, 19:40

A beaut review. I have a thing for the 405 BS (Green Dragons) as they operated out of Australia and then New Guinea (including NADZAB, which was taken by Parachute Assault). It was also one of the first USAAF Squadrons to reinforce the USAAF in Australia after the fall of the Phillipines and Dutch East Indies.

Then of course the squadron persistently had the best nose art, along with the 499th BS"Bats". However the "Bats" arrived much later in war and did not do the hard yards over New Guinea in 42.

Excellent revew PMmaker. the B25, like the A20 is in the top three of my favourite Allied aircraft of the war and I am an enthusiastic collector of the Pooch B25. But no FoV, which is odd as they have beaut schemes.

It has to be on the target list,...doesn't it??  Laughing
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Propwash

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PostSubject: Re: REVIEW: FoV B-25 "Green Dragons"   Tue Mar 21 2017, 23:52

Nice job making this B-25 look good! I don't know if the B-25 is like their B-26 but, if so, they are pretty easy to pull apart and fix (and put back together again!). I purchased the FOV B-26 "Flak Bait" and had to disassemble it to fix everything from the interior to guns and turrets. Like yours, it looks much better now.
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pmmaker

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PostSubject: Re: REVIEW: FoV B-25 "Green Dragons"   Wed Mar 22 2017, 06:35

Propwash wrote:
Nice job making this B-25 look good! I don't know if the B-25 is like their B-26 but, if so, they are pretty easy to pull apart and fix (and put back together again!). I purchased the FOV B-26 "Flak Bait" and had to disassemble it to fix everything from the interior to guns and turrets. Like yours, it looks much better now.

Post a thread!  I for one would love to see your Flak Bait B-26.

This one just needed some cosmetic fixes.  I myself would never take a die-cast model apart unless it was absolutely necessary.

Yes PBRSteetgang,  while not as refined as a Corgi  B-25 by any means, the FoV version is acceptable and offers a gunned nose version that Corgi generally doesn't do.

pmmaker

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The Mad Hatter: "Have I gone mad"
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