Sunday, June 17

Zotz 1/32 B-25J Mitchell at War Pt. 2 decal Preview

 Zotz’ have released the second set of decals from their B-25 series of “Gun Nose” variants – (The Glass nosed variants are reviewed here) these are printed in 1/32 and 1/72nd scales and have some  five ( six on the  1/72 sheet) colourful subjects in their sights – let’s have a look in this preview
Zotz 1/32 + 1/72 B-25J Mitchell at War Pt. 2 decal sheet

Product #   ZTZ72/035 + ZTZ32/053
Scales: 1/72 + 1/32
Colour Schemes: Six in 1/72 and Five in 1/32
Printed by: Zotz in Mexico
Available from:  Zotz Site where you can buy directly - SquadronSprue BrothersMid-Ten Hobbies , Stevens International , Hannants   Scott’s Model Workshop also carry this set if they are closer to you.
1/72 US$30 + P&P / 1/32 US$30 + P&P

This set no doubt was brought forward by the release of the gun-nose B-25 kit from HK Models, but there is also a set for the 1/72 scale fans as well. This edition covers the later gun nosed Mitchells – some with some of the most colourful artwork seen in the war on any aircraft.

This set comes again with vinyl masks for painting the nose and it has been researched thoroughly by Aleks Vasa we have the preview profiles and images of the real thing for you to get you in the mood…

The first profile is of the bare metal finished bird from the 345th BG the “Air Apaches” called “Lady Lil”

These falcon nosed birds all carried the birds head on the nose and many were also adorned with lovely nose art – we are lucky enough to get “Lady Lil” on the front of this decal. You can see where the guns were removed from the sides in this pick
Another bare metal finished aircraft “Black Panthers” from the 38th bomb group in Okinawa in 1945.

This aircraft – like its name suggests and like the rest of the squadron - had a massive panther nose art painted on the front to make her look more menacing (as if they needed help with all of those guns) the pictures below show the evil looking cat salivating out of its mouth –

The next bare metal aircraft on offer is B-25J 44-29147 called “French Kiss” from the 41st Bomb group.

This aircraft would have been pretty scary to see in flight with its nose and turret guns and eight HVAR rockets under-wing, it has the nose-art of “French Kiss” on the nose with a sassy mademoiselle to boot! 
 The very Tres bien nose art!!
“Betty’s Dream” was a famous pacific Olive Drab Mitchell with a massive black bat on the gun filled nose and the words “Pop Rice” denoting its pilot Capt. Charles E. “Pop” Rice, Jr. of the 499th Squadron.

 “Betty’s Dream” is still flying today – well there is an aircraft currently  in her colours you may have seen – but below is a wartime picture of this aircraft and her impressive nose armament. “Pop’s” aircraft had 22 mission symbols and two Japanese silhouettes on the side of the aircraft by the time the war ended.
Betty’s Dream escorted two “Betty” bombers carrying the Japanese peace envoys to Le Shima on August 19, 1945, and again on the return mission from the conference in Manila with General MacArthur’s staff.

My favourite of this group is the very colourful OD ship “Emergency Strip” of the 71st BS the “Wolfpack” surprisingly or not these ships had a large wolf motif on the font covering the whole nose

This aircraft was based in the Philippines and almost to suit the wolf’s head the double meaning of a naked lady and “Emergency Strip” really suit each other – it makes me think of the old Disney cartoon with the rampant wolf!
This aircraft has vinyl masks supplied to lay down the colour to help in decalling this beast's nose. -  here is some more shots of the nose-art
The last aircraft on this version is exclusive to the 1/72 sheet, This aircraft was called “Glamazon” and was OD over Neutral Grey and was an earlier G model from the 820th BS, 41st BG in the 7th Airforce – based at Okinawa.

Some pictures of the modifications done to this ship
This ship was field modified to the “J” standard 8 gun nose and to carry HVAR rockets. There are some great pictures below of some of the modifications done to this aircraft – the research done by Aleks was excellent.
This sheet is now available (hopefully soon the HK kit will be as well) and you can order this decal sheet from the Zotz Decals website or from the other stores mentioned in the header of this preview.