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B-25J "Old Ironsides III" - HK Models 1/32 - 'Finished


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So this will be my first "online" build. And i will be sharing my build progress here on LSP...


Project: B-25J-2 "Old Ironsides III" based at Alesani Airbase, Corsica 1944-45.

12th Air Force, 340th Bomb Group, 488th Bomb Squadron.



Photo of "her" around september 1944, supplied to me, by Dominique Taddei (Author of USS Corsica)


Kit: Hong Kong Models 1/32 B-25J




Aftermarket: Profimodeller, Eduard, Brassin Wheels, HGW Seatbelts, Scale Aircraft Conversion Metal Landing Gear, Montex Mask etc...




I have to admit , starting "her" almost a year ago, but went "cold" after completing most of the Cockpit.

I didn't have a subject that i was happy with or interesting enough, to keep me going. 


But now I have and i'm on "fire" again..


Seeya! Kent

Edited by kkarlsen
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Will be following with interest. If its anything like as good as your Beaufighter, Im sure we are in for a treat.


Im also interested in the air war over Italy, and the US 12th & 15th AF aircraft. Im sure you have seen the film 'Thunderbolt!' about the P47's based in Corsica in '44. Much tougher conditions on the ground than for the UK based 8th & 9th AF boys- either very dusty or very muddy...

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Guest Peterpools


Looking forward to following your progress on the B-25. No question that the Am end is fully covered.


Keep 'em coming


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HK models has a few special marked boxes that came with weight and metal gear. They also sell them separately to. Check Pacific Cost Models 





Liking the build subject and :post1:   Kent

Edited by Vandy 1 VX 4
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Thank's for the warm welcome Guy's! I will definitely give the Landing Gear a second thought!

But i figured, she will be getting pretty heavy with all the Lead Pellets i will be adding to "her".


And I am not at all impressed with the SAC landing gear!


My Photoshopped version of "Old Ironsides III"



Edited by kkarlsen
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So I finally managed to got the Cockpit done...


A couple photos of the cockpit:
It's a mix of Profimodeller and Eduard Photo Etch, HGW seatbelts and some scratch build details.
Seat cushons made from Magic Sculp, Oxygen bottles from sprue, lead wirering, a wooden Navigator table etc...
Added some of the Plumbing behind the Instrument Panel, because I want this to be viewable from the Bombardier's Compartment.
The Instrument Panel had the back of instruments added and cables, although I do not think that this will be showing when I close the fuselage up!



Edited by kkarlsen
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Thought you might be interested, if you havent seen it already, in these web pages about the 340th BG and their B25's based in Corsica in '44-45.




Many interesting photos and bits of information

Interesting but sad page about a collision between 8U and 8P: http://www.warwingsart.com/12thAirForce/8u8p.html


It also has a flight schedule from 23rd August 1944, when 'your' aircraft, 8R, flew a mission along with the 340th BG to Settimo road bridge & town with 1st Lt E.W.McDonald as pilot and 2nd Lt R.R,Vertrees as co-pilot- also a mission list for the 340th BG between March '44 and April '45: http://www.warwingsart.com/12thAirForce/340thmissions.html


Theres also lots of interesting info here: http://57thbombwing.com/340th_History/488thSquadronHistory.php

4327474/8R flew many missions with many different pilots and crew in the campaigns across Italy, Southern France and eventually Austria. It flew 2 missions on 15th August 1944 in support of Operation Dragoon, the invasion of Southern France, and the last time it appears on the squadron records is the 26th April '45, flying the last mission of the war for the 488th, to Steinach rail bridge in Austria, so 8R survived the war. Post war, it seems the 488th Left Rimini, Italy (where they had moved at the beginning of April)  on 4th July and travelled an arduous route via North Africa, Ascension Island, Brazil and Florida, eventually arriving at Hunter Field, Savanna, Georgia on 19th July '45 where the crews were sent on 30 days leave! They were due to begin re-training for deployment to the Pacific, but Japans capitulation put a stop to that and the squadron was de-activated November '45. Ive had a brief look, but cant find any information as to 4327474's fate, but was probably flown to Kingman, Arizona to be scrapped in late '45 or '46. A sad end to a noble aircraft, but a worthy subject to build indeed!

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Thank you very much Sir. I already knew the links to no. 488th Bomb Squadron.


I have been "trawling" through all of the Missions to get a view of "her" combat story.


The documentation shows "her" flying the first mission on 16. May 1944, just three days after the german aerial assault on Alesani Airbase.

An aerial shot of the three "promonitonal" planes, in the middle B-25J-2 Serial No 43-27474 (8 R) - later to become “Old Ironsides III†
The incident that necessitated the painting of the upper surfaces with Olive Drab, was due to the heavy losses of the german raid on May 13th.
The report states: "Of approximately 90 planes on the field, 65 were put out of commission, of which 30 will be totally lost to the group, though parts of approximately 24 of them can be salvaged. The death toll of the raid has now risen to 20 and a couple of other boys are still in a bad way".


Mike Laney who has been researching B-25 Squadrons for 25 years, supplied me with this information about "her", including "her" survival, just to end up being scrapped - But i didn't know the details about the return to the States..


My research was sparked when I was looking for a link between Joseph Heller (Author of Catch-22) and a "real" B-25J,

not the fake Identities of the Planes in Catch-22.


I am always trying to fit my modelling into a Historical Context. It's not just the kit, but also creating a diorama to

display this "Historical Context" or "A Frozen Moment In Time" - As I did with my RAAF Beaufighter diorama. 



I have written about my "quest" finding a link to Joseph Heller, in another forum, but I think it is only appropriate, to put it here too!

Maybe, more pieces of the puzzle, may come to light?
As I mentioned, I began doing some research looking for a Catch-22/Joseph Heller/B-25J Mitchell connection.
And after searching the pages on 12th Airforce, 57th Bomb Wing in Corsica, I finally found something.
I was looking into planes from 340th Bomb Group/488th Bomb Squadron, based at Alesani Corsica.
This was the Squadron Joseph Heller was assigned to.
But the only plane I was able to find a photo of and identify, was “Old Ironsides III†Serial No 43-27474 (8 R). And nothing regarding Joseph Heller.


At this time I “struck gold†when I found “The Unwritten Record†Blog, of The National Archives. Here i found a link.
Last year they had tracked down some unedited footage of a military training film Shot by Wilbur Blume in 1944, at the Alesani base in Corsica.
This footage is starring our famous Catch-22 author Joseph Heller, in many scenes!  
I could not believe my luck, moving pictures of B-25's together with Joseph Heller.
And most amazingly, the footage shows the same plane “Old Ironsides III†together with Joseph Heller! 
This is a capture from the military training film Shot by Wilbur Blume in 1944, showing Joseph Heller in the middle of the crew and with “Old Ironsides III†right behind him!
I have been watching these films continuously since i found them, they are amazing!
Lots and lots of interesting details, never seen before, it's a Goldmine for modellers!
The footage was to be used for a film that was to be named "Training During Combat"
There are 9 Reels of film, Reel 1 8:43, Reel 2 8:08, Reel 3 8:04, Reel 4 7:55, Reel 5 7:53, Reel 6 8:26, Reel 7 6:42, Reel 8 8:17, and Reel 9 8:44.
Around 80 minuttes of high quality footage! No sound. Here you go! 
Captures from the footage: Joseph Heller at work at his Bombardier station on the B-25J.
Dominic Taddei shared info on these photos:
"On the photo showing Joe in the bomber cabin, it was a training flight over a small island in front of the west coast of Corsica, on Google Earth Argentella bay."
I later found information, of Heller being assigned to several of the planes of the Squadron, including “L'll Critter from the Moonâ€and “Duration Plusâ€. He flew 60 combat missions during his service.
(The B-25J at Duxford American Air Museum, has just been repainted into “L'll Critter from the Moonâ€)
This is as far as my research into finding a subject for my modelling of the HK Models B-25J went, and i am really exited to be doing this!


Here is my planned diorama for "Old Ironsides III" at Alesani Airfield, Corsica around July/August 1944 - Including Joseph Heller!




So, now I got my "story" to keep me busy for the next many months! Kent Karlsen

Edited by kkarlsen
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Wow looks great!  The kit is really nice, and makes for as much or as little as you want to do.   Pit looks great so far!   If you haven't already done so or mentioned it, ditch that SAC junk and get a set of  the G-Factor legs. They are VERY nice indeed, and you can polish the oleo sections for a much more realistic look.


Also the HK props are really bad and need replacing. AMS as well as at least one other company (in the UK I think maybe?) make very nice replacement props.


Looking forward to more!

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