Jump to content
Gewehr 43

B-25J Air Apache

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

This is my rendition of B-25J s/n 43-36199, as it would have appeared in late spring, 1945 in the Philippines. At the time, it was serving in the 501st Bomb Squadron of the 345th Bomb Group - the famed "Air Apaches." This group was famous for transforming the B-25 from a medium altitude bomber, to a low-level attack aircraft. With eight forward-firing M2 .50 caliber machine guns in the nose, and a potent bomb load, strafer B-25s savaged Japanese shipping all throughout the Pacific campaigns.

 

This particular aircraft had its nose reconfigured to the strafer configuration in the field and it was never repainted. At some point before the reference photos, its right rudder was replaced, leaving only part of the unit insignia and tail number. Oddly, the reference photos show the vertical stabilizer to be darker than the replacement rudder, so I tried to capture that here. I recently traded a member here my glass nose version for his strafer kit, and below is the result.  Thanks, Reuben! 

 

This is the HK Models 1/32 kit with a significant number of add-ons.  I used Eduard photoetch sets for the cockpit, bomb bay, and fuselage in addition to their resin wheel kit. I also included AMS resin props, G-Factor brass landing gear, Master Model brass .50cal MG barrels, and EagleCals aftermarket decals for the kill marks, crew names, and tail insignia. All national insignia and markings are custom made on my stencil cutter.  Paints were MRP, Tamiya, and Vallejo.  Weathering was a mix of everything - MIG enamel washes & pigments, oils, silver pencils, airbrush, etc.  

 

I really threw the kitchen sink at this one.  Hope you like it.  :)

 

5oUEDW4.jpg

 

Reference photos taken just after a crash landing:

DGwFmys.jpg

 

DfhHEKo.jpg

 

199 in happier times:

7wL4yes.jpg


QRmbne3.jpg


kqgASbc.jpg


eA2HPiM.jpg


ZnovcCX.jpg


KsvmOBg.jpg


VMdn56U.jpg


UvMymre.jpg


cwcGc4h.jpg


S0diQHG.jpg


co0LHjm.jpg


yrNQ9Kl.jpg


R3CzAV6.jpg


BYFpIZR.jpg


tAmM7iz.jpg


YsD9PMQ.jpg


IFbEKSs.jpg


dCkwgS5.jpg


JsmmxI0.jpg


g03Baqw.jpg


JD7lusL.jpg


LXZoXT4.jpg


duYFDwT.jpg


Uj3eFys.jpg


99XEQqX.jpg


gLtSRtr.jpg


D6Q1kBg.jpg


pgnvRHr.jpg


vXQW3RC.jpg


jAuM0Xq.jpg


7Kx2zLL.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Gewehr 43

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Very impressive build! And what a subject. The story of how those B-25s came to be is really interesting. The Saga of the Fifth Air Force under George Kenney is really amazing. He took a broken, demoralized and spread our Air Force when he was sent to be MacArthur's Air Force Officer, and turned it into the most formidable Air Force of the war. Not just in the Pacific. MacArthur let him run the Fifth how he wanted and he turned it into an amazing fighting force and he had some true aviation Pioneers working for him. One who didn't even had a pilots license, who joined up in the Philippines named Pappy Gunn.  He also had our two top scoring aces, Bong(40) and McGuire(38). 

 

Gunn's family was trapped in the Philippines and having joined up in an odd way, General Kenney had to pull some strings to get him rated as a pilot.  He and Kenney were really the master minds of putting the machine guns in the nose, and working out how to make it all work.  If I recall right, they sent him to North American to help with the factory produced versions. If I recall right he and Kenney came up with skipping bombing using these aircraft, and Kenney was big in the development of the original retard bomb, 100 pound frag bombs with a parachute, to keep them from hitting right under the bomber.  These units savaged Japanese shipping and airfields. 

 

Kenney wrote a book about Gunn, called the Saga of Pappy Gunn, and I think its in print again. He also wrote a book about Richard Bong, and he turned his own notes from the war into a book called General Kenney's reports. I have it for download http://www.theshermantank.com/wp-content/uploads/General-Kenney-Reports-a-personal-History-of-the-Pacific-War-By-George-C-Kenney.pdf, and its a fascinating read. Since it's based on his notes, its not perfectly accurate history, but its still very interesting. 

 

Kenney had to run his air-force on a shoe string at first, and had to beg for P-38s. He also went to great lengths to keep the planes he had running, including sending teams to wrecks in the mountains and other remote places in New Guinea. Because so much of New Guinea had no roads, but trucks were still useful in forward areas, he came up with teams that learned hot to cut the trucks into air transportable chunks, that would be flown to forward bases and put back together. He wanted to maximize his sortie rate with his transports, he had special teams that could unload and load aircraft at very rapid rates. That practiced on a wrecked fuselage and got it down to a finely tuned routine.  He even snuck an airfield within fighter range of a very large Japanese base complex. 

 

It's a little sad very few people know who General George kenney was, or what his role in shaping aerial warfare was. His Air War in the South Pacific was far more interesting than the war the 8th waged over Europe. 

 

330px-George_Kenney.jpg

Edited by JeepsGunsTanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful build!! If you want to know more about this bomb group you should read Jay Stouts Air Apaches, it is a brilliant book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, JeepsGunsTanks said:

Very impressive build! And what a subject. The story of how those B-25s came to be is really interesting. The Saga of the Fifth Air Force under George Kenney is really amazing. He took a broken, demoralized and spread our Air Force when he was sent to be MacArthur's Air Force Officer, and turned it into the most formidable air force of the war. Not just in the Pacific. MacArthur let him run the Fifth how he wanted and her turned it into an amazing fighting force and he had some true aviation Pioneers working for him. One who didn't even had a pilots license, who joined up in the Philippines named Pappy Gunn.  He also had out two top scoring aces. 

 

Gunn's family was trapped in the Philippines and having joined up in an odd way, General Kenney had to pull some strings to get him rated as a pilot.  He and Kenney were really the master minds of putting the machine guns in the nose, and working out how to make it all work.  If I recall right, they sent him to North American to help with the factory produced versions. If I recall right he and Kenney came up with skipping bombing using these aircraft, and Kenney was big in the development of the original retard bomb, 100 pound frag bombs with a parachute, to keep them from hitting right under the bomber.  

 

Kenney wrote a book about Gunn, called the Saga of Pappy Gunn, and I think its in print again. He also wrote a book about Richard Bong, and he turned his own notes from the war into a book called General Kenney's reports. I have it for download http://www.theshermantank.com/wp-content/uploads/General-Kenney-Reports-a-personal-History-of-the-Pacific-War-By-George-C-Kenney.pdf, and its a fascinating read. Since it's based on his notes, its not perfectly accurate history, but its still very interesting. 

 

Kenney had to run his air-force on a Shoe string at first, and had to beg for P-38s. He also went to great lengths to keep the planes he had running, including sending teams to wrecks in the mountains and other remote places in New Guinea. Because so much of New Guinea had no roads, but trucks were still useful in forward areas, he came up with teams that learned hot to cut the trucks into air transportable chunks, that would be flown to forward bases and put back together. He wanted to maximize his sortie rate with his transports, he had special teams that could unload and load aircraft at very rapid rates. That practiced on a wrecked fuselage and got it down to a finely tuned routine.  He even snuck an airfield within fighter range of a very large Japanese base complex. 

 

It's a little sad very few people know who General George kenney was, or what his role in shaping aerial warfare was. 

 

330px-George_Kenney.jpg

 

Thanks for sharing all that!  Yes, you're absolutely right.  The story of the 5th AF, Pappy Gunn, the gunship -25... all of it.  It's really incredible.  I listened to both Air Apaches and the Race of Aces while building this, so that helped build the momentum for both this and the Guadalcanal P-400 I posted a while back.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is by far one of the most impressive Mitchell presentations i've seen up to now, very very very good looking end result!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...