Book author: Marek Katarzyński
In a typical format of the SMI series we are given 80 pages filled with archive photographs, both colour and black and white, colour drawings presenting four selected machines used on the MTO and two pages with unit badges and pin-up nose-arts.
Book content is divided into separate sections, as follows:
- 340th Bomb Group
- 321st Bomb Group
- 310th Bomb Group
- 319th Bomb Group
- Color gallery (also divided into smaller sections of particular BGs)
- Nose “pin-up art” section
- Bomb Group insignia & patches (contains also BSs insignia)
- Color drawings of four selected planes
Most of the written text consists of the detailed descriptions of archive photographs. We can find there information about plane names and serial numbers, names of pilots and crew chiefs, dates of taking photos, locations and circumstances in which the plane was catched on photographic film. Sometimes there are also few words about characteristic details of the plane markings or colors featuring particular machine. From the modeller point of view these are quite informative details and clues of the way of finishing the scale replica.
The core and essence of the SMI content are archive photographs. Inside we will find 197 black and white followed by 36 color photographs depicting planes of all four bomber groups which used B-25J. All of them were deployed on Corsica. As the publisher declares many of these photos are published for the first time. The main focus of the photos is put on showing decorative nose-arts and other individual markings (like for example on the vertical stabilizers) so the front part of the Mitchell comes up very often. There are many close ups accompanied by crews posing to the picture in front of their planes. Very interesting shots were taken during combat flights or in bases but these are rarer than close ups of the girls. For me its not a fault. Few photos presents crash landed machines on the piles of stones or with torn off engines being examined by soldiers, which are great inspiration for dioramists or small display bases.
All texts of photo descriptions or introductions of each section are written both in English and Polish, with text put into two parallel columns or one above another.
Markings and decals options
- B-25J-2 “MMR” (Margaret Mary Rustin), s/n 43-27751 – nr. 50 (previously Roman “III”), pilot Lt. W.C. Morton, 447th BS/ 321st BG, Solenzara, Corsica, late May 1944
- B-25J-2 “Paper Doll”, s/n 43-27473, nr. 73 (previously Roman “III”), pilot Lt. J.W. Yerger, 447th BS/321st BG, Solenzara, Corsica, late May 1944
- B-25J-2 “She's Engaged!”, s/n 43-27559, pilot Lt. John W. Allen, 380th BS/ 310th BG, Ghisonaccia, Corsica
- B-25J-2 “My Naked Ass!”, s/n 43-27704, nr. 7-A, pilot Lt. W.W. Holmes, 487th BS/ 340th BG, Alesani, Corsica, 1945
From the planes depicted on colour drawings at the end of book only the “She's Engaged!” is not present on the decal sheet. For three remaining planes we will get serial numbers, pin-up girls and other individual markings in three scales – 1:32, 1:48 and 1:72. Stencils and national markings will have to be obtained from other aftermarket sets or leftovers from other kits. Decals are printed by famous Italian decal producer – Cartograf. I am especially impressed seeing outstanding quality of the pin-up girls. Drawings on the decals are as sharp and detailed, including soft shadings and contours, as on the reference close-up photographs inside the book. The only difference which I can notice between decals in 1:32 and 1:72 scales is their size. On one of the serial numbers in 1:48 scale I have noticed a tiny black drop on the yellow digit “7”. Because of this damage publisher provides an additional erratum decal of this number without any flaw.
We are given another interesting book with a lot of superb quality photographs. With the addition of Cartograf decals and great four-side profile drawings of Janusz Światłoń, modellers get necessary and almost complete tools and references for finishing their replicas in very attractive painting options. Information given in text about colors, painting techniques and circumstances of camouflaging the Corsican Mitchells provide good background for wide range of finishing techniques. With a wide variety of other references, more technical, this books is for sure a highly recommended source of inspiration for the decorating of B-25J's from the MTO.
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