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"B-25J "BOTTOMS-UP II" from 486th BS, 340th BG" Topic

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1,275 hits since 18 Sep 2011
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Pajaro Muerto18 Sep 2011 11:24 a.m. PST

I want to model this plane with C-in-C's beautiful B-25J mini, but there are two interpretations of its colors that I know of:

Rudders and top of cowlings a dark blue of possibly a faded black? This is what the painting on Osprey's "B-25 Mitchell Units of the MTO" show:

Rudders Olive Drab. This is shown this way in profile 22 of the same book (talk about contradictions!)

Plus, the engines and the underwings and elevators (top and bottom) are painted either an olive yellow, dark yellow, or zinc chromate. Anybody know which?


Full article: link



I implore the knowledge of ye wise B-25 sages!

Pajaro Muerto22 Sep 2011 10:51 a.m. PST

Guess no fans of B-25's, huh…?


highlandcatfrog Inactive Member23 Sep 2011 1:21 p.m. PST

Big-time B-25 fan here (though with a preference for the 5th AF strafers)!

There's a pretty good website for the 340th BG: link

Looking at this section of it, and scrolling down about 2/3 you'll find a b/w picture of the plane in question in an earlier paint scheme: link

After looking at the Osprey and reading the captions for both the plate and the color photo, my guess would be that the photo was taken after the battle damage (right engine knocked out) had been repaired (new engine) but before the primer had been stripped off to return it to natural metal (same applies for the underside of the tail). I doubt that the left engine or the entire underside of the wings were in that zinc-chromate primer; if they had needed to be replaced as well the whole plane would have probably been scrapped. Showing them in primer on the color plate and on the model is probably just someone's over-active imagination run wild, based upon the damage the aircraft had received to the right engine (and presumably the tail from fire/debris).

Rudders, I believe, were o.d. for the Group. The black on top of the cowlings is probably a squadron marking.

If I were doing her, I'd paint her in the o.d. over n.m.f. scheme as shown in the picture linked to above as the evidence for that scheme being used for a longer period is stronger (the whole Group was in that scheme for quite some time). I doubt she bore that primered look (as shown in the Osprey photo) for more than a few days, as it would have made her stand out like a sore thumb, essentially a big flying billboard reading "Shoot at me!"

Anyway, that's my 2 cents, and I hope it helps.

Pajaro Muerto23 Sep 2011 2:07 p.m. PST

Thanks for the help, Cat Frog :)

Too bad there's no dark blue or black rudders though. The colors sure look interesting on the Osprey book cover. I wonder what information leads to the two distinct interpretations in the same book. And neither has any captions about colors. Was there no editing?!

highlandcatfrog Inactive Member23 Sep 2011 5:44 p.m. PST

Was there no editing?!

Of course not – it's an Osprey. grin

<Don't get me started about their editing, sloppy research, plagiarism, etc.>

The different interpretations are probably due to different interpretations of colors from b/w photos by people who know little (or nothing) about the schemes used on WW II aircraft, coupled with a total lack of due diligence in researching to see if their theories have any merit. This one is particularly disturbing for lack of common sense though – didn't it occur to them that ONE plane on a mission painted in such a visible and garish manner would draw ALL of the enemy's fire, and thus not likely to have actually been worn into combat?

Btw, those CinC B-25s sure are beautiful. So are your paint jobs! Wish I had your talent.

And I'd just about kill for someone to do decals for the 38th BG squadron nose insignias or the 345th BG group tail insignias.

Pajaro Muerto26 Sep 2011 9:33 p.m. PST

Many thanks for the compliment :)

I should have you know that yesterday I almost finished three converted B-25D's from 345th BG, two parrots and a bat. (498th BG look more like mean parrots than falcons to me…)

One is RED WRATH, the bat is of course DIRTY DORA and the third falcon I can't remember… Once all those tiny windows get a gloss coat, pictures are going up to Air Pirates and CY6! Yahoo groups.

I'm quite proud of them; the conversions took a long time. I reinforced the glued-on wings with a centimeter of bass guitar string inside each (I drilled holes), to make sure my time investment is safe for gaming ;)


highlandcatfrog Inactive Member28 Sep 2011 9:45 a.m. PST

I agree with you on the falcons. thumbs up

I've painted the parrots on two GHQ B-25s and they're really not too difficult. What I'd love to see a decal for is the Chief's Head tail insignia, as I'm loathe to try that free-hand.

Looking forward to seeing the pics when they're done.

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