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Matt B

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    Green Bay WI, USA

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  1. This got me curious as I too only recall seeing photos showing red outlines. I did some digging and found a photo I think shows the yellow. (Not my photo so it doesn't allow me to post directly), but you can see the nameplate on the canopy rail is clearly not red anymore and looks yellow. You can't really see any outlines on the fuselage codes, so I'm thinking they may have been repainted yellow at this point too. The photo is from March 1945 and since Landers was the CO of the 78th FG by this time, the yellow may have been the way of marking the CO's aircraft. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougsheley/4313620987/in/photolist-7zbreD EDIT: this may be the first version of his plane when with the 78th. Note the rail says "Lt Col" whereas later it just said "Col". Photos of the latter clearly show red outlines.
  2. @antonio argudo that top photo is exactly what I've been looking for! I kept coming up empty trying to find a factory/wartime photo of the entire front of that bulkhead.
  3. Finished up a couple more mods tonight. I had previously cut off the elevators and tonight finished off shaping them. The kit pieces had a pretty thick reinforcement where the elevator met the stabilizer so cutting it away also removed a bit of plastic. I built the shape back up with milliput then carved and sanded it into the correct shape. Not perfect, but good enough for me. The hinge points were cut away as well and I'll replace them with some styrene. Fit of the stabilizers to the fuselage is pretty much perfect. I also lightly sanded the ribs on the elevators to tone them down a tad. Elev 1 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr Elev 2 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr Then I decided to test my sanity and decided to open up the pilot's sliding window which almost ended with me ruining the windscreen. The clear plastic is a bit tougher than the gray and it took a lot of slow cutting, carving, filing, cutting, filing and so on. In the process, the bottom rail broke off. Not a big deal as I can add it back on later after I attach the windscreen and you won't be able to notice. However, when only one side broke off, I tried to glue it back and in the process got a nice glue fingerprint on the inside of the panel farthest to the right. After saying a few choice words I tried to see if I could sand it out and luckily it wasn't too deep. Started with 800 then then progressively got finer. I have yet to polish it, but it looks like a lot better than it did. The photo doesn't show it because the piece is loose, but fit of the windscreen is perfect. All of the clear parts fit perfect. Pilot Window by Matt Bourke, on Flickr These mods are definitely a little time consuming but I think it will pay off in the end.
  4. Another small update (hopefully no one minds these....I told myself before I started this that I wanted to track every step of the way) Spent an hour or so playing around with regular old kitchen foil. I carved away the raised oxygen hose and plumbing and then laid it down over the sidewalls to replicate the fabric covering. I burnished it down with a cotton swab then carefully cut out the details with a sharp no. 11 blade and ran some thin CA under the edges to tack it down. Later on I'll add the oxygen hose and wires back. I also used foil for the covering over the back of the instrument panel. Foil Fun by Matt Bourke, on Flickr One thing that I'm trying to do is make use of all the detail sets for the Monogram kit that acquired over the past 10 or so years. Not many additions are significant but I'm trying to use what I can. I'm putting as much detail into the nose as I can because I plan to leave off the Norden bombsight. Since all planes in a formation dropped their bombs when the lead plane did, not every plane necessarily carried one on each mission. This is why you may see some references to a "togglier" in some crews. A togglier was basically a non-commissioned bombardier. Since they weren't required to know how to use the bombsight or find targets, they didn't have to be a commissioned officer. They opened and closed the bomb bay doors, toggled off the bombs (hence the name) and operated the chin turret. So, without the bombsight, I figure more detail will be visible. The light cream colored piece here is the oxygen panel I cut out from a True Details sidewall and the other piece is a drift meter from the Verlinden set. I also made a small indentation on the exterior with a drill bit where the scope of the drift meter would be. It was a device used by navigators to aid in determining and correcting (if need be) the course of the aircraft. Nose Details by Matt Bourke, on Flickr Drift Meter-Ext by Matt Bourke, on Flickr Also, a note to those who have this kit, I found that attaching the nose and tail sections to the fuselage before closing it up will give me the best fit and prevent any steps on the side of the fuselage. You'll have to dry fit yourself to see if its the case for yours too, but this is what worked out for me. As you can see in the last photo above, I was able to get a nice clean, smooth joint between the nose and the main fuselage piece.
  5. Not entirely sure yet. I’ll be building a custom wood base and acrylic cover for the diorama but I have yet to determine the size. The plan is to use 3 vehicles (Jeep in RAF colors, standard tilly, US staff car) and 20-25 figures as I figure a US bomber landing at an RAF base would’ve garnered a bit of attention. I didn’t find any photos of the event so I’ll be able to use some creativity while hopefully keeping it realistic.
  6. Duly noted! I do have reason to believe the rear fuselage was painted on at least some Douglas built birds (google “B-17G Sweet Pea”) but my plan is the safe route with natural metal everywhere except the cockpit, turrets and floors. Im surprised I haven’t come across that Facebook page before...lots of great material in there.
  7. Thanks guys, hopefully I don't disappoint! @nsmekanik I've been following his build and am eagerly awaiting the painting stage. He's excellent when it comes to painting and weathering so I'm hoping to learn a thing or two. @72modeler Yup. Group letter was triangle A for the 91st BG, fuselage code was LG-V and her serial was 42-38083. Arrived at Bassingbourn on 1 Feb 1944 and was lost on 2 Nov 1944 over Merseburg. The tribute is kind of my goal. The more I found about the crew and plane the more I grew attached. From barely returning from their first mission and losing a crewman in the process to several close calls after, its all fascinating. Even more so is that the pilot, William Burtt, was only 21 at the time. It's a shame he was killed in a training accident after completing his tour of duty. What those men were doing at that age will never cease to amaze me. I've found a couple other photos of her as well. One is in the book The Wragged Irregulars of Bassingbourn and is a close up of the nose art and the other that I was amazed to see was actually a photo of the first Man O War with crewmembers after it crashlanded in England in the book Plane Names and Fancy Noses. I've read through the missing crew report as well after it was shot down over Merseburg which was interesting. There's a lot of 91st planes modeled but this isn't one of the more common ones so I'm hoping to do her justice.
  8. Couple more for today. Dry fitting of the oxygen canisters. Everything forward of the canisters will be covered in foil replicate the fabric covering. The Resin2Detail tanks are a little on the large side so I sanded one side flat where they will attach to the wall but I like the 3D appearance a lot better than the kit parts. Since the tanks were hollow in the back, I glued some styrene sheet to the back of the sidewalls to maintain the structural integrity before I carefully cut away the tanks with a small serrated x-acto blade. I cleaned it up a little then filled in my mistakes with perfect plastic putty. I also did a dry fit of the cockpit so far. There will definitely be a bit of detail crammed in there. The reason for the red putty where the flap controls are supposed to be is because the kit part interfered with the Eduard rudder petals. I cut it away and it will be replaced with an Eduard piece that I'll glue a little farther back than it should be so it will clear the petals. Oxygen Canisters by Matt Bourke, on Flickr Dry Fit 2 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr Dry Fit 1 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr
  9. Figured I'd start a thread for my B-17 that I've been tinkering around with for a month or so now. I've been an on and (mostly) off modeler for the past several years but doing a 1/48 B-17 has been a project I've been researching for a number of years now so over the past 10 years or so I've acquired most of the detail sets for the Monogram kit and and attempted to start that last year but I think I tried to do too much with it and my modeling skills weren't quite where they needed to be to turn that kit into what I had in mind so it got stashed away. Then around Christmas I saw HK came out with a 1/48 kit and after doing a little research I sprung for it and am quite happy I did. Yes, there are a couple inaccuracies like the rear fuselage being slightly too fat and the out engine nacelles sitting a tad high but those don't really bother and quite honestly after having the kit in my hands, I don't think they'll be all that noticeable when the model is finished. The ultimate goal for me is to build a diorama with this. I've done a fair bit of research on the particular plane I'm doing and the history of it is pretty interesting. One such part of that history that I plan to capture is a particular mission in which it had two engines knocked out by flak over France and it had to make an emergency landing at RAF Thorney Island. So that will be challenging but I'm up for it. The plane comes first though. I plan on going slow with this and will be going over the top detailing wise when you take into account what can actually be seen but I've always wanted to go all out on a B-17 and I don't have many other kits I plan on building so I have no problem spending some money on aftermarket bits. I'll start by pointing out the parts of the kit that aren't accurate for an "early" G. 1.) The radio room gun would not have been enclosed on early Gs. The set up was much the same as an F with the hatch open and the gun mounted on a ring that slid back and forth for storage. 2.) The wing tip tokyo tank vents were also not present on early Gs. These were added later and from the pictures I've seen, the two vent version located more in the middle of the wingtip seemed to be more common. 3.) The outer ball turret supports, parts V17 and V18, are incorrect for a G. Fs had the spherical housing over the support but Gs did not. I'm not sure how I'll tackle that yet. 4.) This isn't really an inaccuracy, but the antennas were not a one size fits all deal in that all planes had them....referencing prototype photos is a good idea for these. But all in all I'm really liking the kit and its been pretty fun so far. I'm starting by making the major modifications. The plane I'm building was the last B-17G-25-DL built which was the first production block to incorporate staggered waists windows, so I filled in the kit opening with sheet styrene and carefully cut out the new opening. It's just rough so far and I till need to enlarge it height wise but at least its there. Once the fuselage is closed I'll have to re-rivet the area but that shouldn't be too difficult. MRB_7054 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr MRB_7050 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr I also cut away the elevators from the horizontal stabilizers so I can reposition them in the down position. The other main mod that I think will go a long ways towards having a more accurate looking plane is lowering the landing gear. This photo is post-mod, but both the lowered and raised gears were modeled fully extended which would not be accurate for a plane on the ground. I cut away the entire torsion link assembly since they were undersized anyways and then made a cut at the top of the oleo flush with the collar and then removed about 2.5mm of material if I recall correctly. I was eyeballing prototype photos and I think this looks good for an unloaded aircraft. I then squared up both pieces and then drilled out the center of each piece then CA'ed a piece of brass rod for a strong, solid joint. I replaced part of the torsion links with pieces from the Monogram gears and still have yet to replace the oleo scissors with some styrene. Landing Gear by Matt Bourke, on Flickr Right now, my focus is on the cockpit. Like I said before, I'm probably going over the top but detailing like this is therapy to me and I enjoy it. The center throttle quadrant left a bit to be desired so I've modified it a bit by cutting away the bottom front of it then gluing in some styrene and shaping it into what it should look like. The back part of the top was also cut away and replaced with a portion of a True Details console as I liked the 3D detail better than the kit and also better than what Eduard offers for photoetch. Speaking of Eduard, the sides and top of the console as well as the floor of the cockpit have PE pieces which look pretty good to me. I still have to add all sorts of lever but that will come later. The control columns for the pilot and copilot will also need a little work since I'm not too big on how they look. Center Console by Matt Bourke, on Flickr The seats were next. I tried my hand at using Milliput for the first time to make the seat cushions and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. I still have some areas to clean up with a file but they're done for now too (they're not glued to the armor yet, just stuck on with blue tack). Seats by Matt Bourke, on Flickr That's all I've got so far. I'm currently tinkering with the sidewalls. I cut away the half relief oxygen canisters and will be replacing them with Resin2Detail tanks. I'm also trying to replicate the fabric covering on the sidewalls with some aluminum foil. As for markings, the plane I'm doing is "Man O War II" from the 91st BG. The 91st memorial website was down for a while but just recently got back up so right now I'm sifting through the daily mission reports trying to learn more about the crew. If you click on the flickr link, I've included a brief history of the plane in the description for those who are interested. The first "Man O War" lasted only one mission but the 2nd was a bit luckier and managed to complete 77 missions before being shot down. I'm modeling it in late April of 1944 (before the red tail surfaces) when it had between 20-25 missions to its name and was still being flown by the original crew. Original Crew of B-17G-25-DL "Man O War II" by Matt Bourke, on Flickr
  10. This link may be of some interest. http://ww2in172.com/?tag=academy Is your question how do we know Ruptured Duck had color while the others didn’t? From that link it seems most of the information regarding names and/or nose art on the Doolittle planes comes not from photographs but from Ted Lawson’s recollections that he describes in his book Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. The planes used on the raid had no art on them when they left on the Hornet so there wouldn’t have been much at their disposal at sea in terms of paint, hence why three of the four planes with actual art had it done in white. If the man Lawson approached was indeed an avid painter, it’s possible he might’ve brought a few things with him to paint with for after the mission when they were in China if it was a hobby. It’s plausible considering one crew member went so far as to bring a phonograph and records with him on the mission. Long story short, the lack of documentation is due to the crews hastily painting shortly before the mission and not everyone being photographed and the reason Ruptured Duck had color was Lawson just happening to know the right person.
  11. The easiest and really the only way is to use the serial number to determine the production block. Douglas introduced staggered waist guns at block 25 while Boeing and Vega were both at block 50 I believe. Some of the Kitsworld sheets put the production right on the cover but some don’t. Then it becomes a question of what is colorful enough for you and whether or not you want to stay away from the 91st BG. Yes there are a lot of 91st builds out there but that’s a product of it being one of the most documented bomb groups. That said, most of the “colorful” schemes Kitsworld offers are on later Gs with staggered waists and/or Cheyenne tail turrets. An example of one that might be of interest is Mini the Moocher of the 303rd BG with the large red border around the triangle C. She did not have staggered waists. The only issue is that the plane likely had the group marking on the top of the right wing in addition to the tail but the decal sheet only gives you tail markings. https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/KW48014?result-token=eKtvm Another possibility is Swamp Fire with the yellow triangle K https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/KW48065?result-token=eKtvm EDIT: it looks like Swamp Fire had a Cheyenne tail retrofitted to it at some point, but I’m not sure when.
  12. MRB_7054 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr MRB_7050 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr And here's an up close look at the staggered window on a 25-DL. Notice the large opening for the gun with the notch at the top left. The small rectangular panel is a patch from damage. Douglas Staggered Waist Window by Matt Bourke, on Flickr
  13. Same here. I’m in the early stages of mine and will be going all in on it. I’m building a -25-DL and will post pictures later tonight after work of the staggered modification. The most challenging part of the whole thing will be fashioning new windows but I think I may be able to pull it off. I have a couple good up close reference photos as well of the gun mounts and windows since Douglas one piece windows differed from Boeing and Vega. The mount itself was actually the same utilized in the 3 panel windows, only the canvas boot was on the outside on Douglas birds as opposed to inside on 3 panel windows.
  14. I didn’t notice the outer nacelles either until it was pointed out in a discussion on a different site. From my estimation they sit about 3mm high. If you look at the outside of the outboard engines there’s a small access panel that should sit right in the middle of the wing but it’s slightly higher. Doesn’t really bother me. Like the slight fatness of the fuselage, the more I look at it the more I don’t notice it. In terms of fit, one of the wings on mine is perfect while the other is slightly off with a small gap on the top but It looks like filing off a little material from the top half of the wing will remedy it and it will be a non issue. Bottoms of both wings are perfect. Stabilizers are perfect too and the top fuselage piece looks to be a good fit too, but it’s probably going to be a piece you want to start gluing at one end and slowly work your way to the other. Without being glued, the main fuselage pieces want to “lean” in at the top so that’s why it doesn’t look the best when dry fitting. You’ll want to be careful cutting/cleaning the sprue gates on the top piece. Two areas I would suggest taking a close look at are the tail and nose sections. The instructions call to install both AFTER the fuselage is closed but depending on the fit you may want to install the pieces before gluing the fuselage. On mine, I’m gluing the tail pieces on before hand but haven’t decided with the nose yet...the fit might be good enough to do afterwards but the fit of the tail was not. I’ll gladly deal with a small gap on the top and bottom rather than with a step on the sides.
  15. HK's definition of an early G is non-staggered waist guns and the standard stinger tail. When they first released the 1/32 model they did so with a late G with staggered waists and the Cheyenne tail and there was plenty of feedback from modelers wanting the standard tail and non staggered waists, so it seems they decided to try and remedy that with their first 1/48 release, however there are still a couple things not typical of a true "early G". The enclosed radio gun and wing tip vents for the long range Tokyo tanks were not found on early production Gs. Also, the spherical fairing covering the ball turret supports on the outside of the turret were common on F models but not many, if any Gs. As has been stated, its best to look at photos. Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed-Vega all made B-17s and not everyone always introduced modifications at the same time. Also, even if a plane didn't come from the factory with a certain mod (enclosed radio gun or Cheyenne tail) it could've been modified in the field. A couple good sites for production blocks and serial numbers are: Serial numbers Production blocks Since the model has just recently been released it may take a few months for the aftermarket companies to catch up. That said, Eduard has gotten a head start. Searching on Hannants will show several PE sets available either right now or in future releases. Their Brassin line also offers a nice set of resin replacement wheels. I imagine we'll see a set of Brassin resin engines in the future as well like is available for the 1/32 kit and the Monogram 1/48 kit (If I had to pick one area lacking in the HK kit it would be the engines). Master offers a nice set of metal barrels. Even though they may be marketed for the Monogram kit they will work just fine with the HK kit, especially since HK decided to mold the barrels separately in the kit and the gun breeches are already drilled out. The Master barrels are slightly wider than these holes so you'll just have to widen the breeches a tad with a pin vise. For decals, the best bets have already been mentioned. Kitsworld has come on in recent years offering a number of sets with nice nose art. The Aeromaster/Eagle Strike sets were very nice but out of production. Ebay and Ultracast (mentioned above) are your best bet for those. Last thing I'll touch on is figures. Unfortunately, there are not many sets to be had. While Scalemates lists a bunch of sets, most of the useful ones for a B-17 diorama are out of production and only show up once in a great while on Ebay. The Verlinden USAAF bomber Crew, Teknics American Bomber crew and above mentioned Preiser set are all very nice but are out of production and not available anywhere. A couple Verlinden sets to show up regularly on ebay and those are the USAAF fighter pilots (3 figures, one of which is in full flight gear) and USAAF Ground Crew (3 figures). CMK also has a couple sets - US Bomber Pilots (3 figures, including one in full gear and another in a flak jacket) and US Fighter Pilots (2 figures). The ICM pilot and ground crew set mentioned above is also pretty nice. Another option is if you have any old Monogram 1/48 bomber kits in the stash, there's usually several figures in those. Happy modeling!
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