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Found 3 results

  1. I'm involved in putting together a biography on someone that was a pilot on the main B-17 in Operation Rusty. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Rusty states "two Boeing B-17Bs were modified to fly at extreme altitudes and very long ranges. They were painted blue to minimize contrast with the sky, stripped of all unnecessary weight, and any identification marks were removed." For my own fun I've acquired the kit and conversion kit to build a model of this aircraft. I have several mysteries to solve before making a model loosely based on this specific aircraft. One is going to be camera locations and level of conversion to C model specs. Would the bathtub that was later replaced by the ball turret have been filled with cameras? The second is the paint scheme. If you read Paul T. Cullen's biography, it states that he was sent to observe RAF recon in Africa. Another source says it was during the Syrian campaign. His assignment corresponds to the beginning of this campaign. I don't know when PRU blue first came out but it was at least prior to 1941. Roosevelt had been in Cairo at least a year prior to Operation Rusty. He was a strong proponent for the US using British aircraft for photo-recon missions. Cullen would have observed the effectiveness of the PRU blue. http://34th.photorecon.org/html/aircraft/haze.html states that Haze was tested by USAAC until December 1941. Lockheed was given orders to paint their F-5's with it in March 1942 about the same time as the B-17's would have been prepped for the April mission. Operation Rusty was a push the envelope mission. It would make sense to use the newest camouflage to give it an edge. On the other hand if you are pushing the edge why not use proven technology where you can. Roosevelt and Cullen were involved with preparing for the mission and may or may not have recommended the use of PRU blue having seen it in action. http://www.theworldwars.net/resources/resource.php?r=camo_usaaf states that the US didn't start painting their aircraft in PRU blue until 1944. I'm leaning towards Haze over PRU. @Dana Bell your book seems to be the primary reference quoted on many internet sites talking about Haze Blue paint. I joined this forum after finding some feedback by you in this thread What are your thoughts on this? Thank you in advance. Below is the only pic I can find of camera installations in a B-17. Looking at the markings it was probably considered an RB-17G not an F-9C.
  2. I've been working on this on and off for the last few months and have finished it off this week. I've used the classic Revell 1/48th B-17F kit and coupled it with Koster's vacformed beautiful early Fortress conversion set. This comprises a new rear fuselage with the distinctive 'shark fin', a new early nose and cockpit transparency as well as other various vacformed clear parts, along with some additional air intakes for the early oil cooler set up - all in all a very comprehensive conversion set. You have to undertake other mods to the Revell kit such as shortening the nose (the later Forts had a longer nose due to the heavier rear fuselage needing to be rebalanced), add additional seats to the flightdeck as well as reshaping the later paddle-bladed props to the earlier 'needle' type. The cowl flaps have to go too, as these weren't introduced until the D-model. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so here's a good summary of the work carried out: DSC_0063 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr I started with the Revell F-model kit rather than the Monogram G-model as the nose is far easier to modify - I just needed to blend in the larger cheek windows and then open them up in the shape of the smaller windows seen on the earlier models. Here you can see I have removed the necessary section to shorten the nose, as well as removing the rear fuselage and the Koster rear part is being offered up for size: IMG_E1388 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr I decided to do a later scheme used by the RAF on their Fortress Is which was slate / extra dark sea grey uppers with PRU blue undersides. I used my favourite Xtracolor enamels with generic Xtradecal codes and insignia to cobble together a 90 Squadron machine which was operated out of Polebrook in the Autumn of 1941. DSC_0091 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0058 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0064 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0066 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0068 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0070 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0073 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0081 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0082 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr DSC_0088 by Thomas Probert, on Flickr The fit of the Koster parts was exceptional - once they were removed from the backing sheet and sanded correctly it was like working with an injection-molded kit. In fact, the Koster parts fitted better than the Revell kit! The only tricky area was the nose transparency - this was a little too large to fit the Revell nose, but some careful trimming and careful blending with Milliput solved the problem. I'm now trying to get hold of the 1/48th Privateer conversion, but now Koster kits are OOP I'll have my work cut out - and they're currently going for silly prices on eBay! Regards to all, Tom
  3. I am finally getting around to starting on my Academy/Minicraft 1/72 B-17C, for our group's Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary build. I want to add a little detail to the interior, using plastic & stuff (No commercial aftermarket parts). I have already scratch-built the supercharger & intercooler intakes. I am ready to start on the cockpit, but I am not sure if the B-17C actually had 4 seats or only 2. A google search wasn't very informative. Are they the same type of seats that were in the B-17G, with the same elaborate truss structure? Does anybody have any good photos, showing any other details in the cockpit, especially the sidewalls and the rear wall? One of the drawings I found online, which is said to show a B-17B, shows the cockpit floor as higher for the pilot & co-pilot, and lower behind them. Is that correct? I am also looking for detail in the nose compartment. Are there any books that have the info I am looking for? Most of the details I have been able to find is only for the B-17G, and sometimes the B-17F. Larry lengesath(AT)cox(DOT)net
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