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I've been working on and off on this build for a couple of months, and decided you make a concerted effort over the last week to get it finished.

I've used Revell's latest 1/72nd B-17G, and Kits World decals to finish this model as the recently destroyed 'Liberty Belle' of Don Brook's Liberty Foundation. His B-17 was restored in the colours of his father's aircraft, on which he was a tail gunner based in Framlingham, Suffolk with the 390th Bomb Group.

Here she is in happier times on a visit to Duxford, England, a couple of summers ago:


To bring this up to 'warbird' standard I made a few minor modifications to the interior, such as adding a couple extra seats on the flightdeck, and leaving out the top-turret mechanism (I presume on modern warbirds this is an important weight saving.) The interior was also completely painted (as I saw when I went inside her) unlike her WWII vintage counterparts:


Revell's kit has the earlier non-staggered waist guns, so I had to move the startboard opening forward, and used a spare waist window from the kit to plug the gap of the original:


Being a late model B-17G, Liberty Belle also has the Cheyenne tail turret which is an option supplied in the kit:


Although I've not seen any photo's of the restored Liberty Belle with the bomb-bay open (in fact during my tour of her there was a wooden floor installed with spares etc in the bay) I decided to open the doors on my version to add a little interest:


Here are some general shots of the finished model. I used a silver/grey automotive paint as the real warbird Liberty Belle was painted in this way (I presume for protection) rather than being in natural metal:





The Kits World decals were excellent and give a good representation of the nose art. I also added the modern aerials applied to the real aircraft, which you can make out behind the chin turret:


Finally - here she is with an older and war-wearly sister ship built last year:


... 1 & 2 fired up and ready to go:


All in all a straight forward build of a super little kit. Here's hoping one day we'll see the real 'Belle' back in the air.

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She looks awesome,i've picked up this kit for a upcoming GB here.

Any issues we need to know about,were the staggered waist hard to do.

It's a lovely kit - to be honest it's hard to fault the way it goes together.

One minor thing is the top turret sits a little high - I simply removed about 2mm from the base and now, to my eyes at least, it sits right.

The waist conversion was straightforward too.

First, I carefully measured the new postion using Aerodata plans I had, and drilled the outline. I measured the size of the original window and made sure the new one was exactly the same before any holes were made:


I then cut the new window out:


The original window was filled with a spare from the kit, and the new one shaped to size. Careful test fitting was needed during the trimming process:


Then the old window was filled and sanded:


Finally, a coat of primer and it was all done:


As the Revell kit only has the option for the opposite window arrangement, this appears to be the only option for a late mark 'G model. However, a later release may well address this - we'll have to wait and see I guess.

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Very nicely done! I have this kit in my stash along with the Big Ed set. When I look at all that photoetch, I get scared and put the box away! But someday I will tackle it!

I've seen the photos of the Liberty Belle fire (and the remains of the aircraft) and I'm quite sure you won't see that specific plane flying again. Maybe someone will use the Liberty Belle markings on another B-17. I know that there is a B-24J that keeps being repainted every couple of years in different markings. Once it was the "Dragon and its Tail" and once it was "Cocktail Hour." So maybe someone can do something similar with the B-17.



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As the Revell kit only has the option for the opposite window arrangement, this appears to be the only option for a late mark 'G model. However, a later release may well address this - we'll have to wait and see I guess.

On the Academy 1/72 B-17G you have to cut out the waist positions on one side of the fuselage so the staggered/unstaggered waist gun options are both available but you only get the Cheyanne tail position. The Airfix re pop of the Academy kit still has both waist position options and both tail gun options too!


Edited by Mike M
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A beautiful job on this fantastic B-17, Tom ! It is a fine tribute and looks great.

I recall the unfortunate "Liberty Belle" incident, as it happened not too many miles away from me. The fire damage after the forced landing was extremely severe, but perhaps there is a chance some sections or parts can help in other restorations.


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  • 1 month later...

Thought this might fit in here, I liked The Liberty Belle when she landed at Duxford and was sad to see her go.

I did a few pics of her and I had a chat with the pilot who brought her in.hope you like



Great Model by the way.



Edited by tedtaylor
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