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Suddensky

HKM 1/32 B-17... NMF Workhorse

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My first WIP so I thought I might as well make it a big one. This might take some time as I'm not the speediest builder in the world but I'm hoping that as I go along all my stupid questions will have a context, so in effect this will be a BM team effort! All comments and suggestions are very welcome, if you can see a way for me to improve something then let me know! Also, tell me if you want more or fewer pics, or anything else like that regarding the posts themselves.

It's been in the stash, luring me gently, since Christmas.

So, the huge B-17G from Hong Kong Models, there are plenty of reviews on line and they all do a much better job than I can of describing the kit so I won't go in to all that much detail here, I will just add this: It's big.

Very big.

Haven't decided on the final markings yet, that's definitely an area for inspiration. It will however be NMF finish, I really like the grey/OD look but I'm banking on a release of the F so I can do Ye Olde Pub along with Stigler's '109. Similarly, I don't really want to end up with a restored airframe, I'm going for a well used look on one of the thousands of aircraft which never really made the headlines or is seen at airshows today but just put in the hard yards at the time. Any suggestions would be gratefully received! National insignia will be painted on so it's the nose art, numbers and unit markings I'll be looking for.

Anyway, thanks for looking and on with the show...

Obligatory box art shot, along with my special advisor:

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And the plastic, not spread out for spue shots, more sort of piled high...

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And the aftermarket stuff;: The basic Eduard interior set, HKW seatbelts, Eduard masks, and the very nice looking master barrels.

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Started off putting together the tailplanes, rudder, bombs and oxgen tanks, not too exciting to look at so no pics needed. Then moved on to the flight deck. The instructions, although the diagrams are tiny, are great in that the sub assemblies are clearly broken down in to seperate kits in their own right.

I hate doing this to the kit parts in readiness for the etch... especially after someone has gone to so much trouble to produce it:

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But then it starts to look a bit better:

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Control coloumns with miliput boots. They should be flush with the floor I suppose, but some things are just beyond me:

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Cleaned up and painted, think I'll tone down that shine a bit! Was going for the creased leather look:

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The seats and metal floor area were sprayed with Vallejo ModelAir Aluminium and then got the sponge and maskol treatment prior to the colour going on. Might have overdone it on the flooring? But well used is what I was after...

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And after a Vallejo grey wash:

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And the floor:

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The plywood floor is a coiple of coats of Tamiya Wooden Deck Tan followed by Flat Earth appplied sparingly and almost dry with an old toothbrush. After some trials I found that it needs to be an old one so that the bristles are more spread out. The knot marks were then picked out with a cocktail stick in a darker brown.

The HKW seatbelt set also came with these very nice looking resin seat cushions:

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And they even threw in the decals too, so after a splash of paint:

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Interior Green Issues: Of the selection of interior greens in the paint drawer, (all a gen-yew-ine representation, honest guv, would I lie to you?... And yet.. strangely... all different) I went for the ModelAir as it seemed to be the closest match to the Eduard etch colours. In hindsight I think this was a bit of a mistake and will go for the Tamiya followed with a dark wash, the Vallejo is just showing as a bit too 'green' and shiny for my tastes. You can see the difference here from the etch on the side of the console with the floor:

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And gradually it starts to come together:

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Those throttle levers look a bit dodgy! They'll have to get that looked at before the next mission!

I really like those seat cushions, but I'm also happy with the seats themselves. Would it be beyond the realm of possibility that the cushions on one of the seats would be removed for some sort of maintenance reason and chucked haphzardly on the floor behind?

Many Thanks for looking,

Regards,

Peter

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Not much progress over the weekend, apparently there are things I should be doing which don't involve sticking bits of plastic together... who knew?

So pretty much finished off the flight deck, the other cushions/dinghy will be propped up against the second dickie's seat. The HKW belts are great and I think they really look the part, much preferable to my eye than PE parts. They are a bit fiddly but that's only to be expected, finished them off with a bit of dirt wash.

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Broke out the Tamiya Yellow, anyone for oxygen?

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Also managed to get the bombs done and masked.

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Some lovely moulding on the cockpit sidewalls...

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And getting ready for the etch... what a shame...

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Cut out the door on the bulkhead between the flight deck and the bomb bay, will do the same for thenext one back as well. Didn't turn out too badly, am really quite surprised!

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I think that I'll be adding a crew jeep at the end of this and would like to do something about the bombs too, maybe have them on some sort of transporter ready to be loaded.

Edited by Suddensky

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Excellent work so far Suddensky, bravo for starting this monster too!

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This is one kit I'd love. But I have no room and the cost would get me a divorce before I'm married.

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I fear you have awakened a sleeping giant. Didn't someone say that once?

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This is one kit I'd love. But I have no room and the cost would get me a divorce before I'm married.

Yup, the space issue might prove a bit of a problem upon completion but it's a comfortably long way in the future so I'm just ignoring it for now! As for the other issue it was actually a present form my lovely wife last Christmas so no worries on that front, although I don't think I'll be mentioning just how much Alclad I'll be needing, or how much it costs!

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Excellent work so far Suddensky, bravo for starting this monster too!

Many thanks, I'm treating it like lots of small individual kits. It's less daunting that way. And once I got over the fear and actually got started the whole thing suddenly seemed a lot more manageable!

I fear you have awakened a sleeping giant. Didn't someone say that once?

Apparently so... and hence we have the B-17!

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This is a great start. I hope you don't mind if I "borrow" some of your ideas when I tackle this kit. Really magnificent work.

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OK, a quick update in between Dinner and Downton...

This week's modelling has mostly been taken up with gas and bombs. Finished of the bombs with Vallejo ModelAir '16 US Dark Green:

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A bit too clean so put on a bit of Vallejo white wash to try to give them the outdoor bomb dump look. If you are going to build this kit then watch out for the fins, on some of part number P7 the lower locater pin is misaligned and needs to be trimmed off to ensure a clean fit. It's no big deal but a bit odd as it was only on about half of the ten P7 parts. Must remember to touch up the fins where I've trimmed them from the sprue but other than that they ended up looking OK I think, ready to be hidden in the bomb bay:

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Progressed with the flight deck sidewalls, added the etch and and a spot of dry brushed aluminium. On the Eduard Interior set there are parts 65 and 42 which form some sort of control console. However, acording to their instructions, the placement is impossible as it clashes with the driver's seat... so I left it out.

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A bit too clean? Yup, I agree, so on with a Flory wash and a quick rub down. Also added the Oxygen tanks... Remind me to tell you about those...

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So the securing straps for the O2 tanks, provided in the Eduard set, are, to say the least, a little fiddly... I mean who'd have thought it? It's not as thought they're 32 times smaller than the real thing is it...

What?...

Oh...

Anyway, CA proved a bit messy so I tried very thin strips of double sided tape, which in the event stuck everywhere it was not supposed to and then when finally in place proved to be about as sticky as water. So back to the CA followed up with a spot of matt varnish over the shiny bits of excess glue. I can live with the result. In addition I used the longer straps provided on both the top and bottom instead of one short and one long, it seemed to give better coverage and the longer ones are not mentioned in the Eduard instructions for later on in the build. I just hope it doesn't come back to bite me.It does make the fit a bit tight though. Oh... and don't forget part O9... I mean I'm not saying that I did or anything, but there is a reason that some of the O2 tanks have a single locator pin hole on the front... I mean what kind of idiot would miss that?

Put the flightdeck walls togher with floor...

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And the bulkhead...

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There should be more dramatic progress to report in the next update and for Heaven's sake someone remind me to re-attach the door in an open position before I stick on the bomb bay.

Right, off to see what Lady Mary has been getting up too...

Regards,,

Peter

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Awesome job so far,but you have a loooooong way to go yet.

One i will say,the wood floor area's on WW2 B-17's(ie...not Warbirds) were painted in a black non slip paint just like the P-51.....which most people also incorrectly model with a nice wood finish..

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Awesome job so far,but you have a loooooong way to go yet.

One i will say,the wood floor area's on WW2 B-17's(ie...not Warbirds) were painted in a black non slip paint just like the P-51.....which most people also incorrectly model with a nice wood finish..

It's true, there are just so many options, but I tried the wood look and quite liked it, I'll be going for the non slip matting from the flight deck backwards. Similarly for the interior from the radio room rearwards I'll be looking at completely aluminium, completely green, or a combination of aluminium skin with green spars and additions... It's a can of worms and no mistakes!

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Right, on we go. Not much progress this week, so bear with me. I'll post this bit now and hopefully have a bit more by the end of the day.

Bomb bay companents ready for assembly:

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And all together:

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This was all pretty tricky to dry fit and as a result did not go strictly according to plan. The main spar which also forms the bomb bay walkway fits in to the rear of the flight deck bulkhead, and to do so it contours around some of the raised detailing. On the test fit it didn't seem to fit well enough in to the right place, so with a little fettling I got it in a bit further, I didn't want to overdo it as I didn't want a gap between the spar and the bulkhead. In the event however, I should have gone all out and got it right in. I think it ended up too long by about half a mil, not much but just enough to make the fitting of the bomb bay walls pretty problematic. The issue was that there was now a gap on one side as I fitted the walls, as the too long spar was acting as a pivot. It all had to come apart, more fettling, clean up the old glue, and back together again. A right pain.

In addition I think that I must have fitted the bombs incorrectly as there was no way on earth that the sidewalls with bombs in place would fit, the bombs just clashed with theose on the centre rails. So off with the outer bombs.

Oh, and in that last pic you can see through in to the flight deck... see the yellow oxygen tanks? Yeah, well, that's where I should have re-attached the door... nice work there Peter... :banghead:

So that was majorly fiddly to get back in place and did not come out at all as well as if I'd dome it before sticking everything back together, but there was now way it was coming apart again, so here we are, all ready to go:

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And this is kind of what I was hoping for, a view all the way back through the bomb bay (complete with Tamiya rubber black non slip flooring) in to the radio room:

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Right, on with the radio compartment. Kind of wish I'd splashed out on the Etch for this bit as it'll be pretty visible through the roof and gun position, but too late now! The front interior set gives what looks like navigational equipment and says to place it on the readio operators table, but to be honest I'm minded to stick it on the nav position table in the nose. Hope I don't regret that decision. Also, the instructions give no mention of the two chairs for the radio room, they are there however as sprue J is replicated four times, so you do get the requisite four chairs. OK, enough messing about on the internet, time to stick some stuff together... more to follow, hopefully pre-Downton.

Thanks for looking,

Peter

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The internal wooden doors were more often than not removed at depot level prior to the Fortress being issued to a Combat Group.

They were one less thing to explode and injure aircrew if hit by Flak fragments or heavy calibre rounds,also removing them speeded up the evacuation/bail out process

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The internal wooden doors were more often than not removed at depot level prior to the Fortress being issued to a Combat Group.

They were one less thing to explode and injure aircrew if hit by Flak fragments or heavy calibre rounds,also removing them speeded up the evacuation/bail out process

This is excellent news! I'd read that the one between the radio and waist positions was usually removed, but if they were all taken out then this is great! They came out pretty cleanly with a bit of patience but I was still working out how to get them back on - and looking realistic - in an open position.

Many Thanks Indeed!,

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Evening, a quick mid-week update whilst I have a quiet cleansing beer to help me ponder upon what has happened and try to find a way out of the hole I've got myself in to regarding the work so far. But more of that later, first of all some more progress:

Sprayed the fuselage interiors, Vallejo Model Air, Interior Green and Aluminium:

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Yup, you're right, a bit too clean, so on with a light spray of dark grey wash:

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That's more like it.

Finished off the radio room components:

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And the rear of the last bulkhead which is the front of the waist gunner and ball positions:

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Leaving aside entirely the oft-discussed issue of the wall-mounted ammo cans, the Eduard set really adds to them, although it doesnt seem to provide a flexible ammo chute to replace the kit parts which will now have to start from a different position from that intended by HKM so a little fettling will be required.

And all together (chairs to follow):

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And mounted in the fuselage:

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And that, dear reader, is where the problem was encountered. To be frank, the completed interior section does not fit in to the fuselage. This is a bad thing.

From what I can see, the problem lies with the bomb bay section, which is showing as somewhere between a mill and a half and two mill too long. I think it is probably to do with the central spar/walkway being too long as I mentioned previously, and now it has really come back to bite me on the behind. Every other bulkhead and floor is snug against each other (and the bom bay roof fits perfectly) so that's the only place it can be. The bomb bay bulkheads had to be forced in to the corresponding slots on the fuselage and there are locator pins which are way out of sync. When finally persuaded in to place the walls of the bomb bay were buckled to such an extent that I'd imagine that the whole thing wouldn't last long under any circumstances. One side is a lot worse than the other which leads me to belive that the rear bulkhead of the bob bay has indeed pivoted about a vertical axis on the too long spar and left one side 'OK' and one side way out.

So, what to do next?

I could take it all apart, shorten the spar and rebuild it. The issue is that it's all held together with CA and by the time I've de-bonded everthing and cleaned up I'll be looking at a right mess. The other option which sprang to mind was to take a fine circular dremmel bit to the too long bomb bay side walls and spar, cutting through them at the bulkhead, removing the offending couple of mill and then bonding them together again. A quick rub down and a lick of paint and it'll all be as good as new... Actually, having just thought that through as I wrote it, it sounds like a potentially disastourous idea which will not go well and end in more trauma.

So any suggestions would be gratefully received. On the bright side there is plenty more Fortress to be getting on with in the mean time...

Thanks for looking and TIA for any suggestions,

Regards,

Peter

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