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B-17G 42-31582 Ol Scrapiron --- FINISHED!!!


Ol' Scrapiron

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It might sound a little bit gushy, but I'm enjoying this build like you would not believe.

 

I'll leave it at that. No other explanation should be necessary.

 

Keep the updates coming, you have my attention here!

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All fire(wall)-ed up

 

This evening’s little diversion was adding some “detail” to the ALMOST completely hidden area behind the engines.

 

My inspiration comes from some shots I took of B-17G 44-85790 Lacey Lady being restored in Salem, Ore.

B17-Lacey-Lady-Salem-2017-06-29-9783.jpg

 

 

and B-17D 40-3097 The Swoose in the NMoUSAF's restoration hangar at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio.

B-17D-Swoose-NMoUSAF-Restoration-2018-10

 

 

I started off with some less-than-smooth tin foil and bits of Evergreen rod and strip, and a “hole” punched from the aluminum can. My goal was not to be precise, because I was replacing the smooth plastic of the kit and wanted some business to imply something was back there.

B-17-1-48-11-23-18-8281-nacelle-bulkhead

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With some rough paint (intentionally)

B-17-1-48-11-23-18-8282-nacelle-bulkhead

 

 

And just to see what would be visible with the engine in place

B-17-1-48-11-23-18-8283-nacelle-bulkhead

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B-17-1-48-11-23-18-8285-nacelle-bulkhead

The camera doesn’t capture it very well, but in person you can actually see some of the work – especially the dark disc at the top part of the firewall. When I actually get the wing painted and engines installed for real I will try to snap a couple shots with better lighting 

 

I’m calling it “worth the effort” even though only the fanatic observer would catch it if not pointed out.

 

 

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Update: I am officially stupid!

Rather than just put the prop in the hole to get the shot above, like an idiot I inserted the rod (attached to prop) and the short brass tube into position. When I pulled the prop out the tube stayed in the engine... actually slipping through the firewall and into the gap between the firewall and the bulkhead I built in the wheel well. I'm not tearing that up and there's no way the tube will magically align itself with the hole it barely fits through. I can cut a new tube easy enough but the wing rattles with the little brass piece bouncing around inside. I could squeeze some cyano glue in there and shake it til the piece glues itself in place... or let it be as an interesting story of the build.

 

Wait, I have an official announcement: From here on out the space behind engine No. 2  shall be the Rattles-den.

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Tonight’s Episode: “I was going to wing it… but I was too exhausted”

 

Here’s where things left off yesterday.

 

The firewall sections of all four nacelles were made “busy” with some added textures and a little wire for the hydraulic lines (painted red in case they are actually visible).

B-17-1-48-11-24-18-8286-wing-exhausts.jp

 

Tonight’s adventure started with the realization that there was no way I was brave enough to mask all this extra work on the nacelles, wheel wells and the boxed in vents securely so I could apply the underside gray with a spray can… and if I did, I’d never get a good enough match in a bottle to brush over any mistakes down the line. I decided to throw caution to the wind and start applying large amounts of some new Model Master enamel (there’s a whole other mis-adventure with that, but I am not going there.)

 

Once I had the area around the nacelles mostly coated I started in on the exhausts/turbochargers. I examined some of my photos of touring Forts and those in museums showing a variety of “rustiness” burnt/oxidized.

 

B-17F 42-29782 Boeing Bee

B-17-Boeing-Bee-MoF-2014-06-18-1411.JPG

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B-17-Boeing-Bee-MoF-2014-06-18-1413.JPG

 

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B-17G 44-85740 Aluminum Overcast

 

B17-Aluminum-Overcast-Boeing-Field-2011-

 

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B-17G 44-8543 Madras Maiden

B17-Madras-Maiden-Renton-2018-04-02-6285

 

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B-17G 44-83735 Mary Alice

 

B-17-Mary-Alice-IWM-Duxford-2008-02-17-6

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B-17-Mary-Alice-IWM-Duxford-2008-02-17-6

 

 

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B-17G 44-83546 “Movie” Memphis Belle

 

B-17-Movie-Memphis-Belle-Detroit-2010-08

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B-17-Movie-Memphis-Belle-Detroit-2010-08

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B17-MMB-Flight-Renton-to-Spokane-2014-05

(yeah, that's me pulling the props through before a flight!)

 

There are plenty more photos, but you get the idea.

 

 

 

Back to the model...

 

I tried to mimic the overall average for the used-but-not-abused look.

B-17-1-48-11-25-18-8294-wing-exhausts.jp

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B-17-1-48-11-25-18-8296-wing-exhausts.jp

 

I drilled out the end of the exhaust and intended to insert a tiny bit of stretched sprue to represent the flap that is just inside the pipe. However, my pics show (almost) all as being closed on parked Fortresses so I decided to leave it be.

 

B-17-1-48-11-25-18-8295-wing-exhausts.jp

 

I got impatient and added the Nos. 3 and 4 engines and their cowlings. I also carefully installed the brass tube with a spot of super glue. I decided NOT to stick a propeller on to test it fearing that one stupid molecule of super glue that hadn’t completely cured would be enough to instantly lock the prop in place forever. I still need to cut another segment of tubing to replace the one that is rattling around behind the No. 2 engine.

 

B-17-1-48-11-25-18-8299-wing-exhausts.jp

 

Landing gear was stuck on just for the photos, but I think they’ve been on and off enough that the next time they go on had better be the final assembly.

B-17-1-48-11-25-18-8301-wing-exhausts.jp

 

Anyway, that’s where she stands for now.

 

Bonus points for anyone who noticed the fuselage has magically sprouted new cheek gun modifications.

Also, I am finding multiple pics in the 447th BG archives that have chin turrets but no cheek mod on the left side. One very clearly shows the turret with the mod on the right and no mod on the left.

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On 11/25/2018 at 6:32 PM, Thom216 said:

Some nice ref pics. Hope you don't mind if I nipped them!😉

She's looking good with her wings on.

 

Of course Thom -- that's the reason I share my photos. I've been blessed to visit so many museums and attend air shows and I know others don't have many opportunities. On my site ( http://447.insidetrackmagazine.com/  www.447bg.org ) I have posted lots (and LOTS and LOTS)  of photos I have personally taken of aircraft, tanks/vehicles, artillery that others might use to help with a build. Plan to spend some time browsing -- bring some popcorn and be amazed.

I would add pics of all 33 Fortresses I have photographed (plus the Boeing 307) but I might break the reference thread (and it would be a lot of work 😂 )

 

Wings are just slid into place (I like Monogram's connection method that allows the wings to be removable.)

 

 

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This afternoon's step forward ... or backward (yet to be seen!)

 

After seeing so many posts where builders use the salt method to break up what would otherwise be a monotonous color area I decided to give it a try on the propellers.

 

Wet the props down and used moistened salt in random clumps on the blade surface….

 

B-17-1-48-11-25-18-8303-salting-blades.j

 

Wait for the water to evaporate  ….  Mist on some flat coat  … Wait for it to dry completely  ….. Wipe off the salt to reveal a perfectly smooth surface with just a hint of subtle variation.

 

Sounds easy-peasy.

 

 

 

 

Hmmmmm…. The salt clustered up pretty good with the flat coat. While I was wiping the salt away (would that be a prop wash?) I became concerned that it would be abrasive enough to grind away the decals, or worse take a chunk of paint with it.

 

I switched to a dampened paper towel to remove the last of the salt granules and residue until the blades feel relatively smooth to the touch. Unfortunately, it seems there was some minor pitting or something etching the once-smooth surface. I’m going to let these set overnight and see if the paint levels out a bit, and if needed maybe hit it with another shot of flat coat tomorrow.

 

B-17-1-48-11-25-18-8305-salting-blades.j

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B-17-1-48-11-25-18-8307-salting-blades.j

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B-17-1-48-11-25-18-8308-salting-blades.j

 

They look like as though they’ve been through a flak field – not my intent.  It's not as bad as they look in these photos, but we'll have to see how this turns out.

 

For now, better get the crew chief on it if she's going to fly tomorrow's mission ("Oh yes, Keith Davenport, there'll be another mission tomorrow" -- Lord Haw-Haw)

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That's an excellent idea - Top Tip - to get all the prop decals in an identical position on each blade. I am a 'stickler' for rotating props and it's bad enough trying to get yellow tips looking consistent when the prop is spinning. This is a fascinating build and background - enjoying it immensely. Wiring.... what next, I wonder?

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No pics, but some progress.

 

I have "repaired" the props with a layer of Future to help even out the pitting, and then sprayed some Testors flat coat -- I suppose they look fine now, but I can see evidence of the marred finish. Sigh.

 

I have been inspired by V-P-P's "Dreambaby" build to revamp the command deck. No pics yet, but it looks much better now IMHO. I also noticed became painfully aware that the paint I've been using for DDG in the cockpit had a very fine metal flake to it. When I first applied it I sort of liked the "sheen" it gave those darker parts. But after a dash to the store I was able to find that same color in the non-metallic variety -- and I like it much better now.

 

I also was able to mask off the underside of the wing (vents, engines, exhausts, etc... ) out to the inner/outer wing break so I could spray some primer on the wings and fuselage. Wow, what a difference. I am kicking myself for not having done that to the overall kit right at the beginning. The paint is going to go on so much better now, compared to the inner parts that I brush painted directly on the plastic.

 

 

I am loving all the builds that are shaping up in the this STGB, and so glad it has put some life back on the workbench. Great therapy!

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Please have a seat …

 

As long as I was adding some no-skid mats to the command deck and putting on some non-shiny DDG, I decided to revisit the seats from Monogram… yuck.

 

Using the kit seat as a template for size, I made up a new chair structure based on my photos (which I have posted in the reference thread) and this drawing shared by Karl Hauffe in a facebook thread.

 

seat-tech-drawing-from-Karl-Hauffe.jpg

(courtesy Karl Hauffe)

 

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My photo of seat in B-17G 44-83546 “Movie” Memphis Belle

 

B-17-Movie-Memphis-Belle-Detroit-2010-08

 

 

 

There are some really interesting differences from the kit offering like bracing that goes different directions and some diagonal structure (which I had already tried to represent on the kit seat’s first go round.) I also used some tightly folded tin foil to add a “poofy” layer to the back cushion that apparently should not have shoulder straps. It was easier to cover the old seat/harness portion than try to scrape off the belts.

 

B-17-1-48-11-27-18-8310-new-seat.jpg

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B-17-1-48-11-27-18-8315-new-seat.jpg

 

 

I simplified it a bit of course, but I think it looks much better than the kit seats. I added a chute pack to the back of the armor plating.

 

B-17-1-48-11-27-18-8318-new-seat.jpg

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B-17-1-48-11-27-18-8319-new-seat.jpg

 

Oh, also be sure to note the bungee cord.  😄

B-17-1-48-11-27-18-8320-new-seat.jpg

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B-17-1-48-11-27-18-8321-new-seat.jpg

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B-17-1-48-11-27-18-8322-new-seat.jpg

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B-17-1-48-11-27-18-8323-new-seat.jpg

 

Not 100% through, but touch up shouldn't be too scary.

 

 

Next big hurdle will be fabricating a second seat to match. Wish me luck!

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I've been plugging away at some painting on the body and a few other little tasks but don't have any pics to share quite yet (soon though).

 

However, I was going through some shots from earlier this year and found a good reference photo of inside the nose section...

 

B17-Madras-Maiden-Renton-2018-04-02-6319

 

Who am I kidding? I just wanted to throw this in here to make myself feel good!

This was from a flight aboard B-17G 44-8543 Madras Maiden in April.

 

 

I hope to have some update to the Ol' Scrapiron build very soon.

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Hold that elevator...

 

I’ve been working on this a couple of days because I think this is one of the most fascinating “little-known” examples of the B-17’s brilliant design. I’ll get to that in a moment.

 

I started by gluing the horizontal stabilizer pieces together to make sure everything would be aligned. Then I used the rotary saw to separate the stabilizer and rudder for each side. Some styrene sheet was cut to cover the blank areas where the cut was made.

 

B-17-1-48-11-29-18-8324-horizontal-stabi

 

Then I drilled two small holes (above) where the elevator would be hinged to the stabilizer.

It was easy enough to then use an Xacto knife to cut the hole into a notch (below) and square it off.

 

B-17-1-48-11-29-18-8325-horizontal-stabi

 

It may be hard to see but I added a very thin strip of Evergreen styrene to the top of the area to create a fine lip. (look for the silver edge)

 

B-17-1-48-11-29-18-8327-horizontal-stabi

 

Then two bits of stryrene sheet scrap were added under the lip at points that match the notches in the elevator.

 

B-17-1-48-11-29-18-8328-horizontal-stabi

 

 

The whole purpose of this exercise was to droop the elevators just enough to see the inside of the tip of the stabilizer (at the far side of the photo below)

 

B-17-1-48-11-29-18-8331-horizontal-stabi

 

This is where you’ll find evidence of the brilliant design I mentioned before. Boeing designed the stabilizers such that there is no “left” or “right” versions. On the assembly line, there is only one stream of identical stabilizers headed to the airframes. That way the workers could just grab the next two parts for each plane – flip one this way and it is for the “left” side … flip the other one that way and it is for the “right” side. That way there’d never be delays if one group worked faster than another.

 

You can see this on planes that still have their manufacturer plates on the inside of the stabilizer tips like B-17G 44-85829 Yankee Lady

B17-Yankee-Lady-Grimes-Field-2018-05-16-

 

The data plate on the right stabilizer is right side up… The plate on the left side is upside down. The sheer brilliance of using a symmetrical airfoil.

 

B17-Yankee-Lady-Grimes-Field-2018-05-16-

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B17-Yankee-Lady-Grimes-Field-2018-05-16-

 

Now the big question is how to represent those date plates as up and down at such a small size. I'll figure it out.

 

 

 

 

Another example...

 

B-17G 44-85778 Miss Angela (Palm Springs Air Museum)  had her data plate on the right side (painted over) and the one on the left was removed -- probably someone on the restoration team thought it was a mistake (OOOOPS!)

 

B17-Miss-Angela-Palm-Springs-2018-04-12-

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B17-Miss-Angela-Palm-Springs-2018-04-12-

 

It would be interesting to know how many of the B-17s out there still have their data plates intact... sadly I don't see others in my photos.

 

 

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I have also heard (but have not verified) that the outer wing sections also had the same symmetry design so that each was interchangeable right up until the workers installed fuel cells… that is why the vents, lights and everything else is contained on the inner wing section. I keep looking at the outer sections to decide if that would be possible, but I just don’t know. Later Forts had the Tokyo tanks which had a pair of vents in the tips – but that was the very tip and may have been added once the “side” of the outer wing was determined. Is it OK to say I'm still "up in the air" about this?

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No photos at the moment, but let me say that she is starting to get her colors... LOTS of color. It seems like an acre of surface on each wing --let alone that mile of fuselage. What's worse is that once I started applying the green it became clear that the gray I had chosen for the undersides was not going to work... so that all got repainted. 

 

After all those subassemblies dealing with the minutiae, now I'm dealing in mindless paint coverage. It is almost time to switch gears and get back to detailing the interior so I can think about closing her up. Lots to do.

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I guess a Fortress on the ground needs to have the engine flaps open, so I decided to risk making a mess of all this (once again) and represent them as well as I could, but as easily as possible.

 

First some reference shots:

 

B-17G 44-85734 Liberty Belle

 

B17-Liberty-Belle-Boeing-Field-2011-04-3

 

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B-17G 44-85778 Miss Angela

 

B17-Miss-Angela-Palm-Springs-2018-04-12-

 

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B-17G 44-8543 Madras Maiden

 

B17-Madras-Maiden-Renton-2018-04-02-6342

 

 

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Now for the model...

 

Looking at how the nacelle dives inward under the cowling I just painted the existing “closed” flaps in black so it would look like a deep shadow. I cut an aluminum can into strips as close to the proper width as I could, then into a variety of segments so I could match the widths of the flaps (at least as represented on the Monogram kit.)

 

I applied some cyano glue to the front edge with a toothpick and then placed each flap individually so I could ensure that the rear part of the flap would be propped open.

 

B-17-1-48-12-03-18-8337-engine-flaps-win

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B-17-1-48-12-03-18-8339-engine-flaps-win

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B-17-1-48-12-03-18-8344-engine-flaps-win

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B-17-1-48-12-03-18-8345-engine-flaps-win

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B-17-1-48-12-03-18-8346-engine-flaps-win

 

I considered but ultimately decided against trying to slip a second layer that can be seen between the flaps on real fortresses. At 1/48th scale it is just more risk than reward. Here;s the engines as they stand for the moment... 

 

B-17-1-48-12-03-18-8348-engine-flaps-win

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B-17-1-48-12-03-18-8349-engine-flaps-win

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B-17-1-48-12-03-18-8350-engine-flaps-win

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B-17-1-48-12-03-18-8351-engine-flaps-win

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B-17-1-48-12-03-18-8352-engine-flaps-win

 

 

... but please don’t look too hard at the paintwork as it is now, as it will be more fine-tuned when I dry brush the transition from OD to gray.

 

 

 

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Work on the wings continues:

 

I was able to duplicate the cowl flaps on the other wing and feel pretty proud to get four engines dressed up reasonably similar. After double checking some reference drawings and pics, I did remove the flap across the bottom of the cowl on one engine.

 

Here is a shot of the right wing with cowl flaps painted and the left wing with cowl flaps just applied.

 

B-17-1-48-12-04-18-8353-wing-painted.jpg

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B-17-1-48-12-04-18-8355-wing-painted.jpg


Then I took a few days to paint up the wings, paint the de-icer boots, apply decals top and bottom, and paint the Third Division marking (5’6” square) on the right wing. When that is darn good and dried I will mask off a K to shoot with dark blue. That won’t be for a long time – probably when the rest of the plane is done I will shoot the wing and tail at the same time.

 

B-17-1-48-12-07-18-8368-wing-painted.jpg

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B-17-1-48-12-07-18-8363-wing-painted.jpg

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B-17-1-48-12-07-18-8366-wing-painted.jpg

 

I decided to complete the wings separately so they will be removable for transporting it in the future. My daughter is looking in her craft supplies for the right size "jewel" to use as landing lights, otherwise a trip to the local Hobby Lobby might be in order. Still have some other bits to put on there like lights for wingtips and the eventual weathering, but I am setting these aside for now.

 

 

By the way, I have some considerations for those that want to do the cowl flaps cut from soda cans:

1. The surface edge for the glue to bond is very small – once they are in place I recommend going back and adding a second application of gap-filling cyano just to ensure the bond will hold permanently (or be prepared to replace little flaps when they come flying off.)

 

2. Once they are on the cowl, you won't be able to set the wing down without propping it up on something. The cowl flaps are delicate and unfortunately seem to reach out and snag on things…

 

3. If one of the things they snag onto is a finger, better have some bandages handy. They are like little razor blades just searching for an artery to slice. Be warned!

 

 

 

 

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Isn’t it good Norwegian wood…

 

After I had re-painted the command deck floor in an off-black as no-skid mats, I saw a post with a link to a video showing scrapbook paper with a wood grain to it.

BINGO.

 

Off to the local craft store to see what they had… I found four nice variations of wood grain that should be suitable for many projects. Price? Four sheets for $1.

 

B-17-1-48-12-08-18-8394-new-wood-grain.j

 

Off came the pilots’ seats… again. I was able to use some low-tack masking tape to get the shape I wanted with the cutout for the access door, and then gently transfer that pattern over to one of the sheets of wood grain paper. Nice thing is that the paper cuts really well with scissors. I used a different sheet for the wood access door, cutting an area that actually had a printed seamline.

 

B-17-1-48-12-08-18-8400-new-wood-grain.j

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B-17-1-48-12-08-18-8397-new-wood-grain.j

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B-17-1-48-12-08-18-8398-new-wood-grain.j

 

At this point you can see the difference between the paper on the command deck and the painted area up in the nose. I already have the piece cut for the nose section but I’m holding off until I decide what to do about the ammo box.

 

I also painted the floor area by the pilots' feet in silver based on notes from Karl Hauffe, probably the most B-17 knowledgeable person I know. The surface above the instrument panel also got a coat of green based on his notes.

 

-------------------------------------

 

Moving back to the radio room I used some smaller pieces so I could cover that floor while leaving the camera access door. Went together nicely and you have to look hard to see where the pieces but up against each other. I added a small curved piece of soda can to finish the area where the floor ends so that the kit’s wing root void won’t be visible. For the moment I do not plan to add strips to this because getting them to match up would be a nightmare (especially on the far side where you can’t set the floor piece in place) and also it has a natural aluminum sheet look because, well, it IS a sheet of aluminum. I added a diagonal brace for the table but haven’t painted it yet.

 

Then came some real fun. I took a tiny strip of a soda can (just a scrap from trimming other pieces earlier) and it had a natural curl from being cut. I glued on two of the tiniest bits of plastic I had cut from a sprue scrap. When I thought it was as small as I could make it, I cut that bit in half to make earpieces. Then I wrapped about three inches of brass wire very tightly around a stick pin from my wife’s sewing kit. That yielded about an inch of coiled line to go from the headset to the radio (only out half of that was needed in the end).

 

B-17-1-48-12-08-18-8405-radio-room-heads

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B-17-1-48-12-08-18-8406-radio-room-heads

 

To avoid any visible gaffs, I glued the unattached end to the radio on the side that will be up against the plane and just left the headset held in place by the springy cord rather than attempting to glue it to the table surface (it actually hovers slightly above the table)

 

B-17-1-48-12-09-18-8410-radio-room-heads

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B-17-1-48-12-09-18-8411-radio-room-heads

 

One last thing from tonight’s session… I made a foil representation of the M-1936 Field Bag that was to be the first of many bits of equipment and accessories stuffed into nooks and crannies. Unfortunately, as I was admiring the look of the headset the gear bag took off somewhere. I’m sure it will turn up eventually, but for now it is AWOL.

 

 

I recently saw a discussion of the fire extinguishers in these planes -- that rather than red like EVERYBODY paints them, these should be brass or gold color. I might just let that "error" get by on this one. We'll see.

 

 

 

 

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For those that were worried, the Field Bag did show up this morning, hidden among the scrap that litters my workspace at the moment.

 

I started right off by adding a tiny morse code key so our Radio Operator could send signals during the mission.

 

B-17-1-48-12-09-18-8412-radio-room-keypa

 

 

 

Next, I headed forward to take care of the Navigator’s office. The wood grain paper was applied to the Navigator floor and the Bombardier’s platform. A lighter wood was used to cover the ammo box (three sides and the top ... the back will be hidden my wall of nose), and selected a different color for the Navigator's table as well.

 

I printed a map scaled down to a variety of sizes, and also images of an E6B flight computer and slide rule. In all three cases the very smallest of the examples were used (they are small!) but I didn’t feel that making a flat item three-dimensional was critical.

 

I stretched some sprue to make the lamp, wisely choosing the black sprue so it would not need painting. The bell of the light is the portion where the sprue quickly changes from full size to the thin stretched part. The base is the same concept except I left a length of stretched sprue to be the first arm… that way the lamp would not have too many joints compromising its strength. Just clipped it to length, added another bit of stretched sprue and trimmed to length and added the bell section.

 

Of course, these pics are probably the only way anyone will ever be able to appreciate all this.

 

B-17-1-48-12-10-18-8420-Navigator.jpg

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B-17-1-48-12-10-18-8421-Navigator.jpg

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B-17-1-48-12-10-18-8422-Navigator.jpg

 

 

Note that the fire extinguishers have been repainted in brass. Hmmmm... I just noticed that I still need to paint the little arms that stick out of the floor by the pilots' seats (they look like an emergency brake handle). Just another tiny detail never to be seen again!

 

 

As I get closer to being able to start attaching this to the fuselage I thought a little group photo of some of the subassemblies was in order. Some of these seem so long ago -- the journey has been exciting so far.

 

B-17-1-48-12-10-18-8428-Navigator.jpg

 

 

 

I think I may be to the point where the wise words of Mr. Churchill apply:

"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

 

 

 

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Only one pic from tonight... No fabrication, only a little painting.

 

Side panels from the cockpit and the Bombardiers panel. Not even in the mood to correct anything wrong -- just relied on what the Monogram designers put on the parts.

However, looking at this pic I see a few spots that could use a little touch-up work. Wow, these really look different when they are on the screen so much bigger than real life.

 

B-17-1-48-12-11-18-8429-bomb-and-cockpit

 

That's all for tonight (.............maybe.)

 

 

 

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I did a little painting on Ol’ Scrapiron tonight before some household chores took me away from the workbench – and that is when I made an incredible discovery!!!


 

I’m sure I can’t be the first one to discover this, but tonight I stumbled on this normal household item that is a dead ringer for the ammo chutes in a B-17.

I apologize if this was common knowledge for everyone else but it was one of those BINGO moments for me.

 

So with a quick bit of paint, this….

B-17-1-48-12-13-18-8433-ammo-chutes.jpg

 

… can represent the ammo chutes like the ones in B-17G 44-83514 Sentimental Journey (as my son and daughter demonstrated when SJ was in town in 2011)

B17-Sentimental-Journey-Paine-Field-2011

 

The magic item: a ziptie

 

B-17-1-48-12-13-18-8435-ammo-chutes.jpg

 

 

The ones I have are even textured on both sides – I think they all are. The ones we had on hand are just a size too big but I am confident a quick trip to the hardware store will yield a lifetime supply for about $2.

 

B-17-1-48-12-13-18-8436-ammo-chutes.jpg

 

I spray painted this one silver then added gold for the bullet casings, a dark grey (later covered by a bronzish brown) for the slug, dark OD for the links and red tracer indicators on about every fifth round. I think next time I will spray the whole thing gold (or see if I can get some gold zipties) and then paint the edges silver. I think a dark wash will make those shells pop, but like I said I knew these were a little too big so I was just crudely painting them up for demonstration purposes.

 

B-17-1-48-12-13-18-8438-ammo-chutes.jpg

 

Next I am going to test putting them in some near-boiling water and see if I can get them to conform to a basic curve shapes, although the smaller zipties should be even more flexible than the heavy-duty ones I had on hand.

 

If I had kept mum I probably could have cut these into various lengths and sold them for about $6.95 for two zipties worth (maybe there are some folks out there already doing that. Ha!)

 

 

I'll wait until tomorrow to post some of the other progress I was making -- it's just this ziptie epiphany got me all excited on a sidetrack. A lot of potential for 1/48 and even 1/72.

 

 

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Let there be light…

 

My daughter had some of these little plastic jewels in her craft drawer and the small-sized examples look about the right size for the landing lights. I think the pack of 60 ‘jewels’ was under a buck, though there’s only 20 of them that will work in this scale. I suppose when I break out the HK kit I’ll be able to use two of the larger size.

 

B-17-1-48-12-12-18-8431-landing-lights.j

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B-17-1-48-12-12-18-8432-landing-lights.j

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B-17-1-48-12-12-18-8430-landing-lights.j

 

 

 

 

 

Too bad they don't light up like the ones in my photo of B-17G 44-85829 Yankee Lady landing at Grimes Field earlier this year

 

B17-Yankee-Lady-Grimes-Field-2018-05-16-

 

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Tonight’s mission was to get our waist gunners armed and ready.

 

Once I had reluctantly decided that the three-pane permanent windows were in order (I was really hoping to have the panels slid inside to leave the windows open) I attached them to the fuselage so I could mount the 50s.

Enhancements made to the kit’s guns were two handles and a handle on the side of the gun, and a simple representation what I am guessing is an aiming computer.

 

B-17-1-48-12-13-18-8441-waist-guns.jpg

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B-17-1-48-12-13-18-8442-waist-guns.jpg

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B-17-1-48-12-13-18-8444-waist-guns.jpg

 

 

 

The gun was slipped through the window and glued in place so that I could add bungee cords and the ammo belt.

I did try smaller zipties but could not get them to stay in a natural bent state so I decided to make a strip of tin foil the correct width and then rub it over the zip tie hard enough to transfer an impression onto the foil. Unfortunately, by the time it was painted and coaxed into shape some of that texture was lost. I used regular white glue in case I want to change it out, but I’m content with leaving it as it is for now. 

 

B-17-1-48-12-13-18-8447-waist-guns.jpg

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B-17-1-48-12-13-18-8449-waist-guns.jpg

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B-17-1-48-12-13-18-8450-waist-guns.jpg

 

 

Other tweaks to notice are the control cables running near the top of the fuselage. The center wood board is actually for both halves, spanning the center where the two fuselage parts meet. I have to be very careful not to pop that off when I handle the fuselage and the gun barrel protruding from the window also creates a challenge when I want to set it down.

 

I am running out of stations to build before the big close-up step. I think the tail position will be next, and I am really considering options for the tail wheel. But those are for another day.

 

 

 

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Tonight’s task was a breath of fresh airat least for the air crews flying formation at 30,000 ft.

 

Oxygen tanks.

 

If you don’t mind, I’m going to walk you through my process today so you can appreciate my little breakthrough.

 

I spent some time this afternoon at the Hobby Lobby looking for ways to cast copies if I were to carve one good oxygen tank. I should say: looking for a “cheap” way to cast copies. Call me stingy, but I’m not ready to buy a resin casting package that is twice the cost of the kit itself.

 

I looked up an inspiring video from PLASMO about using “Blue Stuff” to make reusable molds. Interesting, but I still need to carve a prototype and then do a resin mix/pour for each one ... and already cringing at the cost of resin for the moment. (Here's a link to that video -- https://youtu.be/mVZLXLaidjQ )

 

 

Back at home and feeling a bit discouraged, I grabbed a bit of Sculpey clay from my daughter’s craft desk and started rolling it around in my fingers to soften it up while I browsed online images of oxygen tanks and contemplated how to get that ribbing evenly carved into the clay. That was my “Eureka” moment.

 

I took a scrap of sturdy plastic sheet and glued 5 very thin lengths of Evergreen strip to it using liquid cement that wicked along the strip to really give a secure bond all the way along. When that dried I simply rolled a ball of soft Sculpey along the track I made. The ball elongated just a little as I rolled it and “voila!” – instant oxygen tank. It took a little experimenting to find the correct size ball to start with in order to end up with a properly sized tank, but after a few tries I had a good estimate and was able to roll out 10 tanks in a couple minutes. A quick 10 minutes in the oven at 225 degrees and I had all the tanks I would need (of course I have labeled and saved the ribbed template for future use!)

 

B-17-1-48-12-14-18-8452-oxygen-tanks.jpg

 

 

A quick search unearthed a handy reference chart posted by Karl Hauffe a couple years ago.

 

Oxygen-tank-chart-posted-by-Karl-Hauffe.

 

Some yellow paint, a bit of jibberish stenciling at one end, a drop of black paint to represent the valve, some AK oily grime to dirty them up, some .5mm wire for the plumbing, a simple rack cut from a soda can – and they were ready for prime time.

 

B-17-1-48-12-15-18-8453-oxygen-tanks.jpg

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B-17-1-48-12-15-18-8454-oxygen-tanks.jpg

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B-17-1-48-12-15-18-8455-oxygen-tanks.jpg

 

 

They aren’t perfect and certainly not exact in dimensions, but I think they really look the part. And virtually free. :laugh:

 

 

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I've just had a most enjoyable half hour catching up on progress here. There's some very inventive modelling taking place!

 

It seems such a shame for all the extra detailing to get buried in the final assembly, although it may well be surprising just how much is visible through the transparencies.

The model needs a picture file alongside it, showing just how much work and effort went into it. 

Or maybe, how about a base, with a printed or painted cine film frame running down each edge with  detail pictures in the frames?

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  • Ol' Scrapiron changed the title to B-17G 42-31582 Ol Scrapiron --- FINISHED!!!

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