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Robert Stuart

B-17 Mk II - Revell, now with added Academy kit

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I've been dithering about my options, and finally settled for this ...

 

A meteorological reconnaissance B-17 Mk II of 251 Squadron, Coastal Command based in Reykjavík, Iceland.

 

2018-mpcc-b17-000.jpg

 

Quote

No.251 Squadron was reformed on 1 August 1944 by the renumbering of No.1407 Flight at Reykjavik and served as an air-sea rescue and meteorological squadron for the rest of the war.

 

When the squadron was first formed it was equipped with a mix of Hudsons and Ansons. The small number of Ansons were used for local communications flights, while the Hudsons carried out the air-sea rescue missions and the vital meteorological flights. {snip /}

 

In March 1945 the squadron began to receive Boeing Fortresses, which operated alongside the Hudsons. The squadron continued to perform both of its roles until it was disbanded on 30 October 1945.

 

Source: http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/251_wwII.html

 

 

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A Fortress in Coastal Command white is very eye-catching.  Great choice!

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So many different builds appearing here, I  thought you may have built this one for the B-17 GB but it is nice to see it here to add to the variety.

 

I am building the Academy boxing of a Coastal Command Fort over in the B-17 GB (though with USAAF markings).

 

I have decided on my GB subject but won't post a thread until I get back from my trip to Adelaide this weekend to see the farewell of the RAAF's last AP-3C Squadron. Some real aerial goodness happening with AP-3C formation flypast, AP-3C handling display and P-8A handling display as well as plenty of static stuff to look at. 🛩️ :D

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Thanks Ray

I was thinking of a B-17 for this GB before I was even aware of the other STGB ... though, for a long time, I was considering a Mk I (which would have been an Academy boxing).

That STGB is full of useful information, and I am watching the builds over there, if not commenting.

 

Your thread here sounds intriguing.  Is there any chance that you'll build an Orion?

Enjoy your trip to Adelaide - here's hoping you see some great flying.

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Should be a good trip to fairwell the old girl, I thought about doing an Orion, but I see one thread already in the GB. I may attempt one after my first build which will be revealed on my return.

(Typing this at 35000ft and 460mph, don't you love inflight wifi!)

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Sprue shots ... I doubt I'll be able to start modeling today, that's a pleasure that I'll have to leave until tomorrow.

 

2018-mpcc-b17-001.jpg

 

2018-mpcc-b17-001.jpg

 

2018-mpcc-b17-003.jpg

 

Decals

 

2018-mpcc-b17-004.jpg

 

 

The decals look well printed if a little thick.  I'll see how I feel about those later.

 

None of the B-17s shown on this sheet seem to have ball turrets.  The B-17 ball turret was designed to be jettisoned in case of a wheels-up landing, so removing this would have been an easy conversion.
I've had a look around and found another profile of Borganes Bess (AD-B, FA696) with neither ball turret nor the upper turret  On that profile, the squadron codes are reversed, among other difference (The Boeing Fortress Mk. II & Mk. III: Volume 21 (SQUADRONS!) - I'll have to get a copy).

 

At one level that may make the build simpler, I can add one or two blanking plates and filler to replace the turrets, while reducing the number of sticky out breakables on the finished model.

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I have not seen the new tool Revell kit in the flesh, but it looks like it will keep you busy for a while. A much larger parts count than the Academy kit I am working on elsewhere.

 

Good luck with the build Robert!

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As is traditional with aircraft builds, we start with the cockpit ...

 

... umm, err, no ... we start with the bomb bay and wing spars

 

2018-mpcc-b17-005.jpg

 

The bomb bay and wing spars can be seen on the left here.

 

Another well established modeling tradition is that we leave glazing until as late as possible.  Well, I'm sticking with that... glazing 'as late as possible'; it's only the second thing I'm working with ...

 

Looking around, I saw @DaveyGair's build 'Hettie's Here!' in the B7 STGB (https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235046543-hetties-here/). Davey is making one of the aircraft on the same decal sheet but based on the Academy  B-17 E, for the very sound reason that these aircraft were early build B-17 Fs, with the earlier (small window) side nose glazing.


Not having any E type glazing, I've decided to adapt the plastic that Revell supplies, splitting the E and F nose panels - you can see I've made a start on that above.  (OT, looking at the glazing sprue, I suspect Revell have left room for one, if not more, further B-17 variants.)

 

While on the theme of glazing,  I have completed a simpler task: adding the fuselage glazing, as shown in the following photos.

 

2018-mpcc-b17-006.jpg

 

 

 

2018-mpcc-b17-007.jpg

 

 

See, I haven't even removed the fuselage halves from the sprue.

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4 hours ago, Robert Stuart said:

Looking around, I saw @DaveyGair's build 'Hettie's Here!' in the B7 STGB (https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235046543-hetties-here/). Davey is making one of the aircraft on the same decal sheet but based on the Academy  B-17 E, for the very sound reason that these aircraft were early build B-17 Fs, with the earlier (small window) side nose glazing.

 

Hi Robert, so, you're doing 'Hettie's sister'?  I have the same kit but thought the Academy kit seemed the better bet, props not withstanding. Going to be interesting to compare the two, although I've yet to attack mine with a vengeance, just fiddling at the moment!  The Revell kit is much better for interior detail, the Academy kit doesn't have the radio room, which I may use as a pattern for my model.

 

Best of luck,

 

Davey.

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Thanks @DaveyGair

While the Revell kit is more detailed, I see from some reviews that the Academy version is thought to be more accurate.   It will do for me though.

 


A small development.  The nose side windows have been attached
 

2018-mpcc-b17-008.jpg

 

Not too bad - I hope.  They'll want a smear of filler before painting starts.

That is, I think, the biggest modification I'll make to the kit.  A couple of turrets will be omitted, and the resulting holes filled, but that is small compared with the worry cutting clear plastic irrecoverably.

 

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Coming on nicely and well done with the windows,.... I intend to do one of these Met Fortresses myself as my Grandad was based in Iceland with the RAF.

Keep up the great work,

                                     Tony

 

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Thanks Tony

It's good to hear a personal touch.  Do you know what role your grandfather filled?


The windows were surprisingly easy to work.  I was worried they might prove brittle, so I treated them with due caution, but I think I got away with the operation.

The sprues look as though Revell may have a couple of other types in the pipeline - may be an E would avoid this operation.

Work will have to slow down (as if it hadn't already) until New Year...

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On 12/1/2018 at 11:25 AM, Robert Stuart said:

Decals

 

2018-mpcc-b17-004.jpg

 

 

The decals look well printed if a little thick.  I'll see how I feel about those later.

 

None of the B-17s shown on this sheet seem to have ball turrets.  The B-17 ball turret was designed to be jettisoned in case of a wheels-up landing, so removing this would have been an easy conversion.
I've had a look around and found another profile of Borganes Bess (AD-B, FA696) with neither ball turret nor the upper turret  On that profile, the squadron codes are reversed, among other difference (The Boeing Fortress Mk. II & Mk. III: Volume 21 (SQUADRONS!) - I'll have to get a copy).

 

 

I have just bought the Revell B.17F kit and the KitsWorld decals that Robert has illustrated.  I really wanted to build a Coastal Command model but the decal sheet that includes Coastal Fortress Mk. 2s was a (very?) limited release and I couldn’t find one for sale.  As Robert has said, neither of the ‘white’ Fortresses in the sheet he’s illustrated - and I’ve bought - *seem* to have ball turrets.  It’s possible one of the two might not have had an upper turret either!

 

I know I can omit the ball turret and cover over the aperture but before I start doing anything I was wondering whether KitsWorld might, just might, have got it wrong?  I’ve done a few Google searches and all the photos of RAF ‘white’ Fortresses, Coastal and Meteorological, I’ve found seem to show ball turrets!

 

Any comments or advice gratefully received ...

 

Thanks in advance, and a very happy Christmas to everyone,

 

Jonny

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There were a range of turret options, ball and top ... top only ... and neither.

You do need to check photo references to be sure ... 

 

... and I suspect (on NO evidence) that the turrets were removed over time.

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On 12/16/2018 at 6:59 PM, Robert Stuart said:

Thanks Tony

It's good to hear a personal touch.  Do you know what role your grandfather filled?

We were told that he was a `Batsman',..... ie a steward who looked after officers kit, woke them up with a brew etc,........ but he never spoke about it. I remember seeing a photo of him and his mates with their overalls on but he died when I was five and my Gran burned or threw away everything,..... I only have his RAF Silver Stamp Book,.... which was my lucky mascot when I served in the Army, carrying stamps and family photos. I dare say that Grandad lost quite a few of his `chaps' and knowing Batsmen from the Guards,..... they get very close to their officers.

Good luck with the Fort,

Cheers

            Tony

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Posted (edited)

By the time the AD codes were added, the unit had removed the gun turrets and faired them over,...... this book is an excellent reference, especially as the 2nd edition contains loads more research and photos;

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Boeing-B-17-Fortress-Coastal-Command/dp/8365281546

 

But not at THAT price,...... you can find it much cheaper than that I`m sure 

Cheers

         Tony

Edited by tonyot

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1 hour ago, tonyot said:

By the time the AD codes were added, the unit had removed the gun turrets and faired them over,...... this book is an excellent reference, especially as the 2nd edition contains loads more research and photos;

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Boeing-B-17-Fortress-Coastal-Command/dp/8365281546

 

But not at THAT price,...... you can find it much cheaper than that I`m sure 

Cheers

         Tony

Hello Tony,
I was looking for that book before Christmas, but - not at THAT price.
I did find it at nearly half the Amazon price (Amazon are £ 108 as I write) second hand on ABE (£ 58) here: https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&cm_sp=SearchF-_-home-_-Results&an=&tn=Boeing+B-17+Fortress%3A+In+RAF+Coastal+Command+Service&kn=&isbn=
 

Still, a bit steep :(

(for those who don't know, AbeBooks is an online site for independant book sellers - often, as here, I find books cheaper on the ABE site than on Amazon)

 

I was given this one though ...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B072N9G1F9/?coliid=I1T7SNYDMHOA0E&colid=1KGAUZPWTJJSN&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
 

That has thrown out some interesting schemes ...


Modelling on this is awaiting Bronze Green paint, the US interior color, not British Army colour (sic).

 

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5 minutes ago, Robert Stuart said:

Hello Tony,
I was looking for that book before Christmas, but - not at THAT price.
I did find it at nearly half the Amazon price (Amazon are £ 108 as I write) second hand on ABE (£ 58) here: https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&cm_sp=SearchF-_-home-_-Results&an=&tn=Boeing+B-17+Fortress%3A+In+RAF+Coastal+Command+Service&kn=&isbn=
 

Still, a bit steep :(

(for those who don't know, AbeBooks is an online site for independant book sellers - often, as here, I find books cheaper on the ABE site than on Amazon)

 

I was given this one though ...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B072N9G1F9/?coliid=I1T7SNYDMHOA0E&colid=1KGAUZPWTJJSN&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
 

That has thrown out some interesting schemes ...


Modelling on this is awaiting Bronze Green paint, the US interior color, not British Army colour (sic).

 

Shame that the 2nd edition of that book is so steep,...... I only found out about it a week or so ago. Luckily I bought the first edition when it was released and then uploaded the extra pages of info from the net,........ if you can find a copy at a reasonable price (I wouldn`t pay more than £30 tops) then snap it up,....it is an excellent book. 

 

As for the other book,.... yes I have that too,..... like you say, some interesting schemes and lovely artwork!

 

Good luck with the model,..... I use Humbrol 75 Bronze Green and it doesn`t look too bad,...... I`ve used it on my Dakota, here on this GB.,... and Humbrol 80 Grass Green isn`t such a bad match for the lighter Interior Green.  

 

All the best mate,

                          Tony

                            Tony

  

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Posted (edited)

Hi Robert, a bit more delving found a couple of close-ups of 'Bess' and 'Hettie', 'Hettie' definitely doesn't have an upper turret in this shot, 'Bess' is unclear.

https://wartimememoriesproject.com/ww2/view.php?uid=226205

 

In my searching I came across some pages from the book mentioned and it seems that 251 (MET) Sqn aircraft had the upper and lower turrets removed, but clearly retained the tail guns.  It is also mentioned that the upper nose glazing, either side of the astro-dome, was plated over.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Davey.

 

 

Edited by DaveyGair

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Hello Davey,

Thank-you, that is excellent help.

I wasn't aware that pitot covers had been introduced during the war (Remove Before Flight), I presume that is the thing under Bess in the first photo? (And Hettie too?)

 

And some good weathering detail on the next nose doors.

 

A very good find, thank-you

 

Robert

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, notice the other black 'aerial' under the two rear most front side windows (would be interesting to know if this was on both sides). Also in all three photo's what looks like a reverse blade type aerial as well, unless a B-17 expert can identify it? :winkgrin: 

 

Here's a link which shows a page from the book on CC Fortresses, the middle photo is of a 251 Sqn Hudson and Fortress, no upper or lower turret.  When clicking on the photo asks to log into site though.  Also, I can't find out how I got to see some other pages of the book!

 

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/415034921884974469/?lp=true

 

 

Davey.

Edited by DaveyGair

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