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TANK63

1/72 B-17

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Looking at building a Fortress but don’t know which one, Academy, Revell or Airfix any advice would be welcome

 

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If only doing one B-17, then Airfix. It’ll make a very nice late B-17G. 

 

Academy makes different variants, each are easy to build but also (I’m led to believe) have some inaccuracies. I don't know what they may be, but I have most in my stash and plan to make each one. 

 

Revell makes both a B-17F and early B-17G, but they equally suffer from incorrect dihedral of the wings. 

 

Hasegawa also make late model Fortresses, but they lack detail. 

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The Academy kits also suffer from excessive dihedral, which is easy to correct by adding shims along the upper wing-to-fuselage seam.  The engines and cowlings are also said to be off and the latter certainly lack detail.  They’re the only game in town if you want anything earlier than an “E” in 1/72th scale, but the C/D kit has a cockpit floor that’s all on one lever instead of having the “step” under the pilots’ seats: unmodified the pilots’ heads would be below the top of the instrument panel!  

 

I’ve no experience if the Revell kits but the “G” is notorious for very deep panel lines around the nose and some peculiar moulding of the nose transparency that produces a distorted look to the glazing.

 

The new Airfix kit is very good, but will only produce a late “G”: looking at the way it’s been tooled though an earlier “G” or even a late “F” might be on the cards in 2020 or so.

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7 hours ago, stever219 said:

the C/D kit has a cockpit floor that’s all on one lever instead of having the “step” under the pilots’ seats: unmodified the pilots’ heads would be below the top of the instrument panel! 

From the photos I have seen of the early B-17s, the single level floor is correct.  Checkout the Detail & Scale book on the B-17.  It has been a long time since I build an early B-17 kit, but I don't remember a problem with the seats being too low.  Like I said, it has been a long time since I built one.

Later,

Dave

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Thanks Dave: I could have sworn that the "step" was appropriate for all B-17 variants.  Unfortunately most of the references I've found aren't awfully clear in this area and I don't recall ever having seen a copy of the Detail & Scale book.  I'm curious about the 3rd and 4th seats in the Academy cockpir: any ideas please?

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Don't forget the old Hasegawa kits .  They may be old & have raised panel lines , but build well & look good . 

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19 hours ago, stever219 said:

I’ve no experience if the Revell kits but the “G” is notorious for very deep panel lines around the nose and some peculiar moulding of the nose transparency that produces a distorted look to the glazing.

 

The new Airfix kit is very good, but will only produce a late “G”: looking at the way it’s been tooled though an earlier “G” or even a late “F” might be on the cards in 2020 or so.

Having been in the news recently I'd looked to do 'Mi Amigo', an early 'G' type, lost with all aboard killed when it crash landed into woods in Sheffield after avoiding kids playing in the park. Whilst Airfix was reputed to produce a more accurate model it represented a late model 'G' - shame as the the main squadron markings were included in the bomber supply set. Reviews of the Revell kit highlighted issues that put me off using that as a start point.

 

Think I'll be waiting to see if Airfix do an early 'G'

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Circloy,

 

You've got a couple of options if you want to do a B-17G that does not have the Cheyenne tail turret and staggered waist guns. First, as you have stated, is wait in the hopes that Airfix will do this version; not having my Airfix G handy at the moment, I'm not sure if the kit parts are engineered in such a way as to make this possible. The new Airfix likes to do a coupe of versions of a kit, but only those that don't involve a lot of re-engineering. To do an early G or late F, the way the kit is molded at present, they would need to make new fuselage halves to cater to the new tail turret and waist gun position, as well as a new tail gunner's transparency.

 

Another option would be to remove the waist gun position that was staggered on the Airfix kit and remount it opposite of the one that remained in its original position. Then you would need to find a donor B-17F or G kit that has the original tail turret and graft it on. IIRC, there might also be a difference in the shape/framework of the clear panels in the radio operator's position between early and late G's, one of our resident B-17 experts can elaborate on that aspect.

 

Any Academy B-17E/F, Hasegawa B-17F, or new-tool Revell B-17G can furnish the early tail gun position and transparency. The Revell kit is by far the most detailed, but has serious shape issues,  if that is important to you. Either of the other two are accurate in shape and dimension, although some have stated that the angle of the Hasegawa kit's windscreen is off, and it has raised panel lines versus the Academy kit's scribed lines and excessive wing dihedral. None of those issues come into play as a donor kit, however.

 

Me, I wish Airfix would have engineered their G to  have the early or late waist and tail gun positions, and maybe they will; I would rather see a state of the art early or late F, which would basically give us the option of doing an F as well as an early G. Hope this helps a little and that you get to build your tribute model.

Mike

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Thanks, Chuck- I was not aware of this conversion part. If I didn't already have so many Academy and Hasegawa B-17 kits available for use, I would be all over this; a resin insert to replace the staggered waist gun position would have been great to go with this. Appreciate your letting us all know about this upgrade. 👍

Mike

 

Still, there's always a chance that Airfix will eventually make an F/early G available- soooo many schemes and markings possibilities! 🙏

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Years ago I grafted the earlier tail position from the 1960s Revell ‘F’ kit onto the Hasegawa B-17G (back when Hasgawa was the only ‘modern’ B-17 kit) and also un-staggered the waist positions so I could do “Nine 0 Nine”. Since the Shapeways part is a drop in fit for the Airfix ‘G’, I don’t mind that conversion and it also opens a lot of camouflaged B-17Gs for potential projects. Back when the Airfix kit was released I vaguely recall discussion that there were only about 50 or so Douglas produced B-17Gs with the staggered waist windows and Cheyenne turret that were not natural metal finish and all other builders had also gone to unpainted natural metal as well.

Edited by Chuck1945

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On 2/12/2019 at 6:50 AM, stever219 said:

I'm curious about the 3rd and 4th seats in the Academy cockpir: any ideas please?

All four seats lined up in the cockpit for the early B-17s is correct.  I just checked it again in the Detail & Scale book.  None of the Academy kits have the fuel vents for the "Tokyo Tanks" in the wing tips.  That is fine up through at least the E model.  D&S says the F models had the vents but that the Gs did not.  From what I have seen in dozens of pictures gleaned from search engines, only the Gs had the vents.  Here is an example of what I mean:

 

media-34780.jpeg?itok=-VmAOjoP

Notice the length of the vents.  Next compare it to the vents in the wingtips of both the Revell F and G and the Airfix G.  They are both quite a bit shorter.  Also note the the insignia on the wing does actually have the red surround to the national insignia!  When I G goabout to build a model of B-17G 42-32025 Dreambaby from the same unit as Princess Pat, the aircraft in the phots, I will be using the wings from a Hasegawa F and the fuselage and empenage of the Academy G.  Dreambaby has a similar finish but has the Cheyenne turret and non-staggered windows.  Princess Pat will have to be done using the Revell F with a nose turret fairing from the Airfix Fortress III.  The Revell F kit has nearly everything you need to build an early G.

Later,

Dave

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8 hours ago, e8n2 said:

All four seats lined up in the cockpit for the early B-17s is correct.  I just checked it again in the Detail & Scale book.

Dave

What were the two additional seats for: take-off stations for navigator and bomb-aimer?  I’m planning to model an RAF Fortress 1 and wondering if those two seats were retained.  

 

I’ve not been able to find any images of the centre-rear fuselage interior above the ventral bath-tub, but I assume that there was a carwalk along at least one side of it to facilitate access.

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I really have no idea what the extra seats were for other than maybe a flight engineer and radio operator.  I did a search just before having to go to work to find the picture from the Detail & Scale book showing all four seats, but couldn't find it.  I did however find this factory shot of the cockpit of a B-17C taken August 24, 1940:

 

Boeing-B-17E-interior-2-1024x812.jpg

I just noticed that there appears to be the front part of a seat just behind the table that is attached to the co-pilot's seat.  The main point is you can see that on the early B-17s, the cockpit floor was flat.

Later,

Dave

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Photo of B-17C floor is interesting. Maybe it's only mee but it doesn't look as one piece floor but rather that small floor plates after pilot seats are simply bolted to the seat frame. Also intererestingly there are some weapons loadout drawings (even the very crude Emergency exit plan drawing has step) that show stepped floor for C and D (towards bottom of this page) :

http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=248545

 

Edited by TISO

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Another great subject and another possible can of worms!  Earlier, e8n2 (post #12) made comment about the Tokyo tanks and vents on the upper sides of the wingtips.  From the extensive searching that I have done, in my small but select library, I have gleaned the following.  Tokyo tanks were installed on the production line from B-17F-80-BO 42-29932 on, B-17F-25-DL 42-3074 on, and B-17F-30-VE 42-5855 on.  They began arriving in the E.T.O. in May of 1943.  The 100th was one of the first groups equipped as it arrived in June of that year.  The main sources were "Fortresses of the Big Triangle First" by Cliff T. Bishop and "The Mighty Eighth War Manual" by Roger A. Freeman.  I presume, though I cannot confirm (yet), that all B-17G's would have them.  I hope that helps.  While I'm here, and still with the picture that e8n2 (post #12) posted and is a pet peeve, of mine, when modelling B-17's.  Please note that the vents behind the engines are not exhausts but air outlets.  Smoke, dirt and oil marks lift off over them but muck will pass between them.  Thanks, Mikey W.

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On 2/17/2019 at 8:30 AM, TISO said:

Photo of B-17C floor is interesting. Maybe it's only mee but it doesn't look as one piece floor but rather that small floor plates after pilot seats are simply bolted to the seat frame. Also intererestingly there are some weapons loadout drawings (even the very crude Emergency exit plan drawing has step) that show stepped floor for C and D (towards bottom of this page) :

http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=248545

 

As it is copyrighted material, I can't post the picture from the D&S book.  Looking at the emergency exit drawing it seems to show that the step is a lot less than what we know the step was on the Es and above for sure even though the side views seem to show the same step as on an E.  However, the photos don't seem to match up with what the diagram has.  In the cockpit picture I posted, if there is a step, it is only a few inches and nothing like what they had on the later aircraft.  Just put this down as an agree to disagree.

Later,

Dave

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If you are guying an Airfix B-17G from your LMS, fine.

 

If you get one at a show, where all sorts of stuff can crop up, be careful that you don't pick one of their earlier kits.  

 

It's unlikely that you would pick up their 1960s vintage kit, but they did also release the Academy kit of the B-17G under the Airfix label about 12 years ago - this might easily turn up at shows.

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Interesting thread. I acquired the Revel Memphis Belle as a Christmas present.

 

Probably won’t get to it for a month or so. Not sure yet what quirks I’m going to come across, but I’d be interested to hear what people think. 

 

Apologies if I’m hijacking the thread. Not my intention.

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16 hours ago, vppelt68 said:

Oh yes, B-17:s... I recall seeing something about them posted recently at Britmodeller! There you can find more or less detailed build threads of almost all 1:72 Fortress kits in production. V-P

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/forum/639-boeing-b-17-stgb/

Have you started on Dreambaby yet?  I know it is your favorite since the codes are the same as your initials! 😉

Later,

Dave

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58 minutes ago, e8n2 said:

Have you started on Dreambaby yet?  I know it is your favorite since the codes are the same as your initials! 😉

Later,

Dave

Not just started, but finished her too :yahoo:

2018-12-31_03-53-31

 

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On 2/11/2019 at 9:59 PM, TANK63 said:

Looking at building a Fortress but don’t know which one, Academy, Revell or Airfix any advice would be welcome

 

Here is my gallery of 1/72 B-17s

Academy B-17D

Academy-B17-D.jpg

Academy B-17E

Academy-B17-E.jpg

Academy Sb17 Dumbo

Academy-B17-G-Rescue.jpg

As has been said on this thread, this kit can be built with excess diheral,

This is not one of mine.

Academy-B-17-Dihedral.jpg

The Academy kit was released by Airfix a few years ago.

 

Ancient Airfix B-17G

Airfix-B17-G-A-Bit-O-Lace.jpg

Airfix-B17-G-Shilaylee-002.jpg

Well and truly overtaken in terms of shape and quality.

 

Hasegawa B-17F Memphis Belle.

Hasegawa-B17-F-Memphis-Belle.jpg

I'm not convinced at that windscreen shape.

 

New Revell B-17F,    

 

I still think too turret stands too proud, my build link show my idea to correct this.

Revell-B17-F-Shannon-FS.jpg

Revell-B17-F-Shannon-FP.jpg

 

The one that I've not build is the new Airfix kit - but with one Revell and 2 Hasegawa kits in my stash - it would have to be a bargain.

 

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Great collection, Tim! I built the new Airfix G kit, and bought a second one before the first was even finished. BUT it's not a kit superior to other 1:72 Fortresses available from various manufacturers. It's quite simplified in some respects, and then on the other hand more detailed in other respects than its competition. Just like Revell's kit is, just like Academy's kit is. My recommendation is to pick a kit that suits your demands (production block, boxed decal scheme, availability and price). Any one kit of those three will result in a good looking Fortress. V-P

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