TheRealMrEd Posted May 24, 2019 Share Posted May 24, 2019 (edited) Well, back again for another round! As stated at the end of my last build, I decided to dig out a decades old Shelf Queen. This was started with the old Paragon? 1/72 resin XB-40 conversion set and the old Hasegawa B-17F kit for "Hell's Angels": I had started this kit years ago, and had gotten this far: As you can see in the photo, there were a few problems with this kit. First off, it had the wrong windows set-up in the nose compared to the XB-40, which was based on a very early B-17F-1-BO. Also, the windows didn't fit very well, and while I had been able in years before this to glue in clear windows with CA and then sand and then polish them, it didn't work out very well this time around, particularly where the gun holes were already in the clear parts; they also turned out pretty hazy, rather than clear. The next photo shows the nose gun conversion, which later became standard on the B-17G: In the picture above, right, I even re-located the waist gun on that side forward, as the few pictures around at that time indicated. The waist gun windows were masked over from the inside using Scotch tape, which I figured could be fished out after painting -- a good idea at the time, not as good after the tape sat for more than 20 years! At this point, I become frustrated with the windows problem, and she became an official Shelf Queen, but I looked at her every few years, but didn't come up with a solution. Fast forward to this week, and seeking a project that for once had no natural metal, I decided to drag the old girl out for yet another look, having gleaned a few more photos on-line over the passing years. And that's when I realized.....I'd screwed up, as the following picture shows: The waist gun on the right side of the first XB-40, 41-24341, had NOT been moved forward! All my work moving it was a wasted effort. To be sure the gun position HAD been moved forward on the "Y"B-40, but not on the "X"! After pondering whether I could cut open the fuse and redo the waist gun, I decided to take a look the the Academy B-17E kit I had in the stash, awaiting birth as a Midway B-17; since the B-17E and B-17F are said to mostly be the same externally, except for the nose glazing, it seemed worth a shot: The very first thing I checked was the fit of the clear windows -- how much filling would be required. The two small ones I took off the trees and fit to the model fit perfectly. Also, they were almost entirely correct for the XB-40! So far, so good. Next, I noticed that the Academy B-17E kit had provisions for you to cut out the right side waist gun position that you preferred: So, I cut out the rear-most or non-staggered position. Again, so far, so good. Next thing was to make the cutouts for the rear top turret part of the conversion: The conversion part turned out to be 38 or 39mm in length after I used debonder to remove the part from the Hasegawa kit. It turned out to be 20-21 mm in width, which fortuitously happened to correspond to existing kit lines of the Academy B-17E kit. So, as is my custom these days, I used Dymo tape and a scriber to scribe very fine, precise lines to guide a very fine-bladed razor saw for the cut-ous: This method provides a very precise cut-out, as can be seen below: At this point, there was a very slight difference in height between the Academy kit and the resin part: This is taken care of by two strips of 40 thou card glued from the inside with liquid glue, and aligned carefully with the outside of the fuse, to reduce later sanding and filling: Above right, the bomb bay door were glued in place. Since this was a bomber escort, it's carrying capacity was for ammo, not bombs, so there wouldn't be much to see if the bay was left open. Contrary to remarks of another builder on-line, I found the doors to fit very well. I re-enforced them with small strips of card on the inside of the ends, and set the whole shebang aside to dry. Well, looks like I'm off to a good start -- praying for smooth sailing... See you soon, Ed Edited June 2, 2019 by TheRealMrEd changed title 19 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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