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Paul A H

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress (A08017A) Extra Schemes - 1:72

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Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress (A08017A) Extra Schemes

1:72 Airfix

 

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One of the most famous aircraft to see action in World War 2, Boeing’s B-17 nearly didn’t make it into service at all. Despite the fact that it enjoyed clear advantages over the competition, the relatively high cost of the aeroplane, combined with the loss of the prototype in a fatal crash, nearly ended the Flying Fortress’s career before it had begun. Such was the strength of the design, however, that Boeing were awarded a contract for thirteen more development aircraft and never looked back. The B-17 was used by the USAAF mainly for daylight strategic bombing duties over Europe, although it was also used in the Pacific Theatre. The type also saw service with many other air forces around the world, including the RAF. The ‘G’ version featured here was the final production variant.

 

Airfix's released this kit back in 2016 and then followed it up a year later with an RAF Fortress III version. This kit is essentially the original release but with extra decal options courtesy of Kits-World. Inside the red top-opening box adorned with the usual high-quality Adam Tooby artwork, are nine frames of grey plastic and a single clear frame, holding over 240 parts in total. The mouldings are clean and crisp, with fine, recessed panel lines throughout and plenty of nice detail on smaller parts such as the .50 cal gun barrels. The small print on the side of the box states "the additional schemes contained within this box may not be suitable for those aged under 21". On closer inspection, the decal sheet does indeed contain a tiny picture of a bird in the nip. I don't know about you, but I think the 10 year old version of me would have been fine with that. 

 

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The assembly instructions are divided into 137 stages, which gives a good indication of the complexity of the model. The kit has an astonishingly detailed interior, construction of which takes up no fewer than 55 of those 137 stages. Assembly begins with the cockpit, which includes loads of detail for the control columns and seats, and works its way back through the bomb bay and main wing spar and then the various crew stations and beautifully detailed turrets. The amount of interior detail is nothing short of spectacular, particularly so for the scale. All of the interior details, right down to the .50 cal Brownings, are beautifully moulded and I’m willing to bet a few modellers will actually think twice before finally gluing the fuselage halves together. The bomb bay is particularly nice and includes a full load of bombs. Once all of that interior detail is in place, the fuselage halves can be sandwiched together. 

 

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The large wings feature separate ailerons and are packed with detailed parts such as the engine firewalls and fuel tanks. Each engine is made up of four parts, as well as the exhausts and turbochargers. The cowlings can be build up with the nacelle cooling air gills open or closed. The tail planes feature separate control surfaces. In keeping with the rest of the kit, the undercarriage is very nicely detailed, and the tyres of the main wheels are moulded separately to the wheels themselves, which will help achieve a nice, neat finish once painted. They have flat spots moulded in place too. The wings slot onto the fuselage with the help of the spars, which should provide plenty of strength as well as helping to achieve a positive fit. If the bomb bay doors are to be displayed open (and it would be a crime not to), they will have to be cut in half prior to assembly. Construction then concludes with the installation of the chin turret, the tail turret and the cheek turrets. The parts for the latter items are moulded entirely from clear plastic, which saves fiddling around with small clear parts and getting gluey marks all over thme. 

 

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Two options are provided on the original decal sheet, with a further two on the Kits-World sheet:

  • B-17G 'Mah Ideel', 324th Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group, Eight Air Force, US Army Air Force, RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, England, early 1945;
  • B-17G 'Skyway Chariot', 351st Bomb Squadron, 100th Bomb Group, Eight Air Force, US Army Air Force, RAF Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk, England, March 1945;
  • B-17G 'Looky Looky', 851st Bomb Squadron, 490th Bomb Group, Spring 1945; and
  • B-17G 'Heaven Sent', 350th Bomb Squadron, 100h Bomb Group, Early 1945.

The decals themselves look thin and glossy and a full set of stencils are included.

 

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Conclusion

 

This isn't the only available kit of the B-17 in this scale, but it is up there with the best. Just like the Revell kit, this one has a fantastic amount of detail and even more parts. It won't be a quick build, but it should result in a rewarding experience. Overall this kit is a real gem and should build up into an excellent model. Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of 


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So the extra schemes are not by airfix, be interesting to see going forward if this trend is repeated 

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Thanks for the review, it was hard to find information on the extra decal sheet.

I found a B-17 that has the same lady decal as the kits-world #7, but she's on the other side of the fuselage, so unfortunately faces the other way.. I thought I was in luck that it was a pin up that seemed popular at the time.

 

I did a search on the airfix site and it couldn't even find the kit, but I found it via a google search, but still found the airfix site lacking information.

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