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Figured I'd start a thread for my B-17 that I've been tinkering around with for a month or so now.  I've been an on and (mostly) off modeler for the past several years but doing a 1/48 B-17 has been a project I've been researching for a number of years now so over the past 10 years or so I've acquired most of the detail sets for the Monogram kit and and attempted to start that last year but I think I tried to do too much with it and my modeling skills weren't quite where they needed to be to turn that kit into what I had in mind so it got stashed away.  Then around Christmas I saw HK came out with a 1/48 kit and after doing a little research I sprung for it and am quite happy I did.  Yes, there are a couple inaccuracies like the rear fuselage being slightly too fat and the out engine nacelles sitting a tad high but those don't really bother and quite honestly after having the kit in my hands, I don't think they'll be all that noticeable when the model is finished.  The ultimate goal for me is to build a diorama with this.  I've done a fair bit of research on the particular plane I'm doing and the history of it is pretty interesting.  One such part of that history that I plan to capture is a particular mission in which it had two engines knocked out by flak over France and it had to make an emergency landing at RAF Thorney Island.  So that will be challenging but I'm up for it.

 

The plane comes first though.  I plan on going slow with this and will be going over the top detailing wise when you take into account what can actually be seen but I've always wanted to go all out on a B-17 and I don't have many other kits I plan on building so I have no problem spending some money on aftermarket bits.  I'll start by pointing out the parts of the kit that aren't accurate for an "early" G.  1.) The radio room gun would not have been enclosed on early Gs.  The set up was much the same as an F with the hatch open and the gun mounted on a ring that slid back and forth for storage. 2.) The wing tip tokyo tank vents were also not present on early Gs.  These were added later and from the pictures I've seen, the two vent version located more in the middle of the wingtip seemed to be more common.  3.) The outer ball turret supports, parts V17 and V18, are incorrect for a G.  Fs had the spherical housing over the support but Gs did not.  I'm not sure how I'll tackle that yet.  4.)  This isn't really an inaccuracy, but the antennas were not a one size fits all deal in that all planes had them....referencing prototype photos is a good idea for these.  But all in all I'm really liking the kit and its been pretty fun so far.

 

I'm starting by making the major modifications.  The plane I'm building was the last B-17G-25-DL built which was the first production block to incorporate staggered waists windows, so I filled in the kit opening with sheet styrene and carefully cut out the new opening.  It's just rough so far and I till need to enlarge it height wise but at least its there.  Once the fuselage is closed I'll have to re-rivet the area but that shouldn't be too difficult.

 

49440332597_e9864b6b70_c.jpgMRB_7054 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

49440106836_05fb48bebd_c.jpgMRB_7050 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

 

I also cut away the elevators from the horizontal stabilizers so I can reposition them in the down position.  The other main mod that I think will go a long ways towards having a more accurate looking plane is lowering the landing gear.  This photo is post-mod, but both the lowered and raised gears were modeled fully extended which would not be accurate for a plane on the ground.  I cut away the entire torsion link assembly since they were undersized anyways and then made a cut at the top of the oleo flush with the collar and then removed about 2.5mm of material if I recall correctly.  I was eyeballing prototype photos and I think this looks good for an unloaded aircraft.  I then squared up both pieces and then drilled out the center of each piece then CA'ed a piece of brass rod for a strong, solid joint.  I replaced part of the torsion links with pieces from the Monogram gears and still have yet to replace the oleo scissors with some styrene.

 

49474321126_14ebc170a0_c.jpgLanding Gear by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

 

Right now, my focus is on the cockpit.  Like I said before, I'm probably going over the top but detailing like this is therapy to me and I enjoy it.  The center throttle quadrant left a bit to be desired so I've modified it a bit by cutting away the bottom front of it then gluing in some styrene and shaping it into what it should look like.  The back part of the top was also cut away and replaced with a portion of a True Details console as I liked the 3D detail better than the kit and also better than what Eduard offers for photoetch.  Speaking of Eduard, the sides and top of the console as well as the floor of the cockpit have PE pieces which look pretty good to me.  I still have to add all sorts of lever but that will come later.  The control columns for the pilot and copilot will also need a little work since I'm not too big on how they look.

 

49474544537_d93f791926_c.jpgCenter Console by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

 

The seats were next.  I tried my hand at using Milliput for the first time to make the seat cushions and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.  I still have some areas to clean up with a file but they're done for now too (they're not glued to the armor yet, just stuck on with blue tack).

 

49474544397_5cd0fdeb85_c.jpgSeats by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

 

That's all I've got so far.  I'm currently tinkering with the sidewalls.  I cut away the half relief oxygen canisters and will be replacing them with Resin2Detail tanks.  I'm also trying to replicate the fabric covering on the sidewalls with some aluminum foil.

 

 

As for markings, the plane I'm doing is "Man O War II" from the 91st BG.  The 91st memorial website was down for a while but just recently got back up so right now I'm sifting through the daily mission reports trying to learn more about the crew.  If you click on the flickr link, I've included a brief history of the plane in the description for those who are interested.  The first "Man O War" lasted only one mission but the 2nd was a bit luckier and managed to complete 77 missions before being shot down.  I'm modeling it in late April of 1944 (before the red tail surfaces) when it had between 20-25 missions to its name and was still being flown by the original crew.

 

49459660373_d4f8bea178_c.jpgOriginal Crew of B-17G-25-DL "Man O War II" by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

Edited by Matt B

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I’m in, this kit looks light years ahead of the old monogram, (in price as well),will watch with interest.

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Couple more for today.  Dry fitting of the oxygen canisters.  Everything forward of the canisters will be covered in foil replicate the fabric covering.  The Resin2Detail tanks are a little on the large side so I sanded one side flat where they will attach to the wall but I like the 3D appearance a lot better than the kit parts.  Since the tanks were hollow in the back, I glued some styrene sheet to the back of the sidewalls to maintain the structural integrity before I carefully cut away the tanks with a small serrated x-acto blade.  I cleaned it up a little then filled in my mistakes with perfect plastic putty.  I also did a dry fit of the cockpit so far.  There will definitely be a bit of detail crammed in there.  The reason for the red putty where the flap controls are supposed to be is because the kit part interfered with the Eduard rudder petals.  I cut it away and it will be replaced with an Eduard piece that I'll glue a little farther back than it should be so it will clear the petals.

 

49474982842_24b509491f_c.jpgOxygen Canisters by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

 

49474275203_750ab13af6_c.jpgDry Fit 2 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

 

49474760081_b94dbd4afa_c.jpgDry Fit 1 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

Edited by Matt B

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Looking really good so far :thumbsup: Not sure if seen these on Youtube or not, Doogs-Models is doing a series of build video's of one you might find interesting and may help you avoid a few pitfalls. Language alert though, if that sort of thing bothers you.

:cheers:

Edited by nsmekanik

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THis will be a joy to watch unfold. I've built my share of the old Monogram B-17s over the years. I was wondering if it would be wise to get the HK version. Methnks I soon will find out. Pay me no mind, I'll just set up me chair over here out of the way. Carry on.

Excellent look so far.

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I'll be watching your build with great interest, as she has always been my favorite B-17G, as I  never cared for bare metal or red-tailed examples. I have attached a link to two photos of her- one showing 15 and the other 45 missions. This will be a very nice tribute to a brave group of young men.

Mike

 

@Matt B- do you by any chance have the codes and group letter she wore, in  addition to her serial?

 

http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/7006

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Thanks guys, hopefully I don't disappoint!

 

@nsmekanik I've been following his build and am eagerly awaiting the painting stage.  He's excellent when it comes to painting and weathering so I'm hoping to learn a thing or two.

 

@72modeler Yup.  Group letter was triangle A for the 91st BG, fuselage code was LG-V and her serial was 42-38083.  Arrived at Bassingbourn on 1 Feb 1944 and was lost on 2 Nov 1944 over Merseburg. The tribute is kind of my goal.  The more I found about the crew and plane the more I grew attached.  From barely returning from their first mission and losing a crewman in the process to several close calls after, its all fascinating.  Even more so is that the pilot, William Burtt, was only 21 at the time.  It's a shame he was killed in a training accident after completing his tour of duty.  What those men were doing at that age will never cease to amaze me.  I've found a couple other photos of her as well.  One is in the book The Wragged Irregulars of Bassingbourn and is a close up of the nose art and the other that I was amazed to see was actually a photo of the first Man O War with crewmembers after it crashlanded in England in the book Plane Names and Fancy Noses.  I've read through the missing crew report as well after it was shot down over Merseburg which was interesting.  There's a lot of 91st planes modeled but this isn't one of the more common ones so I'm hoping to do her justice.

Edited by Matt B

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Looks very promising build mate!!!  gonna follow, but please don't paint the fuselage halves  green, there is a wrongly conception of this based on modern restauration and warbirds, in ww2  "G" models were just bare metal and green olive insulation pad in the cockpit  and in the navigator and bombardier firewall only! 

 interesting reading here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/b-17-flying-fortress-interior-colors-part-i/

 

check  the picture section of this awesome and accurate b17 cockpit:  https://www.facebook.com/b17cockpit/

 

cheers

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18 minutes ago, antonio argudo said:

Looks very promising build mate!!!  gonna follow, but please don't paint the fuselage halves  green, there is a wrongly conception of this based on modern restauration and warbirds, in ww2  "G" models were just bare metal and green olive insulation pad in the cockpit  and in the navigator and bombardier firewall only! 

 interesting reading here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/b-17-flying-fortress-interior-colors-part-i/

 

check  the picture section of this awesome and accurate b17 cockpit:  https://www.facebook.com/b17cockpit/

 

cheers

Duly noted!  I do have reason to believe the rear fuselage was painted on at least some Douglas built birds (google “B-17G Sweet Pea”) but my plan is the safe route with natural metal everywhere except the cockpit, turrets and floors.

 

Im surprised I haven’t come across that Facebook page before...lots of great material in there. 

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I'm going to enjoy watching your build unfold, Matt.  Taking your time and working conscientiously will pay dividends.  I've much more to say but just off a busy shift and home from the pub so not the best time for typing into the combox.  

 

For now, I'll ask what sort of display base you aim to have (begin with the end in mind and that).  A tribute build deserves a plinth IMHO.  Space on a shelf alone won't do. 

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9 hours ago, Jackson Duvalier said:

I'm going to enjoy watching your build unfold, Matt.  Taking your time and working conscientiously will pay dividends.  I've much more to say but just off a busy shift and home from the pub so not the best time for typing into the combox.  

 

For now, I'll ask what sort of display base you aim to have (begin with the end in mind and that).  A tribute build deserves a plinth IMHO.  Space on a shelf alone won't do. 

Not entirely sure yet.  I’ll be building a custom wood base and acrylic cover for the diorama but I have yet to determine the size.  The plan is to use 3 vehicles (Jeep in RAF colors, standard tilly, US staff car) and 20-25 figures as I figure a US bomber landing at an RAF base would’ve garnered a bit of attention.  I didn’t find any photos of the event so I’ll be able to use some creativity while hopefully keeping it realistic.

Edited by Matt B

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Another small update (hopefully no one minds these....I told myself before I started this that I wanted to track every step of the way)

 

Spent an hour or so playing around with regular old kitchen foil.  I carved away the raised oxygen hose and plumbing and then laid it down over the sidewalls to replicate the fabric covering.  I burnished it down with a cotton swab then carefully cut out the details with a sharp no. 11 blade and ran some thin CA under the edges to tack it down.  Later on I'll add the oxygen hose and wires back.  I also used foil for the covering over the back of the instrument panel.

 

49477791978_d3acb9113e_c.jpgFoil Fun by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

 

One thing that I'm trying to do is make use of all the detail sets for the Monogram kit that acquired over the past 10 or so years.  Not many additions are significant but I'm trying to use what I can.  I'm putting as much detail into the nose as I can because I plan to leave off the Norden bombsight.  Since all planes in a formation dropped their bombs when the lead plane did, not every plane necessarily carried one on each mission.  This is why you may see some references to a "togglier" in some crews.  A togglier was basically a non-commissioned bombardier.  Since they weren't required to know how to use the bombsight or find targets, they didn't have to be a commissioned officer.  They opened and closed the bomb bay doors, toggled off the bombs (hence the name) and operated the chin turret.  So, without the bombsight, I figure more detail will be visible.  The light cream colored piece here is the oxygen panel I cut out from a True Details sidewall and the other piece is a drift meter from the Verlinden set.  I also made a small indentation on the exterior with a drill bit where the scope of the drift meter would be.  It was a device used by navigators to aid in determining and correcting (if need be) the course of the aircraft.

 

49478274291_2251ef1794_c.jpgNose Details by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

 

49478274141_679243934f_c.jpgDrift Meter-Ext by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

 

 

Also, a note to those who have this kit, I found that attaching the nose and tail sections to the fuselage before closing it up will give me the best fit and prevent any steps on the side of the fuselage.  You'll have to dry fit yourself to see if its the case for yours too, but this is what worked out for me.  As you can see in the last photo above, I was able to get a nice clean, smooth joint between the nose and the main fuselage piece.

Edited by Matt B

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Finished up a couple more mods tonight.  I had previously cut off the elevators and tonight finished off shaping them.  The kit pieces had a pretty thick reinforcement where the elevator met the stabilizer so cutting it away also removed a bit of plastic.  I built the shape back up with milliput then carved and sanded it into the correct shape.  Not perfect, but good enough for me.  The hinge points were cut away as well and I'll replace them with some styrene.  Fit of the stabilizers to the fuselage is pretty much perfect.  I also lightly sanded the ribs on the elevators to tone them down a tad.

 

49485750966_4e2a7925d2_c.jpgElev 1 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

 

49485261938_c81e9fc674_c.jpgElev 2 by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

 

Then I decided to test my sanity and decided to open up the pilot's sliding window which almost ended with me ruining the windscreen.  The clear plastic is a bit tougher than the gray and it took a lot of slow cutting, carving, filing, cutting, filing and so on.  In the process, the bottom rail broke off.  Not a big deal as I can add it back on later after I attach the windscreen and you won't be able to notice.  However, when only one side broke off, I tried to glue it back and in the process got a nice glue fingerprint on the inside of the panel farthest to the right.  After saying a few choice words I tried to see if I could sand it out and luckily it wasn't too deep.  Started with 800 then then progressively got finer.  I have yet to polish it, but it looks like a lot better than it did.  The photo doesn't show it because the piece is loose, but fit of the windscreen is perfect.  All of the clear parts fit perfect. 

 

49485261778_b32b525d2c_c.jpgPilot Window by Matt Bourke, on Flickr

 

These mods are definitely a little time consuming but I think it will pay off in the end.

 

 

 

 

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nice job Matt!!

looks like the whole firewall of the navigator /bombardier was insulated with pad, here some good ww2 shots, keep the good!

cheers

gnoseaft.jpg

boeing-b-17g-interior-navigator.jpg

Recall-B-17.jpg

82788810-10157868645106740-3834137130708

Edited by antonio argudo

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@antonio argudo that top photo is exactly what I've been looking for!  I kept coming up empty trying to find a factory/wartime photo of the entire front of that bulkhead.

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