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Airfix B-17G tail turret moulding: too small!


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Hi,

despite having way too many kits on the go at the moment, I couldn't help getting stuck into one of the two Airfix B-17Gs that I got cheap from The Works. Despite a few minor irritations, the kit has thus far gone together pretty well and is clearly the top of the heap when it comes to Fortresses in the Gentleman's Scale.

 

That is until now. I thought I'd offer up the Cheyenne tail turret assembly up to the fuselage and found that it looks like it was designed for another kit!

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That step you can see is over a millimetre in height. It more or less lines up ok at the top, but as you can see, the diameter error increases as it heads towards the bottom of the fuselage. I hadn't come across anyone complaining about that and despite  go ogling it, couldn't find anything at all.

 

Surely I can't be the only one who's noticed this? I think it's pretty shocking, but I'd like to know your opinions and possible saves before I get on Airfix's case about it.

 

I knew it was going too well!

 

Cheers,

Mark.

 

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I have this on the go having bought it the month it came out, and although i keep putting it back on the shelf, i cant remember the tail being like this. Could it be moulding issues/wear showing up over time?

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4 hours ago, Jazzie said:

Could it be moulding issues/wear showing up over time?

 

I wouldn't really say any significant time has elapsed for these kits. These kits in the recent Works sale are the clearance of the original 2016 release of the kit (A08017), not the later releases which are the RAF Fortress III (A08018), the one in the Bomber Resupply set (A12010) and the new USAAF release with the extended decal options (A08017A). So they were produced with the moulds in their prime.

 

Mine is not like that at all. It's a kit that came from the same sale at The Works a few weeks ago.

I've just pulled it off the shelf to measure up.

 

Taking external dimensions, I get a height of 20.43mm for the rear of the turret transparency, 20.53mm at the rear of the fuselage. So that's a tenth of a millimeter, and given that the fuselage is broadening rapidly towards the front and the difficulty of getting the caliper tips exactly on the very edges of the fuselage, I'd call that as near the same as makes no difference. And indeed, when I offer up the clear turret part to the fuselage there's no discernable mis-match.

 

Looking at yours, I'd say it might would adjust to fit by sawing through the bottom seam (assuming you've glued it up) and inserting a lengthways spacer filed from sprue - that would increase the overall diameter and make it fit better everywhere. But I have to ask: if two parts off the clear sprue are so mis-sized (for whatever reason), do the other clear parts fit? I would check the rest now, as you may need a whole clear sprue replacement.

Edited by Work In Progress
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Thanks for the call-out, checked mine (august 2016 production I think, judging from the date on the blurb) but it's fine.

Don't know if the Fortress III boxing has the cheyenne tail on the clear parts tree?

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I just checked my other lit and the Cheyenne turret seems fine on that one. I'll compare with the other kit later, as that's out in the workshop. At least I should be able to get replacement parts for it.

Thanks for looking, gents!

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10 hours ago, alt-92 said:

Thanks for the call-out, checked mine (august 2016 production I think, judging from the date on the blurb) but it's fine.

Don't know if the Fortress III boxing has the cheyenne tail on the clear parts tree?

Yes it does.  The one problem I have noticed on the kit, and the Revell G is the same, is that the vents for the Tokyo Tanks are incorrect.  They have one vent on each wing tip and there should be two vents, and each of the two vents are not as wide as the one vent on both the Revell and Airfix kit.  Every photo I have seen of the Gs shows the two vents on each wingtip, not one.

Later,

Dave

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6 hours ago, Rick Tsujimura said:

I remember Airfix having sold the Academy G under their label many years ago; could it be some sort of mixup between that kit and the new one?

That seems a bit unlikely :) that rebox was in the 1999-2008 period, 'old' airfix management under Humbrol.

  

It would also mean that the incoming plastic trees and packaging from the 2016 India production would have to have been mixed with 12 year old stock from a completely different line/storage. Having never seen the Acad Airfix kit, I don't know if it was a straight rebox of Acad plastic or that they used the moulds at Trun.

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21 minutes ago, Jens said:

Mine is exactly the same with over 1 mm gap in height. :(

 

Jens

We should be able to get good, replacement parts, as we know that there are perfectly fitting ones out there. I wonder what caused the problem? My duff one doesn't look deformed at all.

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How can it be when most of the kits out there have perfect fitting parts?

Unless they are running multiple sets of tooling which seems highly unlikely in the modern era.

 

Have you checked the rest of the clear parts on the same sprue yet? if they are all too small then it's probably a plastic formulation error and the whole sprue has shrunk after coming out of the mould.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got to the point today where I assembled the tail turret from the second kit and guess what? It's almost as bad as the first. Weirdly, it looked ok  when I offered it up, but once glued, the fit is tighter and thus the diameter smaller.

 

I guess I'm going to need to contact Airfix about it, as it looks like a lot of filler and sanding otherwise.

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58 minutes ago, Work In Progress said:

Do the other parts on your clear sprues fit as they should?

The ones I have used so far fitted perfectly. The side gunner windows, for instance, were as good a fit as I have encountered.

It just looks like the tail turret mould was cut incorrectly, though with others saying theirs were fine, I'm struggling to work out what went wrong.

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I can only recommend adding the tail gun "extension" as a half to each fuselage half separately, before joining them all. Thus you would have a better chance to mate the curved parts to each other. The molding should indeed be better than those you have, though. V-P

 

EDIT: This, by the way, is how the Academy Stinger tail housing fits the Airfix fuselage. I had to trim the "doghouse" below the rudder down but the fuselage contours fit together surprisingly well.

2020-03-30_06-52-20

 

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Well, I've contacted Airfix now, so it'll be interesting to hear what they have to say.

 

Cheers,

Mark.

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I think they'd be grateful to hear of and possibly sort out this quality issue, before the new production run (A08017B) begins.

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1 hour ago, vppelt68 said:

I think they'd be grateful to hear of and possibly sort out this quality issue, before the new production run (A08017B) begins.

I hope so, as I'd like one of the new boxings too.

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Strange... The advise to add a distance on bottom is perhaps better solution then adding filler all around . However,  ~ 1 mm step implies ~3 mm wide distance (separator to be put between Cheyenne turret halves on bottom side) !

Regards

J-W

 

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A little late to the party, but I just checked my kit an the tail gun parts fit perfectly.  I think it's from one of the early production runs..at least one of the first to get over to this side of The Pond.  I've also got the later release with the support vehicle set, but I haven't checked that one.  The parts are all still sealed in the bags and I don't want to rip them open.

 

SN 

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