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453rd Museum build 1/72 B-17F Academy with a possible friend!


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Hello all!

 

I'm going to be starting my build for Jim’s museum, it’s will be the Academy B17F. Currently I’m trying to finish off two bi planes which are at the decal stage so should start cracking on with this in the next week.

 

really excited to be doing this, it’s not often you get to give back to something that remembers and celebrates the same people and history that you love! I have built two little spitfires for the Son of Howard Squires but they are sat in his house, not quite the same.

 

kit

Sr8F8yj.jpg

 

I don’t have pictures of the kit as not opened it all up properly yet, but will post them as soon as I do.


the kit comes with decals for ‘Memphis Belle’ 324th BS, 91st BG and ‘Miss Ouachita’ 322nd BS, 91st BG and Both flew from Bassingbourn UK.

 

I have emailed Jim for clarity on which is wanted for the museum so just waiting for a response, but I’m hoping it’s Belle, as I’ve always wanted to build her properly (don’t think the hatchet job I did as a kid can count).

 

Now I’m in a quandary as I normally build in pairs at least! So this may be joined by a B24D I’ve ask Jim if there is a subject he wanted for the museum and if so will build that as I’m down to do that anyway. But if not it might be a polesti raider, probably ‘strawberry (female dog)’ as would be good to do two icons together.

 

Any help is warmly welcomed, especially if you know any of the pitfalls of this kit, I know academy can be hot and miss! 
 

No aftermarket at the moment with this one, but I might look at a few bits to see if we can improve it. 
 

big thanks to @CedB for helping with this and for dutifully driving the tame Americans round the UK! Was a great time getting to meet you all and if you hadn’t we might not have made the museum connection.

 

now I just have to build the thing and not screw it up 🤞🏻.

 

Rob

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I built the Academy 17F some years ago and don't remember any major build problems, the only thing that comes to mind is the engine moulding was poor and I replaced them with Aeroclub white metal units.

Looking forward to seeing what you do with this one

 

  Stay safe               Roger

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Watch the wing dihedral on the Academy kits - the angle is too high out of the box but some plastic shims at the upper wing root is an easy fix. 
 

And don’t forget when doing the interior, no interior green :)

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53 minutes ago, Hamden said:

 

I built the Academy 17F some years ago and don't remember any major build problems, the only thing that comes to mind is the engine moulding was poor and I replaced them with Aeroclub white metal units.

Looking forward to seeing what you do with this one

 

  Stay safe               Roger

Cheers Roger, I’ll look into some engine sets to make them better.

16 minutes ago, tomprobert said:

Watch the wing dihedral on the Academy kits - the angle is too high out of the box but some plastic shims at the upper wing root is an easy fix. 
 

And don’t forget when doing the interior, no interior green :)

Thanks Tom, so get some plastic card to level out the wings a touch, I’ll add it to the list. Now when you say no interior green, do you mean only bare metal after of the CP as that’s what I did with the Airfix B-17 G, but the CP and bomb aimers compartment I used a green of my own making to replicate photos I had seen where they had green wadding and what looked like painted metal? I need to look into this a bit more!

 

Rob

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8 hours ago, rob85 said:

Cheers Roger, I’ll look into some engine sets to make them better.

Thanks Tom, so get some plastic card to level out the wings a touch, I’ll add it to the list. Now when you say no interior green, do you mean only bare metal after of the CP as that’s what I did with the Airfix B-17 G, but the CP and bomb aimers compartment I used a green of my own making to replicate photos I had seen where they had green wadding and what looked like painted metal? I need to look into this a bit more!

 

Rob

Hi Rob,

 

Interior Green was not used on B-17s - instead Bronze Green was used but this was only on the exposed metal of the flight deck. Side walls had an olive green padding. 
 

If you’re doing Memphis Belle, the nose will be natural metal (sound deadening material was removed) and it was the same story in the radio room. Rear fuselage, including the tail turret, was all natural metal. The Belle was part of an earlier batch of F models where the bomb bay was actually neutral grey rather than aluminium. 
 

I’ve done many years of research on the B-17 and apart from a small number of Douglas-built machines all interiors were, apart from explained above, devoid of paint. There’s no definitive proof that even the Douglas-built machines were painted internally - so my advice for an ‘accurate’ B-17 interior is aluminium apart from the cockpit. 

 

Wheel bays and inside the cowls should also be natural metal. 
 

Tom

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Thanks @tomprobert, that reassures me a lot. My last build I painted the radio room green but thought this was wrong and painted the bomb bay metal but airfix said I shouldn’t. So I was nearly there! This has cleared it right up! I knew no interior green but always nice to have someone who knows a lot more clarify things, thank you, I bet your sick to death of posting it!

IKJMi7Q.jpg
m0i7CVH.jpg
 

Cheers 

 

Rob

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And there you are, going big again :D

 

I'm in :popcorn:

 

Ciao 

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Wow !! Another museum build !!

It's great, May I take a seat at the bar ?

Thanks to @tomprobert for the tip on interior painting, it's dully saved for the day I'll start one of my B-17 !!

Sincerely.

CC

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14 hours ago, giemme said:

And there you are, going big again :D

 

I'm in :popcorn:

 

Ciao 

Had to make myself feel better after seeing you casting resin just to test paint sequences 😂 thanks G always a pleasure to have you along.

14 hours ago, corsaircorp said:

Wow !! Another museum build !!

It's great, May I take a seat at the bar ?

Thanks to @tomprobert for the tip on interior painting, it's dully saved for the day I'll start one of my B-17 !!

Sincerely.

CC

He’s a gem isn’t he! Please pull up a seat the bar is open!

52 minutes ago, Fritag said:

 

 

Yes, them’s my thoughts about my build too.....:D

Oh Christ we’re all screwed then

 

So here’s a look at the kits, first up is the b-17

olehWlK.jpgExterior detail is nice, looks like it will look good under paint and weathering so happy with that... interior is hit

JnHMKFX.jpgand miss

zwl7Ti2.jpg
G6cYbtO.jpg

PW1KCjn.jpg

but that’s ok as the transparencies are made from the bottom of milk bottles so you won’t see Jack anyway 😂

OfxkS7r.jpg
s3YsXCT.jpg

I’m going to look at detailing sets I think and vac form sets, see how much they are. If anyone has any recommendations for this please feel free to say!

cdNdve6.jpg

engines aren’t amazing so might look at replacing these too!

 

Aftermarket transfers will be needed as the academy are made from their usual brand of Perspex 

yZqM7ST.jpg That’s standard for them so already have my eye on a few.

 

But at least there aren’t many stages to the instructions.

7zI1NDe.jpg

 

As for the little friend it will be the not so little kit below.

ozbYV2G.jpg
I have a number of decal sets for this aircraft so should be fine to cobble it together.

 

The kit is similar to the above, I know it goes together ok as have built one before, well half built.

 

And this one comes with extra flash

4m6icow.jpg
WDKUUJr.jpg

the clear parts aren’t terrible but I do have a number of sets from a Hase kit and some vac form sets somewhere so will use those. Less worried about adding detail as this ones just for me.


Any thoughts and help on improving these please feel free to speak up!

 

cheers

 

Rob

 

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That's a lorra lorra flash! ☹️ Think you might have to replace that prop.. I did make some replacement blades for an old Airfix B17 Bit O lace last year flattened out some spruce then a lot of sanding and bit of a gentle bending session. They looked fine from a distance. I did it as a skill test really. A lot of work and I enjoyed it but I should have just replaced them with spares! 

 

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I believe CMK do/did some update sets for this, cockpit(129-7076)/engine(129-7075)/bomb bay (129-7074) which were a good fit.  

I don't know if they are still available but do provide good detail IMHO. Don't know of any B24 sets  but CMK probably do something!

Hope this helps

 

  Stay safe             Roger

    

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Looks like you'll be having a lot of fun with these, Rob! :thumbsup:

And yes, ditch the Academy decals, they are horrific....

 

Ciao

 

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Well !!

You have your hands full with these 2....

For the Minicraft, can we bet that they produced flashes instead of plastic parts ???

Same story for my Minicraft corsairs....:deadhorse:

And they boasted it as the most accurate B-24 kit ???

These guys have a strange sense of humor 😆😆

Okay, let's the fun going on !!

Sincerely.

CC

 

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4 hours ago, Hamden said:

don't know if they are still available but do provide good detail IMHO

Yep. Still there :

https://www.specialhobby.eu/en/1/1/b-17f-g-engine-set-for-aca-wright-1820.html?listtype=search&searchparam=B-17

Another option might be Eduard Brassin set (although that's geared towards the Airfix kit):

https://www.eduard.com/eduard/b-17g-engines-1-72.html?listtype=search&searchparam=B-17G

Nearly doubles the price of the kit itself, but.... 

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…and he's off! Great start Rob :)

 

From my little knowledge, the Academy kit allows you to do either the staggered or opposite waist guns so the world's your Oyster!

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Hello Rob I'm in for both. Yep the side windows are an option but you have to cut them out in the staggered position.  The engine cowlings look bad as the lack of the wheel bay details If you choose vacu clear parts, this could be of interest Not sure, if they produce it now:

https://www.scalemates.com/de/kits/legend-productions-la7201-b-17f-interior-detail-set-academy-kit--406077.

Cheers

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On 5/5/2021 at 11:30 PM, Col Walter E Kurtz said:

That's a lorra lorra flash! ☹️ Think you might have to replace that prop.. I did make some replacement blades for an old Airfix B17 Bit O lace last year flattened out some spruce then a lot of sanding and bit of a gentle bending session. They looked fine from a distance. I did it as a skill test really. A lot of work and I enjoyed it but I should have just replaced them with spares! 

 

I’ve got some spare b24 props hanging around so will have a little look for them... I also have another 3 boxing’s of the same kit so hopefully I can cobble together a full set!

On 5/6/2021 at 7:46 AM, Hamden said:

 

I believe CMK do/did some update sets for this, cockpit(129-7076)/engine(129-7075)/bomb bay (129-7074) which were a good fit.  

I don't know if they are still available but do provide good detail IMHO. Don't know of any B24 sets  but CMK probably do something!

Hope this helps

 

  Stay safe             Roger

    

I may have sorted a bit of detail for the B24 now, just waiting to see. I’ve ordered a full CMK set for the B17 now!

On 5/6/2021 at 8:09 AM, giemme said:

Looks like you'll be having a lot of fun with these, Rob! :thumbsup:

And yes, ditch the Academy decals, they are horrific....

 

Ciao

 

I think they will be fun, first proper go with resin sets. With academy decals I just pop them in the bin along with all the other rubbish!

On 5/6/2021 at 9:14 AM, corsaircorp said:

Well !!

You have your hands full with these 2....

For the Minicraft, can we bet that they produced flashes instead of plastic parts ???

Same story for my Minicraft corsairs....:deadhorse:

And they boasted it as the most accurate B-24 kit ???

These guys have a strange sense of humor 😆😆

Okay, let's the fun going on !!

Sincerely.

CC

 

Yeah it probably was when their only competition was the airfix kit!

On 5/6/2021 at 12:06 PM, alt-92 said:

Yep. Still there :

https://www.specialhobby.eu/en/1/1/b-17f-g-engine-set-for-aca-wright-1820.html?listtype=search&searchparam=B-17

Another option might be Eduard Brassin set (although that's geared towards the Airfix kit):

https://www.eduard.com/eduard/b-17g-engines-1-72.html?listtype=search&searchparam=B-17G

Nearly doubles the price of the kit itself, but.... 

I have dutifully been on the above link and managed to get hold of a full detail set for the B17 from CMK. Looks good and more reasonable as it came to £30 with postage. Just need a vac form set for the clear parts and engine set, but have my eye on a couple!

On 5/6/2021 at 12:12 PM, CedB said:

…and he's off! Great start Rob :)

 

From my little knowledge, the Academy kit allows you to do either the staggered or opposite waist guns so the world's your Oyster!

It does indeed! Jim has got back to me and confirmed it’s Belle he want, it will be displayed along with a bit of the original aircraft. And some decals for a b24 are on the way, as is a B24 kit when in arrives from China.

On 5/6/2021 at 3:15 PM, bbudde said:

Hello Rob I'm in for both. Yep the side windows are an option but you have to cut them out in the staggered position.  The engine cowlings look bad as the lack of the wheel bay details If you choose vacu clear parts, this could be of interest Not sure, if they produce it now:

https://www.scalemates.com/de/kits/legend-productions-la7201-b-17f-interior-detail-set-academy-kit--406077.

Cheers

I tried looking for this set but couldn’t find it available anywhere, I’ve gone with another but I don’t think it covers the waist guns so might have to build my own as I’ll end up spendings a small fortune!

 

so my next question! On reviewing pictures of Belle, she has two 50 cals poking out her nose. I don’t think this kit caters for this, which is a big miss by academy as the Revell kit does have this option. Any thoughts on how this has been replicated by others? I can’t find many builds.

 

It looks like this.

YI41vy8.jpg

pbwYipt.jpg
it looks to have a metal support frame round them.

 

any help is greatly received!

 

thanks for all the comments and support.

 

Rob

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Good morning, Rob,

 

Well, I think that we are a number to build B17 models on Britmodeller right now!

I have built three Academy flying Fortresses:

Here are two:

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

I really like this kit, which is a good base. However, there are things to improve.

First, some air intakes are to be dug at the leading edge of the wings:

spacer.png

personal photo

Between the two engines are two oil cooler air intakes.

 

Here is a picture of the cooler air intake near the inner engine of the starboard wing:

spacer.png 

personal photo

I represented the rounded metal sheet, partitioned the tubes, and added a fine mesh at the bottom:

spacer.png

 

the engines are to be replaced, or to be redone as I did on the next one:

spacer.png

 

I made a checklist of points to review for my next three B17 Académy:

_ the dihedral of the kit's wings is too pronounced. Add a 1mm wedge at the root,

_ The engine covers are too closed = sand from the inside to increase the opening in diameter.

_ Turn the bosses in front of the openings of the train housings. These are bosses present only on the first B17C-D,

_ Turn the odd trapezoidal shape on the exhaust pipes (parts A16); they are cooling cups mounted for experimentation.

_ Cut the cowl flaps on the internal engines to leave visible the beginnings of the exhaust tubes (parts A19, A20).

_ Refine the height of part J 15 / dorsal turret cupola support, which is too prominent,

_ Change the wheels.

_ Change the "machine guns",

 

_ The oil tank molded on the A75 landing gear strut is on the wrong side; It is behind and not in front:

spacer.png

personal photo

 

We can have fun for a while by building this model.

I actually use the decals from this box to represent Miss Ouachita. And yes, they are concrete! :blink2:

 

Regards,

Eric-Snafu35

 

 

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2 hours ago, rob85 said:

it looks to have a metal support frame round them.

 

any help is greatly received!

 

They were a bit of an ad-hoc mod to provide more frontal firepower protection, but the perspex was prone to cracking.  
One could lash up the framework visible with some plastic rods, drill (careful!) holes or represent the mount points as seen in the presentation pic without the guns mounted.

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6 hours ago, rob85 said:

On reviewing pictures of Belle, she has two 50 cals poking out her nose. I don’t think this kit caters for this, which is a big miss by academy as the Revell kit does have this option. Any thoughts on how this has been replicated by others? I can’t find many builds.

I guess you mean builds of the Academy kit Rob but, just in case you meant 'Belle', my Revell build is here.

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15 hours ago, Snafu35 said:

Good morning, Rob,

 

Well, I think that we are a number to build B17 models on Britmodeller right now!

I have built three Academy flying Fortresses:

Here are two:

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

I really like this kit, which is a good base. However, there are things to improve.

First, some air intakes are to be dug at the leading edge of the wings:

spacer.png

personal photo

Between the two engines are two oil cooler air intakes.

 

Here is a picture of the cooler air intake near the inner engine of the starboard wing:

spacer.png 

personal photo

I represented the rounded metal sheet, partitioned the tubes, and added a fine mesh at the bottom:

spacer.png

 

the engines are to be replaced, or to be redone as I did on the next one:

spacer.png

 

I made a checklist of points to review for my next three B17 Académy:

_ the dihedral of the kit's wings is too pronounced. Add a 1mm wedge at the root,

_ The engine covers are too closed = sand from the inside to increase the opening in diameter.

_ Turn the bosses in front of the openings of the train housings. These are bosses present only on the first B17C-D,

_ Turn the odd trapezoidal shape on the exhaust pipes (parts A16); they are cooling cups mounted for experimentation.

_ Cut the cowl flaps on the internal engines to leave visible the beginnings of the exhaust tubes (parts A19, A20).

_ Refine the height of part J 15 / dorsal turret cupola support, which is too prominent,

_ Change the wheels.

_ Change the "machine guns",

 

_ The oil tank molded on the A75 landing gear strut is on the wrong side; It is behind and not in front:

spacer.png

personal photo

 

We can have fun for a while by building this model.

I actually use the decals from this box to represent Miss Ouachita. And yes, they are concrete! :blink2:

 

Regards,

Eric-Snafu35

 

 

That is a great bit of detail on the kit, thanks Eric massive help and some lovely builds as well.

14 hours ago, alt-92 said:

They were a bit of an ad-hoc mod to provide more frontal firepower protection, but the perspex was prone to cracking.  
One could lash up the framework visible with some plastic rods, drill (careful!) holes or represent the mount points as seen in the presentation pic without the guns mounted.

This was my thought, maybe get some narrow plastic rod to give it the look of the frame. I’ll have a little look and order some plastic!

10 hours ago, CedB said:

I guess you mean builds of the Academy kit Rob but, just in case you meant 'Belle', my Revell build is here.

Cheers Ced, I remember your Revell build! Great work. After reviewing it it shows what I mean, Revell have give the option of two noses, one with pre prepped holes for the forward guns in the nose. This is not a feature of the Academy kit which is a shame. 
 

Rob

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