So I see a few of the ongoing B-17 build threads are getting bumped back into the forums, which is a good thing, but it's finally given me the incentive to "get my B-17 on!" There's some very talented people some some great work on these awesome kits and it does seem they have to potential to overwhelm you very easily if you aren't careful.
So clearly I'm not, so here's the plan. Take one HK B-17G and with some fairly major surgery, attempt to turn it into something resembling a D. Yes, I know a lot of you right now are questioning my sanity in wanting to cut up a fairly expensive kit with little to no guarantee of success, but isn't that what modelling's all about?
The way I look at it is this. HK did an exceptional job in making the dream a reality, but I for one have always been bothered about the shape of the fuselage, especially around the nose. I know this has been talked about practically to death and a few people have got pretty wound up over the topic. I'm not a rivet counter, so to me if it looks right, then it is. I'm doing this purely for my own enjoyment and to see if it can actually be done, as to my knowledge no one else has tried this, and I very much doubt HK is going to bring out a shark tail anytime soon!
I also thought that with the other builds being G's and maybe one or two F's getting a run when they finally come on the scene, it would be nice to see something a bit different. This will certainly be the ultimate test of my not very considerable modelling skills at the moment.
So here's the plan: I have the Koster 1/48 conversion, which I think together with the old monogram G, is definitely the closest thing to capturing the true lines of the fort so that's what I'm basing my conversion on. Using his instructions on what bits to remove where, I'm pretty much doing the same thing, just upscaling to 1/32. At the end of the day, I will still have to scratch build the entire rear fuselage and for the most part the nose, not only to get the right contours but also due to it being shorter. Because I don't understand CAD, here's the grand plan on paper......
Yep, pretty inspiring isn't it! Actually, despite how it looks, I'm pretty happy with the outline I've come up with, referencing it back to the monogram offering, and this is where most of my dimensions will come from. It may not be accurate, but as I said, at least it SHOULD look like a D!
The other thing I had to start doing, to get a clearer picture of the difference in dimensions, was to start cutting some of the plastic (gulp). I'm sure most of you are aware of the size, but in case you aren't, check this out...
Yep, she's a big girl!
The first cut was to separate the upper turtle deck into left and right halves, so they could be attached to the rest of the fuselage so I had a proper indication of the overall height.
Then, as alluded to in Koster's drawings, as the nose is some 14.3mm shorter than the G, so too the cockpit will have to allow for this (and due to the extra glazing and seats) so I separated it before it changed cross section.
With the remainder of the turtle deck glued on, I now put on marks where I was going to cut the forward and rear fuselage. The centre section thankfully remained pretty much unchanged in terms of shape and the wings are the same too (otherwise it definitely would've been in the "too hard" basket!).
From here it'll be a case of remove the extra, then construct solid patterns of the fuselage to vacuum form over the top of.
As with all the other B-17 builds, this will be slow, but the first cut has been done so I'm well on my way. I hope you'll join me on this journey
Thanks for looking, Craig
P.S. Sorry about the pics, I thought photo bucket had rotated them for me.... I'll do better next time
Edited by brahman104, 15 January 2017 - 03:27 AM.