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About TKB

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    LSP Junkie

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    Chicago, IL USA
  1. Craig, By now I'd think I wouldn't be surprised by what you pull off, but every post gives me the same astonishment as when you first started cutting up your G fuselage! You have a unique ability to hack away on plastic, but then bring it back together again. I even have to admire your "mistakes" as not only do you recover from them, you to make them look like blessings in disguise! The outer nacelle was a major surgery and you ended up with minimal "scar tisssue." The lighting lights up your work beatifully and is not overbearing --- scale lighting! Just as you did with the cockpit and radio compartment, you avoided the "sea of green" in the nose comparment with your use of different shades of your base color and highlights of bronze green. The insulation has the "padded" look of the early forts compared to the thinner type used later. There's going to be plenty of color in the nose without it looking like a carnival. Your O2 tanks look so much better then if you would have just used the later "ribbed' type. Driftmeter, ammo cans, heat ductwork --- each thing just adds to the realistic feel. The navigator's box may (or may not) be a bit of "artistic license" --- but it's believable an doesn't look out of place. Love how you got the illusion of a lid. To me, what makes all your detail work stand out is that it all is done with 3 dimensional pieces. We've all seen beautifully painted "brought to life" molded in detail. As good as they look, they still lack the "separate piece" look and that's where the realism has its roots. I could go on and on, but I don't need to point any of this out --- everyone sees it the same as I do! "Don't sweat the details" --- unless you're Craig!
  2. Craig, I have to admit, "dumbstruck" is exactly what I was by the simplicity of your nacelle fix! You're the exception to the saying "Those that can do, those who can't teach." YOU DO and TEACH! Absoulutely great work! Terry
  3. I also read that the Memphis Belle was the "front runner" for hitting #25 first and William Wyler had already taken extensive film footage with the 91st BG, for his film. While his film was excellent, the War Department utilized a lot of "massaged facts" when it came to telling the Memphis Belle story. Not to take anything away from the the Memphis Belle or the crew members that accompanied her back to the USA. First or not --- surviving 25 missions was an accomplishment in 1943!
  4. Craig, Nice to have you back and recovering from your vacation! I have to ask --- do the window frames have "rolled edges!" Cockpit looks great. The overall cockpit coloring is very effective.The shade of "bronze green" you came up with is just right. The more "oliveish" sidewall insulation isn't at stark contrast, but enough to keep things from being soporific; the yellow seat cushions/floatation devices add that "glitz" to the surrounding greens. Your control yokes will also set things off. You avoided the cockpit from becoming a "green chamber." Excellent work and very realistic looking --- you pulled it off nicely. I'm sure all of your "major" work on the "C" is rewarding, but it must be truly relaxing when you work on something like the "finishing" details of the cockpit. Terry
  5. Craig, What can I say! You just keep outdoing yourself with your "do overs!" I thought your original ammo box was a work of art, but your new ones look fantastic --- and must be a timesaver! I have to wonder sometimes if the C will ever be "truly" finished with your eye always on accuracy and revisiting items that where thought to be put to rest! I'll love to see her when fiinshed, but each "delay" is an interesting project in itself! I for one can wait as long as it takes. Every step you take us through is well worth the wait! Terry
  6. Craig, I first became aware of the B-17 when I was 9 years old. For the following 59 years that I have spent "absorbing" B-17 details, I was convinced I had to be in the top ten of "most B-17 obsessed persons." Between your work on the C and now this in depth research into "4 forward" ---- well, all I can say is my B-17 obsession pales to your obsession and dedication to "getting things right!" It's one thing to figure out what a problem is, but it's a whole new ballgame coming up with the fix, especially when you want to meld that fix into remaining kit componets! My hat is always off to both your research work and modeling work! As I've said many times, your tenacity is amazing and coupled with your skills, you are not only a talented modeler, but one talented person!! Terry
  7. Craig. You are a glutton for punishment! Yet it is a interesting, enjoyable punishemnt, isn't ? You love it and so do we! You put a whole lot of time, effort and trial and error getting your C "#4 forward" looking right and it's great to see it being applied and massaged on the E/F. Everyone who wants to get that B-17 "face" looking right are getting a good idea of what's wrong, where the error originates and what the options are --- thanks to you. There's a hell of a lot more to it then general perception of "flatten the upper portion of Blk#3." Glad you gave Monogram credit for getting "#4 forward" the closest to being correct. May not be 100% exact, but when you look at her nose, it looks like a B-17 nose from every angle. Obviously back in 1975 they did "their homework." I have to wonder how, 44 years later, "gross errors" are missed or ignored by kit designers. Terry
  8. Craig, Really some fantastic metalwork on the "bathtub --- not to mention ingeneous planning! You have your own "think tank" going on in your head! "Your" bathtub photos, with the fuselage structure in the background are looking like they came out of a manual or from the on-line photos of the "Swoose" replica bathtub --- except yours are sharper and clearer! The cushion sculping came out fine; I'd tone down the wash in the creases and buttons just a tad. Looks a little to high contast. Might just be to much shine. Just my taste, though. Bottom line is it looks like a cushion and not a "slab." Keep it up, Craig. That light at the end of the tunnel gets closer and closer. Once you get her finished, everyone who hasn't followed along here is going to be asking who put out the B-17C kit and where can I order one! Terry
  9. Craig, It's an understatment, but ----- AMAZING! On its own, without your support piece, it looks to be very delicate. Once it's permanently in place in the fuselage opening hopefully that won't be an issue. The fit of the window shows a lot of patience and skill on your part! For sure you have to make the gun mount totally functional so you can "pop" the windows and swing the .50s inward and then out into firing position. Sounds daunting, but I'm sure with some brass tubing, plastic and a whole lot of Craig --- you'd pull it off! Hmmmm? Maybe a couple of spare windows so you can have them setting near Blk#8 and be seen when you "pop" the windows! Yeah, ideas --- I have a million of them! Your tail cone may not be exactly as the original was fabricated, but in the end it will impossible to see the difference and will "look the part." If it weren't for you pointing it out, believe me, no one here would be calling you out on it! Terry
  10. Craig, Quoting you from Post #1, 12/22/14 --- "turn it into something resembling a D." The aft fuselage is the most defining characteristic of the C/D and your "taped together, in the rough" photos bear out that you have gone beyond simply "resembling!" I certainly hope your arm was long enough to reach back and give yourself a pat on the back! Good thing you've taken photos from the beginning. Once you've skinned her into a gleaming B-17C, no one will believe the meld of different materials you brought together to achieve the end result. You've plainly mastered utilizing acrylic to fabricate parts as well as vacuforming it. Compared to the frailty of other vacuform mediums, acrylic does offer substantial solidity and workability. I can only imagine the nightmare of attempting to join the tailcone halves pulled from the usual materials. Judging from how nicely the tailcone is polishing out, the tail lights will certainly not be "lost" in distortion. Keep astounding us --- MAESTRO! Terry
  11. Craig, Nosepiece, cockpit windshield/windows/dome, waist windows and tailcone; each presented their own unique challenge. You took a pragmatic approach with each hurdle and threw in a whole lot of determination. Even in their "rough" stages, your tenacity yielded some mighty fine results. You mentioned you "dreaded" the ever problematic tranparencies, but I think it's safe to say you are over the hump. Once refined and polished, your "clear" parts --- usually the bane of B-17 models --- are really going to be one of the numerous standout features of your C. Great work! Terry
  12. Craig, Forgot to include earlier. When she's finished and displayed, you'll need a disclaimer accompanying her; "Blink at your own risk --- you may miss the HK!" Terry
  13. Craig, C or D --- rough choice. Your reasoning for going with the C does indeed have it's merits. You work in acrylic (well, any material really) like a scultor works in marble --- your usual astonding work! The dome came out great as did the waist windows --- especially how you incorporated the aft depressions! She's really starting to take on personality! Just curious. Once you finesse your final fit and skin the waist gun area, what are your plans to prevent the removable portion from slipping into the interior? Slight matching bevels along the inside perimeter of the fuselage frame and removable portion? With all your interior work, making the waist windows removable was a gimme. You do know, you've now committed yourself to making the early type "vee" swivel gun mounts "functional", so you can swing the .50s in and out of postion. Just a heads up --- don't forget about those wind deflectors between the opening and the front window portion. Just don't want you to have to deal with an "aw, ?@#%" moment! This build is pretty hard to categorize. The basic wings, to a degree, will be HK. The entire fuselage, except for the HK bomb bay "shell", is scratchbuilt, so you could hardly call it a conversion. Throw in all the different types of material being used. When finished, I'd have to call her a hybrid --- paralleling Swoose herself! Always look forward to your updates, but they are always cliffhangers --- "What's next!" Terry
  14. Craig, The fin came out beautiful! Really quality work --- Boeing standard. How you turned a slab of acrylic into the the cabin roof is outstanding --- and that's in it's "work in progress" state!. When your finished, an area that potentially was going to be a delicate, flimsey area, will be just as solid as any injection molding, if not more. Every major aspect of your C/D conversion have been attention getters, but the small details, like the dome being centerlined while the hatch is offset, are really going to add to this work of art. I'm assuming the dome hatch will be removable?. "Back to the butchers?" Butcher! Sorry, Craig, more appropriate would be "work of a sugeon!" Wnat a recovery from a potential diaster. I don't put anything beyond you, but still --- you never cease to amaze me. I've said it many times before, but even your "gaffes" turn out to be productive; your "recovery rework" just as interesting as your "error free" work. It's been a lot of work, but with each step, you are ever so surely capturing the elusive B-17 "face" --- not to mention everything aft! Terry
  15. Craig, All your "bits and pieces" are coming along nicely; well worth all the extra effort you put in. You cracked the fin/rudder enigma perfectly; those slight changes do make a differenece! . Even with all the "hi-tech" work you've got under your belt, you still reach back to basics --- "whittling" a big ole chunk of acrylic into the cabin roof! All I know is that temp assembly of the fuselage --- you've done one hell of a job with capturing the subtle curves of the early Fort looks! Boy, the HK center section looks mighty lonely with all your custom fuselage pieces. That center section will be glad when you mate up the HK wings (suitably modified, of course!) and it can identify with its roots again! TKB
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