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Hobby Boss B-24L (26 Feb 2023: tail turret)
easixpedro posted a topic in Works in ProgressWell, here we go again! Been planning this one for some time and after the latest hiccup on the Prowler, I pulled the Hobby Boss B-24 out from the closet. The box is huge. The model is massive. This should be fun! Goal is an inflight display, likely with the bomb doors open too. First a bit of background. All my grandparents passed before I was born. But I had a tremendous Great Aunt and Uncle that treated me like their own. Jim Genoff was a Radioman/Waist gunner in the 15th AF. To say I looked up to him was an understatement. He passed away in 1990 and I've always wanted to build his plane. Have built several over the years, but all had little issues that I wasn't happy with. When the Hasegawa kit came out, I built it...but then I discovered photos of his crew's plane that meant that I had to go big! Here's some pics of the 1/72 scale model. Here is the complete display. You can see his wings and Air Medal that his wife gave me when I got commissioned. One Air Medal for completing 35 missions over Europe from July 1944-April 1945. Multiple trips to Ploesti, Vienna and a whole host of the hottest targets in Europe. About 2 years after I built it, I ran across this photo. If you look closely--just fore and aft of the nose gear are little fairings with antennas. It's the APY-2 Carpet Jammer that were used to jam German gun laying radars. So I did a little digging and it turns out that he was actually an EWO. In the 15th AF, Radiomen got extra training on these jammers and that became part of their duties on the crew. Color me floored--he was doing Electronic Warfare a full 50 years before I got my start! So that'll be something that gets added to this model. If you want to know about the 461st Bomb Group, they've got a tremendous website, run by the son of the Group Commander. https://461st.org/ One of the things I love about B-24s from the 15th AF, is the crazy tail markings they carried. The 49th Bomb Wing had the red tails, with either rectangles, circles or a bow--they all flew out of Cerrignolia, i.e. Foggia in Italy. I highly recommend Barrett Tillman's "Forgotten Fifteenth" https://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Fifteenth-Crippled-Hitlers-Collection/dp/1621574040/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=forgotten+fifteenth&qid=1638651249&sr=8-1 I know Barrett, and this is one my favorite works of his. It's an incredible book about an important part of the air war over Europe. Did I mention they flew to some nasty targets? How about this pic of a 451st B-24 cleaved in half over the Odertal refinery in Germany. My Uncle came home from the war and was a very successful Attorney, and they traveled everywhere as a family. But they always drove--he never flew again. As I've done research over the years, I kind of understand why now... So on to the build pics. I built the tailfeathers over the last 2 days. Fit is amazing, and the plastic is nice. There's some heft to this assembly. Shot it with Tamiya AS-12. Love everything about it--dries rock hard and is impervious to everything. One of the reasons I love AS-12 is that it looks just about perfect for heavily weathered and dull aluminum. The fields around Foggia were known for their austere nature. The winter of 44-45 was particularly bad with snow. When it melted turned the fields into a muddy mess. Check out these pics of mud covered B-24s. I'll be replicating that too! And some last parting thoughts. How do I know that's his plane? I don't, but am about 99% sure. His crew was #15 in the 464th BS. So when searching through the 461st website, they have the mission flimsies from most of the bombing mission the group flew. When searching through those, I could track what airplanes they were in. This one came up a lot. I also remember my uncle telling me a story about they'd gotten a new bomber which was 'super nice' because it had the enclosed waist windows (which I'll be building). Except that shortly after they got it, flak knocked out the window and he actually completed his missions before it got replaced. It was shot down on the very next mission it flew after the window was replaced--he departed for the states that week. It was the last plane lost by the bomb group in the war, in April 1944. So when I saw those details on the website, coupled with his story, I figured the odds are pretty good that this was 'his' B-24. Have no clue what I'll start next. Probably start converting the waist windows to the enclosed type. Need to figure out how to make the Martin A3 turret for the upper turret. I'll grab some of the Cold War turrets for the nose/tail. Also have to make bulged windows for the navigator as those were a 15th AF special modification. It also looks like I'll have to modify the bombardiers windows. B-24s are confusing BTW! Have no idea if I'll tackle the wings, or leave them as-is. Might tape them together to see how 'bad' is bad. (or maybe not, I don't know if want to know how big she'll be). Also won't be fixing the props as I'll just show the prop hubs to simulate a spinning prop. Will have to buy aftermarket tires too, just so they'll fit in the wheel wells. Also need to figure out 10 bomber crewmen figures... Obviously going to be a slow build, but wanted to share--don't see to many of the Hobby Boss kits being built. And of course the Prowler is still going, I just had to get after this urge! Thanks for following along and listening to my rambling -Peter