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Second Attempt at HKM B-17G With Some Minor Improvements.

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Well, as I mentioned in another thread, my wife gave me another HKM B-17G kit.  Since I had seen so many great B-17 builds, I decided to do another kit and make it better than the first one I'm doing.  I'm not going to abandon the other kit but use the steps in the kit to find places where I need to rewrite the instruction book so the assembly process goes better and more predictable.  You can say I'm using the first build to diagnose problems and be able to deal with them for a much better result.  I've started with the throttle quad and the cockpit area and have already found a number of "heads up" changes that will hopefully help those that have been following all the B-17 threads and have not started or gotten their kits yet.  Depending on your build philosophy, you can pick and choose whether or not to incorporate my minor changes.  

 

I don't have enough yet to take pictures (remember that the grandkids are with me now) but here are a couple of things I noticed just messing around with the parts.  Over the entire build up, I'll be taking pictures of all the assemblies before the fuselage is closed and literally making a step by step build scrapbook for myself so I can see the insides after the model is done.  

 

1. First tip involves the throttle quadrant.  From my research, the covering over the mechanisms for the throttles, propellor pitch controls and mixture levers is pretty much a thin sheet of metal.  If you look into the slots on the real thing, you can see the guts inside.  I decided to deepen the slots and thin out the upper part of the quadrant.  Then I'll insert a plastic rod inside the piece and cement the levers to that rod after making some cuts in it so it will hold the levers when I glue them in.  I think it will make the area look more realistic even though it doesn't show much when the fuselage is buttoned up.  It will when I make up the scrapbook.  

 

2, Before detailing and cementing the 4 cockpit walls, I fitted wall to each other and to the fuselage.  That way, when the interior is in and it's time to close the fuselage, there will be no pressure making it difficult to passively get the fuselage halves together.  This will help me cut down on distortion of the body by the bulkheads and making adjustments after the interior parts have been "finalized".  This also helps insure that the sidewalls go up at the right angles.   

 

More to come.

 

 

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Thanks.  This is going to be a much more interesting build for me.  I'm literally rewriting the instructions.  Many years ago and I know a lot of you guys remember those times,  instruction booklets had a lot of text telling you what order the parts should be glued in.  Nowadays, you get a bunch of goofy diagrams, many times drawn incorrectly, backwards or upside down like I found in a few places.  Many times the printing didn't come out well or the drawing was too dang small.  I'm adding some text so some builders don't get too frustrated or turned off this kit.  

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Are you building the full figured or the weight watchers version?

LOL.  I'm doing the May West version.  No girdle on this girl.   The truth is I haven't got the mental strength anymore to do a complete makeover.  

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Well, as I mentioned in another thread, my wife gave me another HKM B-17G kit.  Since I had seen so many great B-17 builds, I decided to do another kit and make it better than the first one I'm doing.  I'm not going to abandon the other kit but use the steps in the kit to find places where I need to rewrite the instruction book so the assembly process goes better and more predictable.  You can say I'm using the first build to diagnose problems and be able to deal with them for a much better result.  I've started with the throttle quad and the cockpit area and have already found a number of "heads up" changes that will hopefully help those that have been following all the B-17 threads and have not started or gotten their kits yet.  Depending on your build philosophy, you can pick and choose whether or not to incorporate my minor changes.  

 

I don't have enough yet to take pictures (remember that the grandkids are with me now) but here are a couple of things I noticed just messing around with the parts.  Over the entire build up, I'll be taking pictures of all the assemblies before the fuselage is closed and literally making a step by step build scrapbook for myself so I can see the insides after the model is done.  

 

1. First tip involves the throttle quadrant.  From my research, the covering over the mechanisms for the throttles, propellor pitch controls and mixture levers is pretty much a thin sheet of metal.  If you look into the slots on the real thing, you can see the guts inside.  I decided to deepen the slots and thin out the upper part of the quadrant.  Then I'll insert a plastic rod inside the piece and cement the levers to that rod after making some cuts in it so it will hold the levers when I glue them in.  I think it will make the area look more realistic even though it doesn't show much when the fuselage is buttoned up.  It will when I make up the scrapbook.  

 

2, Before detailing and cementing the 4 cockpit walls, I fitted wall to each other and to the fuselage.  That way, when the interior is in and it's time to close the fuselage, there will be no pressure making it difficult to passively get the fuselage halves together.  This will help me cut down on distortion of the body by the bulkheads and making adjustments after the interior parts have been "finalized".  This also helps insure that the sidewalls go up at the right angles.   

 

More to come.

I'm glad to see that your not afraid of tackling another one of these kits, your right about the learning curve on this kit it does have it's certain quirks that you don't find until your in the middle of it. I don't remember how you dealt with the ejector pin marks inside the fuselage on your first build, the Eduard pe for the nose section is nice that it has etched plates that fit into the recesses over the pin marks. I took that same idea and used it for the waist section of the fuselage where there's a whole bunch of pin marks. I took clear/translucent plastic vacuum formed drinking cups(find the thinnest ones possible) that are roughly the same diameter of the fuselage and cut over sized sections of the cup out, laid it over the ejector pin mark that I wanted to cover, traced the area onto the piece of cup, cut it out and CA glued into the recess, worked pretty good and went fast. The formed cups are nice too because they are tapered almost to the same degree as the fuselage.

Good luck with your new build, look forward to seeing the progress,

Pat

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Guest Peterpools

SD

Good luck with the second go at the Fortress and hopefully, it will be smooth skies all the way. Been there and done that with a few kits and in every case, the second build was so much better.

Looking forward to the first update photos.

Keep 'em coming

Peter

:popcorn: :popcorn:

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@Peter.  Thanks for the words of encouragement.  It makes it a lot easier to get through the tough spots.  I learned the "do over" technique from a dentistry professor who was a master at making dentures.  His prices were always double what everyone else used to charge.  Why?  First he would make one set of dentures to be able to find out all the pitfalls for that particular patient.  He's give the patient that first set to wear for a while and then called them back to find out what kind of problems they had with them.  Next, he would make another set of dentures that corrected all of the patient's individual problems.  He then took back the first set and gave the patient the corrected set which was a heck of a lot easier for the patient to get used to and use comfortably.  I don't do this with all of my model kits but with a good number of them.  I've noticed the technique resulted in much better models.  

 

@Pat.  Ah, the ejector pin marks.  My first comment about those are AAAARRRRGGGHHH !!!!!  Nuff said there.   I think your solution is a really good one.  I was able to do that in the nose because I found a thin styrene sheet from Plastruct that looked like the quilted padding all around the inside of the nose and flight deck.  I cut pieces and fit them into the nose and cockpit like you did and then painted the whole thing dull dark green (Bronze Green).  You can't put that stuff into every "square" because it will interfere with some assemblies but where they fit, they covered the pin marks well.  Any uncovered areas just looked like the padding was removed.  I'll try to get a close up picture from the first build for you so you can see the effect.  As far as the rest of the interior where there is no padding, I took some wood carving micro chisels no bigger than 2mm wide and scraped the marks away especially well in the areas you can see into like the waist windows, bomb bay and radio room.  It's a bit labor intensive but it works well under foil and paint and isn't all that difficult.  Any irregularities would just look like dents and surface imperfections which were abundant in wartime bombers.  Much more to come when the little destructive monsters--er-- ah--- I mean the grandkids go home this weekend. 

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Thanks, Ferry.  That's what I should have called to model.  Beast #2.  I now know which bomb group I'll be modeling.  Today, I found out that the 96th Air Base Wing which I belonged to from Sept 92 to Nov. 94 was directly linked to the 96th BG with the sure block C.  The aircraft will be a fictitious plane from the 96th Bomb Group.  It will be foiled as the other one but I'll be a lot more careful since I know where the trouble spots are.  It will have 2 red stripes on the tail and two on the right wing.  

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Thanks, Ferry.  That's what I should have called to model.  Beast #2.  I now know which bomb group I'll be modeling.  Today, I found out that the 96th Air Base Wing which I belonged to from Sept 92 to Nov. 94 was directly linked to the 96th BG with the sure block C.  The aircraft will be a fictitious plane from the 96th Bomb Group.  It will be foiled as the other one but I'll be a lot more careful since I know where the trouble spots are.  It will have 2 red stripes on the tail and two on the right wing.  

 

Nice idea! Do you have any nose art in mind? And, I think you're a brave guy, doing like 2 square meters of foiling again!  :thumbsup:

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Nice idea! Do you have any nose art in mind? And, I think you're a brave guy, doing like 2 square meters of foiling again!  :thumbsup:

Yes I do.  One nose art would be Mighty Molar, a fighting tooth with boxing gloves which is a design I drew a long time ago.  Another would be Manhattan Serenade.  It'll have a large guitar in front of a NYC skyline.  The way I feel about what's going on in NYC, I'll probably pass on that.  The third would be Swinging On A Star with a Varga Girl on a falling bomb.  I painted these designs on some A2 jackets.  I'll post some so you can see what they look like.  

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Here are some of the jackets I've painted over the years.  These are the designs I'm choosing from.  Mighty Molar is not on a jacket so I'll have to post that one separately.

This one will be done with a big black square with a white C. 

DSC00011-1.jpg

 

DSC00007-1.jpg

 

DSC000162.jpg

 

I've got a few other ideas in mind but these are the best IMO.  Hpe you like.  

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