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HK B-17...C!!!!!!!! 21/6 exhausting work

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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!





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Thanks guys!


On 12/28/2018 at 12:23 PM, TKB said:


Boy, the HK center section looks mighty lonely with all your custom fuselage pieces


You're not wrong Terry! And yet, even MORE HK plastic has had to go in my latest adventure! :evil_laugh:


Happy New Year everyone! Definitely high time for some work on the big girl.


First of all, I really wanted to get back into some litho-plate skinning and the new fin was the target. Left and Right sides were carefully done, then the nose cap was added. Apart from the fact that I totally forgot to anneal the side pieces, which meant they were a little springy to try and stick down, but I got there in the end :)






Just before Christmas, I came into possession of some very good information about the location and dimensions of the observer's dome and hatch. Looking at the cabin roof I had made out of acrylic, and knowing that it was imperative to align the hatch accurately in relation to the aircraft's centerline (the actual hatch is offset, not the dome on the C/D) I decided the only reasonable way was do use the laser cutter and redo the piece as one.




I wanted to have a solid foundation for the cockpit window frames to attach to, so with considerable difficulty, I machined a small recess in the edges of the bottom side.




While I had the "roof" upside down and mounted on the mill, I channeled out the excess material, hoping I wouldn't go too deep as I still had to shape the piece from the outside.






As this was the first real opportunity to check out the alignment of the windows between the left and right halves, I was expecting some issues. Also, what was interesting to note, is how far back the hatch opening sits, with the #4 Bulkhead sitting about 1/5th from the rear of the hatch. This also meant that the entire roof piece had to be longer than I had initially planned for, which now called for removing MORE of the old HK fuselage!!!




What was also of note, was that after I had adjusted for length, the right side window frame was sitting about 1.5mm higher than the left (correctly positioned) towards the rear of the frame, which meant it was crooked. It must've stemmed from when I soldered the windscreen sections on, in my efforts to line them up. Unfortunately for me, not only had I puttied, painted and detailed the interior of the cockpit where the "soundproofing" was now very well attached to the brass window sections, I had also JB welded the exterior to make sure they weren't going anywhere........ This is where Past Tense Craig did not do Present Tense Craig any favours at all!!!! :BANGHEAD2:




So how do I fix that?




I VERY carefully cut, aiming to hopefully get under the brass, into the exterior of the fuselage and along the front of the windscreen, praying that I didn't cut too deep into the instrument panel! I then used a sharp blade to carefully part the soundproofing putty away from inside...... 




Not pretty, but it worked.


Knowing that the windscreens were out of alignment, I very carefully melted the solder joint and removed the left hand piece. Despite my best hopes, I also had to remove the left hand side windows as well, as they were too far forward to suit the new roof. Am I a glutton for punishment or what?




Still with me? I'm sorry, but that had to be shown....


Now for the comeback. With the new roof sitting nicely in position, I "hung" the two side pieces from the top with some superglue to get their alignment correct.






So far so good, now to the front windows... I had resigned myself to having to make these again to ensure a nice fit of all the angles involved, but I was very happily wrong, with only some very slight shimming being temporarily wedged under the right side....


Once all looked good, I held my breath and soldered the windscreens back in place....




Well just look at that!!!!!!!!!!! I'm not going to lie, I'm absolutely ecstatic about how everything came together, with a nice close fit between the windscreen halves to boot!!!! :)








Before the modelling Gods realised I was having too much good fortune and withdrew their support, I mixed up some JB weld and glued the windows back in their new, PROPERLY ALIGNED places!


Edit: I still have quite a bit of shaping of the roof to do yet, so the profile will still look a little odd in these photos.....


So ends another saga involving some very brutal reconstructive surgery. It is a step I had been dreading for a long time, not really knowing how to proceed. In the end, a sequence worked itself out and I was on a roll. Soon hopefully I'll have the hatch and dome under construction, and with some more good fortune and information now at hand, I have the correct shape and dimensions for the waist gunner's windows and the clear tail cone. Yes friends, things are finally starting to happen!












Edited by brahman104

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Craig - what a tiger you have by the tail!   You know I love the machining.  This thing is really looking like a B-17 (early model).  I'd say the end result will be unique on the planet.


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Craig you amaze me with every page, every scroll of the mouse you are a Master

As much as I can't wait until this is finally finished I also do not wish it too soon as I am enjoying looking at every obstacle that you encounter and then solve them as though it wasn't an issue at all. :popcorn:

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