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HK B-17...C 5/4 sweating the metal


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A lot more thinking and a little more work...... :hmmm:


As I have now shortened the nose section, along with that comes a shortening and alteration of the flight deck. As the early B-17's didn't have the top turret, it doesn't appear that the aft section was lowered as much to accommodate the turret. Also, there was two extra seats in this area behind the pilots.


References are pretty scarce with this area, so I'm not sure if this is remotely correct, but I'm having a stab anyway. This is what I've come up with so far....




Trying to work out the differences in floor height in relation to the nose access door in the middle is proving to be quite the challenge




I think it will do the job when viewed through the nose door at least! :)


Which then brought me to a new problem. The forward wing spar HK put in is designed to sit a fair way back where is most likely would be hidden in the dark. Unfortunately, with the shortening of the nose, it now makes this area rather visible, and encroaches on the underfloor space, which has a fair amount of stuff to go in there, as you can see....




After a bit of pondering, I reasoned that I could remove a fair chunk of the spar, and not loose too much in the way of strength. Hopefully I'm right. Anyway, the old mill made short work of the plastic and cut the area back a lot nicer than I could have done with the dremel.




It may need some more refinement yet, but it depends on how much I can find in the way of photos, for the layout of the structure back there. I think this should be enough to work with once I clean it up properly..




I think in the end there was only about 1mm or so height difference between the kit part and mine, but I think the rest of the structure is a little more "D" like now.






Still hoping someone out there has got some good photos of this area so I can start detailing, but that's pretty much where I'm at for now. At least it all seems to fit!






EDIT: a very kind gentleman over on hyper scale just sent through some excellent shots of the front structure. Granted, they're all from the G, but they'll certainly help! Onwards I go!


P.s. oh yes, I had to build another vac box in order to do the rear fuselage sections, the box is approx 440 x 220mm so hopefully the old vacuum will have enough pull to suck it down. I'll probably only do one side at a time but this is to give you an idea of the size. Drilling all those holes was a right royal pain in the a#&e. :)



Edited by brahman104
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Thanks Scott, you're absolutely right, it is a great basis to start from. I don't know that I'd say brave, probably more along the lines of foolhardy, even convincing myself that I can pull this off! :) I had to give it a go though; to me that's 90% of the fun and it delays the issues of where to displaying it just that little but longer.... I guess we'll just see what happens in time! 


Glad you're following along on the ride.



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More tinkering and pondering. Each time a look at a photo of a particular area I see more that needs to be done, still I'm really enjoying playing around with the kit and hopefully my interpretation is somewhere close to what the real thing was, bearing in mind the closest B-17 is about 10,000km away from me!


Anyway, I've been looking over and over at the cockpit floor and the kit just didn't seem to add up. The platform that contains the centre pedestal seems to be too long on the kit, which reduces the available floor space aft of it. This is important for me as I have to fit two more seats in. Comparing photos of the real one (This is not my photo, I hope whoever took it won't mind :) ) and the kit, I think I have to extend the aft floor by about 7mm. I've drawn it with a black line....






Hopefully you can see what I'm talking about here. I'm looking at it in relation to the end of the pedestal....


Has any of the many B-17 experts out there come across this? Normally, I think you could live with it, but I need the floor space so I'm hoping I'm not just inventing this in my head as it sounds logical?????  :whistle:


So it looks like I'll be re-doing the floor. The other thing I've been looking at is the bomb bay. The HK structure on the side walls, didn't seem to match any of the photos I had and I couldn't work out why, until I realised that their structure follows the contour of the wing fairing, not the actual wing, so in reality the main beams running fore/aft should sit lower. I've drawn a line where I think it should go, and seems to make sense according to a factory photo I have in relation to the door height on each bulkhead...






Lastly, in an idea stolen from Mark (plane_mc), I've started to "block in" the gap in the fuselage. Thanks Mark! :)




Amazing how long all this rework planning takes!


Like I said I'm really enjoying this build. I'm going into the conversion process a lot, but I'm certainly not trying to take anything away from those very talented other guys who have been chipping away at their own B-17's. All this work is based on my interpretation of the photos I have, so I'm certainly not trying to say this is the only way and that mine is correct. Each to their own!


Thanks for looking.





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Your work is inspiring as you go out into the wilderness, way beyond the safe paths. I could really enjoy one of the earliest B-17's, especially that great wargames camouflage plane. That's even earlier than yours, but wouldn't it be cool? Thanks for letting us watch your adventure.



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I know the ones you're talking about Tnarg, they did look pretty cool! I've always been fascinated by those first few months of the pacific war, when everything was looking pretty grim, there's so many amazing stories of individual courage and fortitude, fought out with equipment that was hopelessly outclassed. Of course most of those planes didn't really last long enough to become heavily weathered but there were a few and I'll be trying to build an example of one like that. 


Thanks for following along on the build! My imagination usually surpasses my skills and I don't think this project is an exception, but I do like trying to model or try things that few if any others have ever done, "off the beaten path" as you said, so why not an early model B-17!





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Hi Craig


I too have a sweet spot for the shark tailed 17's, and I'm enjoying seeing your build.  Here's a cool and interesting  picture of a 'C' model of RAF squadron 220 stationed at Shallufa, Egypt, November 1941 used for raids on Benghazi and Mediterranean shipping.  Hope you don't mind.




Best regards


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Not at all Patrick! Thanks for the pic :) Feel free to post more on here; I've never seen that one before. Feel free to chime in if you see me doing anything that doesn't look right as well, I'm mostly stumbling along in the dark and doing a lot of stuff by eye.... hopefully in the end it actually looks something like a B-17!


Thanks for following along on the build,



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Thanks guys!


So a little more progress. Not as much as I would have liked for a weekend, but a lot of time consuming stuff. First of all, as I'm going to be rebuilding the rib detail in the nose and bombay, and covering the radio room walls with that soundproofing fabric looking stuff, I had to remove all the moulded in detail on each fuselage side. Pretty straight forward, but it does take time to get smooth....




So now I have a new cockpit floor which should hopefully work a little better with the dimensioning. Now that I have some good interior shots for the floor area, this is the new shape I have come up with.




I have to neaten up the slots for the trim wheel and the recesses for the control locks(?) 


To make the recesses for the control locks, I made to male patterns out of styrene then pressed heavy foil over the top, cut it to shape and added rivet detail.








By far the biggest challenge this weekend was to make the many little pullies that sit underneath the control pedestal and send the various cables on all sorts of directions. I turned these down from brass rod of various diameters, cut a groove in each, drilled a central hole to mount it on and then cut it off the stock and filed it to the final thickness. Drilling into the end was quite a challenge at 0.6mm, and I managed to kill 3 drill bits in the process. They are quite unforgiving of any form of side load  :oops:




So the next step is cover the upper floor in brass sheet to refine the trim wheel recess and add rivet detail, then build the "box" sitting under the pedestal containing all those pesky little pullies!


There'll be a fair bit more brass going on from here on in. I like what it brings to the table, despite being no-where nears as skilled in its use as many others around here. I also have an "up mini" 3D printer on the way too, so there may be some printed parts being added to the build in the near future too! Stay tuned :)





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I think you are doing a great job on this conversion!

I would add that the ID vac of the shark-tail '17 creates its own set of challenges

if the idea is combining it with the HK Models B-17G.




Your excellent work creating masters for the fuselage shapes makes this model more uniquely yours.

I'll be following this build with great interest.



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A little more work done on the cockpit area. I decided the floor might look better in brass, so I could add rivet detail. Saving the archer decals for when I have to use them on plastic.




And under the floor:






Much more detail to go underneath yet, with about a million pullies running various directions which should be fun. I also might have to start putting some paint on soon, or I might not be able to later!


This is really addictive, there's so much other stuff I should be doing right now, but I am loving the build :)





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