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Gewehr 43

The Swamp Ghost - B-17E 41-2446

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Okay, time for a real content update.  First, a thanks to my incredible wife who was a-ok with me essentially sequestering myself in the modeling room for the weekend.  I've been at it pretty much non-stop since Friday morning.  Happy to say, I'm making good progress and am hopeful that I'll get it finished by the deadline.  My goal for the weekend was to get the seam work done.  As you will see, I made it a little further than that.  :)


Here she is after the majority of the seamwork, riveting, and scribing were done.



The two flanges for the early E model are installed.


Horizontal stabs installed.  Windows back colored with aluminum.


Primed with Mr Surfacer 1500.


Wings base coated and walkway markers done.  Props are dry fit and need to be decaled and have their tips painted.





The belly of the beast.  The mottling looks a bit more pronounced in photos than it does in person. 


The tail complete.  In looking at the couple of photos taken during the war showing this aircraft in the swamp, you can clearly see that the vertical stabilizer was a lighter color as it was likely produced and painted by a subcontractor.  I noticed in the same photos that the horizontal stabs appeared to be the same lighter color.  So, I duplicated that here.  Also, I'm really happy with how the masking and painting turned out for the rudder. 


Current state.  The tape on the nose guns is simply there to keep them from falling irretrievably into the fuselage when I inevitably knock them off.  :/  Not that it's already happened four times.  Anyway, I've got things like the upper turret, wheels, and a few other bits to paint, and then it's on to decals, weathering, and the finish line!


Edited by Gewehr 43

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I'd say that was a mighty productive weekend! Looking great so far, and I'm anxiously awaiting the finish!


Aren't these kits fun?


- Dennis S.

  Thornton, CO USA

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2 hours ago, Dennis7423 said:

I'd say that was a mighty productive weekend! Looking great so far, and I'm anxiously awaiting the finish!



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Back at the bench this afternoon.  I ended up printing out and cutting my own paint masks for the tail number.  It retrospect, I would have done a couple things differently, but live and learn.  Overall, I'm happy with how it came out.  Maketar shipped my insignia masks almost immediately after I ordered, so I'm hoping they will be here soon, though they have to cross the Atlantic to make it to my door.  I also got the turbos painted and have started applying the decals. 


On the topic of decals, let's talk propeller markings.  The instructions call for 2 decals on each blade; a yellow info stencil, and the manufacturer's logo.  None of the blades on the surviving aircraft have any paint on them anymore, so they're not much help as a reference.  I've found quite a few photos of early B-17Es that appear to have no markings on the prop blades save for the yellow tips.  Does anyone have definitive information on whether or not the Kangaroo Squadron's -17Es had prop markings?


Masking for the tail markings.



Tail numbers turned out pretty well!



Turbos painted up.



Decals!  They're still drying in these pics, so they're a little wrinkly.  They have since settled down pretty well from here.
















Edited by Gewehr 43

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Yep.  Once they're dry, I've got a little touch up and sealing to do, then I'll hit it with a satin varnish to match the finish on the rest of the wing.

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Okay.  Here's the latest.  I'm at a bit of a stopping point until I get my insignia masks from Maketar.  Today, I did a lot of fiddly little things, but made good progress nontheless.


I masked and painted the de-icing boot on the vertical stabilizer.



As I stated in the original post, no photographs exist (that I'm aware of) of 41-2446 prior to her loss.  None of the post-loss photos that I can find show any indication whatsoever of deicing boots being present on the wings.  I'm aware of the fact that a lot of B-17s had them removed as they were more of a hassle to maintain in a field of combat than they were of value.  I found a couple pictures of 435th BS aircraft with obvious evidence of the boots being removed.  Particularly, this shot from this site shows one of the aircraft that made the cross-Pacific transit flight with 12446 and it clearly has had the boot removed.  Examining my own high-res photos of the leading edge of the surviving aircraft itself shows zero evidence whatsoever of any rubber boot material.  My pics show the flange that holds the boot in place, the holes for the boots' pneumatic lines, but no boots themselves.  So, I opted to account only for the boot on the vertical stab, as it is clearly evident in period photos of the aircraft in the swamp.


I completed the upper turret.  It's dry fit right now, but is complete.  The metal .50 cal barrels make all the difference in the world.



Underwing decals have been blended (50:1 thinner:paint mix of the original gray sprayed at high psi from high altitude) and sealed with a satin varnish to match the rest of the wing.



Propellers are marked and decaled.  I'll hit the decals with a blend like above to knock them down a bit, then seal them with varnish.



Stinger is done too.



Basically, at this point, everything but the insignia stencils have been painted and are done.  As soon as those stencils are here, I'll paint them up, then do an overall light brown filter, a little weathering and dusting, then she'll be done!

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