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HK B-17G (The Adventures & Misadventures of a Returning Modeler)

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Hello everyone,

 

My name is Jeff and I am returning to the hobby after building kits as a child/teen. As I grew older, I lurked forums and bought kits hopeful of the day that I would make my return. I feel like that day has finally come to roll up my sleeves and get back to work on a project.

 

I will be working on a HK B-17G that I tentatively plan on building as a B-17G-55-DL from the 91st BG prior to nose art application.

7LcDTCA.jpg

 

Here is the obligatory box shot:

rlfi3lq.jpg?1

 

...and here is the aftermarket I will be using. I tried to keep it within reason, so I don't get in over my head getting back into things.

UbvG2HP.jpg?1

 

 

I'm happy to be here and looking forward to learning from everyone!

 

 

 

 

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Welcome Jeff, what a great way to make an entrance!! I returned to modelling 14 years ago after a few decades lay-off......I've just about caught up with modern techniques and the kind of after market stuff, though it's incredibly easy to get out of date again!  Good luck with your B17 build.

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Welcome!   :post1:

 

I too returned to modeling in 2007 or so, after modeling as a kid/teenager as well. Dad instilled a love of aviation in me, and as it always does life and girls and partying replaced modeling for a long while there.

 

Looking forward to progress

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Nice...Incendiary Blonde was the name she eventually flew with.  Too bad you won't be doing the nose art.  There's a nice shot of her nose in Plane Names and Fancy Noses, the 91st Bomb Group (Heavy) United States Army Air Force by Ray Bowden.

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Thanks everyone for the warm welcome. No progress worth showing as of yet. The magnitude of ejector pin markings on the fuselage, nose, and tail turret halves is staggering. I have slowly been sanding/filling those in. I'm a little worried about my choice of a natural metal plane because the external surface details are a bit faded in areas. Oh well, the paint has been purchased.

 

Iain, watching your projects has been a huge source of inspiration - thank you.

 

D.B. Andrus, thanks for the welcome. That 109 in your profile is beautiful.

 

mozart, you're absolutely right. I have been out for about 15 years and the advancements in my absence have been staggering.

 

Out2gtcha, thanks for the welcome. You have some beautiful builds in your profile.

 

Juggernut, thanks for taking an interest in my build. It seems like you are THE B-17 expert. Any suggestions or knowledge would be greatly appreciated. I would have preferred to do a nose art equipped 91st BG aircraft, but could not find any decals. My skill level just isn't high enough to take on creating my own nose art. :unsure:

 

 

 

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Thanks for the vote of confidence, B-17.  There are others that know more and/or have different knowledge than I with respect to the old girl but I have a little knowledge to share.  I'm really, really fond of the 91st BG and have a couple of very good references on that group, one by a bombardier with that group.  I found your subject aircraft by looking up the serial number in one of the books and there's a photo in the other book that shows the nose art (done by Sgt. Tony Starcer of course).  

 

Decal choices are somewhat limited by both the subject kit and the decal manufacturer's themselves.  By-and-large, the most numerous choices for the HK B-17G come from Kit's World.  I see you've already got a set.  Are you not planning on using those?  If you're liking that big, red tail (like me), I can help you with those markings but I can't do the nose art for Incendiary Blonde without a lot of effort.  I have done some of the nose art for 91st ships but unfortunately, that's not one of them and to add insult to injury, they're all meant for the 1/48 Revellogram B-17G.  Should you want to paint the 91st markings, I can provide you detailed information for painting the squadron/plane-in-squadron codes (LG*U), the triangle A, and the plane-in-squadron letter on the tail.

 

If you're fancying a camouflaged aircraft, there were 225 Douglas built aircraft that have all the traits in the HK kit and were painted OD/NG.  That's an option but it looks like you've decided on a bare aluminum aircraft judging by what you posted above.

 

There are some "inaccuracies" with the kit which you can find with a quick search on this site.  Some are easy fixes, others not so much.  If you're not too finicky, they won't bother you and in the end, you'll have a model that resembles a B-17G.  I had one of these kits when it was first released and I promptly sold it because I was too finicky at that time.  Age has a way of weeding out the important from the unimportant.  To that end, I purchased the B-17E/F when it was released... I still have it but now I'm wrestling with the fact that's it's just too damn big to display...a thought that never had bothered me previously.

 

I can offer some help with questions about detail inaccuracies (i.e., the external ammo cans on the ball turret...they did not exist on any wartime B-17G's, let alone mounted on bulkhead 6.  They were mostly meant for other aircraft such as the B-24 Liberator and its derivatives).  I do have information on the upper local turret coming from the National Air and Space Museum but it has not arrived yet.

 

I'm all ears and eyes, looking forward to living vicariously through your build.  Me, I'm looking at the Revellogram B-17G kit again, as I found out a favorite aircraft of mine, did not have a pumpkin (aka Cheyenne) tail turret.  Of course, it's a 91st ship and I have not done the nose art for her yet.... I'm getting ready to start that endeavor in the not-too-distant future.

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28 minutes ago, Juggernut said:

By-and-large, the most numerous choices for the HK B-17G come from Kit's World.  I see you've already got a set.  Are you not planning on using those?

 

I actually purchased those for the serial numbers of Incendiary Blonde. That set only leaves a "1" unaccounted for. It seems like a safer bet than masking them myself.

32 minutes ago, Juggernut said:

Should you want to paint the 91st markings, I can provide you detailed information for painting the squadron/plane-in-squadron codes (LG*U), the triangle A, and the plane-in-squadron letter on the tail.

 

That would be very helpful - thank you. I think I will have to mask and paint those myself. The triangle "A" on the Kit's World LMM sheet is too stubby compared to my photo.

35 minutes ago, Juggernut said:

If you're fancying a camouflaged aircraft, there were 225 Douglas built aircraft that have all the traits in the HK kit and were painted OD/NG.  That's an option but it looks like you've decided on a bare aluminum aircraft judging by what you posted above.

 

Like you, I love the big red tail and wingtips. I also wanted to stray slightly from all the LMM builds. I purchased all my alclad and paint for the build before I started, so now I'm committed for better or worse.

43 minutes ago, Juggernut said:

There are some "inaccuracies" with the kit which you can find with a quick search on this site.  Some are easy fixes, others not so much.  If you're not too finicky, they won't bother you and in the end, you'll have a model that resembles a B-17G.

 

This build will be an attempt to find a healthy balance between accuracy and having fun while completing the project. I think the work done by you (and many others) in the constant pursuit of improvement is part of what has propelled the hobby so far in my absence.

54 minutes ago, Juggernut said:

To that end, I purchased the B-17E/F when it was released... I still have it but now I'm wrestling with the fact that's it's just too damn big to display...a thought that never had bothered me previously.

 

I'd love to see you pull that thing out of the closet and build it. I'm sure you would do a fantastic job. My solution to the display problem is hanging from the wall. It's not my first choice, but it is just too big to put anywhere else. It will also negate the landing gear length issue by having them retracted. 

1 hour ago, Juggernut said:

I'm all ears and eyes, looking forward to living vicariously through your build.  Me, I'm looking at the Revellogram B-17G kit again, as I found out a favorite aircraft of mine, did not have a pumpkin (aka Cheyenne) tail turret.  Of course, it's a 91st ship and I have not done the nose art for her yet.... I'm getting ready to start that endeavor in the not-too-distant future.

 

Thanks again for following along. I don't want to be a burden or get lazy on my own research, but I'd be very appreciative of any info you could spare. I have some very fond memories of the Revellogram B-17's from my childhood. That is the main reason I'm jumping back in with the HK kit. I'm looking forward to whichever project you start first.

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Ok, ask away... I'll do my best to give you accurate information.

 

Quote

That would be very helpful - thank you. I think I will have to mask and paint those myself. The triangle "A" on the Kit's World LMM sheet is too stubby compared to my photo.

 

Alright, here we go:

For markings, I will rely on one source primarily.

SOURCE:  Freeman, Roger A. (1997). The Mighty Eighth Warpaint and Heraldry, Arms & Armour Press. London. UK (various pages)

               

Serial numbers are standard stencil, 15" in height.  See image below (a section of a Boeing blueprint).  There are variations on where the serial number is positioned on the tail for some aircraft.

 

HvYMiEd.png

 

All you're worried about is the distance between the numerals and the width of the stroke.  You can plainly see where to locate the serial number on the tail from the photo you provided.  Caveat:  If the decals aren't the correct height/stroke, forego what is shown here and duplicate what's on the decal numerals you're using; it might look out of place otherwise.

 

Fuselage codes (squadron and plane-in-squadron [radio call letter]) are reported to be 36" X 18" (with the exception of the letter W) in black on NMF aircraft (Freeman 68).  The 18" horizontal measurement is an educated guess on my part based on evaluation of extant photographs and comparing them with existing decal sheets (some of which do not appear to be correct by comparison with existing images).  24" plane-in-squadron (radio call letter) under the serial number, again in black on NMF aircraft.  There is evidence that these sizes varied to some extent so evaluate all photographic evidence first; create a masking tape mockup and see what looks like the photo.

 

Port side fuselage codes LG*U.  Starboard side fuselage codes may be U*LG but as I've seen with a lot of 322nd BS staggered waist B-17G's, it's most likely LG*U with the U positioned in front of the waist window.  The LG will be located immediately forward of the horizontal stabilizer as the U is on the port side.  I'll check my references and see if there's an image of Incendiary Blonde in a formation that shows her starboard side.

 

In order to verify that the letters are the correct size, what I do is cut them out of masking tape and apply them to the model in their respective positions.  If they look right, they are right and vice versa.

 

1st AD ID marking (Triangle A) on vertical fin is equilateral 72", (Freeman 68) black with a white letter A .  The  stroke width on the A is to be 6" (Freeman 37).  For your chosen aircraft, the A is a typical stencil style A with the legs of the A, not parallel to the sides of the underlying triangle, in white.  Some aircraft in the 91st have a NMF letter A on the black triangle.  Other aircraft in the 91st have such a division insignia and still others have placement of the 1st AD symbol in different locations on the tail.  Your chosen aircraft seems to be the typical location.  (I have not yet seen any specific measurements on the A but there must've been a standard). 

 

1st AD ID marking  (Triangle A) on the upper starboard wing in most instances 96" equilateral triangle; white  57" (4.75 feet) A on black triangle for your chosen aircraft with a 7" stroke width.

 

Freeman states on page 36 that the apex of the 1st AD ID marking is 96" inboard of the wingtip.  I believe this to be incorrect but I have not confirmed it just yet.  The illustration of the 1st AD on that page just doesn't appear to be correct.  This one's going to take some evaluation to either prove or disprove.  Stay  tuned....

 

I presume it'll be a little bit before you're ready for paint so I think I have some time to iron out the inconsistencies. 

 

If you've looked at some of the available decals you'll notice that those of the 91st (Little Miss Mischief in particular) do not comply with the above standards.  Yet, if you look at photos of her you'll notice that the marking do conform to the above standards... an obvious error on the part of the decal manufacturer (for what reason is beyond me as there's ample evidence to do it correctly).  Last bit about Little Miss Mischief, particularly her vertical fin leading edge...  She did not have a black leading edge where part of the deicer boot would have been; it's red, just like the photo of Incendiary Blonde you posted above.  Another error on the part of more than one decal manufacturer.  Deice boots were routinely removed to prevent excess drag on the airframe from a battle damaged boot.  Yes, there are photos of aircraft with them on....  When they were removed is anyone's guess but by and large, they were removed.  You'll note in your photo above, Incendiary Blonde has no deice boots and she doesn't even have her nose art or mission symbols yet!

 

The saga continues ;)

 

 

Edited by Juggernut
Corrected 4.75' to 57 inches...didn't add correctly the first time.

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B-17, if I may make one more aftermarket suggestion... pick up a set of Resin2Detail resin cockpit seats with belts. The seats are quite visible, and have the lap belts and seat pads/flotation pads molded in place. A nice, simple upgrade!

 

- Dennis S.

  Thornton, CO USA

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Just a quick update... I have been holding off on posting to keep from clogging up the forums for everyone else's good work. I intended to not post until I had pictures of progress, but I have run into an issue that I am hoping to get guidance on.

 

I was airbrushing the wheels with AK real color paints and decided to airbrush some of AK's landing gear dust wash, which I later realized was an enamel based product. It began to gum up in my airbrush and the AK high compatibility thinner did not clean it up. I now have some gummed up enamel based paint in my airbrush and some enamel based paint on the wheels that will not dry. The bottle recommended thinning with white spirits. Could I use white spirits to clean the airbrush and strip the enamel paint from the wheels?

 

On 7/20/2019 at 7:32 PM, Juggernut said:

I presume it'll be a little bit before you're ready for paint so I think I have some time to iron out the inconsistencies.

 

Juggernut, thanks again for your interest and all of your information. You are exactly right, and I appreciate the details you are providing BEFORE I have paint on the model. :)

 

On 7/29/2019 at 2:14 AM, brahman104 said:

B-17...... how come no one else thought of that username! :coolio:

 

brahman, I was a bit surprised myself when it went through!

 

On 7/29/2019 at 9:50 AM, Dennis7423 said:

B-17, if I may make one more aftermarket suggestion... pick up a set of Resin2Detail resin cockpit seats with belts. The seats are quite visible, and have the lap belts and seat pads/flotation pads molded in place. A nice, simple upgrade!

 

Dennis, that is an excellent suggestion. I was really close to getting exactly the set you are talking about. I ultimately decided to go with the HGW set of fabric seat belts because it also came with separate seat cushions. I hope to do them justice!

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2 hours ago, B-17 said:

I was airbrushing the wheels with AK real color paints and decided to airbrush some of AK's landing gear dust wash, which I later realized was an enamel based product. It began to gum up in my airbrush and the AK high compatibility thinner did not clean it up. I now have some gummed up enamel based paint in my airbrush and some enamel based paint on the wheels that will not dry. The bottle recommended thinning with white spirits. Could I use white spirits to clean the airbrush and strip the enamel paint from the wheels?

 

 

Technically speaking the AKI real color paints should be acrylic lacquer not enamel:

 

"Real Colors Shop

The Real Colors AK-Interactive's line of acrylic lacquer paints. These paints colors have been determined through scientific analysis of actual real colors of WWII paint samples to produce colors as accurate as possible. Visit our AK real colors category."

 

 

Theoretically, that should be very compatible with an enamel wash. I do it all the time with enamel washes/thinned paint over MRP acrylic lacquer.  I might try aquiring some normal enamel paint of the color you want, and use some Mineral Spirits to thin it way WAY down; like 5>1 or 10>1 thinner to paint. 

 

Now the gumming up, may actually be a different issue..............how old is your AKI landing gear dust wash?   The reason I ask, is their enamel washes are known (and proven by my own experience as well) to go right off, and turn into a gummy mess. Not sure if its the plastic bottles, but several people have complained about such issues.

 

As to cleaning it, I would indeed go to the local hardware store/Ace type place and pick up a gallon of generic Mineral Spirits. It  works wonders on enamel paint, and does remove the AKI washes too. If that doesnt cut it to your satisfaction, I would highly recommend some of the hotter lacquer thinner used for cleaning larger air brushes. This is what I use, and it will power through most anything that is clogging up your AB I have found through experience:

 

7025046-21.jpg

 

 

Buying by the gallon/larger quantities goes a long way to offset the costs, and I have found I use both Mineral Spirits and the hotter lacquer thinner all the time.  

 

Just dont get any of the lacquer thinner on your cutting board or plastic!  Its hot as hell, and will damage self healing cutting boards and a lot of plastics I have found.

 

 

HTH

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