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HK Models B-17 E/F backdated to a B-17D


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4 hours ago, brahman104 said:

Thanks mate! Just ordered the Gaspatch 30 cal.... Didn't know they did them! I'll deal with the barrel details later. I've started back at work so modelling progress is going to slow down a bit, but I did finally get both my outer nacelles printed (after 10 attempts!)





Good to hear you finally got the nacelles printed ! I'm starting back to work in another week, so my progress will slow as well, but it's time to get out of the house for a change, amazing the wife and I haven't strangled one another !!!:wacko:

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Had to fill in the 2 air intakes on the wing's leading edge between the engine nacelles, early forts did not have them.First thing to do was file the intakes square so that fill patches were square,no radii. I looked through all the spare plastic left in the HK kit that won't be used and I found the rudder has a nice big radius on it's leading edge which is a close match to the leading edge of the wing, I want to use the kit material so that I can use solvent cement to fuse all filling together and I know that using the same material will glue much better to itself. Now I'm hoping that I will just have to file and sand the raised fairing lips around the intakes smooth with little filling. I'm planning on using thin black vinyl film to make de-icing boots on the leading edges, this will cove most of this area as well, which will negate a lot of re -scribing which is a help.




Finished the engines as well...



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Having success with the filling of the intakes between the engine nacelles, some filing and sanding produced what I had hoped !!!VmQQsMe.jpgndcOvOF.jpg


Added some little vacuum forms(black objects)shaped to imitate the shape of the ducting in the leading edge intakes.




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One thing that needed to be addressed is the cowlings, the B-17 "D" cowlings differ from the "C" in that the D has cowl flaps on it, the HK kit has the flaps, but the D model flaps don't seem to have the gap on the top of the cowl(12 o'clock position) so I needed to put some more flaps on it. I realized that my extra HK engine sprues that I bought for my B-24 project have the parts with the cowl flaps on them !!! Had to cut 3 flaps off together from the spare parts and cut off the flat gap area along with the 2 flaps on either side of the flat as the 2  flaps are too narrow to match the rest of the remaining flaps, then glued in the cut off part into the ring and added a little reinforcement.



In this photo I have the HK kit part un-cut(bottom) the part with the 3 flap section cut off(top) and the modified flap set (middle).


I also had to make 2 of the cowlings(left & right outboard) with 2 adjacent  "closed" flaps each for the outboard engines, the oil cooler intakes live in the sides of the outboard nacelles and photos that I've studied seem to show that there are 2 cowl flaps that are closed just in front of the intakes.


Edited by patricksparks
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Started to make some seat cushions from epoxy putty




Looking at many photos of completed HK Models B-17s along with my own kits is that they appear to be "Too Long In The Legs" I think that the landing gear struts are made in the extended position with no load on them, I've decided to cut my gear down to a compressed state, looking at many photos of real B-17s the main wheels seem to be closer to the bottoms of the engine nacelles while on the ground than the kit struts allow them to be. 




First I cut the strut off at the bottom of the lower collar.ZlOL51O.jpg


Next I drilled holes into the ends of the upper struts to match the diameter of the cut off lower strut parts and then inserted them into the uppers and glued them in place and adjusted the height by eye, they are about 3/16" shorter now.



This a shortened strut(right) next to an uncut strut(left).



This is a photo of the shortened strut in place with wheels on,(left) and the un-cut strut(right).



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1 minute ago, Kagemusha said:

Lot of nice, and sneaky, work going on there! 


Just out of interest, are you doing an RAF aircraft? 

I was going to do an RAF fort, but I had a change of heart and decided to build it as a "D" which the RAF didn't use, now I'm torn between natural metal, O.D. or camouflage ???

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  • 1 month later...

After building four B-17Ds in 48 scale using Koster's conversion kit, I'm going to try building one in 32nd. Came across your project and like your approach, although extremely detailed. In 48 scale, just four cuts were needed: 1) 3/8" (9.5250 mm) section removed below the cockpit window and forward of the main seam forward of the wing, 2) remove the cockpit roof, 3) cut the aft fuselage at 1/2" (12.7000 mm) aft of the main seam aft of the radio upper window, and 4) removal of material from the vacuform fuselage to insert the stabilizer.


You removed a 10 mm (.3937 in) section from the forward fuselage instead of 1.5*3/8 = .5625 in (14.2875 mm). Are you sure this will match the 13' 9 37/64" (4.0936 m) distance between the nose and the wing leading edge? (127.9550 mm in 32nd.)


You do not indicate material removal from the cockpit floor and its side walls. Koster suggested about 5/16" (7.9375 mm) removed from the cockpit floor. (15/32" or 11.9063 mm in 32nd.)


You cut the ring around the upper turret for the commander's dome. Are you going to change the opening to tear drop shape?


It looks like your aft fuselage will be in two or more pieces. The first piece is the area around the crew entry door showing interior framing. Very nice as one does not have to cut out the door and the opposing windows as in Koster's vacuform.


I look forward to how the aft fuselage and empennage are made.

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I'm not sure what I have removed from the length of the fuselage, I used drawings printed out to 1:32 scale and adjusted in size to match HK's B-17 fuselage diameter which has dimensional errors in several places. So it ends up being a massage of the parts of sorts. The cockpit roof will eventually receive a teardrop opening. I plan on printing the rear fulselage in 3 pieces fully round and joined end to end. Right now the project is on hold as I am still not working at my work's shop where I do my 3D drawing for printing.due to the CO-19 .

Thank you for your interest.


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6 hours ago, cajunken2020 said:

In 48 scale, just four cuts were needed:


Man..... don't look at my build then! :rofl::rofl::rofl:


As Pat said, there's just too many dimensional issues with the HK kit for one to achieve exact dimensional accuracy. Even factory drawings as I have found have discrepancies in them. It also helps that the original fuselage in 1/48 has A LOT better shape and looks a lot closer to the B-17 to begin with, especially around the #3 bulkhead.


I hope you do start a early model conversion though; that'll make 3 of us!





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  • 4 weeks later...



Found https://aircorpslibrary.com  website with factory drawings and various manuals on 48 aircraft. For the B-17, see the following drawings for details:

     65-3543 Control Surface INST (Stabilizer & Elevator, early)

     75-3297 Elevator ASSY (early)

     15-7022 Diagram Stabilizer & Elevator (E-G)

     65-3286 Diagram Fin & Rudder (early)

     8-720 Fuselage Jig (early)

     14-2042 Fuselage Jig (E-G)

     49-2301 Centerline Diagram Landing Gear

     unknown p-507 Diagram Landing Gear (YB-17)

     unknown p-505 Nose Canopy (YB-17)

     15-3421 Fuselage ASSY (YB-17, A)

     65-3421 Fuselage ASSY (B-D)

     15-7330 Fuselage ASSY FWD Section (E-G)

     15-7331 Fuselage ASSY Rear Section (E early)

     65-7331 Fuselage ASSY Rear Section (E-G)

     75-3545 General Arrangement & Final ASSY (early)

     15-6712 General Arrangement & Final ASSY (E early, F & G)

     75-3590 Wing Tip ASSY

     15-7975 Wing ASSY Inner

     75-4771 Wing ASSY Inner

     75-4772 Wing ASSY Outer

Another website is https://airwingmedia.com/ where one can get the B-17C Flight Manual, Oct 1940. The B-17 collection includes 17 manuals and 21 magazines (Wings & Airpower).


Comparing DWGs 15-7330 & 65-3421, I see two extra sections, each 9 11/16 in. wide, about 0.61 in. section removed in 32nd scale. Koster asked for 3/8 in. cut,  about 0.56 in. in 32nd scale. To allow for two sections between wing and crew door, I'm thinking 0.58 in. (14.8 mm) section removal would be okay.


Comparing DWGs 15-7331 & 65-3421, you cut along Frame 6 while leaving the wing fillet TEs. I think you will have a better aft fuselage than mine. Koster's 1/2 in. cut aft of Frame 6 cleared the wing fillet TEs. On the HK kit, there are three rivet lines aft of Frame 6. A cut between the first and second rivet lines would clear the wing fillet TEs, but the forward edge of the rear crew door may not be proper. Using a 3D-printer would resolve this dilemma.


Can you tell me the DWG number showing the pilot cabin seat arrangement? I'm having trouble inserting an image.






Edited by cajunken2020
Add DWGs & commits.
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  • 1 year later...

 A small update on this project, I,ve recently had my cataracts replaced with new vision, awesome stuff they do now !!! I haven't felt like doing much bench time modeling, but I have still been trying to find some 3D drawing software that #1 I could figure out how to use on my own and #2 it didn't cost a fortune... well I finally stumbled across a program that almost functions just like "Solid Works" which I started to learn a few years  ago at work, "Alibre Atom 3D" it cost $149 plus an opptional $49.00 for upgrades, so I decided to buy it, very happy so far..

I decided to go back to the B-17 project to figure out what I could do with this software, I've been working on the fuselage for about 2 weeks, several rounds of drawings, they were ok at first but I realized that I didn't need to be happy with ok so I deleted drawings that I wasn't happy with, no material waisted !!! I had much more of the fuselage drawn at one point but I decided to scrap it and start over...ey61qak.jpgIaChsa6.jpgZTis3Ms.jpg



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