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Hobby Boss B-24J (26 Jan 2023: Ferry missions to Lyon France)


easixpedro

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Well, here we go again!

 

Been planning this one for some time and after the latest hiccup on the Prowler, I pulled the Hobby Boss B-24 out from the closet. The box is huge. The model is massive. This should be fun!  Goal is an inflight display, likely with the bomb doors open too.

 

First a bit of background. All my grandparents passed before I was born. But I had a tremendous Great Aunt and Uncle that treated me like their own. Jim Genoff was a Radioman/Waist gunner in the 15th AF. To say I looked up to him was an understatement. He passed away in 1990 and I've always wanted to build his plane. Have built several over the years, but all had little issues that I wasn't happy with.  When the Hasegawa kit came out, I built it...but then I discovered photos of his crew's plane that meant that I had to go big!  Here's some pics of the 1/72 scale model.

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Here is the complete display. You can see his wings and Air Medal that his wife gave me when I got commissioned. One Air Medal for completing 35 missions over Europe from July 1944-April 1945. Multiple trips to Ploesti, Vienna and a whole host of the hottest targets in Europe.

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About 2 years after I built it, I ran across this photo. If you look closely--just fore and aft of the nose gear are little fairings with antennas. It's the APY-2 Carpet Jammer that were used to jam German gun laying radars. So I did a little digging and it turns out that he was actually an EWO. In the 15th AF, Radiomen got extra training on these jammers and that became part of their duties on the crew. Color me floored--he was doing Electronic Warfare a full 50 years before I got my start!  So that'll be something that gets added to this model.

MissLace-large

 

If you want to know about the 461st Bomb Group, they've got a tremendous website, run by the son of the Group Commander. https://461st.org/  

 

One of the things I love about B-24s from the 15th AF, is the crazy tail markings they carried. The 49th Bomb Wing had the red tails, with either rectangles, circles or a bow--they all flew out of Cerrignolia, i.e. Foggia in Italy. I highly recommend Barrett Tillman's "Forgotten Fifteenth" https://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Fifteenth-Crippled-Hitlers-Collection/dp/1621574040/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=forgotten+fifteenth&qid=1638651249&sr=8-1 I know Barrett, and this is one my favorite works of his. It's an incredible book about an important part of the air war over Europe. 

 

Did I mention they flew to some nasty targets?  How about this pic of a 451st B-24 cleaved in half over the Odertal refinery in Germany. My Uncle came home from the war and was a very successful Attorney, and they traveled everywhere as a family. But they always drove--he never flew again. As I've done research over the years, I kind of understand why now...

451stBG_Odertal_Refinery_Blechammer_Germany_12-28-44

 

So on to the build pics.  I built the tailfeathers over the last 2 days. Fit is amazing, and the plastic is nice. There's some heft to this assembly.  Shot it with Tamiya AS-12. Love everything about it--dries rock hard and is impervious to everything.  

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One of the reasons I love AS-12 is that it looks just about perfect for heavily weathered and dull aluminum. The fields around Foggia were known for their austere nature. The winter of 44-45 was particularly bad with snow. When it melted turned the fields into a muddy mess.  Check out these pics of mud covered B-24s. I'll be replicating that too!

no61

 

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And some last parting thoughts.  How do I know that's his plane? I don't, but am about 99% sure. His crew was #15 in the 464th BS. So when searching through the 461st website, they have the mission flimsies from most of the bombing mission the group flew. When searching through those, I could track what airplanes they were in. This one came up a lot. I also remember my uncle telling me a story about they'd gotten a new bomber which was 'super nice' because it had the enclosed waist windows (which I'll be building). Except that shortly after they got it, flak knocked out the window and he actually completed his missions before it got replaced. It was shot down on the very next mission it flew after the window was replaced--he departed for the states that week. It was the last plane lost by the bomb group in the war, in April 1944.  So when I saw those details on the website, coupled with his story, I figured the odds are pretty good that this was 'his' B-24.

 

Have no clue what I'll start next. Probably start converting the waist windows to the enclosed type. Need to figure out how to make the Martin A3 turret for the upper turret. I'll grab some of the Cold War turrets for the nose/tail.  Also have to make bulged windows for the navigator as those were a 15th AF special modification.  It also looks like I'll have to modify the bombardiers windows. B-24s are confusing BTW!  Have no idea if I'll tackle the wings, or leave them as-is. Might tape them together to see how 'bad' is bad. (or maybe not, I don't know if want to know how big she'll be). Also won't be fixing the props as I'll just show the prop hubs to simulate a spinning prop. Will have to buy aftermarket tires too, just so they'll fit in the wheel wells. Also need to figure out 10 bomber crewmen figures...  Obviously going to be a slow build, but wanted to share--don't see to many of the Hobby Boss kits being built. And of course the Prowler is still going, I just had to get after this urge!

 

Thanks for following along and listening to my rambling

-Peter

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Superb project Peter and love the personal touch to this build! I'm part way through one of these building as an assembly ship and waiting for the cold War studio turrets. 

 

Couldn't agree more with your comments about B24's being confusing that's for sure. It's choose a subject and change the basic kit as necessary! 

 

Looking forward to your progress.

 

Regards. Andy 

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Thanks guys.

 

Forgot to add this link: B-24 Identification Aid It's Phil Marchese's website where he walks through each block of the 18K B-24's built. Super helpful!  I know the serial number of this bird--she's actually an L model: B-24L-10-FO, Serial No. 44-49511.  Ford built 750 of them at the Willow Run plant.  

 

Which if you haven't seen it, this video is a great way to spend half an hour: Ford's Willow Run Plant  Love old-timey movies where the narrator is talking through scenes.

-Peter

 

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Yep, cant agree more with the comments already made. 

 

Fantastic story, beautiful colour scheme and all topped off with a talented modeller.  This is feeling like a special build already.  Your paintwork is impeccable already, I love AS-12 too.  What did you use for the red?  Really nice

 

Cheers Anthony

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I love builds that have a personal connection.   Such much better than just slapping some plastic together.    I also am fascinated by early EW equipment, so I hope you'll provide some details on the external / internal fit of the equipment.  Was White 15 really the last B-24 lost by the that bomb group in WW2?   Amazing that they went from April of 44 till end of war without another loss! 

 

On a side note - as a kid, we had a family friend come over one day.   The elderly gentleman saw some plastic models in my bedroom and mentioned that he used to fly airplanes.   I asked him what kind, he said propeller planes in WW2.    I kept bugging him with questions and he finally said that he flew B-24's.  I asked how many missions he flew, all he said was "too many".   At that point, I finally figured out that I should probably stop asking questions.  He did seem quite surprised that I knew that B-24's were called Liberators.   Definitely an amazing generation. 

 

BTW - that's an awesome build that you posted on your first post. 

 

Looking forward to more.

 

John

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9 hours ago, Anthony in NZ said:

Yep, cant agree more with the comments already made. 

 

Fantastic story, beautiful colour scheme and all topped off with a talented modeller.  This is feeling like a special build already.  Your paintwork is impeccable already, I love AS-12 too.  What did you use for the red?  Really nice

 

Cheers Anthony

Thanks Anthony. Actually went and bought a new bottle of Tamiya flat red. Love how it sprays. But even better, for my purposes, is that I can scruff it up a bit as the AS-12 is impervious. A bit of steel wool and 2000 grit and we’ll see some tremendous weathering effects.

2 hours ago, John1 said:

I love builds that have a personal connection.   Such much better than just slapping some plastic together.    I also am fascinated by early EW equipment, so I hope you'll provide some details on the external / internal fit of the equipment.  Was White 15 really the last B-24 lost by the that bomb group in WW2?   Amazing that they went from April of 44 till end of war without another loss! 

 

On a side note - as a kid, we had a family friend come over one day.   The elderly gentleman saw some plastic models in my bedroom and mentioned that he used to fly airplanes.   I asked him what kind, he said propeller planes in WW2.    I kept bugging him with questions and he finally said that he flew B-24's.  I asked how many missions he flew, all he said was "too many".   At that point, I finally figured out that I should probably stop asking questions.  He did seem quite surprised that I knew that B-24's were called Liberators.   Definitely an amazing generation. 

 

BTW - that's an awesome build that you posted on your first post. 

 

Looking forward to more.

 

John

Thanks John, I completely agree about building things with a personal connection or at least knowing the history.

 

In actuality, this plane was a replacement. Arrived in Jan-Feb if I remember correctly, so she only lasted 2-3 months. My uncle arrived and started flying missions in July 44 and wrapped up in mid-April 45. Have a pretty cool photo of him coming home and holding my mom as an infant a couple of months later. Crazy to think about.

 

I’ve really dug into the EW stuff, which is fascinating to me for the obvious reasons. Those early efforts a pretty amazing, and not a lot is known about it for a multitude of reasons: between classification levels and people not really thinking that such Vudu/witchcraft actually worked, a lot of it is consigned to the proverbial dustbin of history. But, I’ve been digging up some stuff that I’ll share as I update the build. Even found a guy that collects and restores early radios and jammers, and has a fantastic website. Suddenly my models and other hobbies aren’t looking so bad :lol:

 

Will also make an effort to highlight some of the missions they flew. Have read some hair raising stories on various oil refinery raids, including one where only a few bombers came home, one of them being my Uncle. 
 

Off to hopefully tinker on some plastic this afternoon!

-Peter

 

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  • easixpedro changed the title to Hobby Boss B-24J (26 Jan 2023: Ferry missions to Lyon France)

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