SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Super detailed 1/48 B-17: Visible B-17 or Cutaway?

358 views
11 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    November, 2013
Super detailed 1/48 B-17: Visible B-17 or Cutaway?
Posted by bstarr3 on Monday, April 09, 2018 5:38 PM

Hello, all. I'm in the planning phases of a big project: a super-detailed, in-flight B-17 with crew. I want to be able to display all the detail I'm going to put into it, so my options are to do a cutaway build of the Monogram B-17G I have presently, or to scour ebay for a copy of the Visible B-17G. I have secured the in-flight figure set from the 1/48 B-24D, which as I have understood are the same five figures as are included in the visible B-17. I've gathered up enough figs to complete a full crew set, although I still haven't decided if I'm going to try to man the ball turret. 

So, the question for the group here is: what are the pros and cons to the visible fuselage half vs cutaway? I've never done either, and I'm trying to weigh my options, because that will make a big difference to what areas need to be built up. I appreciate any input people have to offer. I know that Toshi did a Visible B-17 a few years ago.  I've picked his brain previously.  Anyone who has either done that kit, or has experience doing complex cutaways- your expertise is needed! Thanks

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Monday, April 09, 2018 6:04 PM

I've built both the visible version and a cutaway in the past. Both turned out well, but my preference was for the cutaway because the transparent half tended to glare in direct light. Then again, maybe it was purely a psychological thing - the open areas in the cutaway just seemed to draw people in for a closer look, where they took more notice of the fine details. The plastic allowed for rescribing panel lines and playing around without the challenges of keeping a huge piece of clear plastic free from damage, so I had a little more confidence in performing radical surgery.

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by bstarr3 on Monday, April 09, 2018 6:18 PM

Good point.  The other thing I was thinking of with the cutaway, is that you can elect what areas to emphasize with detail.  For example, the tunnel between the cockpit and nose is completely bare and something would have to be done to it from scratch with the clear half fuselage. 

I would like to do the nose and cockpit cutaways on the starboard side, since most B-17s had their nose art only on the port side and it would be a shame to cut that out.  Any reason why that would be difficult, based on your previous cutaway?  Also, do you have a build thread or pictures of that project? 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: NYC, USA
Posted by waikong on Monday, April 09, 2018 10:20 PM

You can always use the visible kit to do a cutaway, that way you will get more details right from the box? Am assuming the visible kit has more interior. You can still cut and paint the clear parts. Less scratch building. I used this idea on a haswgawa clear n1k2 fighter. See this link to the article in fsm

http://finescale.com/en/Online%20Extras/2009/11/Building%20a%20cutaway%20N1K2-J%20Shiden%20Kai.aspx

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 1:36 AM

bstarr3

I would like to do the nose and cockpit cutaways on the starboard side, since most B-17s had their nose art only on the port side and it would be a shame to cut that out.  Any reason why that would be difficult, based on your previous cutaway?  Also, do you have a build thread or pictures of that project? 

 

It's been a number of years, but I want to say that the interior of one of the fuselage halves was a bit light on the molded details - like the ribs and stringers were molded into one half of the vertical stabilizer, but the other was completely smooth. Pretty sure that was on the port side because that is the "visible" half that was molded in clear.

Up in the nose, the Monogram engineers used a series of long pins to seat the interior sections, so you may want to really study that area before you make a decision on where to make your cuts. If the nose art becomes an issue, you might consider modelling a ship that repeated the art work on the starboard half, or find a ship like the 909 (323 BS, 91 BG) where the artwork is directly below the small line of windows of the nose, rather than under the pilot's window. You may lose a section of the "billboard" recording the number of missions flown, but the nose art and name of the ship are preserved after surgery.

Sorry, no photos or logs. I built the visible version in '92 and the cutaway in '98. Those were commission projects, so I focused more on productivity than recording the build. However, FSM published an article featuring a cut away of the 909 ship which had been fitted with interior lights for display. I recall referring to it several times, particularly for modifying a figure to take up the ball gunner's position. They might still have that on file somewhere on the site, or I may still have that issue laying around. It may be of help, so I'll look around for you.

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 5:25 PM

I've never done a visible kit, nor a cutaway, but here's my $0.000002...

Between the two, in general, I think a cutaway is better, because the clear parts in visible kits don't really do a satisfying job of representing the 'missing' sections and so are a bit distracting, where a well handled cutaway pulls the viewer in.

On the other hand, for an in-flight representation, a cutaway might be a little weird. (Is it a cutaway? Is it heavily damaged?) If executed in such a way that it was really 'clear' (kapow!) what was being represented, I think the cutaway would be better.

Take that for what it's worth. Good luck!

-J

  • Member since
    September, 2011
Posted by fightnjoe on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 5:44 PM

Just a quick two cents.

If you would like to do an inflight I believe that the visible side may offer you the most support and security for the interior work.  A cut away takes some of the strength of the fuselage sides away not to mention the possibility of dust or additional passengers getting into the build.  Would be tougher to remove it.  

 

Like I said just my two cents.

 

 

Joe

Veterans,

Thank You For Your Sacrifices,

Never To Be Forgotten

Where you can find me:

Workbench on FaceBook  Google Plus  YouTube

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by bstarr3 on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 6:25 PM

KnightTemplar5150

 It's been a number of years, but I want to say that the interior of one of the fuselage halves was a bit light on the molded details - like the ribs and stringers were molded into one half of the vertical stabilizer, but the other was completely smooth. Pretty sure that was on the port side because that is the "visible" half that was molded in clear.

Up in the nose, the Monogram engineers used a series of long pins to seat the interior sections, so you may want to really study that area before you make a decision on where to make your cuts. If the nose art becomes an issue, you might consider modelling a ship that repeated the art work on the starboard half, or find a ship like the 909 (323 BS, 91 BG) where the artwork is directly below the small line of windows of the nose, rather than under the pilot's window. You may lose a section of the "billboard" recording the number of missions flown, but the nose art and name of the ship are preserved after surgery.

Sorry, no photos or logs. I built the visible version in '92 and the cutaway in '98. Those were commission projects, so I focused more on productivity than recording the build. However, FSM published an article featuring a cut away of the 909 ship which had been fitted with interior lights for display. I recall referring to it several times, particularly for modifying a figure to take up the ball gunner's position. They might still have that on file somewhere on the site, or I may still have that issue laying around. It may be of help, so I'll look around for you.

 

 

You're right, the starboard side is the one with rib and stringer detail in the tail section, even on the regular monogram kit.  I don't know if there are any other differences without looking at the kit parts again.  I assume the visible kit port fuselage is identical to the standard, since they would just inject clear styrene into the same old mold. This presents the problem of removing the molded on interior detail on that half of the kit, if I were to use the visible. 

I do remember I think seeing an article about the 909 cutaway.  I just let my subscription to FSM lapse this past month, so if you have that article on file somewhere you could share, I'd appreciate it. 

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by bstarr3 on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 6:31 PM

Johnny1000

I've never done a visible kit, nor a cutaway, but here's my $0.000002...

Between the two, in general, I think a cutaway is better, because the clear parts in visible kits don't really do a satisfying job of representing the 'missing' sections and so are a bit distracting, where a well handled cutaway pulls the viewer in.

On the other hand, for an in-flight representation, a cutaway might be a little weird. (Is it a cutaway? Is it heavily damaged?) If executed in such a way that it was really 'clear' (kapow!) what was being represented, I think the cutaway would be better.

Take that for what it's worth. Good luck!

 

I've got this question running on a couple different sites, and several people have mentioned exactly this - how the cutaway "draws the viewer in".  I think that's probably true, although I don't really know who would be looking at this, besides my anonymous internet friends.  I live in a small town far away from everything so no modelling clubs, no local hobby shops, no access to competitions.  I do this pretty much for the enjoyment of the process, and the satisfaction of people on forums like this saying "hey that looks cool!" 

This is inherently an "unrealistic" model, whether cutaway or clear fuselage half.  It's actually pretty rare on these sites to see people modelling with figures at all, but often when they do it's more often as part of a static display, and not often an "action shot" like I'm proposing to do.  I don't know if people view that as more of a "toy like" or unrealistic representation, but it's an idea that I've had since I was a kid, making a 1/72 B-17 with way too much glue and way too little patience 25 years ago.  

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by bstarr3 on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 6:33 PM

fightnjoe

Just a quick two cents.

If you would like to do an inflight I believe that the visible side may offer you the most support and security for the interior work.  A cut away takes some of the strength of the fuselage sides away not to mention the possibility of dust or additional passengers getting into the build.  Would be tougher to remove it.  

 

Joe

 

 
This is definitely something I need to think about more - both how to rig a stand to display such a large model in flight, and the structural stability of such a display, plus or minus cutaway sections.  Good point
  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: Florida USA
Posted by Striker8241 on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 6:47 PM

To preserve the structural integrity of such a large model, you might consider filling the cutaway sections with thin ribbing, like in a structural drawing. That would also reduce the impression that large sections had been "blown out." Here's a link to an example:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/62065301090634939

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 6:49 PM

Having seen quite a few of these, the Mustang and other "visible" models, it's pretty hard to see what's inside through the clear plastic.

The structural issues can probably be solved with a wing spar. I don't know if this kit came with one, like the B-36 did. But it probably would be better to make a realistic one.

There's enough bulkheads to keep the fuselage round. 

One other thing is that the "visible" model is kind of a "one trick" pony.

There's just the one clear part. If you wanted to say expose the innards of part of a wing, the tail or an engine nacelle, you'd be cut away anyhow.

Those are my 1 1/2 bits.

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS

FREE NEWSLETTER