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Airfix B17G to B17F 1/72 update. memphis belle film version

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  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Airfix B17G to B17F 1/72 update. memphis belle film version
Posted by Josh_the_painter on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 3:31 AM

 

Hi everyone,

As I have had a hiccup with the Hasegawa Zero I ordered and have had to reorder, I decided to start this project I had sitting here. Long story short I have a grandfather ill with cancer and thought he would get a kick out of being gifted a Memphis Belle. I had read reviews on the quality of the current Airfix kit and bought this:

When it arrived I thought Damn, The Belle was a B17F! I could have done a separate build on this kit and purchased another B17F, however for myself I would like to build a much larger scale B17 so after some encouragement from Lawdog I decided Im going the surgery route and adapting this kit.

 

Ive started with the cockpit as per instructions. Reference photos are terrible, every plane seems to be a different colour or shade inside, flooring is either wood finish or painted black, some interior areas are either bare or painted green or a combination.

I have decided Im going for a mostly green interior, considering you are not really going to see any of it anyway.

On to the bits you can see I couldn't quite work out some of the colour suggestions, especially the cockpit sides being a tan and not green as I was seeing in reference photos. Then I worked it out, it's the colour of the insulation that is on the sides. I started by painting and detailing the sides, theyre pretty sparse.

Then I added some masking tape insulation, cut around the instruments and painted that tan.

So onto the seats. I need to go back and look at seatbelts and oxygen tanks behind the seats. however I did the basic assembly and to add a bit more depth I made seat cushions from multi layered masking tape, painted yellow and cut out the cushions. The flight controls are joined in the center mould so a blade through those made the 2 separate banks of levers. I also decided on a wood finish floor.

From here cockpit going together. Not award winning modelling but I think a better result than simply following the set instructions.

 

and lastly I had the decal set arrive.

Thanks for looking

Josh

 

  • Member since
    August 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 7:22 AM
Very clever making the seat cushions from masking tape. They came out convincing looking. I'll have to remember that trick and TY for posting. I'll be following along so I can learn some more from your inventive skills Mate

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Hatboro, PA
Posted by Justinryan215 on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 10:45 AM

I believe it is academy that has a -17F in Memphis Belle livery available, if you dont want to go too indepth removing the chin turret and all the other surgeries needed to convert the -G to a -F...

"...failure to do anything because someone else can do better makes us rather dull and lazy..."

Mortal as I am,I know that I am born for a day.  But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the Earth...

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 1:16 PM

Lot's of work to make that kit into an F.  You'll not only have the chin turret and cheek windows to deal with, but it also has staggered waist guns and the Cheyenne tail turret that were not F attributes.

John

To see build logs of my models, go here: http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

  

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 1:42 PM

Justinryan215

I believe it is academy that has a -17F in Memphis Belle livery available, if you dont want to go too indepth removing the chin turret and all the other surgeries needed to convert the -G to a -F...

 

I'd 2nd the Academy "F".  No Belle decals but you already have that covered.  I have that kit and it looks noice, but haven't dug into it yet.

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Hatboro, PA
Posted by Justinryan215 on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 1:47 PM

goldhammer

 

 
Justinryan215

I believe it is academy that has a -17F in Memphis Belle livery available, if you dont want to go too indepth removing the chin turret and all the other surgeries needed to convert the -G to a -F...

 

 

 

I'd 2nd the Academy "F".  No Belle decals but you already have that covered.  I have that kit and it looks noice, but haven't dug into it yet.

 

My kit has the Belle decals....

"...failure to do anything because someone else can do better makes us rather dull and lazy..."

Mortal as I am,I know that I am born for a day.  But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the Earth...

 

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 2:29 PM

Ahhh.  Mine is the Pacific theater version.

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 3:49 PM

Well, the decals are easy enough to source without buying any specific kit, aren't they?  I would expect there to be sets of the "Memphis Belle" in 1/72 available from most of the major decal makers.

I have to second John Eaton's observation, though-there's a good deal of work to convert a -G back to a -F.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by Josh_the_painter on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 4:35 PM

Jay Jay
Very clever making the seat cushions from masking tape. They came out convincing looking. I'll have to remember that trick and TY for posting. I'll be following along so I can learn some more from your inventive skills Mate
 

Thanks! Im glad you found some interest. A bit more effort I think they would look better again but to my eye they're convincing, close up photos show minor details I cant see however.

 

Justin your right about all the surgery to be done. I think most of it shouldnt be a problem. There will be gaps to fill but in 1/72 they're not actually that big, the tail section canopy can be shortened and the tail filled. 

I did look at the other 1/72 kits and read ok reviews on the Revell kit and good reviews on the academy kit but the inclusion of the incorrect astrodome on the nose bothered me and I thought I would have to fill that anyway.

Just for thought on the decals it's just clicked with me theyre the movie version, not the real life version which are different. I had wanted the true to life version however as a gift, these will be ok.

Josh 

  • Member since
    August 2009
  • From: Borlando Fla home of the rat
Posted by TREYZX10R on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 4:38 PM

The office came out really great Josh! Sorry to hear about your Grandfathers illness

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by Josh_the_painter on Thursday, September 12, 2019 3:53 AM

TREYZX10R

The office came out really great Josh! Sorry to hear about your Grandfathers illness

 

Thank you on both accounts. 

Illness is always hard for families, in my case my grandfather and I are both in the automotive trade so we get along quite well. Its been positive Ive been able to visit him a bit lately and as we can 'car talk' and I can pick his brain about vintage cars he gets a real kick out of it.

In regards to the office, I have moved onto the bomb bay area today and had aluminium to paint. I got motivated and pulled out the airbrush. I think considering better results and clean ups not really any harder than my brushes I need to stick to the airbrush more often. Ive been using the humbrol acrylics. They smell like a latex base. Im pretty impressed with them overall.

Josh

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Philippines
Posted by nkm1416@info.com.ph on Thursday, September 12, 2019 10:55 AM
I would suggest get the new tool Revell B-17F Memphis Belle kit which is about the same standard as the Airfix new tool B-17G. The Academy B-17F is a late F version. The Belle is an early F.
  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by Josh_the_painter on Thursday, September 19, 2019 7:45 AM

nkm1416@info.com.ph
I would suggest get the new tool Revell B-17F Memphis Belle kit which is about the same standard as the Airfix new tool B-17G. The Academy B-17F is a late F version. The Belle is an early F.
 

Thanks for the info. Im going to keep it in mind for future builds.

 

I was nearly going to take the plunge and purchase another kit. A big part of any builds for me is to learn and further my skills so challenges I welcome.

Since it turns out I got the movie decals for the Memphis Belle I decided to do some research. I couldn't quite work out at first why the nose was different on the movie plane with no guns and a few other discrepencies. Then I find the B17s used for the film were Gs that had been dressed to look like Fs. Kept the nose and the top turret (which I understand to be taller on a G?) but removed and sheeted the lower turret in the nose, and reworked the tail ends. So to be somewhat accurate to a film version I need to work with a G model anyway it seems.

First things first I set about moving the waist guns into the correct position by cutting out two sections and swapping them. began out reasonably neat, made a bit off a mess gluing them in but a relocated down a little lower, ammo box disguises a few sins. hardly see anything inside anyhow once closed up. I still have finishing externally.

I had already painted the bomb bay silver and decided to leave it that way however the remainer of the waist I did in green to simulate footage of the film aircraft.

I worked on filling the astrodome hole and the cut away in the nose for the lower turret. i achieved this by taping the halves together, putting foil tape behind the hole and wiping in sprue melted in MEKP. once setting I ran a blade down the middle and separated the two halves.

 

I continued work on the remainder of the interior to get things closed up.

 

thanks for looking!

Josh

 

  • Member since
    April 2015
Posted by Mopar Madness on Thursday, September 19, 2019 9:03 PM

I sure like the look of that wood interior.

Chad

God, Family, Models...

At the plate: 1/48 Airfix Ju87 B2 Stuka

On deck: 

In the hole: 

  • Member since
    August 2016
Posted by Keyda81 on Friday, September 20, 2019 8:21 AM

I just happen to volunteer at the museum where "Movie Memphis Belle" spends her summers.  I plan on building a 1/48 replica of her over the winter, so I have tons of pictures if you need any. 

Pic I took from the nose in July.

Starting up for a ride flight.

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by Josh_the_painter on Friday, September 20, 2019 2:17 PM

Mopar Madness

I sure like the look of that wood interior.

 

Thank you! I had hoped it would come off ok. And surely I'll  improve at the effect the more I try. 

Josh

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by Josh_the_painter on Friday, September 20, 2019 2:26 PM

Keyda81

I just happen to volunteer at the museum where "Movie Memphis Belle" spends her summers.  I plan on building a 1/48 replica of her over the winter, so I have tons of pictures if you need any. 

Pic I took from the nose in July.

Starting up for a ride flight.

 

Wow! Thanks so much for sharing. It must be exciting not only working for the museum but getting to fly in her. Those photos are great thank you. I can see details I wasnt aware of. Any photos are helpful. 

It amazes me how much the cowling takes a beating around the engine and exhaust on the B17s. Im unsure if its handling or from heat cycles. 

I look foward to seeing your build when it comes time.

Josh

  • Member since
    August 2009
  • From: Borlando Fla home of the rat
Posted by TREYZX10R on Friday, September 20, 2019 9:12 PM

Excellent results with the surgery on the waist gun positions Josh! I did something similiar to a 1/48 B-17 I built a couple of years back and know what a pita it is! Thats great that you and your Grandfather have some common intrests to talk about, sure its very comforting to Him. Best wishes Trey

  • Member since
    August 2016
Posted by Keyda81 on Saturday, September 21, 2019 8:34 AM

I feel very fortunate to be a part of it all.  My daughter was with me on that flight as well.  We were actually heading to Rochester to get gas, so she sat up front on the way there, and we traded spots on the way back to the museum. 

Any areas of the plane you aren't quite sure about, just shoot me a PM, and I'll get you whatever pics you need.  I don't think she's changed too much since the movie, other than the addition of some seats from a C-130 so they could do ride flights.

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by Josh_the_painter on Sunday, September 22, 2019 3:02 AM

 

Keyda81

I feel very fortunate to be a part of it all.  My daughter was with me on that flight as well.  We were actually heading to Rochester to get gas, so she sat up front on the way there, and we traded spots on the way back to the museum. 

Any areas of the plane you aren't quite sure about, just shoot me a PM, and I'll get you whatever pics you need.  I don't think she's changed too much since the movie, other than the addition of some seats from a C-130 so they could do ride flights.

 

What a great experience getting the littlein up there to! I hope she enjoyed it.

Once again most appreciated. As I progress onto the external paint I may be in need of your services. One question I have been trying to find an answer for however are which engines are started in relation to the switches. I know theres 4 switches but dont know if theyre in the same orientation as the engines on the wings.. IE far left switch starts far left engine etc or a different orientation. Im adding motors to the props and thought it would be a cool to have them switch as in reality.

Josh

  • Member since
    August 2016
Posted by Keyda81 on Sunday, September 22, 2019 9:32 AM

Let me take a look through my pics of the cockpit and see if I can answer that question.  I have all my pics on a different computer that's at my bench in my bedroom.  I would assume they are labeled.  I've been in the cockpit on start up to, and just never paid attention, lol. 

  • Member since
    August 2016
Posted by Keyda81 on Sunday, September 22, 2019 5:05 PM

Okay, I went through my pics and found a few of the cockpit instrument panel.  Hopefully these help answer your question.

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by Josh_the_painter on Monday, September 23, 2019 2:16 PM

Once again seems I can't thank you enough! 

And hopefully these are a good resource for others to. Interesting so much black in the cockpit. I can see hints of green. I wonder if everything was sprayed over black at a later date or if the greens flaked off the top.

Josh

  • Member since
    August 2016
Posted by Keyda81 on Monday, September 23, 2019 8:44 PM

Josh_the_painter

Once again seems I can't thank you enough! 

And hopefully these are a good resource for others to. Interesting so much black in the cockpit. I can see hints of green. I wonder if everything was sprayed over black at a later date or if the greens flaked off the top.

Josh

 

Not a problem, glad I can help!  Anything else you need feel free to let me know!  Everything behind the cockpit is green.  Great work so far by the way!Big Smile

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