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B-17 G 1:48 scale, 351st Bomb Group, 510th Squadron, AC# 43-37862, Fearless Fosdick

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  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Monday, April 6, 2020 8:19 PM

I found that I don't like the way the forward floor area on the kit was done so I started some major surgery on the front decks. Most of the relevant photos show that there seems to be three deck levels rather than just two. The middle deck is really a step between the two and there is a round section to accommodate the chin turret. I plan to capture this. I also started making the tissue paper canvas for the back of the instrument panel. 

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Operation seems to be coming along well. Not a lot more to go. Just some final cuts and fits.

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  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Monday, April 6, 2020 8:22 PM

Mated the different levels. As soon as it dries, I'll refloor it with balsa.
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The operation was a success, the new configuration worked and passes fit check. Just putting on the new wood decking now.

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Now it looks like it is suppose to. To bad it took all day but I believe it was worth it. Hope you guys like it. Let me know if something else seems offish.

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Monday, April 6, 2020 10:11 PM

I really like the balsa idea. That deck would be noticeable so definitely worth it!

In the pattern: a dual build of my KittyHawk F-5's.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 4:38 PM

Thanks, I used chalk rubbed into the wood to tint it then sealed it with floor polish.  Seemed to work out well.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 9:15 PM

oops double posted..

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Thursday, May 14, 2020 5:09 PM

Next I went to work on the control panel. Added the canvas cover and the gauges like so...

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Added the support bracket between the rudder pedals as shown in the prior photograph.

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Still working on the curtain and the area under the pilots.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Thursday, May 14, 2020 5:14 PM

And now, ... the curtains. I've had to use a little artistic license since I've never found a photo or drawing as to how its hung. I used tissue paper soaked in white glue and water, cut to size, fitted, folded, painted, glued into place and tied. I hope you like the result. Should someone find a picture or drawing as to how these were hung, let me know and I'll correct it.

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  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Thursday, May 14, 2020 5:34 PM

There are two, what looks like, a couple of accumulators. These are situated in that area beneath the instrument panel. These I have scratch built. I also worked on the wall next to it. Next I painted up the two side control panels. 

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added photo etch goodies to the flight controls. 

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  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Monday, May 18, 2020 9:00 PM

Finally got the levers in along with the rest of the gauges. Also my micro punch finally arrived. Now I can print and put in my own gauges where there were none available before.

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I had found that it was easier to use the old fashioned tube glue for the levers that it was to use CA glue.

In preparation for working on the bomb bay, I added the lower section of the bulkhead that was omitted in the kit. Used a couple of 0.04 thick sheet styrene to make it. An inverted round bulkhead gave me the shape I needed to fit properly. Drew the pattern onto the styrene and cut with a pair of scissors. Glued in and sanded to shape after trimming to the right depth.

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Next started on the control yoke, plane's steering wheel, I didn't like that it was molded flush with the vertical portion. Sooooo...... I cut off the naughty bits and sanded the collumn smooth. Then I scratch built the yoke using 0.8 mm round stock. That size looked right. Used 2.5 mm round stock for the yoke center.

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The center part was sanded to be as flat as possible. Put the parts all together, provided a standoff for the yoke and attached to the collumn.

I've determined that there were large oxygen cylinders both below deck and behind the pilot's seats. Now I just need to determine how large they were. Math time. Take the measurement of a known object within the same picture as the target object and create a ratio from the measurement of the actual object. Use that ratio to determine actual size from the picture, plus or minus a bit, of the target object. Add a little artistic license and there you have it. :) Now to put into practice.

I've come up with approximately 13mm or .51in in length in 48 scale. Which looks about right. What's really going to be fun is putting that fine detail in the ribbing around each of those tanks. 

It took me a long time to figure out how to make these oxygen tanks.  I experimented trying one idea after another until I finally came up with a solution.

In the mean time I decided to do something else to get my mind off of them.  I wanted to do something nice for the nice lady for whom I'm building this plane.  So I made a scale model of her father, the pilot of this plane.  When I gave it to her, her family made the comment that it looked just like him.

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After a bit of experimentation, I've come up with the following method that takes roughly two minutes to do. First of all I used a variable speed drill.  I inserted the rod I'm making these from like a drill bit into the drill.

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Run the drill with rod end into rough sandpaper until the end is rounded properly. Then I measure from the end to the correct length. After marking, I then used insulation foam with a trough and a razor saw for cutting. Holding the saw in place over the mark, I ran the drill and got a perfect even cut.

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The part that was cut off was then installed as a drill bit into the drill. Finger tight.

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Then I just ran the drill on sandpaper until the other end resembled the first.

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Within two minutes I was done.

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  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Monday, May 18, 2020 9:09 PM

I didn't like the way the fire extinguisher looked... too 2 dimensional. So I carefully cut it off and made a new one from the parts sprue.

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I also started working on the side wall where some of the plumbing goes. In photos, I found the side walls flat not concave. This took some doing as I had to get the measurements perfect for it to fit alone.

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  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 7:32 AM

Love what you did with those bottles! They are super convincing.

In the pattern: a dual build of my KittyHawk F-5's.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 10:13 AM

Thanks. The only thing I really don't know about is the flight deck floor.  My research says that is was metal with a black rubber runway mat that ran from the back door to the hatch that goes below.  Any help in that area would be great.

  • Member since
    March 2008
  • From: Ohio
Posted by B-17 Guy on Sunday, May 24, 2020 12:06 PM

The flight deck looks awesome so far!

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Thursday, May 28, 2020 6:32 AM

Thanks, much appreciated.   :)

 

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, May 31, 2020 10:45 AM

One of the hardest things I was trying to figure out was how to get the nice diamond pattern insulation found on bombers of this time. As it happens, I was putting away the remnants of a celebration we had and I noticed the foil I removed from a couple of the bottles had a nice miniature diamond pattern pressed into it. So I figured why not? Sprayed it with primer and cut a piece to fit the new wall I installed. What do you guys think? If it looks good enough, I just might install it in the front section. 

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painted the foil a dark green before a light dry brush of yellowish green with a hint of gray.

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  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, May 31, 2020 10:53 AM

Worked on the siding while the yellow paint is drying on the oxygen tanks and bottles.

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Oxygen bottles are almost done. One more thin coat of yellow before I add the bands and nipples on the ends. After consulting further images, I've built up the area under the flight deck to more closely resemble the photos I've seen. I also discovered that there were two shelves for equipment side by side under the flight deck. The more forward one was longer and had a door that went to a manual latch that I think went to the bomb bay doors but I'm not sure. I need to reread that part. Anyway, here are a few photos to chronicle my efforts. Thanks George for the reference material. It has been very helpful.20200203_201017(1).jpg20200203_210742(1).jpg
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, May 31, 2020 11:05 AM

A little more work under the deck using brass shims. Hope you like. 

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Small pieces to more closely match the photos and added a bracket to hold an oxygen tank. Added a little paint. Hope it looks ok.

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More scratch building. This time I added in another oxygen tank with and made another correction to the side of the compartment. I also built up some kind of regulation system I don't know the name of at the moment. Built it once and realized it was too large so I scaled it down. Looks better now.

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I got real lucky. I finally obtained a photo of the underside of the control collumn. Now I know what it looks like. For the benefit of others, two of the photos I include here.

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  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, May 31, 2020 11:28 AM

I am almost caught up to where I'm currently at.  The oxygen tanks gave me fits for some time until I finally came up with the best method for making them.  it really was a process but hopefully someone else who goes through this may find my efforts useful for their own build.  I don't claim to be any kind of expert.  I have been fortunate enough to write to a B17G crew member but sadly he is gone now.  The lady I'm making this for tells me that the ball turret gunner for this particular plane is still alive but I have not been able to reach him yet.  

Looking over these oxygen tanks, I don't like how it came out. Sooooo.... I focused on improvement. I found a smaller EZ-line and tried using it. The results were more like what I was hoping for. After I painted them. The three tanks behind the seat went it pretty good. 

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Then I focused on the portable oxygen tank mounted on the stack of tanks. Thankfully that was much easier. 

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I made a change to the molded accumulators. Shaved them off then proceeded to scratch build.

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I also added a bracket for the fire extinguisher.

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Now I think it looks better. So far the fit is getting a little tight but it all seems to work out.
Thanks guys for your support. Fiddly stuff next.. Some may notice the change to an earlier post. I couldn't leave those oxygen tanks alone. Hope they look better. The accumulators were made based on two sources given to me. Thanks George. The model company had them wrong, now there's a shock.

Recently picked up and installed a needed addition to my model shop. 

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Having recently come into a few extra bucks, gone into upgrade mode. Right now I'm looking at a 3d resin printer along with a few other useful tools.  I needed this because the cats like to play with small parts while I'm at work. It's second hand so not that expensive but darn useful and tools and parts don't clutter the workspace anymore.  Now back to work.

The area where the flight cables originate is difficult to begin. To help me, I drew a scale representation of the area. Then I calculated the size of the structures needed to be fabricated. Here are some pictures chronicling my attempt.

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I did have to alter what I had earlier put it. The photos I obtained of this area were a great help. 

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I also got a chance to apply my first home made decals. The letters are a font size 4 which seemed to be just right.  The obvious edges of the decals I'll blend away later.

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Finally I started working on the seat belts using foil from a large yogurt container and some brass wire from a wine bottle. 

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I'll try to finish these a little later. I know that perhaps my scratch building is not as nice as many of your models but practice is helping me improve over time. Thanks for your interest.

 

 

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 9:21 PM

I was able to get more completed over the weekend. Installed a couple of oxygen tanks and worked a wiring. I also verified fits for final installation of flight deck. I am near completion of this part. Hopefully next weekend I will be able to move on to the bomb bay.

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  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 9:25 PM

Well I'm now at a point where I can say the office area is basically done. Granted there is still the upper turret but that gets dropped in later. I'm still not sure if I want to put in the copilot' s side consol, that is already painted, just needs to be pasted in. Could use a couple opinions on that.
So I began by finishing the seatbelts. I show how I scratch built them. Then I provide a reference just to show how tiny this is. I also added some things to the seats that I saw in photos. Painted them up and moved on.

Did a fit check of the deck with the fuselage half then proceeded to install it. Did final plumbing and touch up painting. Hope you like the results.

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What do you guys think; should I add the near side oxygen tanks or not? I'm thinking not since it might make it look too crowded and harder to see other details but I could go either way. There will be some areas that I will show since it would make that station look more complete. Just wondering what you guys think... Thanks

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Thursday, June 11, 2020 12:07 AM

I think you are doing one heck of a super detailed Flying Fort. Are you planning to have some cutous to show off the scratch building? It will be a shame to hide all those fantastic details you have added. Toast

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Thursday, June 11, 2020 5:09 AM

The diamond pattern from the bottle foil looks the part. Definitely adds to the interior of the plane. I plan to use your bottle making idea here shortly for ones on my carrier. Keep it coming. Gonna be a nicely detailed aircraft when you're done. I 2nd plasticjunkie's thought about being able to see your work!

In the pattern: a dual build of my KittyHawk F-5's.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Thursday, June 11, 2020 6:37 AM

Thanks guys.  The model kit I'm building from is called the Visible B-17.  The entire port side is clear plastic so all of the extra detail I'm doing will be visible.  Actually there will be more visible than I want like the upper tail rudder section.  That is why I left off much of the port side equipment.  I just need anothers opinion as to wheither or not to add some of the port side detail or not in certain areas because of the possibility that it would block the view of other detail.

  • Member since
    December 2018
Posted by Tosh on Thursday, June 11, 2020 7:23 AM

Amazing, absolutely amazing.  Your attention to detail will be shown once the clear fueselage is assembeled.

 

Your freind,

Toshi

Reside in Streetsboro, Ohio

 

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Thursday, June 11, 2020 1:41 PM

Night Fighter

Thanks guys.  The model kit I'm building from is called the Visible B-17.  The entire port side is clear plastic so all of the extra detail I'm doing will be visible.  Actually there will be more visible than I want like the upper tail rudder section.  That is why I left off much of the port side equipment.  I just need anothers opinion as to wheither or not to add some of the port side detail or not in certain areas because of the possibility that it would block the view of other detailS.

 

 

That is great! I forgot to ask if you had the clear fuse side. You can still use the all clear shell and strategically mask some sections to show the details and  paint areas with minimal details to get the “cut out“ look. 

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Thursday, June 11, 2020 5:48 PM

I do intend to paint over areas where there is nothing to see but I'm still not sure weither to add the other oxygen tanks and other  control panel.  I will be adding several port side items in the forward compartment.  Nothing more I think down below because of the wing root except maybe a mid-ship oxygen tank.  I'm also planing on putting in the portside waistgun position.  Thanks for the comments guys.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Thursday, June 11, 2020 5:58 PM

Started on the bomb bay and noticed another flaw as I was putting in the sides. The problem I will expose with the last photo.

Noticing the keyed attachment hole for the wing, I did a test fit with the wing and found that the design is pretty neat. The keyed part fits through the hole then slides forward to lock it in place. This lock pulls the wing up close and tight against the fuselage.

That depression in the side, as seen from the inside, has to be covered up to look right. Upon examination, I found that I could cut the key part shorter but retain the locking portion and be able to put a flat section in.

After test fitting the opposite bulkhead, I scribed and fitted a panel in. Photos show the bay to be totally tubular so a rounded ceiling also has to go in. It was during some test fitting that I spotted the problem.

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The center rack is too tall...

 

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Thursday, June 18, 2020 7:27 PM

Continuing on, I started to flesh out the bay area. I added supports and cross sections to the bulkhead starboard side. The side was puzzling even from the photo above compared to other references. I then realized part of the zigzag structure was obscured in the photo above. I drilled holes in the lower part of the wall to add the hinge part that would be visible. I had to stop early but in time I'll have the door built up as well.

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The disks I punched out of wine foil for the door handle.

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Thanks for the encouragement. I know its not as good as some of the models you guys do.
 
  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Thursday, June 18, 2020 7:33 PM

I was able to get more done on the bomb bay area. I built up the ribbing on the door then fitted the aft bulkhead in the bay. This part is kind of tricky because I still have the office to make on the reverse side. There was also the part that is outside the tube portion that had to be blocked off. Seems to have come out ok. Thanks for following. 

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Appreciate any comments.

 

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Friday, June 19, 2020 6:40 AM

Here is an update to the build... as I discover mistakes, I do my best to correct them. In this case I had put the sidewall braces in the wrong place and configuration. I have made the corrections on the but also discovered a couple of mistakes on the bomb bay door. Nothing major but I will correct it when I have a chance.  And with this post I am now up to date.

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Using wine wrap foil, I used a punch set to make rivits.

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Now the side walls are correct. 
Starting the central walkway. 

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Thanks.

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