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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
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Sunday, February 28, 2021 7:28 AM

Here's an LOL on you!

 Look at the picture of your very finely done Fire extinguisher! Where it's lying is a stain on the paper. With the item in that proximity it looks like it is spewing some contents! If you have no objections I send my prayers in the right direction for the Wife and Daughter! 

 This is indeed when life is hard! But, I see it hasn't totally ruined your creativity. Love the Horse too!

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Sunday, February 28, 2021 6:52 AM
Prayed for your wife and daughter today!

On the Bench:

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8

Revell 1/48 B-1B Lancer Prep & Reasearch


  • Member since
    June 2013
Posted by bvallot on Saturday, February 27, 2021 10:47 AM

I've been in and out nightfighter, but I'm still with you. This is a case study in patience and perseverance. You're grabbing this bull by the horn with both hands. Great job across the board.

I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. I'll keep you in my prayers.  

On the bench:  

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh


  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Monday, February 22, 2021 9:30 PM

Awesome,I enjoy every  update!

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

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Monday, February 22, 2021 9:18 PM

Sorry for the delay folks, I have had my plate full you might say. Wife had surgery, my daughter in the Navy was told she might have cancer but are not sure yet, and my part of Texas was subjected to a few days of snow and sub freezing temperatures ( global warming... :) not. ). All things to keep me busy. Playing World of Tanks to pass the time during all this mess didn't help either.

Moving on. I also spent time researching STL files to practice printing more difficult subjects. This was to better understand Chitubox slicer software and to see if it is compatible with my printer.

Found a horse STL file so I downloaded it and ran it through Chitubox. Printed it, cleaned it up, and painted it with embellishments.

Preprint horse.jpg

horse after chitubox.jpg




So there is a step by step process.

Now for the turret... Here is what I was able to find, taken from the service manual.


I still have a ways to go but I have moved a step closer.



  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Thursday, January 7, 2021 9:23 PM

Now for an update.  One of the things I've really considered was learning to create a 3d model, print it, and include it with this model.  I realize that this will not be easy but I will attempt it.  Toward that end I include this post as I attempt to model the inside of the Sperry Ball Turret.  I started by learning about different 3d software available for someone like me at little to no cost.  I came up with two, one called Blender, the other called FreeCad.

In my investigations with Blender, I have found that it is a great program but has more options than you can shake a stick at. I will learn it in time but it's a bit overkill for what I'm trying to do at the moment. Now I come to the free program called FreeCAD. This seems to be a free version of AutoCAD and is more used for mechanical type of drawings. That fits more in the area of what I'm trying to do at the moment. YouTube is great for tutorials. I found this one very helpful...

FreeCAD seems to be just what I need to do the mechanical drawing of the inside of this ball turret. Now to get some key measurements of the space I want to fit this in. One of the parts from this kit is the pair of guns that are attached together for this assembly. I can use this as a means of a standard for the rest of the drawing.

First for my model references. These are photos I've gleaned from around the world wide web showing the interior of the ball.







As you can see there are a couple of differences between them but they are relatively the same design.

I could show both guns mounted or, like this last picture, show only one gun and what the seating arrangement looked like. I don't plan to show any crew. Any wiring would have to be scratch built.

Now for the important measurements I need to work with.




Using a caliper, the measurements I get to work with are these:

Inside the ball along the Z axis is .85" or 21.63mm
Inside along the X axis is .77" or 19.56mm
Inside along the Y axis is .47" or 11.94mm. This is from center plain to the front window.

Distance between gun openings is .46" or 11.61mm
Length of the gun receivers is .486" or 12.34mm
Width between gun receivers as originally modeled is .458" or 11.63mm
Height of gun receivers as originally modeled is .127" or 3.22mm

I've spent the last several days working with my printer. Mostly getting it set up properly with the latest firmware and getting the platen adjusted properly and zeroed. I also have learned a few tricks for longer FEP life and habits to form for producing good prints often.

To start with, here is what I'm working with.  I'm using the Anycubic Photon S


Technical Specifications:
● Printing Technology: LCD-based SLA 3D Printer
● Light-source : UV integrated light(wavelength 405nm)
● XY DPI : 47um (2560*1440)
● Y axis resolution : 1.25um
● Layer resolution : 25 ~ 100um
● Printing speed : 20mm/h
● Rated Power : 50W
● Printer size: 230mm*200mm*400mm
● Printing volume : 115mm *65mm *165mm (4.52″*2.56″*6.1″)
● Printing material : 405nm photosensitive resin
● Connectivity :USB Port
● Package Weight: 9.5kg

They have two types of resin, both are sensitive to 405nm. One is regular resin which has a nasty smell to it which is why you want to work in a well ventilated area. The other is plant based and the smell is not so strong... Of the first type there are other resins within that have different properties like clear or opaque in different colors as well as a different hardness.

In my studies I have developed rules of thumb to follow when using this printer.
1. Always shake well the resin you are about to use to ensure it is completely mixed. Apparently it settles when left on a shelf for any length of time.
2. Always store resin bottle in a cool dark area. This prolongs the use / shelf life of the resin because they do come with expiration dates.
3. Isopropyl Alcohol used for cleaning up must be 90 to 99% proof.
4. Its a good idea to wear protective glasses as well as a face mask, (same type we all have to wear now with the China Virus). You really don't want to get that resin in your eyes from any splashing that may occur.
5. Periodically relevel the print plate to better ensure a good print.
6. Check your UV lighted print screen before each print to ensure there are not any unlit areas.
7. Don't always print in the same place. It would wear out the FEP film on the bottom of the vat faster.
8. Put three drops of PTFE lubricant onto the FEP film and spread around with a very soft brush. It's ok if it beads, the protection is still there and this will also help increase the life of the FEP film.
9. Clean the resin vat between prints and keep it clean when not in use. Some people leave resin in the vat over night and while this in itself won't harm it, being lazy will eventually cause problems.
10. If you are going to use different kinds of resin, it would be a good idea to have more than one vat to prevent cross contamination.
11. Use a glass scraper to remove resin from the glass print screen surface. But be very careful about it.
12. Use trays to hold equipment to contamination.
13. If possible, put a slight bevel on mount surface of the print so that it would be easier to pop the print off the plate with done.
14. Use, if you can, micro fiber cleaning clothes to clean the FEP film. Cotton and paper will scratch the screen and cause problems later.

Last night I printed my first practice piece while following all my rules of thumb and the print came out perfectly the first time. I used my paint booth to help blow the fumes out and kept the room cool. The smell wasn't that bad when I did that.

I also learned that if I add supports to my STL file in the Chitubox slicer program and save it as an STL, I don't have to use the Photon program to do the same thing. Just save the altered STL file in the Photon as a PW file, while not changing anything, and the printer will work with it.

I also figured out that if I look at my 3d picture upside down and slowly go up with a piece of paper, I can figure out quicker where I need to add supports as nothing should float in free space.

Here are pictures of my first print.


I should mention that there is not direct line from the computer to the printer. Files are loaded on a thumb drive and plugged into the side as you see in the picture above.




I put the print into an ultrasonic cleaner filled with alcohol. Cleaned it really well.

Thanks for following.


  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Thursday, December 31, 2020 1:16 PM

By the way, here is a little insight into the engineering compartment / radio room machine gun. First the mount. 
I found this on "" The rack the gun was mounted on was called the "Bell Machinegun Adapter"


From the website:
"Kept under cover by censorship until recently, the gun recoil damping device pictured here has been produced in large quantities by Bell Aircraft. It has been used as almost standard equipment on all types of bombers, both British and American.
Consisting of a lightweight cradle of two steel tubes incorporated with hydraulic absorption units, it attaches to the gun very quickly by means of two bolts, meanwhile adding less than an inch to over-all dimensions of the gun and only three pounds to the weight. It is now termed indispensable to accurate fire, and it saves much of the gun mount's structural weight which was formerly necessary to take recoil forces.
After the first of these .50-cal adapters were put into successful operation, a .30-cal mount followed in which the absorption unit consisted of air cushion, springs, and friction disks in place of hydraulic dampers. At present, twin gun mounts for both .30- and .50-cal weapons are being built in addition to single gun units. It is interesting to note that the present .50-cal adapter goes back to experiments conducted with this machine gun on the Bell Airacuda. The first mount consisted of a steel tube frame connected to two automobile shock absorbers, which were attached to the gun. It worked so well that it served as a basis for the present design, which is very similar in principle.
The device is used on LiberatorsFortressesMitchellsMarauders, Navy dive bombers and torpedo planes, and Martin and Consolidated patrol bombers, as well as on British aircraft and on PT boats. The number required has necessitated formation of a separate ordnance division within the Bell company.

This news clip was originally published in the August, 1943, issue of Aviation magazine, vol 42, no 8, pp 178, 181.​"

The other thing I found out was that the actual gun mount came in three different designs. The first one looked like a hula-hoop that was mounted on a track which allowed it to be housed above the aft end of the bomb bay area and was used on F and early G models.


Then came the half a hoop mount that was also mounted on a track that allowed the gun to be moved into the compartment above the bomb bay. Also found on G models as I understand it.


Finally there came the mount that was used on G models which were incorporated on the Cheyenne modified bombers which, fortunately for me, was what the bomber I'm working on had.


I tell you what, it wasn't easy finding this picture. 

Thanks for following.


  • Member since
    December 2020
  • From: Kansas
Posted by DM1975 on Thursday, December 31, 2020 12:44 AM

Pretty impressive. 

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 10:59 PM

I have basically finished the radio room. I'm still working on the camera, based on a drawing I've found, and the 50 cal gun I'll add later to prevent damage. I did make the brass extinguisher and mount it on a bulkhead. I also added cables, ammo box, and seat belt.






Thanks for following.  Moving on to the waist gunner and ball turret positions, I will attempt to do something that I have never done before.  

The ball part of the ball turret is clear plastic which means that if I want to I can create the internal workings of the ball turret and show it off on one clear side like the side of the aircraft will be.  :)

Here is where I deviate... instead of scratch building like I have done, I intend to create the internal workings using free 3d software and printing it.  I'll keep you posted as I progress.  If I can get good at this there is potential to make model parts of things that have not been created before and sell them.   Something like a 48 scale night binoculars used on the P61 Black Widow.  In the modeling world it doesn't exist.  That's what I mean.  Anyway...


Thanks for following.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, December 20, 2020 6:23 PM

Thanks guys, I appreciate all your comments. 

Time for a little catch up now that other home improvement projects are done. I don't have pictures for everything I've done but those I miss will be posted later. For starters, I completed another portable oxygen tank and attached it below the table as well as adding support for the table itself.



There was also a similar support attached to the shelf aft but not shown. .. yet.
From there I started working on the other type of fire extinguisher made of brass.




I've since painted it but again a picture of this will come later.
Finally, I worked on improving the 50 cal. as you can see the one the kit provides doesn't look right and the photo etch doesn't really address this. I worked on the main part of the gun leaving the barrel off for attachment later.


It took me awhile to come up with a decent idea that looked right. For starters I cut off the goofy back end and filed it even with the receiver. Then I added the recoil buffer. For the firing handles and charging handle, I came up with a solution that might surprise you. 
I took a piece of copper wire and bent it around the receiver in a horseshoe shape to get the correct shape I wanted.



This shape was then crushed flat using a hammer and trimmed. The now properly flattened wire was then attached and a very small styrene rod trimmed and attached in the appropriate places.



Finally paint was added and here is how it came out. 


There are other things done but again for now this is what I have pictures of.  Thanks for following.


  • Member since
    November 2020
Posted by Xraylizard on Thursday, November 26, 2020 11:12 AM

seriously cool modeling!

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Thursday, November 26, 2020 10:32 AM

What Toshi and Ezra said + 1!!!

This build shows research, planning, patience, endurance, skill, and a passion for the hobby.

Looking forward to all your posts of this build.


"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Monday, November 23, 2020 9:21 PM

Over the weekend, I was able to get more completed on the plane with the addition of the feed belt, ammo box, and 50 cal. I'm still sketchy with photo etched parts but hopefully you will like the results.


Started with the ammunition shute. Kind of tricky with the double fold on each side of the track. I also folded a basic ammo box. This I will add wooden sides.



It was interesting seeing two dimensional bullets. It came out rather well.


Then there was Ma duce... I got a decent start on it.


For those who are following who have never rolled photo etch before, here is how I figured it out.


I found it best to use a very small drill bit rolled back and forth over a soft surface such as a thick cloth type material. Then, once the sides have curled sufficiently, roll on a hard surface to close it up.


With the barrel cover made, I also added a PE sight for the gun. Also made another portable oxygen bottle. Thanks for following.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, November 8, 2020 7:11 PM

More work accomplished today. First, I spray painted the radio boxes and other equipment slated to be installed in this part of the aircraft. No photos for this part I'm afraid. Then I started building the camera bay underneath and added an oxygen tank. 







Major structures are now in place and initial paint added. At some point I'll make the camera. For now I'll just wait until the paint dries.  Then I spent the day building and painting radios in preparation for mounting. 



Yes, the table is made of wood.


Not finished yet but I did some fitting and pasting. There are still several more items to build and add along with wiring. 




Thanks for following. Appreciate the support.


  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, October 25, 2020 5:40 PM

Thanks Toshi, that was very nice.

Well its been a few weeks. Sorry for the delay, I had some house painting and remodeling to do. Now that it's completed, I can get back to the plane. 

Today I wanted to work on the operator's chair. What the kit provided was not acceptable. First I plugged the hole where the kit seat was suppose to be. 



Then I took a couple of solid 22 awg or 24 awg wire and soldered them into a cross. Soldered wire is relatively soft.


A long nosed set of flat pliers squeezes the two wires together to form even spokes. I wanted the legs to be metal.


Then I took the kit seat and cut the back off. I liked the cushion on it and wanted to use it. Using knife and files, I reformed the bottom of the chair to resemble what I had in mind. 


The wires were then bent and cut to the shape I wanted. The central shaft was made from stretched sprue that was drilled out and had a wire inserted through the middle. These I glued together in preparation for the seat.


Once the seat was carved to what I wanted, I attached the back rest then carefully attached the seat to the legs.


This is what I came up with... and an idea of how big this chair is... Big Smile



Thanks for following along.

  • Member since
    December 2018
Posted by Tosh on Monday, September 28, 2020 2:39 AM

Wow, I'm blown away!!!!  The attention to detail, scratch work, your continuous research, and technique is just outstanding!

Your friend's, Toshi & Ezra

Reside in Streetsboro, Ohio


  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, September 27, 2020 4:18 PM

Now its time for the goodies... :)
Taking a minor break from scratch building to start on the photo etch stuff.


More to follow later.


  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, September 20, 2020 6:51 PM

I have been given a moment between honey do items to research the chair in the radio room. From what I've found there were two types. The first looked similar to the pilot and copilot seats. 


The second looks like an old swivel chair that was strapped down to the floor.


One note I found said that the swivel type chairs replaced the other type in 1943 starting with boeing aircraft number 42-30532 which means this aircraft I'm working on had the newer chairs.

Ok, starting on the radio room. Reference photos showed a curved edge in the ceiling toward the bomb bay so I went ahead and tried to recreate it. 



I also cut off that silly pylon sticking out of the floor. I'll plug it an sand it later. 

I cut a newer lower section of wall to cover that concave area. It just doesn't look nice. Once thst was in, I recreated the ribbing for that part.




Next time I'll do some stuff below deck where the camera bay is and a couple of oxygen tanks.

Thanks guys.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, August 30, 2020 2:03 PM

Phew... to start I'll say that I have finished the bomb bay section. I had a goal to finish this part before the end of the month and I just made it. First I finished everything I could on the opposite side of the rack because, you know, it would make life easier later on. I attached the lights I made along with their wiring. Added the gangway ropes and lastly added flight cables for that side. I also attached the big bombs and attached the shaft for the forward door gear.






When I thought it looked good enough, I glued in the rack and started attaching near side items.



Wiring for the door motor and hydraulic hose.


Added only the first part of the flight cables for port side after the other two bombs were loaded.


Final photos after an aft door handle was attached.



Thanks guys for the encouragement.  Hope you like what you see.  I'll be taking a break for a couple of weeks as I start the fall honey do lists.


  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, August 23, 2020 6:53 PM

I'm getting close to finishing this section. A few more wires, a couple of hydraulic lines, flight cables, and bombs. I may try for some decals later also. By the way, I discovered that a raft goes above the bomb bay area. 










  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Saturday, August 22, 2020 4:50 PM

This is really gonna show well. Lov'n it!

you ever see Galaxy Quest the movie? Your quote on the winch about it being on the drawing so you added it reminded me of that movie. The Thermians built a whole ship based on what they saw in a tv show, didn't know how to work it but they built everything that was there!

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

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Saturday, August 22, 2020 3:44 PM

Just a quick update... added a bit more color.





  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, August 9, 2020 6:25 PM

Thanks all. This weekend, I was able to get a bit more accomplished. I have built a winch apparatus for loading bombs. I don't quite understand how it works but since it was in the references I was given I went ahead and built it.





From there I built a couple of lights that are for lighting up the bay. These I'll attach later.




Finally, I worked on a couple of circuit junction boxes and some hydraulic lines before I splashed a little color to get an idea of how I'll paint this.




Thanks for following.

  • Member since
    June 2017
Posted by Chemteacher on Sunday, August 2, 2020 8:08 PM
Wow! That is some impressive work. Awesome job.

On the bench: Revell-USS Arizona; Airfix 1/72 P-40B

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, August 2, 2020 7:16 PM

Rounding out the weekend by finishing up on the racks. More study on what it was suppose to look like. Discovered that there was a pulley at the top of the inboard racks. Also that it was open. Then there are the solenoids with accompanying wiring I get to do later. Atleast the solenoids are in now. Wiring will come later after I paint it. Only items left to build is a winch located aft starboard side, the hydraulic lines, wiring with accompanying boxes and flight control cable guides. Looking to finish this section this month and moving on. I hope...



The styrene is .020 inches. 







Thanks for all the kind comments and encouragement.

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Sunday, August 2, 2020 8:27 AM

What else to say but.............Bow Down Toast




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

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, August 2, 2020 8:21 AM

I was able to get a bit more done today. Focused mainly on the bomb racks. First I trimmed out the bottom. Reference photos showed an open space there. 


Then started installing the bomb switches or sensors. 




The dots that I had cut earlier were used for the round fasteners used for holding the bomb release shackles.  I've also drilled a couple holes for wiring later.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, July 12, 2020 5:32 PM

Well... I've been able to finish the main structures in the bomb bay. Next I'll work on the more finer parts.. the fiddly bits. :)
While working through this, I keep finding references that guide me in improvements. It's like painting, if I don't like what I have then I just repaint it. In this case, I rebuild what I need. 











As you can see, I repainted the extinguisher and added a handle but I don't intend to remake it into the thinner version. I also corrected a few other parts on the forward bulkhead and the inside of the bomb bay. Hope you like.


  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Monday, July 6, 2020 8:20 PM

Thanks for the kind words. I did repaint that fire extinguisher the proper color and added a handle.   Also completed more of the bomb bay.  Starting on the bomb racks with photos to follow hopefully by next weekend as time permits. 


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