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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 Friday, August 27, 2021 5:43 AM

As I continue to work with this FreeCad, I'm slowly improving and figuring out shortcuts. Last night I spent the evening working on the traverse mechanism. It's crude but with some refinements it might come out ok. What do you guys think?

turret progress 5.jpg

I found that as long as an assembly is active, you can draw and buildup any flat surface in any plain.

Thanks for following.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, August 29, 2021 1:25 PM

Finished the manual hand crank. I know its not perfect but it seems to look ok. Now for the trunnions.

turret progress 6.png

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 8:47 PM

Not enough time for details but a picture is worth a thousand words...


  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, September 5, 2021 11:17 PM

Just drew up the trunnions.


Thanks for following.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Saturday, September 11, 2021 9:39 PM

At this point, I have printed all that I can for the ball turret. What I will do now is walk you through the process I go through when I am developing and printing a part. In this case the seat.

The first thing I do is research as much as possible the subject I want to make. I try to determine, to the best of my ability, the size of the part I need. This is not the actual size on the real thing but the size of what I will need that will work. In the case of the seat, I looked at several photos and tried to determine how wide and how high it is. I did this by measuring the door width on the model and what would be visible through the window. Then I started creating it in FreeCAD on the XY plain.

seat1.pngWhen all dimensional variables are solved, the drawing turns green as you can see above. From here I extrude the drawing giving it a third dimension.

seat2.pngI chose a surface on the now 3d seat to now create the back of the seat. The curve was made to match the circumference of the inside of the ball. The process for making a curved back part was to start with a curve then extrude alone a curved path instead of a straight one.

seat3.pngThe drawing for this path is perpendicular to the surface I'm drawing away from and is curved the match, again, the inner circumference of the ball... on the YZ plain.

seat4.pngThe result of the two drawings looks like this. Now with the drawing fully defined and extruded, its time to turn this file into an STL file.


For this part you can't just save the file as is. You have to export it into an STL file so that the slicing software can interpret it.

seat6.pngThe object must be fully highlighted as seen about before it can be saved as an STL file. Now I open a slicer program and figure out how best to situate the object in order for it to print properly.

seat7.pngSince there is nothing really fancy about this drawing I decide to print it as you see above and proceed to slice the object into something the printer can recognize.

seat8.pngThe printer has its own slicing software so I had to convert what I had to what my particular printer would recognize. I also wanted to add the trunnions at the same time. The total time to print is just over an hour.

seat9.pngThis is what it looks like after its been sliced. The file is then plugged into the printer and printing starts. Below is how it came out after it was cleaned up and set in the sun for a few hours to finish curing.

20210911_181516.jpgA test fit of the trunnions found that they fit well enough. Snug but not too tight. I'm still able to rotate the ball on the trunnions without too much interference.

20210911_122100.jpgI found that the seat was a little large. Still I can just sand it down to what I need.


I printed extra items just incase I break one or two. The parts are a little flimsy, and dare I say fiddly.

20210911_181428.jpgA couple of quick notes. I mentioned earlier about adding a special oil (PTFE) onto the film in the vat before adding the resin. I found that this same oil added to the surface of the print face helps to remove parts once printing is completed. Only like a drop spread over the entire plate surface... just a hint of oil. The light exposed resin still sticks but it seems easier for me to remove the part.

The other note is to remember that making a part to scale isn't always a good idea. Very thin resin parts are brittle.

I will be scratch building other fiddly bits inside the ball but for all intents and purposes the ball interior and immediate exterior is completed. I will need to scratch build the rest of the support system.

My goal is to try to finish this plane by 11 November. Not sure if I'll make it but I will try.

Thanks for following.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Sunday, November 21, 2021 8:49 PM

I really wanted to finish this by Veteran's day but as usual I got hit with a honey do list... Oh and I got promoted in my job which called for more of my time to learn my new position. Fortunately I did get more done so my time wasn't totally shot. I am pushing to finish this, just won't be when I wanted.

So to start. Once I had finished printing the inside of the ball turret, I assembled what I had and found that the mechanism between the guns was too low. I needed to move it upward. I attached some styrene blocks on top of the guns before I cut off the mechanism between them. The blocks marked my attachment points for the remodeled mechanism.

Then I used styrene to build up the mechanism to look more like what I could recognize in photos.


I also added the brass shoots that guide the empty shells after firing. This you can see just below the gun and ammo drum. Actually fit really nice after it was made.



I didn't go overboard on the interior, just on only what was clearly visible. I left out the wiring. Painted the ball turret inside and out then fit it all together along with the ring I printed for it. So far so good.


Next... the ball turret mount. I wanted to get this finished at the very least. Here I ran into an interesting problem. How to get the turret mechanism to look right and work around what the kit designers did. I didn't want to reinvent the wheel so I compromised. I changed the supports to allow what I had printed, then use the old support with some slight modifications.


I made some cross support that I could attach the old top part too. I wanted to make sure the cross parts were even so I inverted to the ball to check that it looked level; then cut up the attaching snap-in part so it could still spin. I painted the side of the clear fuselage to cover some of this part. I kept checking measurements to make sure it sat right when it was mounted in. This took some time to get right.


When I was sure of the fit, I painted it up. Now the cross piece was a glaring problem so after checking the pictures I made the round piece square with some styrene to resemble the box that sits just above the ball turret. This was painted black and you can see it below. I filed part of the cross piece thinner and painted it a bit to disguise the error.

20211121_141934.jpgpart 2.jpg20211121_171844.jpg

Finally I added the exterior ammo cans and oxygen tank. All together it came out ok. I still have some hoses and wiring to attach but it is enough for now.


I also spray painted the wings. Well I hope to get more done in the next coming weeks. Now I'm trying for the end of the year.

As always, thanks for following.

  • Member since
    December 2021
  • From: Northern Michigan
Posted by Monogram Madness on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 11:31 PM

Really looking great!  Any updates?

Perfection is having fun and relaxing...not building the perfect model.  


On the bench:  Revell 1:48 Spitfire MKII and Monogram 1:48 P-40B

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Friday, January 21, 2022 8:54 PM

I've tried to keep busy with this model but I got clobbered with a honey do list and the passing of my brother-in-law. I also had a varnish failure when I tried to protect one of the wings. Not happy with that but hopefully I can keep moving now. So what have I done. First I wanted to get the wings done. Mostly just so that I can say I did something different.

20220120_193835.jpgThe devices behind the engines look like turbochargers to me but I'm not sure. Anyway I got these painted along with the deicing boots on the main wings and horizontal stabilizers. The biggest problem I had was with the aluminum/chrome paint for the skin. I would get a decent paint job on it then something would screw it up in a couple places. I would get it repaired and something else would go wrong... aggravation in the extreme. Finally I got it set and thought I would spray a simple clear varnish to set it and the stuff I was using was too cold and you can imagine the rest. I sanded out the worst of it and am going to attempt it again once the weather warms up a bit.

I also made the wing landing lights.

20220120_194053.jpgThese I made by punching out discs from the foil of wine bottles. My wife helped by emptying the bottles after I opened them. The discs I formed into shallow cones over the round end of a paint brush. To set Then, I drilled a small hole where I wanted to disc to sit, kind of like a center mark / place holder. A drop of CA glue in the hole and drop the disc in. Came out nice as you can see. I attached the outer covers and found that there was a large gap over the right light. I filled in the gaps by soaking a .020" x .020" bit of styrene rod in liquid cement which softened it enough to mold into the imperfect gaps and dry solidly. This came out well after a touch of the sanding sponge. As you can see, it came out ok. Not shown are all the vents around the engine for cooling air intakes. I drilled them all out and cleaned them up with a knife.

My next focus was on the ammo boxes, small air tanks, and fiddly stuff.


20211209_202919.jpgI also added wood to the navigators table top at the front of the aircraft.

20211126_181341.jpg20211126_183701.jpgThe ammo belt runs were made easier by cutting a .010" sleeve to wrap the sides around and still leave room for the ammo. It also made it easier to straighten the legs out and paint.

20220109_172631.jpgFinally here are many of the fiddly bits I worked on. Some brass catchers, bottle holders, oxygen regulation systems, and various boxes of control items.

20220120_194654.jpgThat can in the upper left is suppose to be a sky toilet, Bog can, or whatever funny name you might like to call it. I added wood to these as well, not just to flesh it out but seriously who would want to sit on a metal toilet cover at -30 degrees? I would think you backside would be frozen to it. Can you imagine, "Hi mom, I got a purple heart because my backside got stuck on the can during a mission and they had to pry me off." I also made and beefed up the tail gunner's seat, upper center above the ammo boxes.

Thanks for following.










  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Friday, January 21, 2022 8:57 PM

I also wanted to tell you that I did a fit check with the wings on the fuselage and tires on the legs.  I was afraid the ball might be hanging too low but after attaching everything I could see that everything was as it should be height wise.


  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Saturday, January 22, 2022 2:38 AM

Lots of great work here! Love all the little stuff it really adds to your build. your thoughts on the metal toilet seat are hilarious Big Smile  I'm hoping the varnish issue gets sorted cause the wings sure were looking good. Congrats on the promo btw!

In the pattern: Scale Shipyard's 1/48 Balao Class Sub! leaning out the list, we're down to that Tamiya P-38F/G to use the other nose art Exito Decal (in-flight for this one), & in keeping with MC's hydra theory I bought another F-5E to do in FROG camo! And I just got a Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18F!

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by lurch on Saturday, January 22, 2022 3:26 AM

Looking fantastic . Cant wait to see it finished.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 6:07 AM

It's been very busy lately. My wife being Russian doesn't help with what is going on. She still has family and friends there. Anyway, here is what I've been able to accomplish since last I posted. I did a lot of work on the different machineguns. Just a couple of touchups with paint here and there but basically they are finished. I also chose the tail gunner's windows and finished the tail gunner's position for the most part. Almost finished the waist gunner area as well. Now for the pictures...

20220212_172024 (2).jpg20220226_153313 (2).jpgI still have the photo etched barrels and gunner sites to add.

20220212_172101 (2).jpg20220212_172127 (2).jpg20220306_182130 (2).jpg20220306_182235 (2).jpg20220306_182253 (2).jpg20220306_183249 (2).jpgThanks for following.





  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Monday, May 9, 2022 6:06 AM

Hello guys, miss me? I've had a lot going on and sometimes I just get tired. I have basically finished the center waist gunner position. Had to do some touchups here and there as this has been going on three years. I have started working on the forward section. Once that area is done I can finally, at long last, close the plane up for outside detail and finish build. You know I have worked on nothing else for this time and I miss doing simpler stuff. I may need to do something simple to get me going on again. Thanks guys for your support through this. It helps me keep going to the end.

20220508_160347.jpg20220508_160355.jpgThanks for following

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Monday, May 9, 2022 6:16 AM

Glad to see your progress. Oh you're getting so close! Will be exciting to see the wings go on.

In the pattern: Scale Shipyard's 1/48 Balao Class Sub! leaning out the list, we're down to that Tamiya P-38F/G to use the other nose art Exito Decal (in-flight for this one), & in keeping with MC's hydra theory I bought another F-5E to do in FROG camo! And I just got a Trumpeter 1/32 F/A-18F!

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Monday, August 15, 2022 5:30 AM

I have been busy but in my spare time I was able to get more done. I put together the photo etch items and built two more chairs for the forward area.

20220602_165544.jpg20220602_185353.jpgthen I started installing each item working from back to front. The usual stuff oxygen regulators, heating units, machinegun, ammo cans and belt, and one of the seats onto the ring where the bombardier sits. Took awhile but it came out ok.

20220710_072447(1).jpg20220710_072515(1).jpgI've added the ammo belt once the back stuff was in along with the controls for the chin-mounted guns. I also decided to make a lamp for the desk. I added the bomb-sight, and other bombing controls.

Looking over photos, I figured I would go ahead and make one similar to the one I made for a Black Widow build several years ago.

I first stretched sprue, then cut the smaller end on side. Then I heated a needle and pushed it into the small end so that it got stuck in the plastic. The plastic was then cut at a point that looked close to what I wanted for the bell of the lamp. Sanding helped to improve the shape before I withdrew the needle and glued in a piece of copper wire.

Once I had the general shape, I drilled a small hole in the table where I wanted to lamp to be attached and cut a reasonable sized disc from aluminum foil. I punched a hole in the center of the foil and pushed the wire through it.

20220813_162904.jpgNext I glued the wire into the desk to what I figured was a good length and snipped off the excess. To give the mount form, I used white glue normally used for gluing clear window parts. I also added glue to areas where joints would be. Painted it black after all the glue dried.

Here is what it looks like now. I only have a few levers to glue in before I can finally start closing this up.

20220813_203930.jpg20220813_204004.jpg20220813_204120.jpgI hope it looks ok, thanks for following.




  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by lurch on Monday, August 15, 2022 9:14 AM

The detail work you are doing is just amazing. Your attention to detail is also amazing.Its looking great. 

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 9:05 PM

Thanks, I try hard.   I know it has taken awhile but I wanted to be sure what I did each time along with a little research.  This weekend, I'm going to try to finish enough to close up the sides and start fitting widows.  Need to see how each fits before it becomes permanent.


  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 9:18 PM

Nice to see you back at it.




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