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THE FINAL HURDLE!... 1:20 scale scratch built B17G

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Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
THE FINAL HURDLE!... 1:20 scale scratch built B17G
Posted by Foz on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 10:02 AM

Hi everyone

 

Well it is time to get down and finally attempt to finish this Mammoth B17G project. Some of you may know that I started this 7 years ago with a few breaks in between sections to build other stuff.

 

As a recap :  I was originally going to just scratch build the nose sectionbut kind of got hood winked in carrying on down the length of the fuselage! .....so I then built the Bomb bay....followed by the radio room and ball turret section and now it is time to finish this off with the tail section. Just to let you all know that I will not be building the wings and the 4 engines that go with it!Smile 

 

I got together some old post photos from the start of this project and thought I would show you of how I got to this point today! 

 

This first photo shows the completed fuselage up to the ball turret position.....

Here is a shot of the cockpit.......

 

...and the bomb bay looking from the radio room through to the cockpit....

Here is the radio operators table in the radio room.....

...and finally the ball turret in place on the hanging harness.....

So my aim has always been through out this project to display as much of the internal detail as possible as I have always been fascinated with the Flying Fortress!.....so to that end I have tried to construct the whole fuselage with the top removed. This over the years has given me many headaches and will continue to I'm sure ... because I didn't want to take away the shape of the B17!... For example my next problem will be how to display the detail with that ruddy great dorsal Fin attached?......well I have an idea which I will show you as we get on with the build.

 

The other problem I have is how to ship it back to the UK from here?....I have made a bespoke box out of MDF but I am getting ahead of my self!....lets put that to one side at the moment and get this last section underway!

 

So here we go then..the first of many photos and posts that I will have to make!!

 

 

I am going to make the fuselage out of balsa wood as I did with the the front sections....so after digging out the scale plans that I scaled up to 1:20 I cut out all the formers I would need.

The bottom half was built up first ...then the top half .....here they are temporarily joined.

A few years ago I started strengthening the fuselage by filling in between the stringers with scrap pieces of Balsa wood. All you have to do then is sand down carefully to the formers and stringers to get the ...hopefully.... correct shape. Here is the bottom half.....

Here is the top half just  placed in position.....

So here the scrap balsa was filled in the gaps and sanded. You can see that I have left an area open at the top so you will be able to see down into the detail......

Now I turned my attention to the dorsal fin which runs along the top of the fuselage which eventually turns into the tail fin.At this stage I am only building so far back and will complete it by somehow attaching the tail fin at a later stage...there is method in my madness as you will see later!

Once I had filled the gaps with balsa ,I glued the dorsal fin on top of the fuselage and as you can see there is still enough open space to eventually look at all the detail.

I thought I would clamp the front section onto this to see what it might look like......JEEZ!.....It's about 3 feet 5 inches long!!

  

Well that's as far as I have got with this so far!

 

 

I do hope some of you will come along with me for the ride on this final stage of this project...would appreciate the support!

 

 

Until the next post.....thanks for looking in and stay safe guys! 

Fozzy

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: State of Mississippi. State motto: Virtute et armis (By valor and arms)
Posted by mississippivol on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 11:07 AM

Dude, that's some work! And when were you doing the wings again?Wink

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 1:03 PM

mississippivol

Dude, that's some work! And when were you doing the wings again?Wink

 

 

I'll second to work he's doing, absolutely beautiful.

As to the wings, he needs to build a bigger house first.Big Smile, or a hanger in the back yard.  I can take pics of a couple of surviving B-17 hangers not too far from home......

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by PFJN on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 7:16 PM

Hi,

Your build looks incredible.  Can't wait to see it once you've completed everything Smile

1st Group BuildSP

  • Member since
    February 2020
  • From: South Carolina, USA
Posted by ChrisSC on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 6:41 PM

Wow, that's some amazing craftsmanship. Beautiful work and a beautiful plane.

  • Member since
    May 2020
Posted by Flugzeugmodellbauer on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 11:16 PM

It looks museum-worthy. Simply remarkable. I am in awe of scratch-builders. And to work at such a scale obviously necessitates a lot of research. Amazing!

Be sure to have it appraised and insured before shipping.

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Thursday, May 7, 2020 8:23 AM

Impressive craftsmanship!

  • Member since
    April 2015
Posted by Mopar Madness on Thursday, May 7, 2020 8:38 PM

That is true craftsmanship right there!

Chad

God, Family, Models...

At the plate: 1/48 Airfix Bf109 & 1/35 Tamiya Famo

On deck: Who knows!

Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 7:54 AM

Hi there everyone

 

I hope everyone is safe and healthy and coping with this lock down business! 

 

Time for an update! 

 

So I have made some progress on the tail unit but before showing you the photos I thought I would share the other problem that I have with this project!....always problems! ....serves me right for starting this journey!

 

If you didn't know ...I live in S.E Bulgaria and I will eventually need to transport this finished B17 across to UK first and then eventually ship it across to California in the States where I am pleased to say that I have had interest from the The Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad (not far from L.A) and have decided to donate it to them. This in turn will of course cause a few headaches!

This is a very large and extremely delicate B17G I am building and it will need careful consideration on how to ship it.I used to do commissions for people and have shipped models to Europe by shipping companies...I would pack the model and hand it over to them and they would  charge the earth with no guarantees that it would arrive safely!.... So this time I am going to try another way of shipping. I am going to try and put it on a flight with me and because it is too big to go as hand luggage , I had to think of it going in the hold in a large suitcase!....which then set the alarm bells going off as I imagined the baggage handlers tossing the case all over the shop!.....and so I did an experiment.

 

I took the front section which as you know is complete and measured the length and height and chose a large enough suit case to use. I then built a MDF box and suspended the model in the box using polystyrene ...screwed the lid on and placed the box inside the suitcase. I then took it out in my garden and threw the case all over the lawn....kicked it and dropped it from a height as if I was a baggage handler!   .............let me tell you that after 7 years of building the front section it was a very difficult thing to do!

 

I eventually opened the box ( with a hang mans noose at the ready ) to see what damaged was caused!........absolutely no damage at all!....phew! what a relief! ......I will be trying that experiment again at a later date ...this time being even more brutal!

 

Here is the box with the front section packed in....with the lid off of course.......

If the model arrives safely in the UK then I will be happy for the next trip to USA a little later!

 

So on with the progress I have made with the tail section.....here is part of the tail.....

...and the next part added up to the rudder position....

So this tail section will have to be designed so that it can be taken on and off as it will be far too big to fit into the built box for the suitcase.....so to that end here is a photo of the location holes I have designed for some pegs that will slot into them to hold the tail in place......

...and here are the pegs on the tail unit that will slot in.....

and here I am slotting the unit in place.

Once again I have joined the two halves together to see if all looks ok........

I have to say that I am finding this tail unit very challenging and it's coming together at a snails pace!

Next up will be the Rudder construction.... so until then ..look after yourselves and happy modelling!

Cheers

Fozzy

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 8:05 PM

You are one extremely BRAVE and gutsy guy to torture test a packing method like that.

But she should arrive in perfect shape.  I'd even think about using Styrofoam peanuts not only in the box around everything else, put around the box in the suitcase, if not packing some clothes around it.

Glad the test went perfect.

Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Saturday, May 30, 2020 7:22 AM

Hi everyone

 

I'm still battling away with the construction of the tail section of this B17G..... long old slow process but I have made some good progress!

 

 

I was about half way through constructing the tail out of balsa wood in my last post ....so here are some photos of where I am at the moment.

 

 

Here you can see that I have filled with scrap balsa in between the longerons on the section I built in the last post...

The next 3 photos show that I have built the rudder and temporarily attached it the the tail assembly......

After giving it some thought I decided that the rudder would eventually look better if I skinned it with tissue. So after sanding down the rudder as smooth as I could get it , I applied the tissue with a couple of coats of shrinking dope....time to get as high as a coot!!... The trim tab I left as solid balsa wood.....

The fun really started then as whilst looking at the scale plans I am using I realized that the tail gun position was of the old "stinger" configuration!...as shown in this next photo....

I needed the up dated Cheyenne turret...as in this next photo.....

Well this caused me all sorts of worries as I would have to some how build the Cheyenne turret with out any scaled plans. I down loaded and printed off a drawing of the turret using Foxit reader and tried to get it to the same scale as my existing plans...I got it as close as I could but it was really just a guide of sorts!  I then basically had to take a look at photos and transfer what I saw into some sort of balsa construction! So it was a bit of a challenge to say the least!

 

So first up .....I placed the built fuselage onto the drawings and literally drew in the shape that I needed to get the width of the turret ...trying to remember that the drawings were slightly out of scale and then looked at photos of the side of the turret to get as close as I could the height and shape dimensions!....crazy way of doing it but this was all I could do.

 

Here is that process on the go......

I then filled in between the stringers with balsa and literally whittled the shape of the turret!...getting the aperture shape for the ball was a nightmare but managed to do it in the end...

To make the ball that fits into the hole....for want of a better description!!....I thought best to make a plug in the correct shape out of balsa and do a plug and mold procedure!

I placed the mold into the hole!....to check out what it looked like....I thought ...so far so good!

I got the mold ready to push onto the frame where I attached a piece of food packaging plastic ready to be heated...

...and fired up my old Bulgarian grill machine!...perfect for the job!

Placed the prepared frame under the grill.....waited for the melt!....and boom!....managed to get it right first time...something that doesn't always happen for me!

After cutting out the slots for the machine gun barrels, I cut the mold out and super glued it to the turret....

 

....and finally here it is attached to the fuselage with pegs!!

The fun and games doesn't stop there for this Cheyenne turret as I have to somehow get

 

the perspex enclosure built....again this will be done by staring at photos all day!!

 

 

Thanks as always for taking a look guys and see you next time round! 

 

Cheers 

Fozzy

 

Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Monday, June 15, 2020 1:45 AM

Hi guys

 

I have just about managed to finish the basic construction of the rear fuselage and tail section with just a few details to add at a later stage. So after this post I can get on with working on all the internal detail!

 

So first up I had to think about how I was going to go about making the structure of the Cheyenne rear turret. After measuring up for scale from photos I got a sheet of plastic card and put together the frame work. I won't be glazing the turret or fixing it in place until all the internal detail in the turret is complete...this is because I will never get my fingers in there to do anything!.....so here is the Cheyenne turret frame work.....

After fixing some sort of band of plastic around the aperture so that the frame would have something to adhere to I placed the turret in position to see what it looked like......I am happy with the out come as I thought it would give me no end of problems considering I had no scale plans to go by.

Here it is in place.....

So it was back to the tail section. I decided to skin this section now in preparation of spraying. Most of this B17G Fuddy Duddy I am depicting is bare metal except for the tail section where there is a splash of yellow.

 

So first up was to mark the rivet lines with pen....

The material I am using to skin the tail is quite simply sticky back silver paper which is thinner than the aluminum skin I will and have been using for the bare metal sections.You can see in this next photo that after I traced a template  the rivets were punched by my handy rivet maker tool (a safety pin inserted into a piece of plastic sprue!....no expense spared!) and its ready to be glued to the tail section....

...and here is the tail unit skinned.....

The next job was to sand down all the formers making way for all the internal detail that I will be starting on soon....this was done on both top and bottom of the fuselage half's

Using some of my collection of yogurt pot plastic tubs cut to shape!.. I started on covering the internal floors and side walls...

The last 3 photos are of some of the detail to the rudder... eg...the trim tab rod connection and the rudder connection fittings to the tail section...

That's it for now guys.

 

Next up is making the ribs for the floors and side walls on the lower half of the fuselage and possibly spraying the tail unit....so until then stay safe!

 

 

Cheers 

Fozzy

 

 

Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Saturday, July 4, 2020 3:04 AM

Morning fellow modelers!

 

 

I have been doing  the laborious task of making up the entire interior with all the ribs etc!....this was only achievable by listening to all my favorite bands on my player ...taking the occasional paracetamol when my head started to ache from staring at hundreds of little pieces of plastic!!....and having the time on my hands to get through it!!..........still needs must and all that!

 

 

I'm so pleased that this phase is over because from now on the build becomes more interesting ....and hopefully for you guys as well!.......so here are the photos of all my effort!

 

First I glued strips of plastic onto the yogurt pot walls representing the vertical ribs ...and then  I had to cut hundreds of pieces of plastic representing the horizontal ribs.... so that I could glue them between the vertical ribs .....this sounds as boring as it was!

So here we go then!.............

.....a week later it was time to spray the base interior green!

PHEW!.................

I decided to prepare the balsa wood fuselage for skinning with the aluminum sheets ,which I will do at a later stage...(it also strengthens the fuselage)......so to that end I covered the fuselage with tissue glued on with PVC glue and then brushed on shrinking dope. Now its as tough as old boots and I am as high as a kite!

This afternoon I will have a go at preparing the riveting on the dorsal fin and then maybe spray it tomorrow!

 

 

Probably one more post to go for a while as I'm off to see my wife in UK....due to this Pandemic I have been stuck here in Bulgaria and haven't seen her since last March!

 

 

See you on the next post!

 

 

Cheers

 

Fozzy

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, July 4, 2020 8:38 AM

Foz

..

 

 

 

PHEW!.................

I decided to prepare the balsa wood fuselage for skinning with the aluminum sheets ,which I will do at a later stage...(it also strengthens the fuselage)......so to that end I covered the fuselage with tissue glued on with PVC glue and then brushed on shrinking dope. Now its as tough as old boots and I am as high as a kite!

 

....

 

 

It was always amazing to me as a kid when I built stick and tissue flying models.  The balsa framework was so weak and flexible.  I was sure it would fall apart if I tried to fly it.  Then, the tissue covering to strengthen it a bit.  Shrinking the tissue with water- gee it got stronger yet.  Then, doping the model- boy, that really stiffened it up.  This thing may fly okay after all. 

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Saturday, July 4, 2020 3:30 PM

Don Stauffer

 

 
Foz

..

 

 

 

PHEW!.................

I decided to prepare the balsa wood fuselage for skinning with the aluminum sheets ,which I will do at a later stage...(it also strengthens the fuselage)......so to that end I covered the fuselage with tissue glued on with PVC glue and then brushed on shrinking dope. Now its as tough as old boots and I am as high as a kite!

 

....

 

 

 

 

It was always amazing to me as a kid when I built stick and tissue flying models.  The balsa framework was so weak and flexible.  I was sure it would fall apart if I tried to fly it.  Then, the tissue covering to strengthen it a bit.  Shrinking the tissue with water- gee it got stronger yet.  Then, doping the model- boy, that really stiffened it up.  This thing may fly okay after all. 

 

 

Too true Don!....I love working with balsa!

Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Monday, July 13, 2020 7:25 AM

Hi guys

Well this will definitely be the last post before I return to the UK for a month or so....I will be returning back in September to continue with this project!

 

 

What I wanted to do was get as much done as possible with the tail /rudder and dorsal fin before my break and so first off I sprayed the tail unit yellow. This was more difficult than I thought as my airbrush decided to give up the ghost!...when I turned the outlet valve on the compressor to send the air flow to the brush the blasted thing kept spraying and I couldn't stop it! the only way was to turn the outlet *** off to stop spraying! I have had the air brush for many years so I am not surprised to be honest. I think the air in let valve is knackered...thought it might be blocked with dried paint but that isn't the case.Any way I will buy a replacement when I'm in the UK.

 

So I manged to cope with the yellow paint being half sprayed on the model and half all over the place!.....here is the tail unit now sprayed!

Now came the tricky bit!.....no decals in 1:20 scale so I had to make them all. The base colour of black/white was sprayed in the appropriate place and then I made the markings by cutting out the numbers/letters from some sticky back Teflon....you can see I am in the process of doing this in this next photo........

Once the paint had dried I took off all the masking and here is the end result......

There are two greenish stripes that also have to be sprayed on the tail but need to have the two half's completed and skinned before I can do that.

 

 

So the tail is now virtually complete (a few more minor details to add later). Of course there is all the interior parts to be scratched yet ,which is what I will look forward to do in September! 

I needed to take a look at the whole thing to see how she was looking so far!....by doing this you can also see if there are any headaches to sort out down the road. So to that end I got the completed front section out of it's box and temporarily attached it to the rear section and took a few photos.....what do you think so far?....

Its huge!...the model that is!...like a meter in length....don't quote me on that....but it's ...HUGE!!

 

 

OK....So I will continue with this beast in September and so until then happy modelling and stay safe guys!

 

 

Cheers

 

Fozzy

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Monday, July 13, 2020 9:09 PM

Incredible work! The attention to detail is fantastic. Beer

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

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

Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 4:10 AM
Thanks Bud!
  • Member since
    July 2013
Posted by steve5 on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 4:27 AM

I can only dream of having your skills mate , superb work .

 

Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 5:13 AM
Thanks Steve...you're too kind!
Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 3:51 PM

Good morning chaps!

 

How are you all getting along?...still staying safe in this bl##dy pandemic I hope!

 

 

Long time no modelling!......I'm back from UK now and back in Bulgaria to start once again on this mammoth task I have given my self!.......after a such a long period away from scratch building it seems to have taken me a few weeks to get my act together!

 

Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 4:04 PM

That's me trying to get my act together!!

 

 

 

How ever.... I decided to start off again with something simple...although I still had problems with super glue not setting (Bulgarian!)...and the white glue hardened in the tub (Bulgarian!) I thought I would get the walkways done.

 

Here is a photo of the main walkway that runs through the rear of the fuselage down to the rear entrance door. I used a thin sheet of balsa wood and covered it with simulated wood courtesy of Mr B+Q (paper wood examples!) and then glued a sheet of wet and dry emery paper to that!

Here it is in the base of the bottom half of the rear fuselage......

A crawl way was then placed at the rear to allow the rear gunner to access the rear turret and a another floor was placed near where the tail wheel housing will eventually be......

With the two halves together this is what it all looks like......

OK....so now that I have re started this B17G.....I better buckle down and get as much done before the Xmas break! 

Thanks for having a look guys  

 

Cheers 

 

Fozzy

  • Member since
    March 2014
Posted by Graham Green on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 1:44 AM

Brilliant, true scratchbuilding at it's finest.

No such rubbish as to start with a kit here, just go for it, with whatever is on hand.

Will be waiting for the finished item, even if that takes another seven years, it will be worth the wait.

Bow DownBow Down

Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 2:05 PM

Graham Green

Brilliant, true scratchbuilding at it's finest.

No such rubbish as to start with a kit here, just go for it, with whatever is on hand.

Will be waiting for the finished item, even if that takes another seven years, it will be worth the wait.

Bow DownBow Down

 

 

Thanks a lot Graham!.....I am also looking forward to the finish!!!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, October 10, 2020 11:35 AM

Good Gosh FOZ!

 And I thought I was a glutton for punishment with my ship-" Shipping " LOL. You have definitely stunned me with this very articulate and detail oriented build of a famous Aircraft in an unusual scale. Looking Good!

Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Saturday, October 10, 2020 4:17 PM

Tanker-Builder

Good Gosh FOZ!

 And I thought I was a glutton for punishment with my ship-" Shipping " LOL. You have definitely stunned me with this very articulate and detail oriented build of a famous Aircraft in an unusual scale. Looking Good!

 

 

Thanks a lot!Smile

  • Member since
    October 2020
Posted by Scale-Master on Saturday, October 10, 2020 9:17 PM

Wow!  That is impressive!  I'm looking forward to seeing it in person at the Joe Martin Museum in Carlsbad.

Build what you want and build it for yourself, the rest will follow... Mark D. Jones

Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Sunday, October 11, 2020 1:17 AM

Scale-Master

Wow!  That is impressive!  I'm looking forward to seeing it in person at the Joe Martin Museum in Carlsbad.

 

 

Thank you!....I am trying to get it finished up this year if posible... then take it with me on a flight to the States....of course that all depends on the Pandemic!..The Joe Martin Museum is a wonderful museum and I am so pleased that I can donate my B17G project there!Smile

Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Monday, October 12, 2020 4:01 PM

Hi there guys

 

 

My *** has returned!

 

 

I'm in the middle of scratch building a auxiliary DC generator for the rear section. I have seen photos with the generator in the rear and I'm defo going to put it in mine as it looks fun to build and will make the rear section look more busy! This afternoon I sprayed it with my new airbrush (Paasche H... as my old Badger gave up the ghost before my summer break)...and will post it on my next update!

 

As for now I will give you a quick update on the trailing antenna mechanism that I have made for the rear section. 

It was a bit fiddly due to the size but here are some photos.......

This next photo shows the tube that the line feeds to the outside of the aircraft.....made from a Biro pen...

...and here are the two parts attached...

 

...and just to show you the scale......

Here is the electrical box that operates how much cable leaves the aircraft....

All finished and all wired up.....

OK......that was a short post!

 

 

So the next post I will show the DC generator!

 

 

Until then....thanks for looking in!Big Smile

 

 

Cheers

 

Fozzy

Foz
  • Member since
    April 2011
  • From: S.E Bulgaria
Posted by Foz on Monday, October 12, 2020 4:03 PM

***.....means my ability to carry on with this project....M O J O!!!...don't know why I cant post that!!

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