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Pre-Flight Check
Constructive critique of your finished or in-progress photos.
Hosted by Rowan Baylis
B-17G "Chowhound" Build
TotemWolf
#288
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Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Sunday, August 06, 2017 - 03:49 PM UTC
I have decided to start a build log to document my build of Revellís 1:48 B-17G kit # 5600. The purpose of this log is education; to educate myself. I am by no measure an expert modeler. Iím mediocre at best. Itís my hope that in posting this here I can gain some knowledge from the group by way of helpful critiques and advise. If by chance someone else learns something through this as well, all the better.
I began model as a youth back in the late seventies. I would run down to the dime store to buy a kit I thought was cool and throw it together in a day or two. Not much could be said about the quality of the builds of course. As a teen I began to take more pride and care in my builds. My brother, who was off at collage by that time, had a friend that was big in model making. He had purchase this same kit and gave figures from it to my brother who gave them to me. Those were the first figures that I carefully painted with as much detail as I could. I remember even adding a red glow on the tip of the cigarette in the pilotís hand. That was what really changed me from just putting kits together to building models.
I wanted to build this kit back then but could never find it. When I joined military my model making took a 25 year break. Iím now back at the desk and have learned a lot of the techniques that have evolved since I stopped. Now thanks to the internet, I have the kit in hand as well as lots of aftermarket parts. I may even add a few more.
This will not be a fast build. I have some other projects that will be going at the same time as this build. Also I will be doing lots research on the B-17G, which I have already started. I am going to try to be as accurate as the kit and my skills will let me. Any help the research or techniques would be greatly appreciated.
I hope this can be enjoyable for all of us.

TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 - 02:58 AM UTC
This kit was first tooled in 1975 under the Monogram brand.



It has since been reboxed, used as the base for a Ďvisible B-17,í and even had one kit released with new decals and markings. There was even a dual kit where a P-51 was included. Apart from that this kit is still the 1975 tooling.
That means raised panel lines all over the exterior, and pre-molded interior parts. A lot of the interior will be removed and replaced with PE or scratch built parts. As far as the exterior goes I have decided that for better or worse I will just have to live with the panel lines.
I was going to remove them all and rescribe them, but upon looking at some of the edges in places such as the vertical stabilizer, a few places on the wings, and others, it might do more damage in the long run than itís worth. So the lines stay throughout the craft.
Some other big pains are ejector pin marks, seam lines, and the flash. Iím sure to be sanding and/or filling almost every stock part. Iím also sure, based on a couple of test fits, that plenty of putty will be thrown at this build.
KelticKnot
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: May 11, 2015
KitMaker: 665 posts
AeroScale: 558 posts
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 - 06:02 AM UTC
Gotta love a big bomber blog!
I'll follow along with interest.
KPHB17FE
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Illinois, United States
Joined: January 12, 2015
KitMaker: 183 posts
AeroScale: 183 posts
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 - 06:51 AM UTC
42 years on, designed without computers or CAD and still the best B-17 in any scale (although the new Airfix kit is pretty good). Have fun with it as it will build up to an impressive display.
Szmann
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Netherlands Antilles
Joined: September 02, 2014
KitMaker: 410 posts
AeroScale: 131 posts
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 - 11:57 AM UTC

Watching with interest. I have started one some two years ago. I've got bogged down but it's not abandoned yet. I've got involved in a few parallel builds as well, but it didn't work for me. Now I'm trying to clear my unfinished business and "Chow Hound" is at the top of the list.

I wish you good luck with this build

Gabriel
c4willy
#305
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Christchurch, New Zealand
Joined: February 01, 2006
KitMaker: 1,306 posts
AeroScale: 1,155 posts
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 - 12:57 PM UTC
I've got this kit in the stash with resin barrels for the guns but may just go the brass route yet. Look forward to seeing you build it! As I too need info on what problems will be encountered and what solutions were used. Mine will however be all black as a pamphlet bomber for a point of difference.
TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 - 03:03 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I've got this kit in the stash with resin barrels for the guns but may just go the brass route yet. Look forward to seeing you build it! As I too need info on what problems will be encountered and what solutions were used. Mine will however be all black as a pamphlet bomber for a point of difference.


I'm looking at a set of resin but haven't decided that that is what I want for sure. What do you have? Here's what I'm looking at.

It's a Resin2Detail set.
KPHB17FE
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Illinois, United States
Joined: January 12, 2015
KitMaker: 183 posts
AeroScale: 183 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 - 02:38 AM UTC
Only problem I see with that set is it does not provide barrels with flash hiders for the chin turret. The barrels with the flash hiders (or stabilizers as Boeing calls them) in the set are for the tail guns. I see they have the enclosures for the chin turret at their base but that is not correct. I would post some pictures but have no idea how to get anything to work with the demise of Photobucket.

TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 - 03:14 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Only problem I see with that set is it does not provide barrels with flash hiders for the chin turret. The barrels with the flash hiders (or stabilizers as Boeing calls them) in the set are for the tail guns. I see they have the enclosures for the chin turret at their base but that is not correct. I would post some pictures but have no idea how to get anything to work with the demise of Photobucket.


You're right. I had not noticed that. I may not have even caught until I went to use them. Thanks.

Here's the pic BTW.



There should be two sets like that.
TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 - 03:26 AM UTC
As far as the markings, I was originally going to create my own decals and create a fictitious plane within the 8th Air Force. After doing a little research on the "Chowhound" I decided I had to use it's markings.
Here a link to it's story
TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 - 03:28 AM UTC
.... and a photo of her in flight.

KPHB17FE
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Illinois, United States
Joined: January 12, 2015
KitMaker: 183 posts
AeroScale: 183 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 - 03:39 AM UTC
Just a note, the flash hiders are not the same on the tail and the chin turret. The ones in the set shown are correct for the tail although you would need to remove the closures on the base as those are for the chin turret zippers. Also note that "Chowhound" has had those zippers removed as was quite often the case. Apparently they didn't hold up well although some aircraft retained them. Just a minor detail if you are interested. Of course, there are many aftermarket decals for the 48th 17 if you want to consider something other than the kit decals. The main thing is to do it your way and enjoy the project.
TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 - 06:58 AM UTC
Iíve start playing with the plastic and in the first step I have already ran into issues with the kit as it is. There was an ejection pin mark on the bulkhead. There was flash and seam lines on all three parts. All that was easy fix butÖ.
The rear wheel assembly is very poorly cast. It should look like this.

Instead this is what you get.

One plan to fix this is to buy a set of resin wheels and then build a brass strut to mount it on. The other is to do surgery with what I was given. I have chosen the second option for now. I worked a bit on it yesterday and some more this morning. Right now what I have cobbled together is setting off to the side to let the glue and putty cure. I will see how it comes out and then decide what to do.
Also the instructions call for the bulkhead to be painted zinc chromate. Some research indicates that the bulkheads in the rear of the aircraft would be green zinc chromate such as you see in this photo.

I mixed some paint and quickly shot it on some styrene just to get an idea of what Iím working with. Hereís the result.

Once it has some weathering on it I think the middle one might work. It is Tamiya XF4 : 4 parts + XF1 : 1 part. The original paint was made by mixing black enamel and aluminum paste or powder with zinc chromate.
TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 - 07:09 AM UTC
Ok, step 2. The ball turret.
I decided to go ahead and tackle one of the brownings to help me decide what to do guns. The Big Ed kit came with PE for the gun barrels. I went ahead and wrapped around a piece of 0.8 mm styrene that I cut to length and then carefully drilled one end of to make the muzzle.
Here is the result. I think I will try this for now. If I change my mind I may try to find a good resin or brass replacement.


KPHB17FE
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Illinois, United States
Joined: January 12, 2015
KitMaker: 183 posts
AeroScale: 183 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 - 07:26 AM UTC
For some reason I can not see the photos of your work. I can see the gal in the wing and the photo of the actual tail wheel but none of the others. Have no idea if it is my computer or something about the way they were posted.

The aft section of the B-17 was unpainted other than a few structural members, specifically the formers that supported the ball turret. On some bulkheads, the structural components were painted but usually the sheet metal was not. Blast it, wish I could post photos.
TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 - 07:42 AM UTC

Quoted Text

........

The aft section of the B-17 was unpainted other than a few structural members, specifically the formers that supported the ball turret. On some bulkheads, the structural components were painted but usually the sheet metal was not. Blast it, wish I could post photos.


From Camouflage & Markings
Interior Colours of US Aircraft, 1941-45


Quoted Text

Aft of the radio room, the fuselage interiors of many early-production B-17s were painted Zinc Chromate Yellow. Later versions of the aircraft, camouflaged as well as natural metal were often left in bare metal with Zinc Chromate Yellow or Zinc Chromate Green bulkheads and longerons. Note that the waist-gun areas were also left in bare metal, presumably because there were no glare problems for the gunners there.


According to Boeing's records they used Zinc Chromate Green for the aft interior chromate and Zinc Chromate Yellow for the wheels and bomb bays after Serial # 42-31100

.... but yes the side skin was left bare.
TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 - 07:54 AM UTC

Quoted Text

For some reason I can not see the photos of your work. I can see the gal in the wing and the photo of the actual tail wheel but none of the others. Have no idea if it is my computer or something about the way they were posted.
.................



I hope that corrected the problem. It was on my end not yours.
TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Wednesday, August 09, 2017 - 02:49 PM UTC
The finished wheel (for now).
TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 02:48 PM UTC
Some of today's work.


Although it is not very visible the inside is green zinc chromate. It is enough that it gives it some depth when you look into the front of the ball. There is also a safety belt inside. I do still need to touch up the paint on the MG's a little.

In order to get the halves to fit, I ended up having to sand both sides flat as they are not cast smooth. I may still have to go back and put some Mr Surfacer on the seam. It's not bad right now but it can be seen if you look for it. Plus I know it's there and that bothers me. I will come to it in a few days and see how it looks. Sometimes you just have to walk away.

I removed the barrels from the MG and then drilled a hole about 0.5mm deep and 0.9mm wide. This was just enough to give the end of the barrel a place to set and help get them straight. With the PE collar on the guns just fit into the holes on the ball. Of course I had test fit them before I even removed the original barrels.

I also made the parts for several walk around oxygen bottles. I will need them for the next few step in the build. I also built the parts for a fire extinguisher. I will finish putting it together and if comes out right I use it for all the extinguishers in the plane. I will post of them and talk about how I made them tomorrow if nothing else.

I will try to do some more work tomorrow but I may not have much if anything to post.
TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 03:59 PM UTC
Well I did manage to back to the bench for a bit today after all.
As I said yesterday I worked on some scratch built oxygen bottles and a fire extinguisher, so I will cover that first. The walk around bottles are completely missing from the kit but the PE sets come with the mounting brackets for them, so that means handmade bottles.
First I tried making them from styrene rod but it proved harder than I thought to round the ends smoothly on something that short. That led me to use Milliput. I rolled it out and cut it to length. It ended up being very easy. For the pressure gauge on the top of bottle I used the Milliput push into a drill gauge. After smoothing off each side I gently used and rod of the same diameter to push the disk out.




I will sand and clean, prime, paint and assemble them later on.
I also made a quick mockup of the fire extinguishers onboard the B-17. Hereís the original

Ö hereís what the kit comes with,

Ö. and then my rough porotype.

Today a started prepping the parts for step 3. That meant more putty. Like here on the back of the seat.

I also removed the radio operators Ďdeskí and filled the hole.

I also bent a bit of the PE. I still have a lot to do on this step including some more research.
The fun is just beginning.

TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 02:09 PM UTC
Not much to report today.
I did some more sanding and prep on the plastic for step 3. I worked on some more of PE.

TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Sunday, August 13, 2017 - 02:12 PM UTC
I made some headway with the radio operatorís compartment today. I get all the parts primed and painted.

After I took this picture I realized that the floor beyond the bulkhead should have continued in the same paint scheme. I will fix that.
I also managed to get the desk started to include the radios and some of the wiring. I will work on the rest of it when I get back to the bench.


Szmann
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Netherlands Antilles
Joined: September 02, 2014
KitMaker: 410 posts
AeroScale: 131 posts
Posted: Sunday, August 13, 2017 - 10:28 PM UTC
Nice! The radios are looking much better than the ones provided by the kit. KUTGW.

Gabriel
TotemWolf
#288
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 27 posts
Posted: Monday, August 14, 2017 - 10:14 AM UTC
Well one more day of work is done. I finished the front radio compartment bulkhead apart from a few touch ups of the paint. The deck is done and I have started the seat.

I will try to get a little more work done over the next few days but I will be busy. I hope everyone is enjoying the blog and thanks for your support.
Jugg-Head
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Alabama, United States
Joined: August 15, 2017
KitMaker: 3 posts
AeroScale: 3 posts
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 08:15 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Watching with interest. I have started one some two years ago. I've got bogged down but it's not abandoned yet. I've got involved in a few parallel builds as well, but it didn't work for me. Now I'm trying to clear my unfinished business and "Chow Hound" is at the top of the list.

I wish you good luck with this build

Gabriel



Ditto!

Tommy