If I could draw one of Chuck's Romanian chicks doing a bump and grind on the B-17 catwalk, I would. It's installed and ready for the show!
But before I show the catwalk I want to share some industrial pictures of it and related structures I found on the Internet. They REALLY give a sense of the metal fabrication and manufacturing work that went into building the bomb bay.
Neat, huh? I think so.
Now for the model installation:
You will see that the ball screw connection rod goes over
the control cable pulley. That's the way is was on the real thing. Of course there is a parallel connecting rod on the other side. They lined up "pretty good" for "seaman's eye" IMHO, and I was VERY happy at how easy they actually were to install. All that "build it in my mind" planning paid off.
There will, of course, be two more connecting rods at the rear bulkhead when that is installed.
The fuel transfer pump aka grey thingee is behind the ball screw linkage connector under the catwalk top step. The red line I added is where brass painted wire will go to two manifolds that connect with the hoses along the top. It's true my "pump" bears no real resemblance to the real thing. See below.
But I don't really care. Having something that fools the eye is what's important here, I think.
The below pics will give you some sense how this will look from below:
The above really shows off the ball screw linkages extending from both sides to good effect.
There is a fair amount of minor touch-up that still needs to be done. Bits of paint here and there. I appreciate all the praise I've gotten for getting down to this level of detail (which is a true first for me) but I always focus on what could be better, and here that remains very much the case.
Could I have weathered it more subtly? All all the darkened areas in the ceiling realistic? Is it crammed with so much detail that it looks like a sloppy mess? No matter what feedback I get I will still have those questions in my head.
I will tell you that I think it will look much better when the fuselage is buttoned up. The view from below will be into a darkened, semi-enclosed space, and many of the sharp distinctions one sees from flash photography will disappear. It should look like a very dirty, greasy place in a well-used warplane, and I kinda think it will. Also, I believe there will be a really nice view into the bomb bay from the open radio room hatch through the open door. That idea alone gives me the motivation to "build on."
At a much, much later point in this build I will show you how the ball screws will integrate into the open bomb bay doors. You can get a hint from what's below.
Securely fastening the doors to the under fuselage and "tying it into" this work will be a separate challenge.
With any luck I will have the after bulkhead glued in tomorrow, then can complete the port side of the bomb bay so that it creates an interior shell that fits into the port fuselage just like the cockpit area. For now, that's the plan.