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World War II
Discuss WWII and the era directly before and after the war from 1935-1949.
1/48 B-17F Build - 303rd BGs Luscious Lady
Redhand
#0
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 20, 2013
KitMaker: 1,111 posts
AeroScale: 1,097 posts
Posted: Saturday, January 07, 2017 - 04:52 AM GMT+7
STILL HERE!

Just to prove that I didn't have a coronary while the B-17 fuselage was being closed up, and that there was no disaster in the process, I submit this "hostage photo" of the fuselage following the departure of my NC friend.



It also shows off to reasonable advantage my work table looking far neater than it normally does. The observant will note some Cyrillic script in the center foreground. The newspapers come courtesy of my Russian-American spouse.

Herewith some comments on what happened over the three days my North Carolina friend was here, in which I probably sorely tested his patience more than once.

Basically, and contrary to what I would've done, we started from the front. He did a remarkable job gluing the nose together without the need for any fillers, despite a dramatic gap at the top of the nose. He also did an absolutely spectacular job gluing in and feathering in the four top windows, so that they are absolutely flush with the OD plastic surface of the fuselage itself. You will see later in pictures that I post that he did a similarly great job with the radio room windows, which are absolutely flush with the fuselage sides.

Even more remarkable from my standpoint was his effort in putting the radio room roof in. To do this he had to make a clean join on the fuselage forward to the roof, which was also absolutely remarkable given the gap that existed. However, once again, this was done with no fillers (sheet styrene) at all! Remarkable!

Installing the radio room roof itself was a bear. All I will say here is that his scratch building skills on exterior surfaces allowed him to feather the part in, but that there was an absolute ton of sanding and polishing that was necessary. I was more than impressed.

I would also say that the lower fuselage joined up beautifully too.

This leaves discussion of the cockpit roof. The gray roof you see in the picture is not his work. Here's what happened.

First, we looked at both the Verlinden aftermarket brass framework and the Eduard to explore the possibility of opening up the cockpit windows.

Ultimately, we settled on the Verlinden brass parts because they seem to offer a more manageable way of positioning windows open. However, and this is where my persnickety-ness comes in, when all was said and done the damn window frameworks and brass were too tall. They also required that the original kit part dedicated to this roof be modified. Even then, and after a ton of feathering and standing by my North Carolina friend, the roof sat a bit too high and the front was slightly sloped up.

Another issue dealt with the use of future on clear styrene windows not clearing up, because of the lack of "breathing space" between panes that were close together. When I still had fog a day or two after the work was done I grit my teeth and ripped the whole thing out. (Yeah, I'm like that. Remember the nose installation )

So, take it from a couple of builders who have tried to use the Verlinden brass here. "It ain't worth it."

Sadly, I also have a similar verdict on the Edward brass set for the cockpit windows. This one isn't designed to allow you to position the windows open, and instead the framework brass parts are supposed to fit over the engraved plastic parts. But, inexplicably, these damn things are too big too! I have no idea why they are oversized, but they are. They simply do not fit the frames on the kit canopy part.

The only parts of this set I may use on the build are the brass coamings around the top windows, but that also remains to be seen.

Anyway, this weekend I should have the kit glass glued into the front of the roof part, followed by installing the roof and masking all windows. Then I will be in a position to start the extremely tedious task of re-scribing lost panel lines around the nose, the radio room roof area, and other parts of the fuselage where sanding obliterated panel lines.

You may ask, well, how do you feel about having raised panel lines and then countersunk ones?

The answer is:



I have a fair amount of experience doing this in other builds and while this one is "the build of a lifetime," I'm not crazy enough to sand off everything and try re-scribing the whole fuselage. That road leads to madness given the scope of work already completed. Just not gonna do it. Plus, I can tell you that if the re-scribing is lightly done you frequently can barely tell the difference between countersunk and raised panel lines.

So, for now, the work that needs to be finished on the fuselage is to install the new roof, mask off all the windows, utilize thickened primer to address the ton of countersinks that appear on the exterior of the fuselage in various locations, spray the whole thing with primer and smooth things out, and then re-scribe where necessary.

After that, who knows? I may tackle the ball turret and also redo the nose cone, and then proceed on to the engine nacelles. Or, I may go straight to the wings. But, as Scarlett said after the above scene,


Quoted Text

I can't think about it now.
I'll go crazy if I do!
I'll think about it tomorrow.

* * * *

After all...
...tomorrow...
... is another day!

KPHB17FE
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Illinois, United States
Joined: January 12, 2015
KitMaker: 175 posts
AeroScale: 175 posts
Posted: Saturday, January 07, 2017 - 02:10 PM GMT+7
A major step forward, certainly looks good from here. A suggestion for the window frames: .010 styrene and Archer Fine details rivets. They look pretty good on the window frames; I used them on a 48th kit I did. Yeah, they are supposed to be screws but in these scales, who can tell... I think I have some photos. See if I can find them when I get home later this coming week.
magnusf
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Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: May 02, 2006
KitMaker: 1,523 posts
AeroScale: 1,481 posts
Posted: Saturday, January 07, 2017 - 06:55 PM GMT+7
Oh my, you actually did it !

I'm not a scratchbuilder but every now and then I do get to handle subassemblies in my builds, my main problem is always not to break anything when I try to wedge finished stuff together. You've either been dryfitting a lot, you're very careful or you're very lucky not breaking anything in this process! Maybe a little bit of everything :-) ?



Magnus
rdt1953
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: February 06, 2015
KitMaker: 522 posts
AeroScale: 471 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 08, 2017 - 02:13 AM GMT+7
Brian-
Glad to see you are still with us - I was about to send out a search party!
The fuselage looks great - you must be feeling a real milestone has been passed.
I can't wait to see more.
Considering the length and magnitude of this build , is there a sense of renewed enthusiasm after joining the fuselage? I certainly hope so- you deserve it.
Thanks for keeping us up to date.

Happy modeling- Richard
Redhand
#0
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 20, 2013
KitMaker: 1,111 posts
AeroScale: 1,097 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 08, 2017 - 02:51 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Brian-
Glad to see you are still with us - I was about to send out a search party!
The fuselage looks great - you must be feeling a real milestone has been passed.
I can't wait to see more.
Considering the length and magnitude of this build , is there a sense of renewed enthusiasm after joining the fuselage? I certainly hope so- you deserve it.
Thanks for keeping us up to date.

Happy modeling- Richard



Good morning Richard. And greetings too to Magnus and Karl.

"A sense of renewed enthusiasm?"

That's a good question. I don't know myself. I think that I will feel better about this stage once I get the cockpit roof glued on, which is going to happen today. As you saw from the prior post, even that has been a struggle. The mold and fit of these kit parts is not the best and * * * I had some "frustrating moments, shall we say, last night working on it.

Thinking about the whole mad undertaking, I'm very much in a "there is no perfect model," state of mind about this. And this, after three years! But there have been some rewards. The interior is as accurate as I can make it, and there are no loose parts! To answer Magnus's question, a lot of planning went into clearances after all this stuff went inside to make sure that the fuselage could be closed, and those efforts paid off.

You know, at the very beginning of this build I described my talents as those of "an advanced journeyman." I suspect that I have gotten well past that with this build, but I still don't compare my building skills with the top modelers. There's a point where certain people are able to take the plastic simply as a starting point and turn it, literally, into a work of art. (You know who you are!)

Anyway, I'm just going to slog through this damn thing doing the best I can and producing a, shall we say, super shelf model. That will satisfy me.

I do think that I can improve the nose gun position with a new Plexiglas part I have. Among other things my North Carolina friend made a resin ring to fit around the nose to cover the ugly parts there and to provide a basis for a fit for the nose gun supporting bars that run from the sides of the gun to the edge of the ring. That will be cool.

So, I suppose, this babbling shows you that I am still mired in the middle. I'm not able to see daylight yet. Grateful as I am for my friend's help in getting the fuselage closed, there is so much to do still on the exterior of the fuselage! I ordered two bottles of thickened primer made by Tamiya from Spruebrothers.com to gear up for that.

After I get the roof on I will take some additional pictures of the "completed" fuselage and I will also post the ones that I took of the interior before this got closed up.

Thanks everybody for your continuing interest! It is a motivator.



GazzaS
#424
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 23, 2015
KitMaker: 2,883 posts
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Posted: Sunday, January 08, 2017 - 11:19 AM GMT+7
I never thought if see the day. Congrats Brian.
KelticKnot
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: May 11, 2015
KitMaker: 644 posts
AeroScale: 537 posts
Posted: Sunday, January 08, 2017 - 08:37 PM GMT+7
I could have sworn I'd already posted but apparently it didn't stick !

Anyway, Congrats on getting the fuselage together Brian. Luscious Lady is looking pretty mean at this stage and she's not even bristling with guns yet!

mattemoore
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United States
Joined: November 10, 2006
KitMaker: 10 posts
AeroScale: 2 posts
Posted: Monday, January 09, 2017 - 12:06 AM GMT+7
Hello,
Been watching from the beginning and wanted to say congratulations, but also thank you. My daughter and son-in-law gave me "Half A Wing" for Christmas and it was outstanding. Reading it and going back through the various parts of your build was very good.

Matt
Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 7,763 posts
AeroScale: 6,443 posts
Posted: Monday, January 09, 2017 - 05:12 AM GMT+7
Brian,
Thanks for the New Year's gift, it's much appreciated. I was beginning to feel like I'd be in a "Home" before the grand closing ever happened.

the work your friend does is certainly IPMS National winner standards. Truly impressive. All that glass does indeed look flush and smooth.

Could you please take a few pictures of the nose gunners position as you know I was rather concerned how the roof would look across the fuselage seam line.

Joel
berndm
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Niedersachsen, Germany
Joined: March 26, 2014
KitMaker: 835 posts
AeroScale: 628 posts
Posted: Monday, January 09, 2017 - 08:52 PM GMT+7
Your most impressive works continues. Congrats to all this detail work.
KelticKnot
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: May 11, 2015
KitMaker: 644 posts
AeroScale: 537 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 09, 2017 - 08:13 AM GMT+7
How are things coming along Brian ? You've been quiet of late and teased us with promises of more interior photos !
Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 7,763 posts
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Posted: Thursday, February 09, 2017 - 09:21 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

How are things coming along Brian ? You've been quiet of late and teased us with promises of more interior photos !



I'll 2nd that. Unless Brian and his wife are on vacation in the tropics or Florida and missed this monumental snow storm.

Joel
Redhand
#0
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 20, 2013
KitMaker: 1,111 posts
AeroScale: 1,097 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 09, 2017 - 10:43 AM GMT+7
OK YOUZE GUYS

Truth is I've been ridiculously busy at work, especially after Trump's executive orders. Needless to say, there is a high spike in interest in naturalization! (As I've mentioned before, my day job is an immigration lawyer). I won't say more lest I run afoul of the "No shop in mess" rule.

As the last post shows the fuselage is definitely together. I still have to glue the pilots' roof on, and there may be some delay in that because my North Carolina friend is cutting out the copilot's window. More on that when it is done.

I am having problems uploading files in Photobucket, but hope it is only a temporary glitch. However, here are some of the interior shots that I did previously upload before running in the technical problems. Warning: there may be some duplicates from prior posts.











There will be more to follow when Photobucket starts behaving.
KelticKnot
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: May 11, 2015
KitMaker: 644 posts
AeroScale: 537 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 09, 2017 - 10:46 AM GMT+7
Thank you Brian, you have sated our nagging appetites... for a little while

Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 7,763 posts
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Posted: Thursday, February 09, 2017 - 11:00 AM GMT+7
Brian,
Simply amazing level of detailing. Certainly IPMS National standards for sure.

I was a long time Photobucket customer as I had their $1.99/month plan. Over the last year they've had one issue after another with logging on, then upload issues, having to do Google searches to find the backdoor in, and more times then not the upload speed was worse then using a phone line and 56, modem. Finally I had enough.

I joined Image shack. The difference is like night and day. Upload speeds are insane, they're that lightening fast. I signed up for their $2.99/month plan. I've yet to have a single issue. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Joel
Redhand
#0
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 20, 2013
KitMaker: 1,111 posts
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Posted: Thursday, February 09, 2017 - 11:24 AM GMT+7
I will!
rdt1953
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: February 06, 2015
KitMaker: 522 posts
AeroScale: 471 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 09, 2017 - 12:24 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

I will!



I may not be far behind you In jumping ship !
Glad your back - Richard
Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 7,763 posts
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Posted: Thursday, February 09, 2017 - 01:32 PM GMT+7
Richard,
Technically, Brian never left. He just had to go back to work like 80 hrs per week.

Joel
Redhand
#0
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 20, 2013
KitMaker: 1,111 posts
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Posted: Monday, February 20, 2017 - 10:23 PM GMT+7
STILL HERE

I see that I have 20 followers now, which makes it all the more embarrassing that I have been inactive of late. (At least on this build! Anyone following US immigration policy under the new administration can imagine what my life as a private immigration lawyer is like these days).

Anyway enough of that alternate universe. Let's get back to what's really important. Here are some long-delayed pictures of the interior pre "fuselage glue-together." These are from my new "ImageShack" online account. (Thank you Joel!)



This will actually look pretty good with the resin nose ring that my North Carolina friend made.













And here are some post-fuselage-glue-together pics showing the work necessary around the radio room compartment.









I long for the day when all of this stuff is sanded and feathered in and the fuselage is re-scribed! This kind of work is not my strong suit and I have fleeting "Help Mr. Wizard!" feelings about it. For you younger folks, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGWolD1yfVE
rdt1953
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: February 06, 2015
KitMaker: 522 posts
AeroScale: 471 posts
Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 05:28 AM GMT+7
Brian - Glad to see you are still of this earth. I hope you have not used Vallejo primer on the B 17 . I have used it for the first time on my Hayabusa project and it is TERRIBLE! Don't want to derail your blog so I'll bore everyone with the details on my next post- suffice it to say that if you have a strong dislike for someone recommend Vallejo primer to them - sweet vengeance.
Richard
Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 7,763 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 06:02 AM GMT+7
Brian,
Welcome back to the real world of Plastic Scale Modeling. Although I sense that your professional life once again will become more complicated with the 2nd executive immigration ban that is ready to be rolled out.

I have absolutely no doubt nor concerns that you'll deal with each and everyone of those surface issues till they're 101% dead on perfect. After all, you set a standard for the build with what you accomplished and how you accomplished it with the interior, and I have no doubts that those standards will be maintained.

As far as not sanding down the raised panel lines, and re-scribing them, I'm in your camp. I truly suck at scribing period, and I've tried several scribers including the UMM-USA #1, which is really a multi tasker as well, and still make more mistakes then fixes.

I do remember the best fix I ever used on raised panel lines was to lightly sand them down, polish then a black or very dark wash along just the lower side and the same vertical side. the end result looks almost like recessed panel lines. The true art is to have them blend in with recessed panel lines.

As for the Tamiya Gray primer, I've used it for years until I found Mig AMM Acrylic primer, which is the best I've ever used by far. Cut the Tamiya primer with their Yellow top lacquer primer, and you're good to go.

Joel
Dragon164
#226
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British Columbia, Canada
Joined: February 20, 2012
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Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 01:26 PM GMT+7
Looking good Brian!

Still quietly following along!

Cheers Rob.
Redhand
#0
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 20, 2013
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Posted: Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 05:12 AM GMT+7
SCUT WORK

I will preface this post with a "war story" from my personal way-back machine in January 1974 when I was a US Naval Reserve Lt.(jg) on active duty for the last seven months of my three years' service. After my ship, USS Douglas H. Fox (DD-779) had been decommissioned and sold to the Chilean Navy I was transferred for my last seven months of active duty to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, where I was to serve as a "Ship Superintendent." I was one of a number of officers (the most junior by far of three attached to this particular job) assigned to oversee progress on the upgrade and modernization of the guided missile frigate USS Maconough (DLG-9).

So, yeah, for seven months of my life I worked in a heavy industrial environment rather than sitting behind the desk. It was actually one of the most fascinating seven months of my life work-wise.

Anyway, the other officers assigned to oversee the work took me "aboard" to see the ship.

There are roughly 3 phases to a job of this magnitude. First is what's called the "rip out." Second is what I guess you could call the rebuild when everything that's been modernized and fixed, including boilers, major pieces of machinery, etc. etc. is put back into the ship. And third is finishing the ship up including sea trials and ultimately re-commissioning. I started work just as the rebuild got into high gear.

Let me just say this. When I walked across the gangplank into the midsection of the ship and saw what surrounded me my initial reaction was, "They will never be able to put this thing back together." It was just that much of a mess. It was inconceivable to my untrained, unprofessional eye how anything that completely disassembled could ever be put made functional again. You know, like Humpty Dumpty.

Anyway, of course that wasn't true. Incredibly, at the end it looked beautiful. And it worked. However, that initial impression is how I feel about this phase of this build, and how utterly tedious it is getting to the final stages.










rdt1953
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: February 06, 2015
KitMaker: 522 posts
AeroScale: 471 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 06:47 AM GMT+7
Brian -

Nice to see an update and I'm glad you are able to find at least a little time for your hobby. With what you are working on now being so completely different from the years of interior detail work I should think the change might be welcome ?

Keep at it and I'm very much looking forward to Mosquitocon!

Richard
Redhand
#0
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 20, 2013
KitMaker: 1,111 posts
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Posted: Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 12:44 PM GMT+7
Thank you Richard! I've been bad not looking at your Oscar build but I will do it soon. I have no doubt that I'll be blown away as they say. Seriously.

Yeah, this is different stuff. "Bodywork" is not my strong suit although I have managed a minor conversion here and there. I will feel a lot better about the build once this is done, and I can "move on." However before that I get to the wings I've got to do the ball turret and the nose, and of course the re-scribing of various obliterated panel lines etc.

My North Carolina friend is taking another "cut" at cutting out the pilot and copilot's windows so that we can position them open, and that has also held things up.

I'm going to promise myself to go back to my old "15 minute rule." Basically, at a minimum each day I'll do at least that amount of work on the model. That helps when you have to do tedious steps like this. Breaking it down makes it easier.

I am still heavily intrigued by the idea of doing neutral gray and OD, at least on a faux primer basis, before moving to the wings. The ideal thing will be to have the fuselage sufficiently cleaned up and "ready to go" so that I can attack the wings with some enthusiasm. If I go that route I will also glue on the horizontal stabilizers, but I'll save the elevators and rudder till later.

Of course, the wheel wells will be a major challenge.