View Full Version : Monogram Enhanced B-17

Builder 2010
04 Aug 16,, 00:36
This side project has nothing to do with the train layout so I decided it deserved a new thread. When I was younger, living in a town house, I had no basement so all the model work was done in the garage. In the Summer it was with the door open and all the kids in the neighborhood used to come in a watch (and learn). One of these kids is now 50 and an accountant with Grandt Thornton. For his 50th, he got a ride in Yankee Lady, one of the several extant flying B-17Gs. It was a bucket list item. As a result, and since he was an inspired modeler and a protege, he went out and bought the Monogram B-17 kit with all intents to build it. Then reality set in and he realized that it would sit in his basement for years. He turned to me to build it for him and so he'd have a real Myles "original".

I don't live in Pennsy any longer so instead of him shipping the model to me, I re-bought it at my LHS and some added goodies. This was the same model that my #1 grandson built as his first model. It was a real challenge AND he wanted to cover it with aluminum foil. He struggled mightily and did finish it. While somewhat crude, he was very proud of it (as am I). Since Yankee Lady is an natural finish aircraft, it needs to be metallic. I'm not going the foil route, it's just too problematic. I'm going with Vallejo Metal finishes which are water-based. I can't spray solvents in the house so that means, no Metalizer. I also bought some buffing aluminum to do some various panels. It should be okay.

While I was forbidden to get a builder's commission, he is paying for all the materials. Speaking of materials. I bought the Verlinden super-detail kit which includes key photo-etched stuff like window frames, parts for the turbos, new scale-thickness bomb-bay doors, new frames for later version of the Cheyenne canopy at the tail gunner's position, etc. It has ample resin parts including turbos, new main landing gear struts, and lots of gribblies for the interior—which is invisible except for the bombardiers position.

Here's pic from the Verlinden instructions.


Then I bought an Eduard four engine radial set which includes beautifully cast R-1800 resin radials, new cowl and cooling fin ring, and PE ignition harnesses. They're going to be great!

And then I was able to order custom decals for the Yankee Clipper.


I'm going to be building this during railroad work like today when the plaster's still curing. So today I started with what could be a challenging part. Removing the cast in engine turbo-chargers and then add the new resin assemblies. The new turbos consist of 5 separate parts: 3 resin and 2 PE. I used the Dremel Flexi-shaft with a carbide cutter to rough out the opening and then cleaned it up with an #11 blade and rat tail diamond-coated file. I figured if I can get this right I can do the rest of this mod.


Here's a sequence with the turbo installation in one wing.



Unlike some of the train projects, this one will probably proceed a little more slowly. That is unless I get hooked and work on it more steadily. I do have to get the mountain built since I can't run any trains until it's finished. It's in the middle of all the main lines.

Builder 2010
08 Aug 16,, 23:40
After plastering the mountain with the 2nd coat of Gypsolite, I did an hour's worth of B-17 building. I got the last two turbos installed and modified the kit's tailwheel strut to accept the Verlinden resin tailwheel and lower strut.

I had to fill a bit of the wing area around the turbo waste gate since the resin turbo lay at a slightly different angle than the molded plastic one that I cut away. As a result I had a gap that was too big and used medium CA with CA filler granules to build up the missing plastic and then ground off the excess with the Dremel and a diamond-coated burr.


I was attempting to file the back of the top turbo thingy (I have absolutely no idea what that part is actually called) and it took off for the floor. After sweeping the entire area and sifting through the dust pan, I couldn't find it. I was about to spend the time to cast another one in resin when I looked down and it was exactly where I just swept. Another case of slipping into the quantum rift and then coming back to our dimension after a while.

With that part, I was able to get all four turbos installed.


I then started to actually use the Revell instructions and the first part was the tailwheel. The Verlinden set has a new wheel and strut that replaces the lower portion of the kit's molded part. You have to remove the half-cast wheel and lower struct and then replace it with the two Verlinden parts. I didn't trust just a butt joint with CA so I drilled all the parts 0.021" and used some brass wire to reinforce the joint.



Next up will be more interior stuff and added Verlinden bits.

Builder 2010
10 Aug 16,, 02:49
Moving on...

The Eduard R-1800 radials are a work of art. They were however, a challenging activity. They had a huge added part on the back of the engines that was contiguous with the exhaust ring. At first I started to just saw it off with a medium toothed razor saw, but got worried about all kinds of things (squareness, cutting what I shouldn't, cutting myself, etc.) so I thought about doing something a little more sophisticated. I figured I could part the scrap off the back on the lathe as long as I could hold it. While I could grab the scrap, the area to be parted was so close to the chuck that I risked serious damage to machine and me. There is a nicely formed hole down the middle of the engine to mount on the existing lug on the plastic model. With a small-hole gauge and the digital caliper it measured 0.293" diameter. So I turned a mandrel with a tight fit to this hole and was able to put the parts on far enough from the chuck so nothing bad would happen.




With the front gear case, I was able to capture the scrap in the chuck and carefully part off the good part. I then sanded the backs flat and CA'd them to the engine blocks.


At this point, I needed to decide how to go about painting them. There are 18 pushrod tubes that have to go on, magnetos and PE ignition harnesses. I needed to paint the cylinders before all these other details blocked my path. I also wasn't sure if I was going to airbrush any of it. The only thing that I could airbrush would have been the semi-gloss black for the inter-cylinder baffles, otherwise, everything had to be brush painted. Rather than mess with the airbrush for such a small job, I brush painted the whole deal. I started with that black for the baffles, then followed with burnt iron for the lower cylinder barrel. I used flat aluminum for the cylinder heads and a medium blue/gray for the gear case and the engine block. Lastly, I picked out the intake and exhaust runners in the back of the engine. Those details will be buried in the cowls and will never be seen so painting them was just for fun.


I lost one of the very tiny magneto castings. I was careful to cut it of the sprue on my regular work bench with the "parts catcher" tray pulled out. Then I wasn't sure what was sprue and what was part so I had the part in my fingers and took them to my auxiliary work bench where the plans were, AND OF COURSE I DROPPED IT! And of course it was never to be found even though I thought I actually heard it landing somewhere. I'll check agin tomorrow. It may come back from its dimensional sojourn by then. If I can't find it, I'll probably cobble together something out of styrene bits. All of these details are microscopic, but I'm a perfectionist of sorts.

You can really see the perfection of these Eduard products. Just look at the clarity of definition of the spark plugs sitting in their bores. There is simply no comparison to the kit styrene parts.

Builder 2010
17 Aug 16,, 04:18
After an absolutely amazing weekend where I met with my college R & B band members in Oklahoma City, I got back to do some work on the first radial engine for the Monogram B-17.

I mixed up a better color for the gear case and painted all the engines. I then drilled out two little holes in each engine where my belt drive will go. Since I'm using E-Z Line to simulate the belt. It turned out to be easier to have through holes and thread the E-Z Line out the back of the engine. I could put proper tension on it, and then a couple of tiny drops of CA would hold it. I replaced the belt on the one engine I'm building this way when the E-Z Line came off the pulley.

I installed the last of my hand-made brass push rod tubes to replace the lost ones, only to find that Eduard did include an entire extra fret of them. Oh well. After painting with semi-gloss black you simply can't tell which are the replacements.

I then installed the ignition harnesses. While I anticipated a horror with this, it was actually pretty easy... finicky, but easy. And then I installed the sheet metal ring that surrounds the front part of the engine. This too went on without much trouble, surprisingly.

The first set of PE "wiring" is on.


The second set is on shown next to the so-obviously-inferior kit engines.



Here's the finished engine (minus a couple of decals) showing that trim ring.


Each of these engines is a challenging model kit in itself. They're not for the faint hearted and they're so distinctive that I'm probably going to leave the cowl off the best on. They deserve to be seen.

Builder 2010
18 Aug 16,, 00:38
Didn't have a lot of time today since we're getting a couple of rooms prepared for new carpeting tomorrow. So I painted the other three radials. i also found that missing magneto so with the extra push rod tubes I have lost no parts (so far). It's much easier doing numbers 2, 3 & 4 once you've done the first one. I also found out that I routed the read ignition wiring. It runs directly over the top of the cylinder head to the rear plugs. I routed it around the cylinder. No one will notice, but the other three will be correct. I pull the cowls off one of those. You can clearly see the notches over the cylinder heads where the "wire" should go.


I caught a nasty cold on a trip this weekend and need to get back to building that mountain.

Builder 2010
24 Aug 16,, 00:01
I was mistaken... while there were five sprues of resin pushrod tubes in the Eduard B-17 Engine Set, they were all needed to produce four complete engines, besides the ones that I broke when stressing them too or just plain losing them. I was short about 11. 3 for the first engine that I built, and then 8 more that I needed to complete the last engine. It was a shock when I counted all the parts in my little plastic cup and found that even though it looked like a lot of them, it was far short of what was needed for the last engine. So it was time to make more out of 0.032" brass wire. I got pretty good at this once I got the distance finalized. I used a pin vise to hold the wire while I filed a rounded each end so they would more easily fit into the little divots on the gear case and under the rocker arms. When the length is right, they just pop into place. Even so, I used a tiny bit of CA to make sure they stay there.


Here're the three remaining engines with all push rod tubes installed, but before touch up painting. I painted them with a very small brush, Tamiya Semi-gloss Black.


Just for your information, I used focus stacking software to take this kind of picture with very deep depth of field. I'm using ZereneStacker which is a paid program. Since I'm using Apple, I couldn't find a free stacking program, whereas I did use one for Windows that was developed by an Australian entomologist. You take a series of exposures with a real camera that has precise focus controls while mounted rigidly on a tripod. Each exposure is taken with the focus moving backwards in the image until you've covered the entire frame. The program then combines the sharpest pieces of each separate image into one that's in focus for the entire image. It's very clever.

After prepainting the PE parts for the engines I began wiring my second engine. This time I routing the rear wires correctly over the cylinder head's top through the notch and then to the rear plug. I've also modified the approach a bit by putting a sharp bend on the plug end of each "wire" which let me bend them around the tiny spark plugs that protrude from the heads. It gave much more surface area for the CA to grab. I got one half done before quitting time. These pictures are about 3X actual size.


Next session will finish up this phase and I'll install the magneto and accumulator (or at least that what I think that piece on the engine's bottom. When the engines are done, it will be time to start back into the kit and install all those addition Verlinden pieces to jazz up the interior. I'm ordering a set of Eduard paint masks to facilitate doing all those windows.

Builder 2010
25 Aug 16,, 00:37
Today I got all the ignition wiring in place. As I did more of them I did get faster and more accurate. Anyone have a five-engined plane needing some engines? I had to scrape the primer off the backs of the ignition harness and scrape the paint off the tiny pads to which it adheres on the gear case to ensure that the CA would hold. I also pre-bent those tiny tabs at the wires' tips which insert into the cups next to the spark plugs. It was very satisfying when the wires snapped into place and I didn't have to hold them down with the tweezer tips in order to CA them. This didn't happen that often.

The two ignition wires for the #1 cylinder are separate PE pieces. The long one to the back was pretty easy to install. The short one, however, proved frustrating. It's very tiny and I lost one to the ether. I measured the width and it was about 0.028" so I figured that a piece of 0.021" brass wire would work. It did, but while the width of the PE was wider, the thickness is about 0.010" so the replacement wire looks a little fat. I annealed the brass wire so it would conform to the bends without putting to much stress on the CA holding it together.

Next came the magnetos and that can-like thing on the other end. I don't know what that is. It could be an accumulator for the hydraulic pitch mechanism on the prop. I don't know. Any ideas? I used the E-Z Line for the belt that wraps around that pulley on the magneto running it through the two holes I drilled in the engine. This method worked nicely and was much easier and better than wrestling with that tiny strip of PE. Sometimes PE IS NOT THE ANSWER. I think this belt must have been some kind of spark advance mechanism since the mag was gear driven from the gear case it resides on. There's a couple of lines that go to both of these parts and then the "steel" ring that surrounds the engine and then all four power plants will be done.

If you look closely, you'll see those belts.


Builder 2010
27 Aug 16,, 02:54
Finished all four engines today which included those PE "pipes" to the sump and prop governor, and then wrapped the PE band around the perimter. I had painted both sides of this thin strip, but decided that paint-to-paint CA'd joints aren't worth very much. I also scraped the paint off the little pads that extend from every other valve box. This made for a better joint. I think my CA is aging since it was setting up awfully fast in the little puddle I make in an inverted Chobani Yogurt container (very convenient little cups for all kinds of things). Here's a picture showing the actual pads where the strip gets adhered.


And here are four complete engines including the little tiny manufacturer's data plate on the oil sump.


These engines are really little gems and not for the faint-hearted to create. They're engineered well by Eduard, but like other Eduard projects can be trying to execute.

Next up was the cowl flap rings. I cut all cowl flat rings and cowls on the lathe and sanded the little bit remaining with fine grit paper. Onto the cowl flap ring goes a pair of PE circles with little tabs that forms the contact point for the engine-to-cowl joint. This was not an easy. I removed all primer from the PE's back and scraped a bit of primer of the little tabs themselves. The plans show the positioning so the tabs will align with the engine's lugs when the prop governor is at the 12:00 o'clock position.

Here's the ring CA'd into position.


While this should have glued well, it didn't. Again, it could be the aged CA. It just was letting go much to easily. Also, you have to glue them with the tabs more inward that first thought since the engine's lugs didn't actually touch all nine of them. I glued the remainder more inward in hopes that this won't be a problem. Here's how the engine is supposed to sit on the lugs.


I'm a little concerned about this detail since I have very little confidence in how the engine's going to hold onto this AND the cowl itself which is glued to the cowl flap ring. I may have to do something else, for example, as brass pins to more positively join them, or use something more trustworthy than CA such as J-B Weld. As it stands now, this is how it goes together.

Lastly, the cowl assembly needs to be painted. I'd love to paint them before putting the engine inside, but I may have to if I expect the engines to be well afixed to the cowls before attaching them to the airframe. Once all glue I would only have to protect the engine's from for airbrushing so it may not be too bad.

Builder 2010
30 Aug 16,, 00:33
With my grandson working on the USS Hornet carrier he started a year ago, I got some Saturday build time and got all four completed engines CA'd into their cowl flaps and cowls. The first one I held it carefully in position while grandson applied thin CA to each lug. On the rest of them, I went around and applied a small drop of medium CA and then placed the engines on the lugs and held it until the CA cured. I went back and added some thin CA to each to ensure they were glued. It worked. Adding the cowls onto the cowl flap rings went on without a hitch. These will have to be painted natural aluminum and with an anti-glare portion in light Olive Drab, but that will done when I'm painting the rest of the model. Meanwhile, they were boxed and put on a shelf so nothing will happen to them.

There are three styles of cowl flap rings. The two outer ones have a bulge at the bottom to clear the straight out exhaust pipe leading the turbo. Then there's a right and left inner engine which has a notch to clear the side exit exhaust that runs around the wheel well.


With the engines finished (whew!), the next up was the Verlinden PE replacement bomb bay doors. I annealed all this PE and you're supposed to pre-form the curves on the PE doors against the model's molded doors before removing them. Annealing made it easier to pre-form, but it also made them very easy to deform while working with them. You have to glue on a some faux ribs and end rails. I don't like edge gluing little tiny pieces using CA on metal. It's sub-optimal at best. I struggled with the first one too much, but figured it out for the second. It's a shame that you don't get practice pieces when doing this finicky stuff. I'm hoping that the interior green paint will hide all the disgusting excess glue.


You have to do a similar operation with the front crew door, by first pre-forming the door to the fuselage curve. It doesn't have any ribs, but it has a very tiny door handle and some microscopic hinges. Both of these assemblies will go on the plane last after decaling since they will be very, very fragile. Painting will be done when the rest of the model is painted.

Gun Grape
04 Sep 16,, 23:24
Looking great. I think those engines have more parts that the last model I built.

Builder 2010
04 Sep 16,, 23:48
Thanks Gun! I know! They took almost two weeks to complete. I've built many models that didn't take two weeks to complete (although none lately... most are measured in months... many, many months). I've been posting on the railroad build for over 4 YEARS! Can you believe it? And I've still got a couple years (or more) left to make it presentable. I'm happy that I still have my health, my eyes and my hands to keep doing this stuff.

Builder 2010
06 Sep 16,, 17:41
Grandson #1's been building the very fine Hasegawa F-22 (1:48) kit for several years. He bogged down on the decals. He likes building, he hates decals. I happen to really like decals and as a kid I used to buy kits based on how many decals they had. Finally he asked me to finish it up. He's in 10th grade and doesn't get much model-building time these days. I got all the decals done and decided to paint the canopy. The kit had two; a clear and a smoked version. I started with the smoked version. First I tried using Parafilm M, but it wasn't working as it should (probably since I don't know how to use it properly), then I thought of Press-n-Seal.

Here's the plane before clear flat is applied.


This post is about the results of that test. This was a tough kit. We used the Hasegawa PE accessory set with substituted PE for the clamshell weapons bay doors and liners for the exhaust diverters. Not yet installed are landing gear doors since they have very fragile attachment points.

The Press-n-Seal (hereafter known as PnS) left a gooey residue behind on the styrene. It was a mess. And it leaked. I attempted to remove the PnS residue with alcohol and it didn't get it off. Then I used Goo Gone which removed the sticky stuff and also attacked the paint. To make matters worse, I had hand brushed the light grey paint and I had touched it before it was completely dry. This pulled some up and made more of a mess.

I turned to the clear canopy. This time I went with my tried and true Tamiya masking tape and air brush. The results are dramatically different as seen here.


The picture shows some of the residue after I already tried to remove some. When I saw what my methods were doing to the paint, I realized that my efforts were useless. I could remove all of it and start over. If the clear canopy hadn't come out so good, I might have done that. There was no leakage with the Tamiya tape. It was able to bend successfully around the shallow curve at the bottom. Even where the tape overlapped at the end points, there was no leakage.

Verdict: PnS doesn't work well in this application. Stick with Tamiya masking tape.

Builder 2010
07 Sep 16,, 00:11
I finished the F-22 today while waiting for plaster to cure. The model had been sitting around for so long that pieces disappeared including the port inner gear door and some of the tiny hinge pieces that hold them. I searched all the likely places but to no avail. You can't see that inner door unless you really try. After installing said gear doors, running lights and those very interesting tails, I took it outside and gave it a coat of Testor's DullCoat. My grandson is very excited.



It was a challenging model which just shows how challenging designing and building the real one is. Hasegawa does a great job in capturing the fineness of the prototype, but it would have been a better model if it was done in 1:32 since some of the tiny parts would have had a bit more heft. It also showed how interesting the F-22's design is. The model has complete intake trunks and the engines fans, but like the real one, you can see them from the front since the trunks are specifically designed to not expose the engine's face to enemy radar.

I'm waiting for a nice 1:48 or 1:32 model of the F-35B with that big lift fan and all those movable doors.

Builder 2010
08 Sep 16,, 03:07
Started with the foreward crew door. This is pre-formed to the fuselage's curve after cutting it from the fret. I didn't like the way the PE door handle was attached so I drilled it to accept an 0.021" brass wire which is CA'd to both. Much more secure. The go on two folded PE hinges. I scraped off the primer so they would hold better.


I had to remove the plastic door and did this by the multi-hole method. I started with pin pricks using a divider, than an 0.032" drill followed by a #52. This insured that I wouldn't deviate and drill holes outside of the lines.


After removing the webs with a #11 blade, I used various files and sanding sticks to clean up the edges. I also thinned it back from the edge to made the fuselage appear less fat. I trial fit the door into the opening and it will work nicely. And boy are these pictures big! And they show way too much.


I'll paint the inner door with interior greena and the exterior will be natual metal. Since I'm not painting the fuselage I put this little door in the box with the engines and bomb bay doors.

I then started on the resin main gears. These are multi-part affairs with lots of good details. The axles are separate resin parts that fit into a hole on the main strut and, like all the resin parts which follow, are CA'd in place. CA loves resin and vice versa. Added to this is a boss on the non-oleo portion of the strut to provide the upper hinge point for the scissiors link. I had to file a circular groove in the struct so this part had some surface area upon which to adhere. Then came the scissors links. These had resin webs between them. When I attempted to cut one away, the link broke off. I was able to CA it back on. The when installing the other one, again the link broke, but this time hit the floor and into the void. I made a replacement out of styrene and CA'd it to the assembly. It worked. There's no load on these parts so as long as you don't bump it, it will hold up okay. I'd love to do this out of brass and solder the whole deal.


Lastly, here's a comparison with the kit's clunky styrene and the Verlinden replacements.


The styrene locking link gets removed from the kit strut and is attached to the resin ones. This joint too could be suspect and I may reinforce it also with some very fine guitar string piano wire. Drilling 0.021" will remove too much material and leave a very weak structure, but a 0.010" piece of piano wire will do the trick. That will be up next. The molded on brake tank thingy is also a separate resin part to which goes some copper magnet wire that will serve as brake lines. It will look very nice when finished and painted.

Builder 2010
09 Sep 16,, 00:56
Thanks, but you should all withhold you praise until you see all the stuff I don't do so good.

Continued work today on the main gear. Instead of the magnet wire included with the Verlinden kit, I substituted black iron wire of these same gauge. It was 0.016" and the holes were a #78 Driil...tiny. Only after I finished them up did I realize that I mounted that brake accumulator thingy upside down. DOH! While I could have ripped it all apart, I spent a lot of time putting on that tricky little "Pipe Clamp" and it would have been a mess to get it off. Only you guys will know this happened. It's also why I was having trouble getting those things to fit properly on the strut. Should have seen it. When something doesn't fit as it's supposed to, it's often "operator error" and not something wrong with the model.


Part of my reason to go with the black iron wire was to avoid having to paint it black, but as you can see that rationale is now moot since I have to air brush the structs aluminum and them will have to paint the wire anyway. I could just scrape off the paint and that might be less difficult than painting...we'll see.

Next, the Verlinden plans called for removing the plastic locking struct and attaching it to the resin strut. This, as I noted yesterday, seemed iffy, especially since the resin strut hhad hinge detail already molded on that was finer than the styrene's. If I wanted to mount the styrene to that I would just be a small round rod butt glued to the resin. If I wanted a stronger joint, I would have to shave off the resin details. I chose a 3rd option...scratch-builded new locking strut out of brass and actually pin it to the resin hinge. It was a good idea in theory. In practice, although I got it done, it was touch and go.

I first drilled the resin hinge with the 0.021" drilled all the way through and then sliced down the hinge's middle with my fine-toothed razor saw. And then one half promptly cracked off. Resin is very brittle! To make the rods themselves, I found some brass of the correct diameter and then had to make the clevis end. I do this by squashing the end into a vice grip until it's near the final thickness. I then work it the rest of the way with jeweler's files. The saw kerf was 0.012" so I to bring the rod end down to that number. I then used a jeweler's center punch (bought from MicroMark) and then drilled it with the same 0.021" drill.


I needed to solder the lugs that comprised the lock link's hinge point. I used some small brass tubing for this part that was the correct diameter. I made a miniature lap-joint in the two parts by filing gaps in both so they almost overlapped completely. I left the tubing long, solder it, cut off the excess and then file it to proper thickness. Another plastic part attaches to the middle joint and that won't be replaced with brass (unless I have to).


In the above, both lugs were in place in the second strut. This one broke a lug also when I attempted to get the pin through the joint. Good ole' CA got them both glued solidly. Here's both struts completed.


And here's the new strut compared to the plastic one. I tried the gear into the plastic mounting plate and they fit properly.


And with this, this assembly too went into the little box with all the other add-ins. I'll start working on the flight deck and forward compartment next session.

Builder 2010
10 Sep 16,, 00:04
Today, I got into the bombardier compartment. Lots of little resin bits that replace molded on details. There was some ambiguity on the Verlinden plans that I needed to decipher. The part that caused me the most angst was that control stand in front of the Norden Bombsight. You were supposed to clip the top off the kit part and then glue the more detailed head and then you have to attach the two handgrips. Those handgrips really gave me fits. The first one went on okay. The second flew out of the tweezers and disappeared, so I scratchbuilt another and glued it on. Then when handling the whole assembly when working on the back bulkhead, the first one broke off with the little stem and hit the floor. After rolling my work table back further, and using a dust brush to sweep the area, both handgrips showed up. It then broke off again. This time I have no idea where it is and I'll have to figure how to get the other that I found into place. I would have just used the kit's piece, but I had already disassembled it so I could use its mounting shaft. There was no good way to get the mounting shaft attached to the resin head so I made my own shaft out of 0.032" brass. When this picture was taken, both handgrips were in place.


To remove all the molded on detail I used a combination of razor saw, #11 blade, a special chisel sold by MicroMart for doing just this, and various files and sanding tools.

I added the work table and then added the navigotor's seat. On this table was supposed to go the big switch panel, but the plans showed it up against the bulkhead. It doesn't fit, so I glued it to the table in front of the bulkhead. I also removed molded on pipes and conduits and replaced them with brass. Very little of this stuff is going to show up, even through the big front window. There will be too much optical distortion for any fine details to reall show up, but it's fun to do.


I've got one more ammo box to install on the bulkhead and this piece will be ready for painting and detailing. Because of the all the CA'ing, I couldn't decide if I should air brush the zinc chromate and interior green before adding all the bits or after. I chose to paint after since it will hide a bunch of glue blemishes. I'm good with fine detail painting and enjoy it so it will work out okay. I have to remove some details on the fuselage sides to replace with resin so that will be next and then I'm move to the flight deck.

Builder 2010
15 Sep 16,, 02:22
I didn't get much done the last couple of days. We're heading to Spain for a vacation starting on Friday and had stuff to do regarding that. I did get the bombardier's compartment all fitted out, added a couple of O2 bottles in the fuselage, and installed the cockpit side panels. I also added a couple of piece of PE on the front side windows. I was surprised that the 3-window frame was included on the fret for the right side, but not the left, and yet "Yankee Lady" has the 3-window partition on both sides. I'm going to add some PE stripping to the other side. It will lack the cute little rivets.

I exchanged the O2 bottle next to the entry door with the proper fire extinguisher casting. After checking photos I realized my error and made the switch. Becuase CA doesn't weld resin to styrene, you can break it away pretty cleanly. I was concerned that the upper-left ammo box would interfere with the fuselage, but after checking, it works okay. This assembly's ready for some paint.


Here are all the little details on the right side of which I spoke. In an ideal world, I would have replaced those molded on oxygen hoses with an "A" or "D" round-wound guitar string, but it will not be seen very well and, more importantly, the only round-wound strings I have are sitting on my Fender Stratocaster and aren't coming off for this model.


There is a piece of PE trim on the fore side of the next window. It fit the left side well, but didn't fit the right side very well at all. With the glazing in place it will work okay... I hope.


While I may get some work done tomorrow, but don't count on it. So if I don't put in a journal entry for a little over a week, you'll all know why.

Builder 2010
16 Sep 16,, 04:22
I did get some shop time today. I was able to open up the bomb bay doors since the PE ones will be there. And then I got the first color in place; interior green. This will have a nice long 10 days to dry before I start detail painting. I used a small drill and did the row-of-holes method on the hinge line, but was able to use the razor saw for the perpendicular cuts. After filing down to the seam line, it was done.


I'm using Model Master acrylics for the interior green. I thinned it a bit with Testors universal acrylic thinner. I use a Badger 150 gun that's about 40 years old. Badger's have a lifetime warranty. This was borne out when I sent it away a few years ago and they completely rebuit it with new bushings, nozzle and needle for just the price of shipping.



I sprayed all the parts that needed this color on their trees. I'm going to enjoy picking out all the details.

So until I return, hasta luego.

I'm actually trying to learn Spanish using Duolinguo. It's a very user friendly language training program that syncs between the computer and the smart phone. My grandkids have used it their early language training.

Builder 2010
03 Oct 16,, 23:11
Well... Thanks! It's been 17 days since the last post taken up by working on a monster mountain for my O'gauge RR, and a really nice 10-day trip to Spain. Then last week while working on said mountain and attempting to use a staple gun at an odd angle, I heard and felt a "pop" in my shoulder. It went downhill from there. I apparently did something to my bicep tendon, although this was an external exam by my orthopedic surgeon son in law. I may have pulled the tendon out of the groove in which it runs or I could have torn something. Anyway, I have to take it easy with my right hand so... building models is the perfect activity.

Today I got the interior of the fuze painted, painted the wheels, and finish painting the bombardier compartment and started painting the props.

The only unconventional part of the bombardier painting was the plywood work table. I used a first coat of Tamiya Nato Brown and then a top coat of a Nato Brown and Flat Yellow mix. When it was dry I wet-sanded with a fine grit stick and removed the yellow top coat exposing the brown that was sitting on the raised plastic wood grain. It all doesn't matter since the top surface of this table (along with almost everything else inside) is not visible when the fuze is closed and all the plastic glazing is in place.


I painted all the switches and dials randomly since I have no idea what is actually going on with this apparatus.

I then worked on the main wheels. I first airbrushed Valllejo acrylic metal finish for the hubs. Then I made circular masks for the hubs to paint Tamiya Rubber Black. It's a new color that's got just a little gray to it and looks very good. To make the circular masks I measured the diameter with my digital caliper and came up with .560". I divided this in half to the radius and set this number on the caliper and locked it. I have a Starrett divider that I sharpened on edge to a razor-sharp chisel point and then cut the circles out of .75" Tamiya Masking Tape. I had to do a little touch up after it was all done.
While I had the silver acrylic out I wanted to paint the tail portion of the fuze which apparently natural metal instead of interior green. I masked the demarcation line and then used some packing paper to finish out the mask so the rest of the interior didn't get over-sprayed. I found this paint hard to clean out of the airbrush and had to disassemble it all to get it unclogged.


After this dried I painted the O2 bottles yellow. Also in this picture you can see all the detail painting for the walls and flight deck side walls.

Lastly, I also sprayed the prop hubs and then removed them from the sprues. After cleaning up flash and only on one blade, I brush painted the Rubber Black. I realized that I wanted to do the yellow ends first and then mask them so I did this on the other three props and hand-brushed the tips. For the rest I brush painted the yellow over the lines and then tomorrow will mask and paint the black. I'm not airbrushing these since the masking around the hubs is to tricky to be worth the effort.


I also hand brushed the tailwheel aluminum after air brushing the rubber black.

Gun Grape
04 Oct 16,, 00:44
OOH, the tendon thing sounds painful. Sorry to hear about that, but more time for modeling!!!!!

The Valllejo metal paint looks like it goes down good with a airbrush. What did you try to clean up with? On other forums Lacquer thinner seems to be the go to choice. And the cheap, hardware store brands since its for cleanup not application.

Wish I had known about Badgers lifetime warranty a few years ago. Had a 40yr old 200 that decided to die. Couldn't do anything to get it to spray right so I trashed it.

How different is the "Rubber Black" and "NATO Black". Nato black has a lot of grey. That's what I normally use for tires.

Builder 2010
05 Oct 16,, 01:52
Thanks Gun! The Rubber black is blacker than Nato Black which is sort of a weathered black. The Vallejo paint says to use alcohol and that finally cleaned it out. Acetone didn't do much.

Even though the shoulder is beginning to function a little better, I worked only on the bomber today. The fellow for whom I'm building it is going to visit me in Louisville in the beginning of November, but we're going to be back East the week before Halloween, which means I can bring the bomber to him at that time. So that gives me a firm date to finish it, October 19. I'm making good progress and should have it done by then.

Today, I masked and painted that finicky little ball turret. I wasn't sure what parts were glazed and what aluminum so I went to the Internet and downloaded a good picture of one. I'm still waiting for m Eduard B-17 masks and suspect that I'll have the model finished by the time they arrive. I did the masking with Tamiya narrow tape and some Scotch Magic Tape.


To do this I put the tape in place, burnish it down paying attention to pushing into the engraved frame lines and then with a very sharp #11 blade. For the little windows down the flank, the engraving was so shallow that I couldn't find it using Tamiya tape so I switched to Magic tape so I could see the lines through it.

I stuck the halves onto a wide blue masking tape after sealing the little halve holes with some more tape. Then I sprayed it with Tamiya Rattle Can Spray Natural Metal. It's a lacquer, looks good with fine grain, and dries really fast.


I was very pleased with the result when I pulled the tape. There was no bleed through anywhere which was, frankly, unexpected.


I built a gun set using the Verlinden 50 cal replacements. Unfortunately, they did not have a set specifically for the ball turret. The kit's version has the guns tied together with some form of mechanism to properly space the guns so they fit through the apertures in the turrett. I had to cobble a spacer together out of scrap resin sprue after transferring the distance with the digital calipers. Incidentally, I use digital calipers more often to transfer measurements than to actually get a digital reading.


The Verlinden barrels are much finer than the massive kit version. They are also much more delicate. When I built that 1/16 scale RC version I had to scratch-build all the guns since all that was included was some wood dowels. I machined the barrels out of two layers of aluminum: inner solid rod drilled with the 1/16 of a 50 cal. bore and an outer jacket drilled with the cooling holes. Ideally, that outer jacket should have been photo-etched (which I can't do...yet). I made the receivers from styrene. The Royal kit's vacuum formed ball turrett was actually a terrible rendition, but at least the guns were cool. I even had to build out the bolsters where the barrels exit the turrett. I used epoxy putty for that.


Builder 2010
05 Oct 16,, 01:57
With 7 pics I needed a double post.

I finished painting the props and then over-coated the front side with Tamiya clear gloss spray as a surface for the "Hamilton Standard" decals that go on each blade.

I finished building up the flight deck with the addition of control sticks, seats and rear bulkhead. I didn't bother to paint the seat support frames since they're be invisible.


Lastly, I put together the radio room. Again, due to its invisibilty didn't detail any of it other than attaching the seat. There is a skylight on top, but the plastic is not optically pure and will distort anything underneath.


I test fit the fuselage sides and amazingly, it all fits. There's some more surgery needed. The Verlinder windscreen is a photo-etched frame assembly with acetate windows which will be optically clear. The Cheyene tail gunner's house is also PE with glazing. Both it and the upgraded tail turret need plastic removed from that area. I'm going to work on that next since you can't do surgery when the model is all painted and pretty.

05 Oct 16,, 17:31
Looks really good, Builder! Really like all the AM stuff you're using, wish I could afford it!

Coincidentally, I've been working on the exact same model for the last few months, but I am making MUCH slower progress than you are! I am a strictly an OOB builder, so my B-17 won't have QUITE the level of detail that yours does (although I DID do a few modifications to my B-17, including opening up the bomb bay; it just seemed really stupid to have a somewhat detailed bomb bay, including 500-lbs. bombs, that nobody would ever see). Also really like the detailed radial engines; now I may have to "dress mine up" a bit (thanks!).

Incidentally, I spent a lot of time researching the exact colors for the interior (that's my OCD showing), and came to the conclusion that the forward portion of the B-17 (forward of the bomb bay) was actually a darker green, more like MM Euro Dark Green, FS #34092, than Interior Green; aft of that, the majority of the fuselage was actually natural metal (aluminum), presumably "because there were no glare problems for the gunners there."


The best reference(s) I've found so far for the B-17 is the series of articles on WWII aircraft colors on the IPMS Stockholm website; you might find them interesting. The B-17 is specifically mentioned about halfway through Part II:

Interior Colours of US Aircraft, 1941-45 Part I (http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/2004/01/stuff_eng_interior_colours_us.htm)

Interior Colours of US Aircraft, 1941-45 Part II (http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/2004/02/stuff_eng_interior_colours_us_part2.htm)

Interior Colours of US Aircraft, 1941-45 Part III (http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/2004/05/stuff_eng_interior_colours_us_part3.htm)

Builder 2010
06 Oct 16,, 00:38
Thanks Stitch! In this case all of that AM is being paid for by the fellow for whom I'm building this. I'm not charging a commission, but he did spring for the materials. The AM cost more than the kit. I've read most of the info you included about interior colors. It's a confusing mess. I'm not going to fret about it. The shades that the Model Master Acrylics use for interior green and Zinc Chromate seem reasonable and will be very hard to visualize anyhow. I never realized that Zinc Chromate wasn't a color, but was a compound.

As far as my speed. I'm on a mission since I want to deliver the model in three weeks so it needs to be done. And since I'm not working on the railroad, I have all my afternoons. I generally spend about 3 to 4 hours each time I'm in the shop. It's one of the best things about being retired (other than being able to travel off-season).

Today was a potpourri of things starting with finishing up the propellors by adding the "Hamilton Standard" labeling to each blade. I mounted the prop on a shaved end of a micro-brush and held that in the PanaVise. After the decals dried I shot them with Dulcoat to level it all out.


Here are all four done and waiting to be mounted on those spiffy R-1820s.


Next up was finishing up the ball turrett. After painting the guns Tamiya gunmetal, I CA'd the guns into the front ball half. I clamped both halves together and applied solvent cement with my Touch-n-flo capillary applicator. After it dried I sprayed a bit of the Tamiya Bare Metal into a cup and touched up any glue marks. I then build the suspension hanger, sprayed it with the same color and snapped the ball into the hanger and then hanger into the radio compartment floor. This is a very old model with very old molds and there was lots of flash and ejection pin marks on parts.


With the simple stuff out of the way it was time to get into the two main challenges. The first was the Cheyenne tail gunner's compartment and gun emplacement. This Verlinden change required some mods to the fuselage, one of which was to remove the boss that held the B-17E style tail gun so the Verlinder updated gun can be mounted flush to the tail. The other was to both open up the space a bit AND to remove the rear-most 1/8" of the compartment opening for the PE gun sight that will be added a bit later.



Go to Part B

Builder 2010
06 Oct 16,, 00:41
Then it was time to tackle the PE tail gunner's windows. The first part had to be folded and bent to fit the fuze's contours. The second part was the rear window that needed bending to a nice curve that had to match the first parts width. Before bending they ask that you cut the acetate glazing. I had forgotten to do this for the main part, but was able to cut the odd-shaped rounded window. I CA'd the glazing in place before curving the piece by wrapping it around a suitable diameter. For the main part glazing I was able to measure and cut the acetate with the part in its formed shaped. I had to adjust the fuze opening a few more times once all the forming was done.


The second challenge: the new flight deck window set. First of all, this stuff is really cool since it allows for an open left side seat's window. And it's also tough since the plastic fuze's opening does not fit this PE and needs to be shaved and re-shaped.

I've been suffering a bit with the very soft PE which is a self-inflicted wound. I was so traumatized by the Eduard PE hardness when building the Missouri that I annealed all this before using it. The annealing was too effective and the PE bends like modeling clay. As I was handling the parts during the fitting and glazing it kept deforming and I would have to flatten in my PE bending jig over and over. Next time, I'll hold off annealing until I find out how brittle the metal is.

In this picture you'll see that some more fitting is probably warranted. The acetate is so myuch more optically clear than the styrene kit windows. In this case I measured all the acetate while the PE was flat.


Finally, a couple of new pliers I ordered from MicroMark arrived today. They're parallel jaw pliers which I wanted for some time. Traditional long-nose pliers when grabbing and oject often only hold by one point since the tapered jaws create a tapered opening. For bending stuff where I need even grip I was resorting to using my vise grips. This way is much more elegant. One pair with the straight jaws is brass-lined to be a little easier on surfaces. The other is a loop-forming tool that will also do the job with parallel pressure.


Tomorrow I'll continue with fitting the windows. Once done, it will time to start enclsoing the fuselage, building wings and starting the painting and finishing process.

Builder 2010
07 Oct 16,, 03:48
Today was spent entirely installing the flight deck PE windows. It was difficult, frustrating and the results didn't not meet my level of expectations. The problem was that I kept getting CA on the acetate windows. I had to keep handling the assemblies to get the fit just right and this handling increased the deformation I was having and offered more opportunites to screw up the acetate. I replaced the windows and this too created problems especially when I had to replace the left side windscreens three times. The last time it almost wrecked the entire deal to try and extract the CA'd accetate. To make matters worse, the windscreen has an inner frame that also was CA'd.

Took help align and hold the frames I didn't like the little PE tabs that were integral to the PE part. I cut them off and made little Z-clips bending them with my PE bending machine.


The right side ultimately went in using medium CA along the seam to hold it all in place. I worked to get the center line to match the plastic fuze's so that it will mate well to the other half.

Here was one of the first windshields I replaced. Because it was off the plane it wasn't too terrible.


And here's that side installed.


But then came the left side with the open window. I changed out the sliding window with 0.010" clear styrene since I used up the acetate provided in the Verlinder kit. Then as I had already CA'd the side window portion, the windscreen got whacked and I decided to try and replace the glazing while it was on the plane. Of course here the CA was very effective and just wouldn't let go. When it did it resulted in this!


I spent the best part of the next hour putting in the new glazing and attempting to get it straightened. It was disheartening and definitely blows the image of me being the "super craftsman". I'm thinking that I'd like to see if Verlinden can send me another set of PE.

Here are both sides "Complete". If I can get the replacements in a reasonable time, I may choose to do so, although this part has to be complete before the two halves are brought together which is where I kind of am right now.


You really can't see how wavy that metal is now. It's really not very good. I just sent a note to Verlinden to see if they can accommodate my request. I also have to add a bit of filler at the PE plastic interface.

Gun Grape
07 Oct 16,, 15:09
You really can't see how wavy that metal is now. It's really not very good. I just sent a note to Verlinden to see if they can accommodate my request. I also have to add a bit of filler at the PE plastic interface.

Doubt you will get a response. They went out of business a couple of weeks ago.

There are pictures on some of the model forums of workers emptying the warehouse. Throwing everything into trash bins.

Builder 2010
07 Oct 16,, 15:41
Oh crap! Really? Just my luck. Why couldn't they liquidate the stock instead of scrapping it? They've been in business for a long time. Their website wasn't caught up with the bad news.

07 Oct 16,, 19:57
Wow! Verlinden is (was?) a big company, and they've been in business for quite a while; wonder what happened? I know the plastic model industry is in a steady decline (unfortunately), as us old guys who used to build models as kids back in the '60's and '70's "go away", but Verlinden was an international company with worldwide distribution. Sad . . .

Builder 2010
08 Oct 16,, 00:20
I called Verlinden on the phone and it's disconnected. So it's official, Verlinden is no more. I've used them very little leaning more towards Eduard. Eduard's instructions are better too.

Today started well. I masked and painted all the appropriate glazing parts first with Tamiya Rattle Can natural metal and then Dullcoat. \
After pulling the tape I was happy with the results.


Next was the nose cap. Verlinden... which BTW went out of business two weeks ago so my thoughts of getting another PE fret just went out the window... inlcuded a PE ring that went between the clear plastic and the fuze, an inner frame with rivets, a folded PE piece that glues to the ring and a piece of vinyl tubing that extends form the inner frame under the bombardier deck. I had no trouble gluing the inner frame to the clear dome.


And then the proverbial poop hit the fan!

After folding the front piece and CA'ing it to the ring, I decided to CA the ring to the back of the canopy. Before doing this, I attached the vinyl tube to the protuberance on the inner frame. The tubing was not very flexible and that started the cascade of bad things. I said from the outset, that I document all my good stuff and all my bad. After gluing on the ring, the tension imposed by the tube popped the inner frame off the plastic. As I attempted to glue it back on, now not easily since stuff was in the way, I got some CA on the clear. Then the ring lost grip and started popping off, and then the inner ring let go again... you get the picture. Finally, in desparation, I ripped it all off and decided to paint the canopy the old fashioned way.

This next picture is pretty gross and if you have a heart condition you may want to avert your eyes.


After I pulled the tape (which came out okay) and lightly sanding out some of the blemishes, I dropped the canopy into a bath of Pledge Floor Wax with Future, let it drain off and put it under cover to dry for the next few days. Hopefully, this canopy restoration technique will help. Otherwise, I might be going to Revell to get a new front dome.

I then built the upper gun turret. In this case I used the Verlinder thin gun barrels glued into holes drilled in the kit's breaches. This solves the problem of losing all the other structure needed to hold the guns in place. The assembly was the bright spot in the day.


I put this aside since it gets installed last. I then started to construct the bombs and bomb rack. Rather thne gluing the bombs in place and running the risk of them coming unglued. So I decided to install some real rings like the prototype and will create hooks on the bomb rack to hold them.


I don't work in the shop on weekends as part of a deal with the CinC, so next report will be on Monday.

I don't know about you, but I sometimes find that adding the PE creates more problems than it's worth. Case in point, those cockpit windows. I could have masked the plastic ones with no problem and would have been on my way. Instead, I killed an afternoon wrestling with the metal and wishing I could rip it out and put the plastic one back in, except it will no longer fit since the opening was filed much larger....although now that I write this, I could pack the space out with styrene and it might work out. I think about it and do it my head several times to see how it would turn out. It might clean up that mess now that I can get any new material with Verlinden.

Builder 2010
11 Oct 16,, 02:38
Today nothing particularly bad happened. I finished the landing gear, assembled the bombs and started painting them, and modified and completed more machine guns.

After installing the wire loops in one side of all four bombs, I glued them together, sanded the edges to remove the seams and painted the yellow that would form the yellow rings. After two coats of yellow (a mixture of Vallejo and Tamiya). I then cut some Tamiya masking tape strips to cover the yellow in preparation for the olive drab which will follow tomorrow.


This is an old model and the seam fits weren't so hot. Not like the new stuff.

The landing gear is installed first into the upper Gear well sheet. This, in turn, is glued into the bottom wing. Before gluing anything, I tried the fit of this part into the wing, and quickly found out that both resin exhaust pipes leading to the turbos were too high and holding the gear sheets away from their mounting points. I took the Dremel and removed the excess resin until they fit properly.


I then CA'd the main gear struts into position. One of my brass locking arms had separated from one strut. I waited until the main gear was set and then got the locking lever into place and CA'd it fast. Next on was the gear actuating levers which were styrene kit parts. These parts needed a little coaxing since they were now mating with scratch-built metal parts. All in all, everything worked.


When I was okay with the installation, I masked the bases to protect the interior green. This proved to be unecessary as you'll see in a moment. I sprayed it with the Tamiya Bare Metal rattle can spray, followed by Dullcoat.


After I pulled the tape I found that it pulled about half the green left the plastic. Most likely, it's because I don't wash my styrene before painting, and the Model Master Acrylic doesn't have the grip that Tamiya paints do. Makes a great peeling paint effect if I wanted that.


Builder 2010
11 Oct 16,, 02:43
After brush painting to repair the missing paint, I painted the brake lines and the gear was done. I put on a light coat of alcohol/India ink mix to tone it all down. I also did this to the wheel hubs. With that the main gear are ready to install into the airframe.


The tires have "weight flats". The kit's gear had an axle with two flats that aligned to the wheel hub's hole that was also shaped the same way. But the resin gear has a round axle. I had two choices, file flats on the gear axle or drill the wheel hole out to be round. I chose the latter since it was easier to control AND I can rotate the wheels to contact the ground properly before gluing them in place after the plane is finished.

Machine Guns:

The Verlinden resin Brownings have separate very fine barrels and receivers. The problem is they're missing other aspects of the kit's guns that enable them to be mounted correctly in the model. So I'm making hybrids of all of them as I did with the top turret. With the waist and radio room guns, I used the same method, drilling the receiver and shaping the barrel so they were a tight fit and CA'd into place. For the bombardier compartment guns this method wouldn't work, since there's a lug on the barrel portion that goes into a fitting on the window. This part was too narrow to drill the barrel-sized hole, and a straight butt joint would be very fragile. I needed to pin the barrel in place.

For very small diameter rods I use B and E guitar strings. The E string is 0.009". There's actually no drill size you can easily get that's this small. I have a selection of carbide drills that I buy from Drillbitsunlimited.com. This set has 10 each of small sizes and it's a good barging. But... there's a caveat. These are solid carbide and very brittle. A tiny bit of side thrust and "snap!". They are very sharp and originally are used to drill circuit board fiberglass. That sharpness is a blessing and curse. When drilling brass it's a curse since it grabs on exit and breaks the drill almost every time. I went through a ton of these when building the Missouri working with the PE.


Here's the drill I used. It's a #78 and is oversized for the guitar string, but with ample CA it ultimately held. They all have an 1/8" shaft so there's lots of support. These were originally used in automated drilling machines.


Here's the sequence. I file both the receiver and barrel mating surfaces flat and square. I then use a divider point to make a pin prick in as close to dead center as I can. I then use the #78 to drill both pieces.


The newly joined barrel is reasonably strong. Here are all guns done today.


Before closing up for the day, I painted all the guns Tamiya Gunmetal. I had a problem with the chin turret. Its guns are noticeably longer than the rest and have flash shields on them. The Verlinden replacements are just too small. I may use the kits guns in this one instance. I like to paint the barrel tips silver. I don't know if this is prototypical, but I like the look.

Tomorrow, I'll finish the bombs and mount them to the bomb rack. This will pave to the way to start installing everything into the right fuze half including all the glazing and then put the Fuze together. The seams will need a lot of filling, and being an ancient kit, all the panel lines are raised. I'm not of spirit to shave them all off and engrave panel lines. I would wait until I build the HKM 1/32 scale bird which already has engraved lines. Meanwhile, the wings can also be built. From now going forward, the build is going to accelerate.

Builder 2010
13 Oct 16,, 02:37
Thanks Guys! Since this aircraft is going to be "Yankee Lady" as is currently flying, I guess the red extinguishers would still be accurate.

Today was a mixed bag of successes, screwups, recoveries, and outright panic.

Started with finishing the bombs and installing them on the bomb rack. I airbrushed them with two coats of Tamiya Olive Drab lightened just a tad with some Tamiya Khaki. I then pulled the tape off the strips and they came out okay, although there just a tad wide.


I went ahead with the scheme to mechanically attached the bombs to the racks using the metal rings I had installed. The first try was to form a brass 3-sided box out of 0.021" brass, but it was hard to put that last bend in place when threaded through the rings. I then went with two, L-shaped brass rods CA'd into holes drilled at an angle in the rack. The first side I glued in place, then put the second side partially in, threaded the bomb onto both and then pushed the second side done into position with the bomb itself. I then used thin CA on the protruding rod on the inside of the rack. Worked pretty well and the bombs are no suspended.


Next up was installing glazing on both fuze sides. I used a combination of Formula 560 Canopy Glue and medium CA. First getting stuff in place with the 560 and when set up a bit, adding some CA to the tabs or edges so the windows will not fall into the fuze.

In attempting to put the skylight window over the pilot's position it sprung out of the tweezers into the quantum realm. I swept about 25 square feet of floor, but it was not there. Gone! It will probably pop out of the quantum rip in the Universe tomorrow and be right below my feet. Since I couldn't use one kit molded styrene window on one side and one hand-made sheet styrene window on the other, I needed to make two new ones using the remaining skylight as a template.


They installed reasonably well and here they are installed in the right side Fuselage.


Next up was gluing in the bombardier guns. I was worried about these delicate guns sticking out with so much handling going to happen. My worries were well founded.

The left side gun position was missing the small upper plastic bridge that contained the indentation for the upper pin on the gun. After gluing (medium CA) the lower pin and curing with accelerator, I cut a small plastic shim with a groove filed in that would fill this space. After curing I trimmed the oversized shim flush with the window.

I then glued in all the interior subassemblies with CA (or so I thought) and prepared the fuze edges for joining. I then used first solvent cement with the Touch-n-flo, followed by CA. Rubber bands and some clamps kept it tight. Any suspicious areas were then reinforced with the CA.


See Part B

Builder 2010
13 Oct 16,, 02:43

Now as I was fiddling with all the rubber bands and gluing all the seams, I remembered those delicated nose guns, which when I looked were now broken off not quite to where the reinforcing piano wire rods were. I knew it was going to happen. I just didn't expect it to happen so darn fast. I am not replacing those gun barrels until everything is done. I will probably be able to drill and insert more wire.

As you can see, the seams are pretty gruesome. But nothing that filler and elbow grease can't fix.


I then glued the horizontal stabs together and went to work on the wings. First into the wings was the gear assembly. After CA'ing them securely into the bottom wing, I test fit the top wing and found that some reinforcement pins that press onto this gear plate were a tad too long and were keeping the upper wing proud of the lower wing by about 1/16". I clipped them shorter and was able to glue the wings together, first using Testor's Tube Cement, followed by the Touch-n-flo and then with CA for the more resistant areas.

With the wings glued, all the major assemblies are done.


So all I had to do was give it all a day to cure and get ready to finish the seams....or so I thought. Just before going upstairs for dinner, I was inventorying the remaining bits and pieces to see what was left to do, and YIKES!. There was the tailwheel and bulkhead assembly which should have been glued into the fuze with all the rest. At first I tried to weedle it into place through the tailwheel opening, but that wasn't working. So I had to first remove the resin tail gun turret which was CA'd solidly in place, and then split the seam down far enough to left me separate it enough to get the bulkhead into position. It took almost a half hour to get it finally seated, but I did it. Again... this blows a hole into the belief that I am somehow a very gifted modeler. Sometimes it just ain't so.


So all's well that ends well. "It's not that you make a mistake, it's how you recover". Keep repeating that and maybe you won't feel so bad. Tomorrow I'll start finishing the fuselage and wing seams getting ready for finally assembly, painting, decaling and very mild weathering.

Builder 2010
14 Oct 16,, 00:11
Spent the entire day filling, sanding and filling again. At the LHS (Scale Reproductions Inc.) I bought paint and two kinds of filler. I was using the water-based Vallego filler, but I find that a) it shrinks and b) dries too slowly for my impatience. I bought Squandon White and Tamiya. Both are solvent-based and cure quickly. I had used Squadron Green for years and had also used Testor's White, but never Tamiya's. Of the two, Tamiya wins the contest. It doesn't appear to shrink, it's very smooth and creamy with very find grain size, and dries very quickly.

Where I did use the Squadron was a fairly large gap between the resin rear turret and the fuze. But due to its graininess, I went back and did a second coat with the Tamiya. Again, due to the age of this model (copyright 1975) the seams needed a lot of work. The biggest problem was misalignment with one side being low. I filled that last crack above the windscreens after I took this picture.


I didn't have any liquid mask, and I didn't want to use masking tape on all the windows because, frankly, I was afraid of the tape pulling some of the more delicate ones out of position, so I decided to try an experiment. I took some Aleen's Tacky Glue and put it on a scrap piece of clear styrene. From experience I know that PVA cements don't really stick well to styrene. The test patch pulled off in one piece and cleanly so I went ahead and painted the windows with it. Before doing all the windows, I test pulled the dried PVA from one of the little square windows and again it pulled off perfectly. So, if you need a quick and dirty mask, you can use PVA adhesives, especially the thicker ones.


As you can also see, I stuffed went paper towels into various spaces to block overspray from getting inside. I also masked the bomb bay since that was also wide open. It took two to three applications of filler to bring the fuze to a point where painting could be done.

While the fuze filler was curing I started working on the wings. They too required a couple of applications especially around the nacalle joints which were very poor. I also prepared and glued the horizontal stabs in place using tube cement helped with medium CA.


I had to add one more piece to each wing: the inboard engine exhaust bypass header that ultimately leads to the turbo-chargers. I also masked around the landing gear and blocked access to the wheel wells since that's painted interior green. Note that I didn't block the tail gunner or waist gunner holes since the interior there is the same color as the exterior will be.

Just before quitting for the day I saw a big gap at the bottom joints of the horizontal stabs. I slathered some filler into these gaps and will sand them prior to painting tomorrow.


Builder 2010
15 Oct 16,, 00:23
Today was the first painting day! So far, the Aleen's is holding up in its masking duties. First up today was stuffing the engine cowls with wet facial tissue and then CA'ing them to the wings. I was contemplating painting them off the model, but quickly disabused myself of that idea since the anti-glare needs to line up.


After wiping the whole deal with a paper towel with alcohol, I started painting the Vallejo Natural Metal. My only complaint about this paint is it's very fragile. As I was handling the model for further masking, I was damaging the already painted areas. But it looks really good.

After the paint set up, I sprayed the areas to be painted olive drab with Dullcoat to protect the paint a bit when masking. I masked all the anti-glare areas including the upper nose, and the interior upper facing nacelles. After looking at some pictures of the actual Yankee Lady I still need to add a bit more O.D. surface. The kit's instructions show this going around 180. I was only bringing it around the midline. It actually goes around the nacelle until its tangent to the lower lip of the leading edge. I'll add that bit tomorrow.

Narrow Tamiya tape was used first followed by 3M Blue and packing paper.


I airbrushed all the parts and pulled the tape. I found one little spot that I missed. I'm going to have to shoot some more silver to touch up some damage so I can pick that spot up.


The nose painting came out nicely.


Here's an example of the fragility of thise paint. Some was pulled off the cowl. I'm hoping that after coating with Pledge acrylic that it will toughen it up. I'm going to do this before decaling and any weathering.


Builder 2010
15 Oct 16,, 00:28
So here are all the parts ready for the next step.


Regarding weathering. The Yankee Lady is an exhibition aircraft and is very clean. In looking at pictures, I see some slight exhaust streaks coming from the waste gate and around the edges of the turbo compartment. On the wing tops you can see here that there is very little staining of any kind. A lot B-17 builders like to streak from those four little slots behind the engine nacelles on the wing tops. All that comes out of them is air. They are air exits from the turbo intercoolers. Unless there was some kind of leak in the wing, normally fumes or oil shouldn't be passing out of them. The other area needing some discoloration is the skin immediatly behind the cowl flaps. I just bought some Tamiya Clear Smoke just for this application.

There's some more paining needed. The tail (minus the rudder) and wing tips (minus the Aileron) are inisgnia red. There are wide demarcation strips on the wings. For the strips, I'm going to paint some decal film and then apply that to the model.


Builder 2010
17 Oct 16,, 00:18
Today is a rare Sunday input since I have a deal with my wife that no model or train work goes on during the weekend.

After figuring that the wing walk stripes are 12" scale, I decided the best approach would be to make decals of them. I have both clear and white-backed inkjet decal film, so I decided to lay them out and make them myself rather than masking and painting them. Here's the process

1. Took an overhead picture of the wing and noted the overall length and width (11 13/16" X 4 3/4"
2. Imported (placed) the image into Adobe Illustrator and after carefully aligning it square with the art board's edge, I put it on the bottom layer of the drawing and locked it.
3. Added another layer and on it drew an un-filled rectangle with the same dimensions as the wing.
4. Stretched the wing picture equally in both directions (in Illustrator holding the shift key while pulling a corner) and once it matched the rectangle I drew, I locked the imported image's layer. I now knew that the screen image size was the same as the model's wing.
5. Using the actual plane's picture showing the stripes, drew the 1/4" wide stripes to match the picture.


6. Cut up this images (Digitally) so I would have several inter-connecting pieces and then copied and pasted them to another art board on the screen. I laid them out logically and labeled them as to left or right wing. To make the right wing's decals I mirrored the left design.


7. Took a test print and found that some of the stripes were not perfectly horizontal leading to the edges having some very slight stair steps. To align them, I laid down guidelines that were in perfect contact with one corner, and then rotated the other corner to coincide with the guide lines. I then duplicated the entire array so I'd have two sets in case I screw a decal up.
8. After printing out the decals, gave them a clear coat of Tamiya clear lacquer since inkjet ink is water soluble. It would all wash off in the decal soaking water.


I know from experience, that this brand of inkjet decal film can't handle Solvaset decal setting solution. It works okay with Microsol.
Tomorrow, I touch up the aluminum, fix the anti-glare panel shape on the wings, and then clear coat the silver before getting into painting the red panels and decaling including these newly created stripes.

Builder 2010
18 Oct 16,, 00:55
You're welcome. We learn from each other.

I just realize yesterday, that if I want to deliver this plane to my commissioner and we're leaving on Thursday, I only have 3 days to finish it. So today I put the pedal to the metal and got into more finishing steps.

First up was fixing those slightly inaccurate nacelle anti-glare panels. The inner ones needed to go further over the top and both had to go around the bottom more. I didn't want to airbrush since this involves a whole lot more masking, so I just masked the lines and brush painted it. I had a lot of leakage due to the non-stickiness of that Vallejo silver paint.


I was worried that the alcohol-based silver would dissolve the alcohol-based Tamiya and not give me a good cover, so I first brushed on some Testor's Dullcoat lacquer to act as a barrier and then hand painted the silver. After a back and forth between silver and O.D. I got a nice clean line.

Next was painting the fabric-covered control surfaces a light Tamiya Sky Gray. In looking at the photos of the Yankee Lady I saw a different color and clearly not metalic. Again, I masked the line and brush painted it. Again, that silver paint caused some problems and I had to do a lot of touch up. Frankly, I wouldn't recommend the Vallejo Liquid Metal paint. It is much too perishable and I'm not the gentlist worker so I'm having to fix it all the time. Tamiya silver holds up better and dries harder.

I started masking for the red wing tips and all those red tail feathers. I got the wing tips masked, but then had to take #2 grandson to a piano lesson. Since my time is so compressed I asked for and got special dispensation to work for an hour in the basement after dinner.



The 3M blue tape is too agressive for the Vallejo paint and, as you'll see, pulled a lot of silver off in the de-masking process. So I was able to airbrush the red trim too.


In these two pictures you can see the difference in texture painting the control surfaces flat gray makes to the appearance. I used Tamiya flat red for these panels.


The only problem with using the Pledge Floor Finish (with Future) is its ridiculously slow drying time. It really takes a full 24 hours or more, and I don't have that luxury. On the other hand, the Tamiya gloss dries very fast. I have to mask and hand-paint the de-icing boots and then hand paint the exhaust headers and turbos. I need to rig the radio antennas with E-Z Line, and then there's a raft of decals to go on. Can I do this all in two days... hmmmm?

Builder 2010
18 Oct 16,, 15:14
I'm going to make the deadline (I think) since I got to go back downstairs again last night and got the de-icing boots done. This enabled me to go back down this morning and shoot some clear coat on the tail and tips so decals can be applied sooner.


Once again, the tape pulled its share of paint off the surface requiring a bunch of re-touching, but I got it all done.


Now, I'm sitting here having coffee and watching political television. In a bit, I'll go down to work and get more done.

Builder 2010
19 Oct 16,, 00:13
Progress is coming fast and furious. I painted the turbos today. I started with a base coat of Tamiya Boat Deck Tan which closely resembled the basic red/tan color of the real ones. After drying I painted the dark parts Tamiya Burnt Iron. The central turbo area was painted straight Burnt Iron and the rest was dry-brushed at various levels to also resemble the discoloration due to heat. I then went back and painted the bolts and clamps flat black. The end result works for me.


The final step will be to apply some exhaust plume eminating from the waste gate. I was thinking about airbrushing the flat black, but may just use Dr. Brown's weathering powders, since it's easier to control. Not shown in this pic was the Tamiya Smoke that I used to discolor the first nacelle ring behind the cowl flats. I also dry-brushed some smoke trailing off the sides of the turbo which I've seen on prototype images. The main exhaust stain will be directly behind.

I then finished up all the machine gun mounts that go into the radio room window and waist gun position. I also rebuilt the broken barrels on both bombardier position guns. One is in place now (probably ready to be broken again) and the other is waiting until the mask comes off the nose.

I then officially started the decal process. We've moved our travel date out one day which gives me one more shop day and almost assures that I will finish on time. The Kits decals are very nice and went on well. Here's the tail on one side. I have to wait until the decals fully cure so I could do the right side.


And then I officially christened this ship, "Yankee Lady" with the nose decals on the left side being installed.


Having the prototype picture showing this graphic in detail really helped in getting it placed properly. I wish this model had recessed panel lines. It would have made it much easier to clean up. Notice that the nose turret has a different finish that the plane in general. I used Tamiya Bare Metal spray for this. I also changed the tone on the Cheyene tail turret.

Wings were next. Again, top side first until the decals dry and then I'll do the bottom.


Notice that my wing walk decal is not finished in this picture. That's because I ran into trouble with them. Even though I over-coated them with Tamiya Clear Lacquer, it wasn't sufficient to prevent water from causing the inkjet water-soluble ink to bleed. Bleed? Heck, it really got gross.


The long stripes did get on, but the surface is questionable. After this I stopped putting them on and went to Plan B. Plan B was to coat the existing decals with Microsol Liquid Decal Film. I'll give this a try tomorrow. Part of the problem was that I didn't leave enough margin between images. The edges are too narrow and let the water to creep in under the over-coating. Hopefully the Microsol will provide stronger protection. If this doesn't work, I'll re-draw the set and leave more space around the edges. If that doesn't work, I'll mask and paint, but I dread to do that since I'll have to deal with more aluminum paint drama. I'm not looking forward to that.

The idea is still a good one, but the decal film may be sub-par. I'm optimistic that I'll figure it out. I believe in "Test Pilot Problem Solving". You're in a dive and you try A, B, C, D, E, F, G, etc. until you solve the problem or make a hole in the ground. Like I said a while ago, "I am not a patient man, put I am very, very persistent!"

Need some guidance here: After decaling I was going to Dullcoat the model, but that would effectively kill the shine on the metal finish. Otherwise, I could gloss coat the whole deal, but would that work? What do others do with bare metal surfaced aircraft?

Builder 2010
19 Oct 16,, 23:46
Whew! Today was a mixed bag of successes and horrors equally balanced. I will elucidate as I go on.

I started by finishing up the stripes. Microsol Liquid Decal Film worked like a charm. The inkjet color stayed put and the decals applied very nicely. This brand of inkjet decal paper has a pretty heavy decal film and takes a lot of Microsol setting solution to lay it down over raised details. As I said before, DON'T USE SOLVASET! It will dissolve these decals. Next up was all the rest of the decals and all went on without difficulty. I then sealed them all and

After things dried I used Dr Brown's grimy black weathering powder to lay down the exhaust stains. Looks sloppy, but I kind of like it.


After doing this I shot the bottom with Dullcoat so the turbos are no longer shiny. With all the decoration done I started to install all the remaining glazing including the Cheyenne tail. This was a bit more challenging than I would have liked, but I did get it on without a serious screwup.


I also installed the top turret, the guns for the tail turret and fixed the broken guns in the front...AGAIN, but that wasn't the last time.

Then the first calamity happened. I wanted to use this new Real Metal buffing aluminum by AK Interactive. It's a wax-based metal paint that polishes bright. When I opened the tube for the first time, the stuff blasted out all over the place, but mostly on my hands. It was a freak'n mess to clean up, but luckily alcohol removes it. I used it on the prop spinners and it worked pretty well.


Boy those engines look cool! As far as I'm concerned, they're the best part of this whole project. Too bad the Monogram kit doesn't measure up to those Eduard R-1860s. The props are held on with medium CA.

After putting the guns back on, which entailed more micro-drilling and guitar string, I wanted to paint the muzzles with Tamiya Chrome, which then leads to the second calamity.

I thought the lid was screwed on, but when I picked it up, the bottle part flew off, flung chrome silver paint all over the floor and even a drop landed right on the red surface of the horizontal stab. Of course it landed on the red. It couldn't have landed on the entire silver-colored plane. Nope! Murphy's corroletion is still true, "Any tool (or bottle of paint) dropped will always do the maximum amount of damage."

I cleaned up that mess and touched up the stab. Then I proceeded to break off the bombardier and waist gunner gun barrels on the port side. These very fragile resin barrels are ridiculous. They have no give. If you touch them, they will break. Again, I re-drilled the barrels and breaches and, with more E Guitar string, CA'd them back again.

The Aleen's mask removal went well except for two windows. A true liquid mask might be better if you have it.


This pic shows the nose dome on. In the process of applying liquid cement, I didn't realize that some had already run out onto my fingers until upon trying to remove them found a huge glue thumb print on the bottom quadrant. Another calamity!

I wet sanded it out and then gave it some Pledge (with Future) acrylic and it's less noticeable. Still there... just less noticeable. I'm not having much luck with clear parts on this model.

Time to install the wings. You do not need to glue them. It's a lock joint. With the wings on I felt confident enough to install the bomb bay doors and the forward crew door. They actually went on easily.


The PE here really works giving the sheet metal look to both surfaces. Lastly, I put on the wheels (although not yet glued) and got the weight spot in the right position, and put the plane on a flat surface to take some "almost complete" pictures. I say, "almost" since I still have to put on the landing light lenses. And then I just touched that port-side waist gun barrel, and BANG! It broke again. I'm running out of patience. And more imprortantly, running out of gun barrel. I have no more resin barrels other than this stub. I may, heaven forbid, have to use one of the plastic barrels. They may not be scale, but they're styrene and bend a bit before breaking. I will now have to do that repair tomorrow along with the landing lights.

Builder 2010
19 Oct 16,, 23:49
So here are some "almost finished" pics shot with the iPhone. When finished tomorrow, I will take it with Canon EOS and do depth-of-field work on it.



There still some work to do around that ill-fitting nose dome that this picture really shows up.


SO... now that we're heading back East on Friday instead of tomorrow, I will definitely be able to finish it. That is if I don't break anything else.

Builder 2010
21 Oct 16,, 00:32
Today is the official end of project day. This was good build, but not a great on because A) it's a crappy kit to start with, and B) I screwed up enough stuff (especially those *)@^_E cockpit windows to relegate it a nice model, but not superior level. That being said, let me get into the final steps. First of all, here are the "official" beauty pics created with my Canon EOS and ZereneStacker depth-of-field software.





I started the day wanted to scratch-build the football antenna since I somehow must have thrown it out with one of the sprues. I'm usually pretty careful about making sure that any parts left and unneeded, but I must have missed that one. I drew a scale profile of this part and then made a bunch of duplicate parts that would be glued together and profiled. After gluing them all together I started filing away everything that didn't look like a football antenna. All went well until the base piece was breaking due to the filing stresses. I attempted to insert some brass wire to reinforced, but this too didn't quite work.


Then I was left with filing just the round part. I figured that after I got it shaped, I would fabricate a separate base. Then it launched out of the pliers. I heard it hit something, but that was just the quantum rift opening and swallowing up the part. With that, I decided the plane didn't need any "stink'n" football.

Builder 2010
21 Oct 16,, 00:36
Next up was the landing lights. I put some Bare-Metal-Foil in the space prior to using Canopy Cement to hold the glazing in place.


And then I installed the lens.


The model needed some antennas. There is a short, straight one on the bottom and a double one to the tail. The bottom antenna originally had a couple of plastic pins that long ago broke off in all the seam fixing. I had drilled a couple on 0.021" holes for some brass wire of the same size. Today I added the brass and tied E-Z Line to the two points. If you've never used this product, I believe it's actually Lycra elastic fiber. It takes CA instantly and is very easy to use and, since it is highly elastic, it holds its tension and will not break if you happen to run into it... which I do repeatedly.


For the top antenna, I believed that the two plastic lugs protruding from the port and starboard sides of the radio room were the feed throughs for this antenna. I drilled holes there to accept the line. The tail also has a lug that I drlled for the other end. The antenna needs an insulator at the top end. I tried to make one out of small diameter styrene rod drilled to accept two pieces of E-Z Line. This didn't work very well so I substituted a couple of black seed beads which were much easier to thread.


Last up was replacing the last broken Verlinden gun barrel. I began to realize that doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome was a symptom of insanity (Albert Einstein). I decided to substitue steel for that resin. I found a piece of floral wire (0.046") that closely approximated the resin barrel. I turned the muzzle shape by chucking the wire into my Dremel Flexishaft handpiece and shaping it with a diamond-coated file. It doesn't have cooling holes, but you can't really tell. Not the barrel WILL NOT BREAK, but the gun can still be knocked out the window.

With that, the model is complete! I painted the figures and am including them with the model. The last thing I needed to do (besides cleaning up the shop...) is figuring how to bring it to Philly tomorrow. I came up with this.


Nothing on the model is touching anything except the outer wings and the tail behind the tail wheel. Hot glued straps hold everthing down and the peice of foam keeps it from bouncing up and down. It's a good use for a Costco box. It will sit on top of any luggage and not have anything near it. It should work.

So, until the next plastic project, thank you all for following along.

Gun Grape
22 Oct 16,, 16:28
Great build. With all your pitfalls yu did breath new life into an old model.

What primer did you use under the Vallejo paint?

Builder 2010
29 Oct 16,, 17:49
Thanks Gun! I'm on the road again and just got myself logged on since I forgot my password. Finally was able to reset it.

I didn't use any primer and in retrospect should have. I have Tamiya Surfacer/Primer that I used on the PE, and should have used it. I would have saved myself some grief. It's solvent-based so I can't spray much indoors. I'm lobbying to finally get a spray booth that I can vent outside. Instead of investing in digital train control, a wiser choice IMHO would be a fully functional, vented spray system. I would the be able to work with solvent paints wthout creating fumes in the house.

30 Oct 16,, 20:46
Excellent work! I need to get back into it again....been a while.

Builder 2010
01 Nov 16,, 02:43
Glad I could help light that fire.

Plastic building is done for a bit since my right arm has recovered to a point where I'm going to attempt building the mountain. I did a "proximal biceps tendon rupture". From the way it felt, I initially partially tore it an knocked it out of its track. A couple of weeks later, I moved my shoulder joint slightly outward, felt a lot of motion in that tendon, lots of pain for a couple of days, and then I had a new muscle bump at the upper portion of my bicep. The soreness moved into that area only and my shoulder freed up. I took a picture and sent it to my son in law and he diagnosed it. He said I can live well with it and at my age, surgery is not recommended. If was younger, an athlete or used my arms for an occupation (carpenter for example), surgery would be done, but it's a long recovery and difficult surgery. With the long head tendon-connected bicep belly disconnected, you still have about 80% of arm strength and that's enough to build a mountain.

The model made it successfully to philly, the new owner was overjoyed and he's thinking that he might want me to build the 1/32 scale HKM B-17, which is a state-of-the-art kit that would be a blast to build.

I also have a 1/32 Trumpeter ABM Avenger with extra goodies that arrived when I got stuff for the B-17 which should be a fun build. And I have a Trumpeter 1:350 USS Essex which I'm thinking that I'm going to do it up like the Missouri with all the bells, whistles and steam horns. So standby for more stuff over the next year.

02 Nov 16,, 15:45
Excellent work dude.