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Army_Air_Force

1/48 B-17G-BO-1 "Hang The Expense"

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This is going to be quite a long term project, certainly not complete for the end of the group build, but I thought I'd introduce it to everyone. My time is fairly limited at present, so when I start and how much gets done and when is completely unknown! This is an aircraft I've modelled before, in both 1/10 and 1/6 scale, and in the course of my research, ended up in contact with the pilot's sister, the Navigator, and the Squadron Engineering Officer, all of whom were very helpful with research material.

This is my 1/6 scale R/C version.

7.JPG

B-17G-BO-1 #42-31035 was only the forth B-17G produced. After theatre modification, it joined the 100th Bomb Group in October 1943, with a new crew just in from the States, following the 100th's heavy losses on the Munster raid. It was named "Hang The Expense" by pilot, Frank E Valesh, after his favourite saying; "Hang The Expense, give the canary another seed".

This external link shows the air and ground crew of "HTE" along with the B-17 after its first mission. Note the aircraft only has a cheek gun on the starboard side.

B-17G "Hang The Expense" and crew

Their first mission attempt on November 3rd 1943, ended up being aborted. While climbing to altitude over the North Sea, the number two engine oil temp was running very high, and the engine started throwing oil. Thinking they were going to loose the engine, they turned for home. It was later discovered that the problem was caused by the oil tank being over filled. None of the crew were impressed. They flew their first mission two days later in another B-17.

Later in November, B-17G #035 was one of the aircraft involved in the raid on the heavy water plant in Norway, connected with the German attempt at developing a nuclear weapon. By chance, in 2001, I got to fly my 1/6 scale "Hang The Expense" in the same place in Norway and also got to visit the Hydro-Electric factory and the other locations around the Rjukan valley made famous by the "Heroes of Telemark" film.

The crew suffered many hard knocks during their tour, but eventually became a Pathfinder crew, and stayed on for additional missions until further Pathfinder crews became available. Frank flew 29 missions, while navigator Dick Johnson flew 31, having filled in with other crews for a couple of missions. Their last mission was to Schweinfurt in July 1944, a year after the huge losses at that target. It was Dick Johnsons 23rd birthday, and he told me in a letter that he couldn't think of a better present.

Dick Johnson Picture

The model will be from the Monogram 1/48 visible B-17 kit. The plan is to make the model on a diorama base, undergoing maintenance. It will also be a full cutaway, showing not only the inside of the fuselage as per kit, but also the wing, tail, fin and nacelle structure. I did this Cutaway P-36 Hawk as a practice for the B-17 - P-36 Cutaway Thread

I don't do after market parts, but may make an exception with an engine to show one uncowled. I may also remove some airframe parts such as a section of leading edge, as I liked the look of the structure on my 1/72 scale Hangar Queen.

I'll need to make a number of modifications to the kit to better represent a very early model B-17G, such as the single cheek gun, open waist windows and radio room hatch. Don't expect a rush of posts in this thread, as I said before, time is limited, but I wanted to let everyone know about the project as it may help with my motivation!

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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This is going to be good. That 1/6th RC looks just like the real thing. You would be hard to know it wasn't if you weren't told.

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You build it, I'll watch it-in shock amazement and awe getsmileyCANTYMEY.gif

My f4dee196.gif:

Your plan to limit aftermarket sounds good. Just use them where the part is able to do a more acceptable job, while freeing you to create the rest getsmileyCA01OWOH.gif

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I'd like to think I can make some sort of start before the year is out. I've already had the kit out yesterday, making lists of changes needed, and what bits need making and exposing. I'll probably start out by making some of the small internal parts, as each of those is a small easy to complete project.

My first job is to finish the garden landscaping. I've been working on it since June to make it more child friendly and virtually maintenance free. This was it in June. There's an upper lawn, lower lawn, and then a patio below that. The whole garden rises about 6ft 6in from the back door of the house to the back fence. So far, I've moved materials equal to the weight of a loaded B-17 from the front of the house to the back garden, and clay and turf equal to a P-47 from the back out to the front.

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and late October. Upper garden complete, but for getting the astro-truf laid and my daughters play house built and assembled on the new upper patio. I'm currently rebuilding the wall around the lower lawn, and digging that out ready to be hardcored ready for astro-turf. I'll deserve a sit down and some modelling time when it's all done!

306893_250355551674552_100001003274580_699656_661976424_n.jpg

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Love the ideas and love the landscaping!!! I found with the Belle, even though I planned on using a lot of AM, even though she is less than 10% done, I'm scratch making most everything, and not only is it rewarding, but fun!!! Go for it!

Love the yard....s too! I'm getting everything set to make a landscaped beer garden in my side yard next spring.

BTW, I've never been to England, but for some reason I always had a vision of tight packed row housing....nice neighborhood!

Edited by rightwinger26

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I've always been too tight to spend money on AM parts, so I've always just scratch built everything. I'd rather spend a few extra hours than a few extra pounds! All of my recent builds have been very cheap or free kits, but I've had many more hours of enjoyment by scratch building additional details.

This housing estate is fairly new, only being 11 years old. Some of the more city areas in England are fairly compact, or terraces, but Washington is a bit different. The town of Washington was developed as a new town in the early 1970's, by linking a number of small villages by a new road network and building a new shopping/business complex in the centre. Each village was expanded, leaving park land between them. More recently, around the late 1990's, some of the older council owned housing areas were demolished, and new more modern estates took their place. This is one of them.

Funnily enough, the house next door is rendered in white, so I live in Washington next to the White House!

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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New radio room former made from 0.75mm styrene.

fort15.jpg

Rear crew entry door was cut out.

fort16.jpg

The bomb door was cut out on the starboard side.

fort19.jpg

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It was on this day 68 years ago, that B-17G 'Hang The Expense' came to grief at Thorpe Abbotts while Frank and two friends were taking two Red Cross girls for a joy ride. The tail wheel locking pin sheared during the take off after covering about one third of the runway. Frank aborted the take off, but then found he couldn't stop the speeding bomber from swinging off the runway. One wing clipped a pyramidal tent used for repairs, and the man working inside suddenly found himself outside without having taken a step! The B-17 continued through the airfield boundary, loosing both outer wing panels on two large oak trees, before continuing into Drapers farm yard and crashing into the end of a barn, demolishing some brick built pig pens. The three crew and two Red Cross girls all got out with cuts and bruises, but the airmen were court martialled and fined $100 each for joyriding civillians.

Most of the wreck was cleared away, apart from a few small scraps left in the ditch at the side of the field. Over the years, these small parts got cleaned out of the ditch and ploughed into the field where I found them in 1994. One piece was fitted into the nose of my R/C B-17, allowing part of the original 'HTE' to fly again 52 years after the crash.

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My Father-in-Law flew with the 100th BG in 1945, a tail gunner mostly on EP-D The Latest Rumor. I've read about the HTE story on the 100th BG website, great to see it come to life with your models and can't wait to see the finished product!

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The parts ordered with my B-17 Group Build gift certificate arrived from the USA today. They are a Vector 'Cyclone', Cockpit, Radio Room and Bombardier/navigator compartment Eduard color etchings, and the Scale Aircraft Conversions metal landing gear set. It's going to be some time before this project sees any serious building because I've just bought a 1943 Ford GPW Jeep as a restoration project. It can be seen below next to my 'Follow Me' Jeep.

fort20.jpg

ford_gpw_jeep.jpg

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