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Flyingfortress

Painting the 'visible Fortress' model

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I'm building a B-17G for a flight engineer/top turret gunner. I have all the PE for the interior and being this is a very special build, I'm using the visible kit. My question is what would be the best way to paint the model so it doesn't just look like one side is clear plastic. I hope to be able to paint it so it looks "cut away", hope I phrased that right. The plane will be from the 381st BG 533rd BS and will be NMF. Anyone have any ideas as to how to accomplish this?

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Decide what areas you don't want to show and paint that area zinc chromate green inside fuselage then paint same area outside flat aluminum or gloss silver.. Just make wavey lines or straight lines for separation of show/no show areas.

Frank

ATL

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Build it as you usually build a kit with PE, and use the "I have had enough, so I am throwing it against the wall!" technique. You will get your cutaway and battle damage all in one!

LOL!!

-Jim

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I'm sorry bugs but....NO zinchromate! That color is not technically a color, it's an anti corosive, not paint.

Well, what I would do. Build the kit as you would any other kit. Put the interior together, install it and glue together the unpainted fuselage halves, then get all the seam work done as normal not paying special attention to clear half till the seam work is done and you are ready to paint the fuselage.

Alright, once you get ready to paint the fuselage. Pretend that the areas you want to stay clear are cammo, use sticky tack to mask off those areas. Paint as normal and remove sticky tack. This way the exterior paint color goes all the way around and only exposes what you want exposed. And there is no need to paint the interior side of the clear half of the fuselage.

For painting the interior, NMF everywhere, except the flight deck. I'd use a combo of interior green and dull dark green in there.

Plus I gotta say, your a lucky modeler! Not only do you have an actual B-17 crew member to ask refference questions, you have a the top turret/engineer! Those guys know the airplan front to back! He would be an extremely valuable resource to you on this build! I'd freak'n love to have that opportunity!!!!!!!

Please tell I said "thank you for your service!"

Feel free to PM me if want in regards to this build.

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I plan to do the same thing with mine and will be doing what b-17 guy said about masking and removin the masks. Plus you can also decal over the clear sections to give it more of a 3d look. Especially in the nose section. Be very careful with the clear half and mask the areas you want to stay clear right away so they don't get scratched in all the handling.

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I think what the member suggesting to paint interior color to both halves (Less clear selected areas) was implying was to have color on both sides of the inside. This is good for two reasons. There are windows on the other fuselage half too. If you don't paint the (Assuming IIRC the left half is clear) inside of the left half, when you look into the right side, you will see the clear plastic on the left and it will be exposed clear shiny plastic. Looks like junk that way. Second, when you look into the left half to see the detail, likely use a flashlight right? Just having paint on the surface of the left side will let light bounce around within the clear half, reflecting through the paint. Two things you can do to still keep it clean is to map out the clear portions you want on the left half with masking, paint the interior color, remove the mask, assemble model, then match mask the same areas on the outside. To avoid seeing the internal paint, make sure to mask just slightly smaller to cover the inner paint. Or, if you just want to paint the outside only you will have to lay it on thicker or paint interior color, black, then color to keep the light from showing through. Super build for a Former Fortress Crewman, best reason to build it.

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Here's a photo I took at our recent contest, should give you a few ideas.

clearb17.jpg

Edited by indydog

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I like the idea of the 3D effect with the decals! Man, I can't wait to get started on this one! I wonder if Friskett film would work as a mask as it's tacky on one side and I think it removes easily.

Frisket film should work perfectly! Another idea for the decals is if you have ability and access to make your own decals, you could do some faded markings, i.e. the stars and bars on the fuse could start being opaque and subtly fade to being transparent. I think that would be pretty cool. Also, I think if I were doing this, I'd model, or at least paint some of the structure even where the clear is. Maybe not all of the frames but at least a little to suggest it's complicated frame work. That would also add to the 3-d effect. I can't wait to see this thing going, should be great!

Bill

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Last thing I am going to say on the subject. Zinc chromate was an anti corrosive applied to real metal aircraft. Since plastic models don't corrode, zinc chromate is a paint. Use it and remind anyone of that if the find fault.

Frank

ATL

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Dear Lord, tell me someone has more pics of that clear B-17!!!???!! That is exactly the way it should be done!!!!

-Jim

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Last thing I am going to say on the subject. Zinc chromate was an anti corrosive applied to real metal aircraft. Since plastic models don't corrode, zinc chromate is a paint. Use it and remind anyone of that if the find fault.

Frank

ATL

17s were never painted with ZC. Which is why the original comment of no ZC paint. There's a ton of info in the Fortress GB from last year.

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Rev/monogram. It's the same kit just with a clear fuselage half instead of regular. Still readily available.

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Last thing I am going to say on the subject. Zinc chromate was an anti corrosive applied to real metal aircraft. Since plastic models don't corrode, zinc chromate is a paint. Use it and remind anyone of that if the find fault.

Frank

ATL

Obviously. What I'm saying is that WWII B-17's were not sprayed with zinc chromate all over the interior like you see in the restored B-17's. The majority of the interior should be natural metal, minus the flight deck.

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And the pic of that visible B-17 is pretty much exactly what I had in mind about masking the clear side. No need to paint inside of the clear half as the paint used for NMF will show through on the inside. Plus the thickness of the plastic will cause a problem. I've ran into this on painting a canopy, you can see the space between the layers of paint.

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Sorry guys, that's the only pic I took of that B-17.

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And the pic of that visible B-17 is pretty much exactly what I had in mind about masking the clear side. No need to paint inside of the clear half as the paint used for NMF will show through on the inside. Plus the thickness of the plastic will cause a problem. I've ran into this on painting a canopy, you can see the space between the layers of paint.

I have that kit, and intend to do it in an Olive Drab over Neutral Gray scheme. Would it look weird if I first sprayed the interior color on the outside, then the exterior color? I'm worried that I won't be able to line up my masking otherwise.

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That's how I do do canopies. And that's exactly how I would do what your saying. For the simple reasons that lining up the masks would be damn near impossible. Plus you have to consider the thickness of the plastic. You be able to see a void between the interior and exterior colors. So, mask it from the outside, spray aluminum for the interior color, then OD/NG for the exterior. Yes, aluminum for the INTERIOR, not interior green or zinc chromate. Check this out:

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I just discovered this thread! I recently bought the Visible B-17 for the princely sum of $19 (opened; parts sealed) at my local IPMS show (Three Rivers, Pittsburgh, PA). That movie was a revelation! Boy was the B-17 tough.

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Gosh, I remember when that kit first hit the market. 1980 give or take. I had quit building kits by then as I was too busy with college but I had a subscription to Air Power/Wings and the editors went gaga over the kit.

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I have been thinking about this for a number of years with my edition of this kit. I have all the AM available as well. The advice here is good regarding the interior color and application, and needs some thought prior to work commencing. A lot of thought.

I have thought of a number of ways to do the exterior paint , some of which will be problematic.The interior color needs to be addressed first as the model will be assembled for the exterior finish.

So deciding how to do the exterior paint will help to plan the interior paint application.

Exterior paint can be applied in a number of ways. Finishing the seams and prepping the model is first of course.

The exterior paint can be applied freehand to just over the seam , leaving the edge in a fogged style.This will mean that the interior paint will need to be fogged on as well, the edge of the interior paint will determine the exterior paints edge.

The exterior paint can be applied in 'amoebic' shapes, the openings showing the interior detail. This will be tough to do ,but all of this will be tough.

The exterior paint can be applied in panel shapes , determined by the models panel lines. This is the best way to me. The panels can be determined, the interior painted to suit and then the exterior to match.Think of the clear half masked on the outside to determine the 'windows' and masked and painted to suit inside. This is the method I will most likely use as it allows me control over the 'windows' rather than the freehand edge to the exterior paint.Much of the clear half can be painted, I see no need to have the tail showing clear, this can be painted and decalled to suit.There are areas that will be painted the exterior color.

As for the clear edge, determined by the plastic thickness, I am painting mine in the gloss black of the spook squadrons so it is moot. The interior color can be done in a black base then silver/green as needed over that, this will show a dark/black edge.Whatever you do I strongly suggest you avoid 'traditional' cut away "ameobic shapes with a red edge" techniques.Done to death!

Another concern is the fact that the clear half actually can obscure or distort the details inside, especially during photo work. There is a argument for sanding off the panel detail where needed and polishing the area back to clear.I will prolly do that as the clear areas may 'disappear' upon viewing..

Prior polishing and smoothing of the exterior of the clear half is a very good idea , especially in the 'viewing windows'.

Here is my interior in progress:

IMG_1422.jpg

You can see the bomb bay is an area of concern , I addressed it by modifying the wing tabs and the fuse slots ,they retain the slotted function , hiding it behind framework.

I have been mulling this for years. I have NEVER seen a B-17 done up in the clear version with the AM sets all in.I would really like to see the one shown here but the pic isnt showing up.

I did google "visible b-17 model contest" and got some decent images.

Best of luck with this and I'll watch for the build log.

More work from mine:

IMG_1206.jpg

IMG_1185.jpg

IMG_1179.jpg

IMG_1769.jpg

Edited by krow113

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