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1/32nd Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress by HK Models - test shot pics


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Indeed it is the mockup that was originally shown when Wing Scale was announcing it.

Go here for better pics.. http://www.newburyscalemodelclub.org.uk/2010/12/07/wing-scale-announce/

I was referring to what http://www.hk-models.de/p2_04.htm have on their site. This is the German distributor for HK Models and they show "pre production" test shots that do have some differences from the mockup, the propellers are fixed, the ball turret is much better, a lot of the details are improved, however the shape and outline are not. I realize this is still not the "golden egg", I only hope they have put those newer photo's out there to gain some feedback. The German distributor says available June 2013, so I'm hoping they do more fine tuning before I blow my $300. I purchased an ID Models 1/32 B-17 back in 1988, mail order no returns. It cost me $250 back then and I was so excited when the UPS truck drove up. Thirty minutes later it was in the dumpster, they used the Aero Data drawings which are so far out, no salvage was possible! Even worse the transparencies were a direct copy of the Sterling Models 1/32 Balsa flying model, which Ironically had a very accurate airframe outline. Oh well you can't win em all. Either way if the new kit has outline issues it will still be good for parts.

By the way, are you the one behind the awesome Memphis Belle documentary video set with all the extra silent color footage? If you are, it's worth its weight in gold! It directly helped me nail down all the info for Zotz B-17 decal sheet.

Regards,

Jeff

No, it's not me that's behind the Memphis Belle video set. I hope you didn't take my comment personally as it was not directed toward you. I have studied the B-17 since the Monogram kit was released in 1975. Going on 39 years now, that's a long damn time and I'm still learning stuff. There's always something in a nook or cranny that I've never seen before and someone, somewhere always seems to have a photo of it. I've also learned that with wartime production, there's very little that is out of the realm of possibility as far as outfitting these critters was concerned and with three separate assembly factories, it just gets compounded.

I never liked vacuform models and although I've seen the ID version, I chose not to invest in it as I was fortunate enough to see pictures of it before I bought it. I'm hoping that HK will fine tune the kit before it becomes available. If June is the scheduled release date, they'd better get crackin. Personally, I think it'll be closer to September before this thing hits the shelves in the U.S. I'm using the recent release of the B-25J 8 gun strafer kit as my benchmark for that thought. I'll may still buy one of these kits even if it has some issues. I really want the earlier G version that so I can make a 1/32 "Wee Willie". I just hope they give me the elongated "F" nose transparency rather than the squatty G version so I can model her in later life. I've got the nose art already done in 1/48 and all it'll take is a click of the mouse and scale it up 150% and voila, 1/32 scale.

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No, it's not me that's behind the Memphis Belle video set. I hope you didn't take my comment personally as it was not directed toward you. I have studied the B-17 since the Monogram kit was released in 1975. Going on 39 years now, that's a long damn time and I'm still learning stuff. There's always something in a nook or cranny that I've never seen before and someone, somewhere always seems to have a photo of it. I've also learned that with wartime production, there's very little that is out of the realm of possibility as far as outfitting these critters was concerned and with three separate assembly factories, it just gets compounded.

I never liked vacuform models and although I've seen the ID version, I chose not to invest in it as I was fortunate enough to see pictures of it before I bought it. I'm hoping that HK will fine tune the kit before it becomes available. If June is the scheduled release date, they'd better get crackin. Personally, I think it'll be closer to September before this thing hits the shelves in the U.S. I'm using the recent release of the B-25J 8 gun strafer kit as my benchmark for that thought. I'll may still buy one of these kits even if it has some issues. I really want the earlier G version that so I can make a 1/32 "Wee Willie". I just hope they give me the elongated "F" nose transparency rather than the squatty G version so I can model her in later life. I've got the nose art already done in 1/48 and all it'll take is a click of the mouse and scale it up 150% and voila, 1/32 scale.

Hi Tim, I didn't take it personally, I know other people are reading this so it's for their own enlightenment if they so choose. I know what you mean about learning new things. Almost every time I look at photo's I find something I didn't see before. For instance trying to pin down which B-17's had the knockout windshield panes and which ones didn't basically comes down to if you have a photograph of your bird. Nine O Nine was delivered with the shorter Perspex nose and finished with the longer F style nose. It wasn't until around the 25 year mark, I noticed that the oil and grunge going over the top of the wing doesn't come out of the wing vents, but rather between them. One day I was standing in the bomb bay of Sentimental Journey and I could see through to the inside of the wing via a small lightening hole. There to my amazement I could see daylight through the inboard wing vents. There were no ducts hooking up to them, they were just vents. So I dove into my books, maintenance manual etc, and low and behold, their purpose is to evacuate any potentially explosive fumes from the inside of the wing. Therefore seldom do you see any thing dark, coming out of the vents but rather between them. It bothered me that I had missed this and had already built 2 dozen B-17's that were all wrong in that respect. I'm not alone though, even Hollywood got it wrong in their Memphis Belle movie as have almost every "virtual B-17" in movies and television. I think it's the human brain telling us there must be something dirty coming out of there, and when you just look at a photo and not study it, the brain sees 4 streaks trailing behind the vents and it's not until you get twigged by something that you realize they come from ahead of the vents and go between.

I think if this kit is available June 2013, then it's too late to expect any further tweaking, unless as you say it comes later as the B-25. Either way I'm socking away my money for the day of its release, good or bad, as it is light years ahead of the ID Models Vacform kit. I do have the Combat Models vacform, with a whole bunch of extra details stuff, it is started but certainly doesn't slam together like the Monogram kit. When I think of it, there is somewhat of a Pandora's box concerning the right shape and outline. Monogram really nailed it and truly to get it the same, it might be considered a copyright infringement if the new model was almost a 1/32 clone of it, even with thinner trailing edges and recessed panel lines. The easiest method of getting it right would be to do a 3D scan of the Monogram kit and enlarge and tweak it add more fine details and voila! I was really disappointed with the 1/72 Revell Germany B-17, I was expecting a 1/72 clone of the best kit of a B-17 they had sitting right in front of them, and for some reason they went with a set of drawings that were mediocre at best, a real shame. Tamiya will probably come out with the ultimate B-17 when I've gotten too old to see the difference! Hahaha

Build more B-17's!

Regards,

Jeff

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While the Monogram kit is the best kit of the 17 to date, I still have a few issues with it even though it's the best one. That radio room gun installation should not be like it is given the block aircraft the model is intended to represent. There's no access panels on the back of the chin turret for gun removal. These panels are very noticeable when the turret is swung 90 degrees to the long axis of the fuselage. As a matter of fact, I think I've seen them either removed or covered with clear plexiglass on some forts. Overall though, for 1975, the kit is still extremely viable and there's a boat load of them still selling. I had heard that Monogram/Revell had several sets of tools for this kit over the years; each successive tooling being slightly softer than the previous. Having had different boxings of the kit over the years, the details in the later releases are definitely softer than in the original release. After the ProModeler release, the mold has been irrepairably changed and not for the better. Those machine gun barrels are a scale 6" thick. That's why I have only one boxing of the kit in my collection and that's from the intital release back in the mid to late 1970's.

Edited by timc
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It wasn't until around the 25 year mark, I noticed that the oil and grunge going over the top of the wing doesn't come out of the wing vents, but rather between them. One day I was standing in the bomb bay of Sentimental Journey and I could see through to the inside of the wing via a small lightening hole. There to my amazement I could see daylight through the inboard wing vents. There were no ducts hooking up to them, they were just vents. So I dove into my books, maintenance manual etc, and low and behold, their purpose is to evacuate any potentially explosive fumes from the inside of the wing. Therefore seldom do you see any thing dark, coming out of the vents but rather between them.

Ah, my #1 B-17 model Pet Peeve. I've been tilting at that particulary windmill myself for many years now. while I don't take credit, I've noticed that the info does slowly be seeping into the modeling community. While most B-17 models I see still have big, black greasy streaks coming out of the wing vents, I've noticed I'm starting to see more with the correct staining patterns. This is about the best photo I've ever found illustrating how a real B-17 weathers (unfortunately this particular aircraft went down after the bomb in the foreground sheared off the left horizontal stab.)

B-17Weathering.jpg

SN

Edited by Steve N
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Indeed it is the mockup that was originally shown when Wing Scale was announcing it.

Go here for better pics.. http://www.newburyscalemodelclub.org.uk/2010/12/07/wing-scale-announce/

I was referring to what http://www.hk-models.de/p2_04.htm have on their site. This is the German distributor for HK Models and they show "pre production" test shots that do have some differences from the mockup, the propellers are fixed, the ball turret is much better, a lot of the details are improved, however the shape and outline are not. I realize this is still not the "golden egg", I only hope they have put those newer photo's out there to gain some feedback. The German distributor says available June 2013, so I'm hoping they do more fine tuning before I blow my $300. I purchased an ID Models 1/32 B-17 back in 1988, mail order no returns. It cost me $250 back then and I was so excited when the UPS truck drove up. Thirty minutes later it was in the dumpster, they used the Aero Data drawings which are so far out, no salvage was possible! Even worse the transparencies were a direct copy of the Sterling Models 1/32 Balsa flying model, which Ironically had a very accurate airframe outline. Oh well you can't win em all. Either way if the new kit has outline issues it will still be good for parts.

By the way, are you the one behind the awesome Memphis Belle documentary video set with all the extra silent color footage? If you are, it's worth its weight in gold! It directly helped me nail down all the info for Zotz B-17 decal sheet.

Regards,

Jeff

Sorry to hear about that vacu-form B-17... But it does reflect much of my modelling experience, in a more extreme way...

The photo below is of the more definitive test shot this time, and obvious discrepancies around the main canopy are fairly severe, though not the worst I have seen: It is very clear this B-17G is nowhere near Monogram's old B-17 or the recent 1/32 B-25 from the same maker, which is probably the best B-25 ever...

Note the lack of fuselage radius at the base of the real B-17 canopy, and the "thicker" real roof section compared to the kit... Not terrible but not very good either: To me the entire "roof" section look odd... I don't know what the taller turret base means on this current restored warbird, but at least the glass portion of that looks somewhere in the ballpark... The nose windows are not bad, and the cowling/props seem close (though the blades may have too much taper)... The leading edge intakes between the nacelles look quite off.

tb_m01e04_101_zpse677109b.jpg

hi-res-b-17_zps6b5eaf0f.jpg

For one tenth of the price, the old Monogram B-17G has more potential with less effort...

Robertson

Edited by Robertson
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Those machine gun barrels are a scale 6" thick. That's why I have only one boxing of the kit in my collection and that's from the intital release back in the mid to late 1970's.

Just go get some aftermarket barrels, quickboost makes a real nice set of resin barrels. It's the whole set for all the kits guns nose to tail, and the set is cheap.

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Sorry to hear about that vacu-form B-17... But it does reflect much of my modelling experience, in a more extreme way...

The photo below is of the more definitive test shot this time, and obvious discrepancies around the main canopy are fairly severe, though not the worst I have seen: It is very clear this B-17G is nowhere near Monogram's old B-17 or the recent 1/32 B-25 from the same maker, which is probably the best B-25 ever...

Note the lack of fuselage radius at the base of the real B-17 canopy, and the "thicker" real roof section compared to the kit... Not terrible but not very good either: To me the entire "roof" section look odd... I don't know what the taller turret base means on this current restored warbird, but at least the glass portion of that looks somewhere in the ballpark... The nose windows are not bad, and the cowling/props seem close (though the blades may have too much taper)... The leading edge intakes between the nacelles look quite off.

tb_m01e04_101_zpse677109b.jpg

hi-res-b-17_zps6b5eaf0f.jpg

For one tenth of the price, the old Monogram B-17G has more potential with less effort...

Robertson

The top turret on the warbird is a dummy and probably isn't mounted with the actual hardware, a lot of the flying warbirds have dummy turrets. Sentimental Journey has the real McCoy in all stations. In this photo of the more recent mockup using the latest test shots, you can see the fuselage cross section at the windshield is the same radius all around. It should be flatter topside as you can see on the real B-17. The oil cooler intakes definitely look too deep and not sloped under enough. Leading edge of the wing also looks too thick and blunt. I think the issue with the prop blades is not enough twist. The angle of incidence on the inner portion should be greater than that at the tip, the whole blade gradually twists from the root to the tip and when viewed from the front would appear less tapered. I have a real blade in my stash and there are plenty of good photo's of them from all angles. Twisting 12 propeller blades so they are all the same is not something I'm looking forward to. Just looking at the way this mockup is put together makes me wonder if HK really has anyone with any modeling experience or knowledge of what a real B-17 looks like. Putting the ILS antenna on backwards is not going to gain my confidence! Also if the structure under the bomb bay is what is necessary to support the wings, that is not well engineered. Something this size needs wing spars to fix the dihedral of the wings correctly. The system they have has little strength at the wing root, it puts all the strain on the wing joint. I sent an email to HK_models.de and they were gracious enough to forward it to HK directly, however I have not had a reply as of yet.

Regards,

Jeff

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The top turret on the warbird is a dummy and probably isn't mounted with the actual hardware, a lot of the flying warbirds have dummy turrets. Sentimental Journey has the real McCoy in all stations. In this photo of the more recent mockup using the latest test shots, you can see the fuselage cross section at the windshield is the same radius all around. It should be flatter topside as you can see on the real B-17. The oil cooler intakes definitely look too deep and not sloped under enough. Leading edge of the wing also looks too thick and blunt. I think the issue with the prop blades is not enough twist. The angle of incidence on the inner portion should be greater than that at the tip, the whole blade gradually twists from the root to the tip and when viewed from the front would appear less tapered. I have a real blade in my stash and there are plenty of good photo's of them from all angles. Twisting 12 propeller blades so they are all the same is not something I'm looking forward to. Just looking at the way this mockup is put together makes me wonder if HK really has anyone with any modeling experience or knowledge of what a real B-17 looks like. Putting the ILS antenna on backwards is not going to gain my confidence! Also if the structure under the bomb bay is what is necessary to support the wings, that is not well engineered. Something this size needs wing spars to fix the dihedral of the wings correctly. The system they have has little strength at the wing root, it puts all the strain on the wing joint. I sent an email to HK_models.de and they were gracious enough to forward it to HK directly, however I have not had a reply as of yet.

Regards,

Jeff

Ooooo....I see what your'e talking about regarding the cross section of the nose near the windscreen. Not good, it makes the whole cockpit area look bad. I wonder if HK used the wrong information when rendering the upper turret. That mount base sure looks too tall to me. The astrodome mount area looks funny as well. I used to have Fuddy Duddy here where I live but it's been gone for a long time now. That one didn't have real turrets either. When I saw that I was sad as I was looking for particular details of certain turrets. Supposedly, HK used several Subject Matter Experts in the design of this kit. I don't know who they were save two of them and one of them is a 109 guy.

Edited by timc
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Ah, my #1 B-17 model Pet Peeve. I've been tilting at that particulary windmill myself for many years now. while I don't take credit, I've noticed that the info does slowly be seeping into the modeling community. While most B-17 models I see still have big, black greasy streaks coming out of the wing vents, I've noticed I'm starting to see more with the correct staining patterns. This is about the best photo I've ever found illustrating how a real B-17 weathers (unfortunately this particular aircraft went down after the bomb in the foreground sheared off the left horizontal stab.)

B-17Weathering.jpg

SN

Probably one of the most famous photo's of a B-17 in trouble. That is Miss Donna Mae II from the 94th Bg. It's one of the 36 B-17's in my project list.

Another thing this photo points out is the direction of airflow over the wing. Air flowing over a wing angles to the root over the top and towards the tip on the bottom, this is what causes wing tip vortices. You can see the angle on the starboard wing is more severe than the port. The only thing I can think of here is the prop wash pushing the starboard side in further, and counter acting the inward airflow on the port, thereby reducing its angle. This pattern is very consistent on all the B-17's I've seen in photo's. (not the Hollywood ones).

Regards,

Jeff

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  • 2 weeks later...

Honestly when it comes to the B-17 I'm with Jeff, I've been looking at B-17's since I was a kid going to the airshow in the good old days of the geneseo airshow. Just like Jeff said, I tend to notice when something doesnt look quite right to me. Looking at the sprues pics of the new kits I notice a bunch of little things that just dont look right. and to be honest, the things I see that dont llok right are almost exactly the same as I see on every single 1/72nd scale B-17 kit out there.

All the 1/72nd kits look almost like cartoonish replica's to me, but honestly almost all 1/72 kits look like this to me. So I might be biased...

Jeff, I'll be looking for those pics of the old one and expecting to see WIP pics of the new ones when you start them. I always love seeing the 48th kits being built! Good to see there is some one who has it worse than me! :sunrevolves:/>

Haven't forgot about you, I finally dragged out my photo's. It took a while to sort through 40+ years of photo's all thrown in one Rubbermaid! I even found some pics of models I built when I was 13 years old! Now all I have to do is scan them. The pics of the 14 91st Bg. B-17's are a bit disappointing, they were taken by a member of our local model club with a 110 Instamatic. However they do convey the awesomeness of a flight line of B-17's. The others were taken with a Pentax K1000 I got for my 20th birthday, some are B&W. Sure wish they had digital back then, probably would have taken a lot more pics. Anyhow I will try to get them either posted or emailed to you in about a week. I'm just recovering from a nasty cold, so I haven't been on here for a while.

Jeff

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Monogram also had the complete help of Boeing when they develope their B-17 and Boeing also gave them every drawing they ask for.This info is stated in the B-17 In Detail and Scale book. I will admit it does look off around the windshild area. The plastic contraption under the fuselage is actually a stand so you can dsiplay the model with it's gear up in a flying postion.The wings have the same interlocking system as their B-25 kit so it will be strong I would think. Thanks for your observations.

Yuri

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Originally posted by Mike Maben over on Hyperscale:

Modelling news review

this is a bit of a review on a test shot.

Sorry if this has been posted already.

These are the best closeups of the test shots yet! And lots of them. I'm not going to get into details here because I am told the original was based on the Aero Detail Drawings which is plainly evident in these latest photo's here. I have heard however that a team of "experts" on the subject has come to the rescue and fixed a whole bunch of things and that it will be the most accurate B-17 in any scale! I truly hope these test shots are nowhere near what is coming, as the most accurate B-17 in any scale claim will go down in flames. By the way the most accurate B-17 in any scale are the 1/1 B-17's produced by Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed, and come with real button head rivets, incredibly real fabric control surfaces and some even fly! In 2nd place is the almost 40 year old Monogram B-17G in 1/48 scale. Would it not be incredible if Revell came out with an all new 1/48 B-17 based on the shape and outline of the old but very accurate kit? One can only dream, at any rate they would sell a lot more in that scale by leaps and bounds. If they had only used what they already had and put all that effort into a 1/72 pantograph of the 1/48 kit they would have sold tons more in 1/72nd scale instead of that highly detailed Matchbox clone!

Jeff :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

About that support structure under the bomb bay, that is actually a really clever mounting system for the kit. It pretty much allows you to hang the model from a wall if you're limited in cabinet space for it. It's a pretty cool idea I think, but may require asking permission before drilling holes into the wall to hang a model.

I'm still excited for it, even if there are some minor shape issues. It looks enough like a B-17 for 95% of folks, so that's good enough for me. Price is a bit out of my range, but I'm sure that will drop in time.

Matt

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The only real advantages the Academy B-17s have over the Hasegawa kits are engraved panel lines and the option of an open bomb bay (and the accuracy of raised vs. engraved lines on a B-17 continues to be debated.) The Hasegawa forts definitely have better clear parts (although the 'Cheyenne Tail Turret' canopy on the G is noticeably undersized.)

The recent Revell kits are by far the best detailed B-17s in 1/72, but have a number of disappointing problems..the worst being that the wing is too thick from root to tip, throwing off the look off the entire model.

So even though it's pushing 40 years old, the Hasegawa B-17 is still a contender..accurate, well molded, and goes together with minimal fuss.

SN

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Some of you have been violating the cardinal rule of warbird reference... never EVER depend on restored warbirds for *any* kind of measurement, configuration, or paint call-out. Accuracy is always a question with these.

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In the area of equipment/armament configurations and especially paint colors I wholeheartedly agree that restored warbirds are not accurate references. But in this case we're talking about a shape of the primary structure, which is unchanged by restoration. And I have to admit (and I can't believe I'm saying this) Gaston is right..the roof of the nose compartment ahead of the windshield should flatten out a bit, but the HK kit has it continuing the circular profile, making the middle of the windshield a bit pinched. Seems a rather major error to me considering the scale and price of the kit..whether it's enough to be considered a Fatal Flaw® is up to the individual.

As for me, I'm still waiting for a "definitive" B-17 in my chosen scale of 1/72.

SN

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In the area of equipment/armament configurations and especially paint colors I wholeheartedly agree that restored warbirds are not accurate references. But in this case we're talking about a shape of the primary structure, which is unchanged by restoration. And I have to admit (and I can't believe I'm saying this) Gaston is right..the roof of the nose compartment ahead of the windshield should flatten out a bit, but the HK kit has it continuing the circular profile, making the middle of the windshield a bit pinched. Seems a rather major error to me considering the scale and price of the kit..whether it's enough to be considered a Fatal Flaw® is up to the individual.

As for me, I'm still waiting for a "definitive" B-17 in my chosen scale of 1/72.

SN

If they fix the shape error on the nose, then I'm all in; otherwise, someone else can have mine.

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  • 2 months later...

Has anyone got or seen the actual released HK 1/32 B-17G? Curious to see if any errors were addressed. A lot of money! For something that was not based on Boeing's drawings or a properly restored B-17 or even the 1000's of photographs of the wartime real thing. Hope they stepped up to the plate. I've got the money, but if it's a bomb, I'll spend it on something else.

Regards,

Jeff :)

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Well, the nose in front of the windscreen is still circular in cross section. There's been no correction to that error yet. I've emailed HK about the issue (I actually went a little overboard with my error description and later had to recant some of it) and they did tell me that they would look into it but it was very late in the tooling of this kit. Maybe the next release will have a correct nose section. As far as other errors are concerned, I cannot comment.

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Unless they were to totally re-tool the forward fuselage and the clear windscreen, there's no way to "correct" that. And I can pretty well tell you that's not going to happen.

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