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THE FINAL HURDLE!... 1:20 scale scratch built B17G


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Hi everyone

 

Well it is time to get down and finally attempt to finish this Mammoth B17G project. Some of you may know that I started this 7 years ago with a few breaks in between sections to build other stuff.

As a recap :  I was originally going to just scratch build the nose section but kind of got hood winked in carrying on down the length of the fuselage! .....so I then built the Bomb bay....followed by the radio room and ball turret section and now it is time to finish this off with the tail section. Just to let you all know that I will not be building the wings and the 4 engines that go with it!😉

 

I got together some old post photos from the start of this project and thought I would show you of how I got to this point today!

 

This first photo shows the completed fuselage up to the ball turret position.....

 

Nose-Bomb-bay-and-Radio-room-sections-jo

 

Here is a shot of the cockpit.......

 

hhh-006.jpg

 

...and the bomb bay looking from the radio room through to the cockpit....

 

Bomb-bay-complete-5.jpg

 

Here is the radio operators table in the radio room.....

 

Equipment-beneath-the-radio-ops-table-an

 

...and finally the ball turret in place on the hanging harness.....

 

oxygen-bottle-and-the-complete-fit-1.jpg

 

So my aim has always been through out this project to display as much of the internal detail as possible as I have always been fascinated with the Flying Fortress!.....so to that end I have tried to construct the whole fuselage with the top removed. This over the years has given me many headaches and will continue to I'm sure ... because I didn't want to take away the shape of the B17!... For example my next problem will be how to display the detail with that ruddy great dorsal Fin attached?......well I have an idea which I will show you as we get on with the build.

The other problem I have is how to ship it back to the UK from here?....I have made a bespoke box out of MDF but I am getting ahead of my self!....lets put that to one side at the moment and get this last section underway!

 

So here we go then..the first of many photos and posts that I will have to make!!

 

I am going to make the fuselage out of balsa wood as I did with the the front sections....so after digging out the scale plans that I scaled up to 1:20 I cut out all the formers I would need.

 

BUILDING-THE-FUSELAGE.jpg

 

The bottom half was built up first ...then the top half .....here they are temporarily joined.

 

BUILDING-THE-FUSELAGE-1.jpg

 

BUILDING-THE-FUSELAGE-2.jpg

 

A few years ago I started strengthening the fuselage by filling in between the stringers with scrap pieces of Balsa wood. All you have to do then is sand down carefully to the formers and stringers to get the ...hopefully.... correct shape. Here is the bottom half.....

 

BUILDING-THE-FUSELAGE-3.jpg

 

Here is the top half just  placed in position.....

 

BUILDING-THE-FUSELAGE-4.jpg

 

So here the scrap balsa was filled in the gaps and sanded. You can see that I have left an area open at the top so you will be able to see down into the detail......

 

BUILDING-THE-FUSELAGE-5.jpg

 

BUILDING-THE-FUSELAGE-6.jpg

 

Now I turned my attention to the dorsal fin which runs along the top of the fuselage which eventually turns into the tail fin.At this stage I am only building so far back and will complete it by somehow attaching the tail fin at a later stage...there is method in my madness as you will see later!

 

BUILDING-THE-FUSELAGE-7.jpg

 

Once I had filled the gaps with balsa ,I glued the dorsal fin on top of the fuselage and as you can see there is still enough open space to eventually look at all the detail.

 

BUILDING-THE-FUSELAGE-8.jpg

 

I thought I would clamp the front section onto this to see what it might look like......JEEZ!.....It's about 3 feet 5 inches long!! 

 

fres-008.jpg

 

fres-004.jpg

 

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Well that's as far as I have got with this so far!

 

I do hope some of you will come along with me for the ride on this final stage of this project...would appreciate the support!

 

Until the next post.....thanks for looking in and stay safe guys!

 

Fozzy

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Fozzy,

What a challenge you've taken-on. The details are simply amazing, and extremely well

done. I've always enjoyed builds that have, "cut-a-ways" built into the project. Truly sets

the tone, for what the finished model will look like and represent. You're doing a great

job with it, I'll be watching this until its done!

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27 minutes ago, The Underdog said:

 

Fozzy,

What a challenge you've taken-on. The details are simply amazing, and extremely well

done. I've always enjoyed builds that have, "cut-a-ways" built into the project. Truly sets

the tone, for what the finished model will look like and represent. You're doing a great

job with it, I'll be watching this until its done!

 

Cheers mate!....glad you are on board!

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Nice to see you back on this Fozzy! ... and not putting on the wings or engines eh-h-h? Uh-huh ... we'll see what happens over the next few months ...  :whistle:

How about doing just a portion of the wings, say a scale metre from the wing root ... ?

 

I'll be watching these final subassemblies coming to completion ... this is real eye-candy!

 

Thanx Fozzy!

Pete

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, K2Pete said:

Nice to see you back on this Fozzy! ... and not putting on the wings or engines eh-h-h? Uh-huh ... we'll see what happens over the next few months ...  :whistle:

How about doing just a portion of the wings, say a scale metre from the wing root ... ?

 

I'll be watching these final subassemblies coming to completion ... this is real eye-candy!

 

Thanx Fozzy!

Pete

 

Cheers Pete!....as for the wing suggestion!....................:crying:

Edited by Fozzy
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12 hours ago, Fozzy said:

Here is a shot of the cockpit.......

 

Nice shots of a B-17 interior, but I thought you were going to show pics of the model you built up, not the real thing. :whistle:

:thumbsup2:

 

Seriously, amazingly well done. I DID have to look twice.

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Posted (edited)

Unbelievable Fozzy!  And I agree with Pete.  Maybe out to the first engine on each side?!?!😷

Edited by JesusNut
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Thanks guys for all your comments!.....I have already done extensive detailing on both wing roots so I don't think I would like to cover that up with two short stubby wings!........but I may think about it!:whistle:

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5 hours ago, Fozzy said:

Thanks guys for all your comments!.....I have already done extensive detailing on both wing roots so I don't think I would like to cover that up with two short stubby wings!........but I may think about it!:whistle:

 

Fozzy,

You could model a wing on stands, like its being prepared for installation. That way,

folks can still enjoy the extensive detailing of the Wing Roots. I agree with you, don't

cover those up... my opinion, it would be a big mistake!

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3 hours ago, The Underdog said:

 

Fozzy,

You could model a wing on stands, like its being prepared for installation. That way,

folks can still enjoy the extensive detailing of the Wing Roots. I agree with you, don't

cover those up... my opinion, it would be a big mistake!

 

Not a bad idea mate!.....lets get this fuselage completed first!!

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Hi guys......for some reason I just cant post anymore....if you are reading this then I will try again for an update....any one else experiencing this?

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Well that's crazy.....lets try and start my update!.......

 

I'll start the post without the photos first...here goes nothing......

 

 

Time for an update!

 

So I have made some progress on the tail unit but before showing you the photos I thought I would share the other problem that I have with this project!....always problems! ....serves me right for starting this journey!

If you didn't know ...I live in S.E Bulgaria and I will eventually need to transport this finished B17 across to UK first and then eventually ship it across to California in the States where I am pleased to say that I have had interest from the The Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad (not far from L.A) and have decided to donate it to them. This in turn will of course cause a few headaches!

This is a very large and extremely delicate B17G I am building and it will need careful consideration on how to ship it.I used to do commissions for people and have shipped models to Europe by shipping companies...I would pack the model and hand it over to them and they would  charge the earth with no guarantees that it would arrive safely!.... So this time I am going to try another way of shipping. I am going to try and put it on a flight with me and because it is too big to go as hand luggage , I had to think of it going in the hold in a large suitcase!....which then set the alarm bells going off as I imagined the baggage handlers tossing the case all over the shop!.....and so I did an experiment.

I took the front section which as you know is complete and measured the length and height and chose a large enough suit case to use. I then built a MDF box and suspended the model in the box using polystyrene ...screwed the lid on and placed the box inside the suitcase. I then took it out in my garden and threw the case all over the lawn....kicked it and dropped it from a height as if I was a baggage handler!   .............let me tell you that after 7 years of building the front section it was a very difficult thing to do!

I eventually opened the box ( with a hang mans noose at the ready ) to see what damaged was caused!........absolutely no damage at all!....phew! what a relief! ......I will be trying that experiment again at a later date ...this time being even more brutal!

Here is the box with the front section packed in....with the lid off of course.......

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So far so good....don't know why it is working now!!...

 

To continue then......

 

If the model arrives safely in the UK then I will be happy for the next trip to USA a little later!

 

So on with the progress I have made with the tail section.....here is part of the tail.....

 

The-tail-section.jpg

 

The-tail-section-1.jpg

 

The-tail-section-2.jpg

 

The-tail-section-3.jpg

 

....and the next part added up to the rudder position....

 

The-tail-section-4.jpg

 

So this tail section will have to be designed so that it can be taken on and off as it will be far too big to fit into the built box for the suitcase.....so to that end here is a photo of the location holes I have designed for some pegs that will slot into them to hold the tail in place......

 

The-tail-section-5.jpg

 

...and here are the pegs on the tail unit that will slot in.....

 

The-tail-section-6.jpg

 

and here I am slotting the unit in place.

 

The-tail-section-7.jpg

 

The-tail-section-8.jpg

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....and finally.....

 

Once again I have joined the two halves together to see if all looks ok........

 

swe-003.jpg

 

swe-004.jpg

 

swe-007.jpg

 

swe-008.jpg

 

I have to say that I am finding this tail unit very challenging and it's coming together at a snails pace!

 

Next up will be the Rudder construction.... so until then ..look after yourselves and happy modelling!

 

Got there in the end!!

 

Cheers

 

Fozzy

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On 5/13/2020 at 4:07 PM, Fozzy said:

  .............let me tell you that after 7 years of building the front section it was a very difficult thing to do!

 

HO-LEE-KOW!

I woulda been defecating razor blades!   :doh:    You deserve an enormous pat on the back for trying this, but it had to be a huge relief! Good on ya Fozzy!   :thumbsup:

And I'm glad this'll be on display for many more people to see and appreciate! ( You should ask if the model could have a chaperone ... You ... for the flight!      :whistle: )

 

And the tail section is looking, typical for you, gor-r-geous! 'Tis a nice solution for the tail section attaching points!

Pete

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone

 

I'm still battling away with the construction of the tail section of this B17G..... long old slow process but I have made some good progress!

 

I was about half way through constructing the tail out of balsa wood in my last post ....so here are some photos of where I am at the moment.

 

Here you can see that I have filled with scrap balsa in between the longerons on the section I built in the last post...

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

The next 3 photos show that I have built the rudder and temporarily attached it the the tail assembly......

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

After giving it some thought I decided that the rudder would eventually look better if I skinned it with tissue. So after sanding down the rudder as smooth as I could get it , I applied the tissue with a couple of coats of shrinking dope....time to get as high as a coot!!... The trim tab I left as solid balsa wood.....

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

The fun really started then as whilst looking at the scale plans I am using I realized that the tail gun position was of the old "stinger" configuration!...as shown in this next photo....

 

c3018f72482db311b55d53e8c9d19672.jpg

 

I needed the up dated Cheyenne turret...as in this next photo.....

 

91aadc031a794c5fdaa948afb8ee5783.jpg

 

Well this caused me all sorts of worries as I would have to some how build the Cheyenne turret with out any scaled plans. I down loaded and printed off a drawing of the turret using Foxit reader and tried to get it to the same scale as my existing plans...I got it as close as I could but it was really just a guide of sorts!  I then basically had to take a look at photos and transfer what I saw into some sort of balsa construction! So it was a bit of a challenge to say the least!

So first up .....I placed the built fuselage onto the drawings and literally drew in the shape that I needed to get the width of the turret ...trying to remember that the drawings were slightly out of scale and then looked at photos of the side of the turret to get as close as I could the height and shape dimensions!....crazy way of doing it but this was all I could do.

 

Here is that process on the go......

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

I then filled in between the stringers with balsa and literally whittled the shape of the turret!...getting the aperture shape for the ball was a nightmare but managed to do it in the end...

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

To make the ball that fits into the hole....for want of a better description!!....I thought best to make a plug in the correct shape out of balsa and do a plug and mold procedure!

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

I placed the mold into the hole!....to check out what it looked like....I thought ...so far so good!

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

I got the mold ready to push onto the frame where I attached a piece of food packaging plastic ready to be heated..

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

...and fired up my old Bulgarian grill machine!...perfect for the job!

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

Placed the prepared frame under the grill.....waited for the melt!....and boom!....managed to get it right first time...something that doesn't always happen for me!

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

After cutting out the slots for the machine gun barrels, I cut the mold out and super glued it to the turret....

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

...and finally here it is attached to the fuselage with pegs!!

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

Rudder-and-Cheyenne-tailgun-construction

 

The fun and games doesn't stop there for this Cheyenne turret as I have to somehow get

the perspex enclosure built....again this will be done by staring at photos all day!!

 

Thanks as always for taking a look guys and see you next time round!

 

Cheers

 

Fozzy

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Wonderful, Fozzy!  In case you didn't know, Red Devil brand spackle is perfect for filling the grain and imperfections on balsa wood. Thin it to a paste with water, brush it on and when dry sand it nice and smooth. Paint on some clear water-based varnish for a tough finish. A bonus is that it's so light I could use it on rubber-powered free flight models. Cheers!

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3 hours ago, chukw said:

Wonderful, Fozzy!  In case you didn't know, Red Devil brand spackle is perfect for filling the grain and imperfections on balsa wood. Thin it to a paste with water, brush it on and when dry sand it nice and smooth. Paint on some clear water-based varnish for a tough finish. A bonus is that it's so light I could use it on rubber-powered free flight models. Cheers!

 

Thanks for the tip Chukw!...I'll look into it!

 

Cheers...Fozzy!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Being from a 447th BG family. I always love seeing your updates. That just looks better and better all the time!

Good catch on the stinger vs. Cheyenne tail. Glad you discovered that in time to make the fix.

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On 6/9/2020 at 4:48 AM, Ol' Scrapiron said:

Being from a 447th BG family. I always love seeing your updates. That just looks better and better all the time!

Good catch on the stinger vs. Cheyenne tail. Glad you discovered that in time to make the fix.

 

Although the stinger tail unit would have given me less headaches!!😉

 

Hi guys

 

I have just about managed to finish the basic construction of the rear fuselage and tail section with just a few details to add at a later stage. So after this post I can get on with working on all the internal detail!

 

So first up I had to think about how I was going to go about making the structure of the Cheyenne rear turret. After measuring up for scale from photos I got a sheet of plastic card and put together the frame work. I won't be glazing the turret or fixing it in place until all the internal detail in the turret is complete...this is because I will never get my fingers in there to do anything!.....so here is the Cheyenne turret frame work.....

 

skinning-the-tail-section-and-work-on-th

 

After fixing some sort of band of plastic around the aperture so that the frame would have something to adhere to I placed the turret in position to see what it looked like......I am happy with the out come as I thought it would give me no end of problems considering I had no scale plans to go by.

Here it is in place.....

 

skinning-the-tail-section-and-work-on-th

 

skinning-the-tail-section-and-work-on-th

 

skinning-the-tail-section-and-work-on-th

 

So it was back to the tail section. I decided to skin this section now in preparation of spraying. Most of this B17G Fuddy Duddy I am depicting is bare metal except for the tail section where there is a splash of yellow.

So first up was to mark the rivet lines with pen....

 

skinning-the-tail-section-and-work-on-th

 

The material I am using to skin the tail is quite simply sticky back silver paper which is thinner than the aluminum skin I will and have been using for the bare metal sections.You can see in this next photo that after I traced a template  the rivets were punched by my handy rivet maker tool (a safety pin inserted into a piece of plastic sprue!....no expense spared!) and its ready to be glued to the tail section....

 

skinning-the-tail-section-and-work-on-th

 

...and here is the tail unit skinned.....

 

skinning-the-tail-section-and-work-on-th

 

The next job was to sand down all the formers making way for all the internal detail that I will be starting on soon....this was done on both top and bottom of the fuselage half's

 

skinning-the-tail-section-and-work-on-th

 

Using some of my collection of yogurt pot plastic tubs cut to shape!.. I started on covering the internal floors and side walls...

 

skinning-the-tail-section-and-work-on-th

 

The last 3 photos are of some of the detail to the rudder... eg...the trim tab rod connection and the rudder connection fittings to the tail section...

 

skinning_the_tail_section_and_work_on_th

 

skinning-the-tail-section-and-work-on-th

 

skinning_the_tail_section_and_work_on_th

 

That's it for now guys.

 

Next up is making the ribs for the floors and side walls on the lower half of the fuselage and possibly spraying the tail unit....so until then stay safe!

 

Cheers

 

Fozzy

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