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My 1/48 Monogram B-17G

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Finally, I have gotten around to another update on my 1/48 B-17G. For now on, any other updates will be posted in this thread (I should have done this from the beginning).

Here’s a link to my article on ARC of what I have done so far:


Here’s my last two postings on this project:



This is what I’ve done since the ARC article:

- Deepened gaps at all moving surfaces and doors

- Opened up vents on engine nacelles

- Dropped elevators

- Thinned rear edges of wings and stabilizers (they are way too thick)

- Reworked hinges on rudder and elevator (they are oversimplified)

- Reworked ailerons (the shape of them is wrong)

- Detailed the navigation lights on leading edge of wings

- Opened up the vents on the wings and added two vents to the outer wing tips

This is what I still have to do before foiling this beast:

- Add riveting to the wings and horizontal stabilizers

- Detail the superchargers

- Detail the engines

- Build and detail chin and ball turrets

And finally, the photos:

Sorry about the lighting, it’s the only way I could highlight the details. This is the top of the ailerons. Monogram made the four depressions much too large and the gap between the wing and aileron is not deep enough and is too wide. Styrene bits were used to fix these problems.


This is the bottom of the ailerons. The painted wing on the left is from an old kit that I don’t plan to build. The ailerons should not curve in as it meets the wing as Monogram portrayed them. This was fixed with styrene glued in the gap between the wing and aileron and shaped to fit.


The strap separating the wing tip from the rest of the wing was extended, since the de-icer boots were removed, per the particular B-17 I’m modeling.


The Monogram kit provides no landing light, so one was shaped from plastic rod and attached. The clear lens that was included in the kit to go over the area fit horribly. CA gel was used to fill the gap between the clear plastic and wing. The glue was sanded flush and the clear plastic was polished to full clarity.


Since I am modeling a late-war B-17G, I assumed it has the Tokyo tanks that were installed in the wing tips of B-17s. When these were installed, it was found that trapped fumes caused fires. To remedy the problem, two vents were added to allow the fumes from the tanks to escape. Since Monogram’s kit represents an earlier B-17G, it did not have these vents, so I added them.


These vents were opened. I originally decided not to open them, but after gluing the wing halves together, I decided to anyway. It seemed like it took forever to do this, and required an exacto blade chucked in a soldiering iron to cut all the way through the plastic.


Since I’m modeling a late war B-17G, the right waist gun was moved forward. Mr. Surfacer was used to help smooth over the original window position.


The rudder hinge gaps in the kit are way too big. They were filled with epoxy putty and narrower ones were engraved in the putty. A strip of plastic was glued in the gap to represent the hinge itself.


I cut the elevators from the stabilizers and used epoxy putty to fill the two gaps where the elevator hinges are. I cut a new slot in the stabilizers where the hinges attach. Later, I’ll attach a plastic tab in the slots to represent the hinges.


That’s all for now. Thanks for looking! :banana:

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Thanks, John! As an update, I have been removing the fabric texture Monogram molded into the control surfaces, since the texture is out of scale. To do this, I sprayed a thick coat of automotive primer and rubbed the primer with rubbing alcohol after it dried. The alcohol slowly removes and smears around the primer, which covers the fabric texture. Later, I'll spray on a coat of Alcad to represent the aluminum dope applied over the control surfaces.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, guys!

Here’s a small update on the Fortress. Since I only have time to work on the project during weekends, progress is SLOW.


Here’s the rudder with the fabric texture removed. The fabric texture in the kit is unrealistic and wouldn’t really be evident in this scale. The rudder was given a coat of high-build automotive primer to help obscure the texture. I rubbed rubbing alcohol on the primer, which slowly removed the primer until the fabric texture disappeared. This worked on all control surfaces except the rudder. Using this technique on the rudder caused the surface detail on the rudder to be covered up by the primer. I wasn’t happy with it, so I sanded down the primer with 1000 grit until most of the fabric texture was obliterated. The primer helped because it “filled in†the texture. Finally, a coat of Mr. Surfacer 1200 was sprayed to check for any remaining texture left and the rudder was sanded again with 1000 grit to prepare the surface for paint, which I’ll apply later.


Here’s the horizontal stabilizer with the rivet detail applied. I think on Pierre’s DC-3, he’s applying the rivets after he applies the foil. However, since I’m using dynamo tape to get straight rivet lines (I don’t have the nerves to do it freehand), I have to make the rivets before applying foil. Plus, if I screw up the riveting, I don’t have to work around the foil to remove them. After applying foil, I’ll go back and go back over with my riveter to get the foil into the depressions.


I’m starting to rivet the wings, although it’s kind of a simplification of the real B-17 riveting. There’s way too many rivets to reproduce at this scale. Once I finish the wings, I’ll build the ball and chin turrets and get another update posted. Thanks for looking!

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  • 2 months later...

Well, guys, here’s some more progress on my Fort. Sorry I haven’t posted anything sooner, this work is slow and I don’t have a lot of time to work on it. First, I wanted to open the cowl flaps, since many parked B-17s have them open. This proved to be more trouble than it was worth. Since the kit’s cowl flaps were closed, I kindly received a FREE set of cowls from the Revell B-17F kit from Matt Swann (Thanks, Matt!!!). These cowls were positioned open, but upon receiving them, I realized the flaps were much too thick. After thinning them with the Dremel tool and X-acto knife, I had the flaps thin enough. However, when trying to separate the individual flaps, the plastic began to chip and the whole thing ended up being too much to salvage. I hated not being able to use the Revell cowls after Matt went through the trouble of sending them to me, but I had no choice. Plus, I had already spend a lot of time trying to get the Revell cowls thinned and detailed, which was wasted. At this point, I should have just used the kit cowls in the closed position, but even these would require thinning to look acceptable. Instead, I scratchbuilt individual cowl flaps from styrene, flap by flap. It was a tedious job, but I am very pleased with the result. A strip of styrene was run inside the flaps where they join the cowls to reinforce the joint.



Next, I redid the engine cover panels that are under the cowls. On real B-17s, the panels extend under the cowl flaps. The paneling around each engine was divided into several sections, per the real thing.


Next, the exhaust was extended since it would be visible under the open flaps. The piping from the kit (inboard exhaust) and from the Verlinden set (outboard exhaust) were extended to under the engine cover panels where they would go around the entire perimeter of the engine. This was accomplished using Tamiya epoxy putty. The inboard kit exhausts were also repositioned to sit lower, since they protrude too far out of the cowling.





The outlet of the Verlinden turbo-superchargers were drilled out and a round flat piece of plastic was glued in place to represent the waste gate. The actuator was fashioned from styrene and wire.


The small vent behind the main gear wells was added.


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The engines were next. I had debated replacing the kit engines with the Aires or Teknics offerings, but this would have been quite expensive since I would need four of them. Instead I stuck to detailing the kit engines, which really aren’t that bad. First, the wiring harness from the kit was removed and a more accurate one was fashioned from copper wire. I tried to stick to WWII photographs when replicating engine detail, since some restorations have engines with slightly different wiring. Thin steel wire was used to replicate the individual ignition wires (all 80 of them (two per cylinder) !!!). The prop governor at the top of the crankcase was fashioned from bits of styrene and wired up.




Also, all the riveting is done on the wings and the rest of the kit. I’m nearly to the point of foiling this beast now. Until then, I still need to complete all the turrets and I may go ahead and build the landing gear. Thanks for looking and posting any comments!!!


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Glad you and others find this project to be inspiring. Thanks for the kind words!


I'm eager to see this thing finished myself, but I still have a LONG way to go. Appreciate the compliments!


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  • 10 months later...

Hello, guys, I've finally got another update on my Monogram 1/48 B-17G. Sorry it took so long!

After a few "do-overs", I've spent the last few months foiling most of the exterior. This is my first ever experience with foiling, and I think it's turned out fairly well. After I assemble the wings to the fuselage and the fuselage halves, I'll foil the rest. Most of the foil is thin kitchen foil glued down with microscale foil adhesive. I did use Bare Metal Foil Matte Aluminum around the engine nacelles, but I actually found the kitchen foil to give a better finish. I only used the matte side since the finish on B-17s quickly dulled from oxidation. Although it's not very evident in the photos, I alternated the grain of the foil to give different tones to the panels. The areas on the rudder and engine nacelles not foiled are going to be painted. Unfortunately, I'm also going to have to paint the engine cowls and cheek gun blisters, as I can't get the foil to conform to the shapes well enough to suit me.

I had quite a tough time photographing the foil, as under household lamps, the glare was difficult to get rid of. I eventually found that photographing in the shade with the sun out worked best. Still, I think the foil looks a bit more "chromish" in the photos than it does in person. I plan to overcoat the model with a semigloss clear finish (Future and Tamiya flat base mixed) when finished. Oh, and please excuse the blue tape on the trailing edge of the wings. I had problems with the foil tearing at this location, so I'm keeping it covered until assembly is complete.











Edited by Drew T.
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The chin turret was heavily modified from the kit version, as I found that the kit's turret does not maintain a constant diameter from top to bottom like the real one. To fix it, I Wrapped a thin layer of sheet styrene around the turret and blended it in with epoxy putty. The covers over the gun slits were also fashioned from epoxy putty. I also reworked the bottom of the turret to make it match the real one.



Thanks for looking and I hope you like it!


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Lovely, Drew, just Lovely! It almost brings a tear to my eye to see it.....I had one of 'em when I was a good deal younger, and never finished it. I still remember the day I consigned it to the skip, along with a few other kits (if I say what they were, I'll be banned for sacriledge!) in various states of disrepair......the things we do when we're young and stupid! <_<

Can't wait to see this one done! :)

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Col, thanks for the compliments, I never really quit working on the model, I've just been doing a little bit at a time. I did have to redo about half of the foiling because I wasn't satisfied with the result.

Damo, I've had this kit for a number of years myself and started detailing it. But my skills weren't as good as they are now, so I started over a couple of years ago. I appreciate your kind words!


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Thanks Raptor Supporter, I appreciate your compliments!

Chris, thanks for the kind words. I'd be a bit scared to foil a Hustler myself. Lots of complex curves around the engines, but foiling is not that difficult after you develop a good methology though trial and error. The nice thing is that if you screw up, just peel off the foil and wipe off the glue!

Kieth, thanks for the compliments on my models. I'm at Clemson right now, graduating in December in mechanical engineering, but I am from Rock Hill.

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Kieth, thanks for the compliments on my models. I'm at Clemson right now, graduating in December in mechanical engineering, but I am from Rock Hill.

You know, you and I may have walked right past each other a billion times. I graduated from Clemson this past August (Poli Sci) and my gf graduated from Winthrop in December, and she still lives in Rock Hill. In fact, I was just in Rock Hill this past weekend. My brother just got back there to get a second degree, so you may run into him since he's an engineering major right now. My brother-in-law is an area coordinator in the frat quad, and two of my closest friends are CUPD officers. Still got a lot of friends on the drill team up there as well. Small world...

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