Jump to content

1/32 B-17E, Old 666


ghodges
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've started in on building the HK 1/32 B-17E/F Flying Fortress for a client. This will be a L-O-N-G term project as he wants almost every aftermarket item available added and the model built as "Old 666", the B-17E that fought off a dozen or more Zeros on a mapping mission over Bougainville in '43.

I decided to start with the Eduard Brassin engines. The kit engines are indeed anemic, especially for such an expensive 1/32 kit. Each Brassin resin engine includes a sharply cast cowling, open cowl flaps, and several cowl sections in case you want to display it with the cowl off and the parts on the ground nearby. But NOTE: Eduard sells these "by the number", as in "engine #1, #2; etc. It is important that you order #1-#4 if getting all of them, or that you order the correct individual one for the correct spot on the wing because otherwise the cowl flaps may not have the exhaust cut out in the right spot! 1 of the 4 supplied to me was wrong and I had to modify the cowl flaps for that station.

The resin engines are very detailed front and back. If you're NOT going to display it with the cowl off, then nothing for the back is really needed. This can save a LOT of time as one of the biggest resin casting stubs to be removed is on the firewall mount in the back. However, without the rear engine stuff, the engines need to be altered to fit onto the kit mounting pegs. This is easily done by drilling a 9/32" hole in the resin engine bank, which allows it to be slid onto the peg, and also be adjusted forward or back to get it positioned correctly inside the cowl.

The Eduard instructions leave a little to be desired....the illustrations clearly show where everything goes, but they're not really numbered as to which to do in what order. To a degree this is self evident...but later on in the assembly process if you get out of place it can make adding some of the parts tougher. The other problem is that some of the parts need trimming to fit well, especially the push rods. Each of them needed trimming on BOTH ends to make them fit between the crankcase and the rocker arms. I also quickly abandoned trying to use the Eduard PE ignition wires. They appear much too flat (2 dimensional) for 1/32 and are much harder to manipulate than the solder wire I used instead. All in all, there are 45 parts that make up each engine, and that's without using anything on the back side!

Here's pics of my progress this week......

#3 detailed...

003.thumb.JPG.e12e7a42759c2b3cf160c0fa22c2d887.JPG

 

Overview of test fitting the engines on the right wing

007.thumb.JPG.089b6b2b21e2f9dbbf80351d7c57743e.JPG

 

Close up showing how engine bank is drilled to fit the mounting peg in the center, and the fit of the cowling to the wing

005.thumb.JPG.2c664b85b65cfdfeac5c360003b183f3.JPG

Engine #4 (above) has since been detailed, but I still have the other 2 to build up. It takes about 1.5hrs to build each one! By the way, the offset/canted prop governor is correct, and even its "base" is keyed to help align it that way.

Settle in and grab some popcorn....this one will take a while!

 

Gil :cool:

Edited by ghodges
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gil, are you going to mount the machine gun on the fuselage just forward of the windscreen so that Jay Zeamer (the pilot) could fire it from the pilot's control yoke?  This mod is why he was credited with one kill.  There's a very good Wikipedia article about the mission in particular and Zeamer in general.  Incidentally, Tony Weddel did an excellent painting of the episode.  I'll be glad to send you a jpg of it if you wish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No....despite what you see in "Dogfights", there was NO gun mounted on top of the fuselage ahead of the windscreen ala WWI style. If you read the material from Zeamer himself he states that the extra nose gun (wired to his control yoke) was on the floor in the nose beside the bombardier. So you had 3 guns through the clear nose; 1 each at 2 and 10 o'clock, and one off center at the bottom. This also makes sense in that it'd take major work (metal cutting) to mount a gun on top of the nose, but not much extra effort to secure one to the floor and run some wiring. If the Weddel painting is the one I've seen on line, note it does not have the nose gun mounted in front of the windscreen either.

The real difference for 666 was a return to the twin guns for the radio station, and modifying each waist position with twin guns. Also, there was NO gun pointing down through the floor in the rear fuselage (another Dogfights error). That was a mixing of memories by Zeamer with the Marauders he flew before the B-17. There were 15 guns in firing positions (as opposed to the normal 10) and another couple stationed around inside to be "handy" in case of failures. I'll also need to add 2 additional oblique cameras in the rear fuselage that mapping B-17s carried in addition to the regular camera in the floor under the radio position.

GIL :cool:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gil, I've never seen "Dogfights", so I'll stand corrected re that information.  Tony's...and my....information came from an article on Zeamer that differs somewhat from the official Medal of Honor statements.  According to that article, when 666 finally came to a stop after landing and the crew was removed, the ship was so shot up that they took a bulldozer and shoved the  aircraft off the side of the runway.

2084080396_B-17Zeamer.thumb.jpg.2befec927f8d89b4ab8e9f32a369df0d.jpg

As for the Weddel painting that you have seen, all I can say is that the attached photo is a copy of the original painting that Tony took with his own 35mm camera and it does show the m.g. mounted in front of the windshield.  I've also attached a cropped portion of the painting that clearly shows the m.g. in front of the windshield.

40179512_B-17Zeamerm.g_crop.thumb.jpg.af5e14a68a20fd37951b1e77dda1ec3b.jpg

Where that information about the gun's position came from, I can't say.  Is it possible someone did a copy of Tony's painting and deleted the m.g.?  Or is the online painting by a different artist who was inspired by seeing Tony's version?  Unfortunately, we can't ask Tony since he died in 2015.

Richard

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's not the painting I saw on line....

https://airwarworldwar2.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/debunking-the-myths-of-old-666/

The link will take you to a very good discussion of that mission, and includes the painting I decided was more accurate than the Weddel one.

Mission-to-Buka-Passage-crop.jpg.f9b2b0bdc7f45f5c3c3707ec4da64929.jpg

This is a close up of it....though note it shows the F nose windows which are incorrect since 666 was an "E". But, it shows the lower "fixed" nose gun, as well as the twin radio and waist guns. The fuselage mounted gun has a certain "romance" to it, but no pictures of the airplane show any such mod, and it lacks common sense too. Anyway, the client has agreed to the configuration I'm building it in. Cheers!

 

Gil :cool:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gil, it's always "what the client wants, the client gets".   We can argue some of the details and neither one of us will ever be 100% correct, nor will we ever know the absolute truth of that mission as far as the fine details are concerned.  BUT one thing is fact.  The painting you are referring to was done by Jack Fellows, who is a top ranked aviation artist/historian in his own right and is still alive.  Beyond that, it's not even Tony's style.

Look forward to seeing your finished 666.

Richard

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pic of the painting progress so far....

001.thumb.JPG.179b535861d3cf171ec4a64079d04055.JPG

002.thumb.JPG.492eecc2f22cdacb2df57739479bc5d2.JPG

Engines and cowling interiors are done. Decided to go with the kit landing gear and they're very well done. I believe they'll be quite sturdy enough for the model. The oil tanks areshown as part of the wheel well interior painting being done so I can work towards assembling the wings. More pics when they're together!

GIL :cool:

Edited by ghodges
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Plodding along....Got the wheel wells painted and assembled so that the wings could be built....which also allowed for adding the gear actuators to the gear so that they can be added at the end of the build.

605253411_001(2).thumb.JPG.9174a7304e1f90c73940b3fb05e5799e.JPG

004.thumb.JPG.32910dea19736822d13f5fafd8f27fb7.JPG

The fit of everything has been "tight", but overall quite good. The wing seams were pretty good overall, though the side exhaust inserts needed more filler than elsewhere.

773821998_002(2).thumb.JPG.9ea937cbf7475029b87cafa2dccb509a.JPG

Wings are basically assembled, minus some pe details on the leading edge intakes, the landing lights, and the wingtip lights. Note the silver screening I added to some of the intakes...the kit has a couple of screens, but leaves just "holes" for the other 4 in the leading edge.

1811738274_005(2).thumb.JPG.480647bf24b8cb65ee8c04ff4b907b07.JPG

The props and supercharger exhausts assembled...the detailing of the waste gates on the rear of each is very good. Also, the kit gives you a choice of the narrower blades for the "E (as here),  but also includes the later paddle blades for the "F" too.

 

It's nothing fancy, but progress is progress and the wings are 95% done, so it's been a good week!

 

GIL :cool:

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've begun working on the fuselage....added the "E" nose and tail to both of the fuselage halves...the fit was a little better than I expected for such a large kit.

344822191_001(3).thumb.JPG.b33dbd1e9320238d019a36c17aa2c9dc.JPG

The next step was starting to add a wash to the interior and many of the detail parts....

1229316850_003(2).thumb.JPG.477a9974285441e3204588038c635bdf.JPG

747205622_004(2).thumb.JPG.c33b3bdc185de59191d4c1ce870eb243.JPG

While not overly difficult, it was tedious....each fuselage half taking almost an hour each....

But, I can now actually start working on the interior parts themselves; AFTER first studying all of the Eduard interior sets to see what needs adding and/or modification to use them. There will also be quite a bit of detail painting that will be time consuming....but then that's the nature of this big beast. More pics when I have some significant progress to show!

 

GIL :cool:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...