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1/72nd B-17F Connecticut Yankee

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Warbird Kid
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1/72nd B-17F Connecticut Yankee

#1

Post by Warbird Kid »

Hey all! Continuing with building particular aircraft that have some connection to my home state of Connecticut, I decided to build the 91st BG B-17F known as "Connecticut Yankee" production block number B-17F-5-DL Buno: 42-2970.

I've found only five confirmed pictures of the aircraft in question. Two pictures that appear to be from a stateside photo flight of the aircraft when it was brand new. https://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/3623

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The only other three pictures of the aircraft is after Jim Verinis (co-pilot of the Memphis Belle) was assigned the plane and named it after his home state. He was born in Stamford and grew up in New Haven.

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This third picture of the plane just became known to me and shows the entire nose section and armament.

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So with that in mind I felt I had a good amount of info to begin building the bomber. I made a quick profile mockup for a bio placard to go along with the model in the museum, and to help me with this build.

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I built the interior as is. No additions or anything. I found the detail to be very nice and could see of some modelers can go crazy with interiors.

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After some months of starts and stops with this model. I finally decided to attach the wings and horizontal stabilizers. The main wings required a good amount of filler at the wing root.

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The gap is necessary if you want the wings at the right angle, vs just pushing the wing flush to the fuselage, hence the odd looking "flexed wing" example on the box.

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I bought aftermarket engines and cowlings for the project, but had some difficulty with the cowlings. After cutting them off of their blocks, I realized I hacked them a bit, and they did not look good. I finally decided to go with the kit's cowlings and was satisfied with the look. The model was masked, shot primer gray, and then painted olive drab.

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I couldn't wait and decided to add the stars. It was also at this point that I realized the model came with the navigator's astro-dome and CT Yankee didn't, so off it came! Now I need to build up and putty the hole, and then add the other windows in the nose.

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Underside is looking good to me. Cant wait to add all that weathering!

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I've also added the repainted sections on the nose that can be seen in the original pictures.

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Now the biggest issue I'm facing is whether or not this B-17 had the dark green "mottling" around the edges on the top side like Memphis Belle? Or is it just straight Olive Drab?
I ended up watching The Cold Blue and near the end a found a 4-5 second clip that shows the tail 42-2970. And wouldn't you know it? It has the green "mottling"!

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I decided to try my hand at brushing on these additional camouflage markings. I first used the same dark olive drab I used for the repainted sections near the nose. I found the color to be completely off and decided to paint over it with a European green color I had. While I liked the newer color alot more, I found the entire thing very thick and globby, as can be seen in these photos.

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A little bit of paint thinner on some Q-tips and done! Quite surprised at how it came off! I've decided to bust out my new airbrush and finally become versed in airbrushing as Id like these green splotches to look as authentic and thin as possible.

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I also cut off the astro dome, filled it in, and drilled out the two missing windows in the nose for this variant.

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A little bit of masking and a shot of the rattle can OD and there we are!

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That's all for now. Thanks for looking!

Warbird Kid
Flight #288
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Re: 1/72nd B-17F Connecticut Yankee

#2

Post by Warbird Kid »

Been plugging away at it. Finally got the right acrylic color and used my airbrush machine for the first time. I'd say not terrible for my first actual use of it! Got all the major decals on except for the small detail stencils.

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I started adding the line filler into the wings. Have one side done so far.

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Not really pleased with how this version of the nose art came out. Also realized the grey underside doesn't go up high enough on the sides of the fuselage as much as it should, so I'm going to pull off the bomb tallies and noseart name and redo it.

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smeg1959
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Re: 1/72nd B-17F Connecticut Yankee

#3

Post by smeg1959 »

That's one mighty Yankee a'coming right up! :mrgreen:
OTB ...
GB18 - B-25B Mitchell (F-Toys), Beaufighter Mk VIc (Mark I), MC.200 Folgore (F-Toys)
GB20 - AW.650-222 Argosy (MikroMir)

Warbird Kid
Flight #288
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Posts: 346
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 21:29
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Re: 1/72nd B-17F Connecticut Yankee

#4

Post by Warbird Kid »

Nose Art Decals: Take two! After readjusting the repainted panel and grey underside color farther up on both sides of the nose, I was satisfied and tried another homemade decal. Knowing the background color of the OD on the decal was off, I preceded to add solveset, wait for it to melt as much, then went over with it with the dark OD to blend it in. Only as I was adding the other decals from this detail decal lettering sheet from Kitsworld, did I realize the nose art was STILL not high enough. But I had already applied the bombs, and swastikas, so I called it good.
https://www.kitsworld.co.uk/index.php?G ... 1&VANCE=99

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I then began trying to use my new found basic skills with the airbrush to start adding in weather and gas / oil. I found that I need ALOT more practice with the airbrush, and fell back on dry / wet brushing techniques. I've started with a mostly flat black / oily wash and streak affect around the engines, behind the cowlings and past the nacelles.

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I added several small silver flecks for paint wear, but am very worried about going over board, so I'm trying to limit myself. Props are done. Just need to find the patience to apply more tiny stencil decals and finish up the weathering. Then flat coat and final assembly! And of course get to the turrets and glass.

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Thanks for looking. Stay tuned.

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ajmm
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Re: 1/72nd B-17F Connecticut Yankee

#5

Post by ajmm »

That's looking great! I built this kit with a friend when we were at school together. I wonder what happened to it. Didn't look anything as good as this - obviously!

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smeg1959
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Re: 1/72nd B-17F Connecticut Yankee

#6

Post by smeg1959 »

Of course, the other point about this lovely 1/72 build is the stark situation we face with the Flying Fort in 1/144. Whilst the long-OOP Altaya/IXO diecast was a decent representation of the B-17G, the best to date has been the F-Toys' release, again OOP and going for home mortgages on evilBay. Actually the CafeReo gashapon wasn't bad either but that's even rarer.

Which leaves the perennially reborn Minicraft effort. When Crown released it in 1975, it was probably OK. In 2022? You've gotta be joking. Of course, we had a similar situation with the Lanc until Amodel came along (albeit with all the usual issues associated with that company's releases). Single- and twin-engined aircraft are getting a 21st Century makeover thanks to companies like Mark I, but someone needs to step up to the plate with these iconic big 'uns. :evil:
OTB ...
GB18 - B-25B Mitchell (F-Toys), Beaufighter Mk VIc (Mark I), MC.200 Folgore (F-Toys)
GB20 - AW.650-222 Argosy (MikroMir)

Warbird Kid
Flight #288
Flight #288
Posts: 346
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 21:29
Location: Stratford, CT
Contact:
United States of America

Re: 1/72nd B-17F Connecticut Yankee

#7

Post by Warbird Kid »

ajmm wrote:
Fri Sep 09, 2022 18:28
That's looking great! I built this kit with a friend when we were at school together. I wonder what happened to it. Didn't look anything as good as this - obviously!
Thank you the kind words. Being the builder I see mess ups EVERYWHERE. But I just try to ignore them and press on to get it done!
smeg1959 wrote:
Sat Sep 10, 2022 8:54
Of course, the other point about this lovely 1/72 build is the stark situation we face with the Flying Fort in 1/144. Whilst the long-OOP Altaya/IXO diecast was a decent representation of the B-17G, the best to date has been the F-Toys' release, again OOP and going for home mortgages on evilBay. Actually the CafeReo gashapon wasn't bad either but that's even rarer.

Which leaves the perennially reborn Minicraft effort. When Crown released it in 1975, it was probably OK. In 2022? You've gotta be joking. Of course, we had a similar situation with the Lanc until Amodel came along (albeit with all the usual issues associated with that company's releases). Single- and twin-engined aircraft are getting a 21st Century makeover thanks to companies like Mark I, but someone needs to step up to the plate with these iconic big 'uns. :evil:
It is pretty amazing that we have about 4 or 5 different 1/144th scale B-17s ranging from actually nice (F-toys, etc) and then there this the Crown / Minicraft mold that. just. wont. die. Hopefully somebody comes along and fixes that!

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On the frontline with this 1/72nd build, I'm in the final stretch!

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After clear coating the entire plane with flat matte, I took off all the masking tape. I permanently glued the landing gear, tires, super chargers, and tail wheel into place. Ill leave the props loose to turn or remove them if need be. I still need to paint, pin, and glue all the little antennas and wires.

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Now I'm turning my attention to the turrets. The Ball turret and top turret should be fairly straightforward. The directions called for installing them prior to gluing the fuselage halves together, but I didn't like that idea as far as procedure of assembly. The nose will need two holes at least drilled out for two forward facing 50 cals like the real Connecticut Yankee had.

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I'll need to spray paint the OD into a cup so I can get a little bit on a brush to do a few touch ups. Namely with the tail gunner and waist gun windows.

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Once all of that is done, I will turn my attention to the bombs, probably the last thing I'll do for this model before finding a place for it in the museum.

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I used one ancient MVP L193 Train Lens that my dad had from his 1/32nd builds in the early 90's. I might keep this one or replace it with a pair that isn't yellowed. Also have a 1/72nd Jeep I might build to go along with this one. We'll see how motivated I am by the end! Thanks for looking. Stay tuned!

Warbird Kid
Flight #288
Flight #288
Posts: 346
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 21:29
Location: Stratford, CT
Contact:
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Re: 1/72nd B-17F Connecticut Yankee

#8

Post by Warbird Kid »

We are close to completion! Didn't want to leave you guys hanging, so I took a few shots of where we're at today. While it may look basically done in these photos, there are still a few things left.

- Trim / glue in clear wing light plexi OR replace with krystal klear
- Bombs need to be glued, sanded, painted, and glued into bomb bay
- Small amount of krystal klear to fill in the bombardier nose on the starboard side and brush paint over
- Add wires if I'm feeling ambitious

Once that short list is completed, I'll get some better shots and then its off to the museum! Enjoy and stay tuned.

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ID19
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Re: 1/72nd B-17F Connecticut Yankee

#9

Post by ID19 »

Looking very sharp - well worth a place in a museum!

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ajmm
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Re: 1/72nd B-17F Connecticut Yankee

#10

Post by ajmm »

Absolutely stunning.

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