Monday, October 30

Lukas gets "on the nose" in his third part of HK Models 32nd scale B-17E/F

Lukas' build of the HK Models new E/F version of the Flying Fortress in 32nd scale continues apace. His latest part shows us how he detailed up the nose section of his B-17E/F kit, and he has paused to take pictures and to write up another part of his step-by-step build guide to show you how he has got it to this stage.

B-17 E/F Flying Fortress Build Guide: the interior fuselage & sealing it up...
from Hong Kong Models
1/32nd scale
Model Number# HK01E05
The kit features 44 sprues
A resin casting ammo tracks
Photo-Etch parts on two sheets
Three markings on two decal sheets
Large format instructions included.
3.2kg weight - 989mm wide and 709mm long!
Price:$292 USD/ £217 GBP/ €249 EUR/ $367.93 AUD from Hobbylink Japan

Pt I: In-boxed: HK Models 32nd scale B-17E/F
Pt II: B-17E/F Build Guide: The Cockpit.

Pt III: B-17E/F Build guide: Rear interior  
B-17 E/F Flying Fortress Build Guide
Lukas is right up front today - he is building the fairly exposed nose cone of the E/F model of the Flying Fortress. Although it is similar to the earlier G model from HK Models there are differences, and Lukas will show us the way he makes the most out of what is in the kit with a few editions in today's build article.
Back with this beast, now for the third time (I don’t really call reviewing aftermarket products as a build :). With most builds I encountered before once you close fuselage halves it is pretty straight run towards the finish. Here, you are roughly half way through just building fuselage. It requires attaching the rooftop, nose section and rear gunner position as well as top and bottom turrets. Let's punch B-17 straight into the nose…
I finished rooftop panel from inside in same fashion as I did the rest of the interior - used dull dark green as interior paint (the ratio was according to instructions) - also referred to that paint shade as interior green previously. Deepest apologies.
The fit of my kit was rather poor but saying that I was always more confident on paint jobs than my own construction skills, therefore had to use quite a lot of force(and rubber bands) to attach the roof. Well aware of need of sanding and recovering the details later on into the build
Each option in the box receives its own nose. Mine is for F version which is going to repicate the famous "Knockout dropper"
With quite a lot of ejector pin marks, I decided to depict interior padding by using Tamiya epoxy putty and modeller knife. My geometry on padding is far from perfect but it adds additional “action” into the nose which I like as this one is probably most visible out of the entire interior.
When finished I used surfacer to unify it before painting and Mr.paint black paint to pre-shade the panels. I always go slightly harder on interior pre-shading as majority of this disappears once that is closed
Painted with green and tried new wash, I previously used the one from Mig productions but I ran out and was in need to find replacer as I couldn’t find in stock anywhere. I received these paneliner’s to try them out. I always use them in combination with Oils. These pre-made one give me base and then I carry on with layers of oil paints
I then attached ammo box to the floor of the nose and used plastic card to close the ammo box from the back (comes hollow in the kit), With all the side windows I guess I could still spot it and it was easy to fix.
After applying the base coat (Gunze C318) I created wooden surfaces using oils and attached front instruments that were painted separately. I added leftover decals to enhance them (I am sure these are not 100% accurate) and bring some more colours into the cockpit. Then I finished it using my usual workflow for interior
I didn’t really like the look of whitewashes on black paint and reduced it by using one for green base. Here you can see attaching the floor to the side. It took me a while to decide how to approach this. After tossing with idea attaching floor first and then attach the sides I went back to instructions and followed them. Even that it still required a lot of dry fitting when attaching this. No real alignments points to attach the floor. And there is a lot of room for mistake.
The navigator's desk has been painted out of the cockpit and I couldn’t resist adding this map that I had left from my HGW set for Mosquito. Fairly sure B-17 never flew over that bit that’s on map but it looks better than empty desk (maybe I should beg for separate set of these from HGW guys :))
I knew way before I even received the box that main focus will be on exterior AM rather than the interior. Therefore I decided to go ahead only with brass barrels and not replacing entire guns(you can go ahead and get those from Eduard). The only surgery that was required was for nose guns and it was in order to get the ball pen to attach it to the window frame.
Once aligned, I just glued it using Tamiya thin glue
Go easy as it is quite difficult to pull out the barrel when glue melts plastic so heavily that it flows inside of the barrel. When done you can paint the gun and attach it from the inside, leaving barrels out the way till the end of the build.
I painted all the guns in the same way. Airbrush black surfacer, homemade gunmetal (using Gunze supermetalics mixed with black Mr.Paint), hand painted details and using metal powder to enhance the edges
Other ammo boxes along the chairs were painted before assembly. Mainly for handling purposes and simplifications of painting them. The finished left half including all the details and testing how it looks like when together. Front gunner chairs have snapped numerous times, however, when the nose was closed up, the “snapping parts” number lowered significantly

Looking at the real thing gives those who are digging more detail plenty room for improvements/scratch building parts or AM PE parts. Quite crowded, hey?
Originally I was planning to do this part on all turrets and nose but since nose posed such a big task I decided to split into two articles. Next one will about my approach with top and bottom turret and attaching rear gunner section. 

Thanks for looking and stay tuned for more… lot more to come :D

Lukas Kasuba

Thanks to HK Models for sending this kit to us to review and build.