Wednesday, April 18

HK Models B-17 E/F Flying Fortress Build Guide Pt V - Landing Gear & Wheelwells

Lukas is five parts into his Hong Kong Models 32nd scale B-17E/F build, and this time its the landing gear and wheel bays getting the super detail and paint treatment. This part stars Eduard photo-etch additions, AK Interactive washes, Mr Paint colours and a lot of Lukas' elbow grease and sanity - see how it's shaping up in his article...

B-17 E/F Flying Fortress Build Guide:Pt V - Landing Gear & Wheelwells
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  
Pt IV: B-17 E/F Build Guide: Turrets of the Fortress. 
Today: B-17 E/F Flying Fortress Build Guide Pt V - Landing Gear & Wheelwells

Hello and welcome back to what I call lifetime challenge by now. Life got in the way and moving man cave hasn’t made things easier. Nevertheless, I am (extremely) slowly moving forward with this build. The next few articles will be about certain compartments of the aircraft so I won’t make you bored to death with 20000 pictures of all of it together. Short and sharp and in compartments - just like the real thing.

While still re-riveting lost rivets and re-scribing lost panel lines on the fuselage, wings were next logical step and I could work on them separately. Each wing half got re-scribed and re-riveted, plastic removed for landing flaps PE, engines prepared and painted(coming in next article) and at last - wheel bays which follows below…

Along with the plastic I received a large amount of PE to use on the kit from Eduard. One of which is the B-17E/ F undercarriage Cat.No.: 32399 to enhance details of wheel bays, landing gear and other embellishments of the undercarriage of this big bomber.

It contains one fret with and most of the parts are simply glued straight onto the plastic. Here are the parts of the single sprue
Here you can see comparisons before and after and before painting showing the extra details afforded by the metal add-on parts. 
 Each bay comes in two halves, - four parts and each is afforded some PE detail from this etch set.
The wing halves also get additional detailing - transitioning the flat wall with some rivets and adding more depth andcomplexity to the structure.

I was now ready to start with the wheelbay painting. All of the parts in this next section followed the same painting and weathering procedure. Firstly, pre-shading of the bays i all areas that need more depth.

Then it was time to try my new MR.Paint neutral grey straight out of the bottle and with a drop of white to highlight raised areas and bring some more interest. 

This picture of the wheel bay it gives an idea of how the real thing actually looked like.
My favourite part with Mr.Paint is that they are semi-gloss right away and I don’t need to varnish it before weathering. With that, I applied landing gear wash from AK basically 15 minutes after airbrushing neutral grey.
Once dried I wiped all the excess and sealed it with matt varnish. Then I mixed oil paints(burnt umbra and burnt sienna as main two tones) and flooded surface. Washed most of it with white spirit and sealed it again. Here is result before gluing all 4 parts together and installing into the wing
Although barely visible in the future I decided to give the same treatment to the edges of a bottom half of the wing

This fitted quite well, I only made sure that attachment points were clear of paint before I secured it with glue.
...And here is what will be visible, considering the size of the aircraft and how difficult it is to maneuver it already in parts I can’t see myself turning around very often to have a look. Most likely will come up with some base with a mirror to make the most out of it.
The landing gear is also quite straightforward and only surgery I decided to go under was to close the scissor oleos as they come moulded in an open position. 
Chopping it off was the easiest part.
I added brass tube when I was reconnecting it back together as I am quite paranoid for the future - model is heavy as it is and I am adding quite a lot of resin and photo-etch.
When properly cured here is final result before airbrush session
I painted wheel bays and landing gear in two sessions but mainly followed similar path except pre-shading was replaced with a full coat of black surfacer
The idea was to change a grey shading a little but looking back it didn’t work on the relatively small areas of the legs. 
When grey applied I painted details with black and to make sure that black and metal paint won’t go anywhere I sealed it with gloss varnish

From here it was the same old song from above, first a pin wash with AK Interactive's Landing gear wash which is always convenient...
...Then I sealed it with oils and after I removed the excess...

...I then sealed it with flat varnish.
Close up details to compare mine result to a real thing (albeit in a metal finish).
That’s it for me today. Thank you to all of you who are still following up with this build. My apologies for such a huge delay and thanks to those who are still supporting me along the way. 

Next stop - some beautiful engines! 

Stay tuned… 

Lukas Kasuba

Thanks to HK Models for sending this kit to us to review and build.
Mr Paint's shades can be found at their Website
Thanks to AK Interactive for sending Lukas the weathering equipment for his build...