Academy has re-released their venerable Boeing B-17E, this time in a USAAF B-17E “Pacific Theater” boxing. The molds appear to be holding up well, and represent a B-17E with the Sperry manned ball turret in the belly. What is new is the decal sheet, printed by Cartograph. This includes an instrument panel and seatbelts for the interior, stenciling, and markings for eight 500lb bombs – although the bomb markings are not called out in the instructions. Markings for four different aircraft are included.
So all in all a mixed bag. This is a Cartograph sheet and so there are no technical errors in the quality or resolution of the production. The bomb markings are a nice touch and are often omitted so they are a very welcome even without mention in the instructions. On the negative side the lack of the U.S. ARMY markings for under the wings is a very disappointing omission, as is the lack of flesh tones on both pin-ups. If accuracy is a concern, modelers will need to go to the aftermarket for decals if they want to build either Calamity Jane or Yankee Diddl’er, and will need to fabricate a Sperry remote turret installation for the captured Japanese Fortress.