Hawaiian Air Depot Camouflage Scheme Batch Build Part II

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Work is moving along on the HAD ships. The fuselage has been closed up on each and the sand-a-thon has begun.  This is the Special Hobby B-18.  As is apparent, nothing of the rear fuselage interior can be seen after the fuselage halves are joined and very little of the forward interior positions will be visible either.  The round opening aft is for a “dustbin” .30 caliber gun position which could be retracted flush into the fuselage.
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Here is the underside of the Bolo. Despite the absence of locating pins the fuselage halves lined up perfectly with no steps.  The conical depression aft is a recess for the tail wheel strut and was fixed in place after the fuselage halves were joined.  This presents the danger of the piece falling into the fuselage.  The solution is to drill into the gear leg locating hole and then leave the drill in place to use as a handle while positioning the well.
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Here is the Academy B-17C/D fuselage closed up. I used superglue to join the fuselages on all three kits.  I find that using MEK based thin cements can lead to shrinkage over time along the joint resulting in a shallow seam.  The superglue avoids that risk and also makes a hard filler which can be scribed.
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This is the C/D from the underside. I closed up the bomb bays rather than detail them out on both Academy Fortresses and fortunately the bay doors fit quite properly to the fuselage contours on each.  The early Fortresses featured a “bathtub” type belly gun position.  The round scanning windows on either side of the Academy gondola are only represented by raised lines and so were drilled out.
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Pictures show the beam gunner’s side windows were often closed on the ground, something which surprised me for the Pacific Theater. Perhaps an effort to reduce dust entering the aircraft?  I am modeling them closed on my B-17E.  The clear parts for the side windows left a noticeable gap.  These were filled with superglue and sanded flat, buffing with fine grit sanding cloths and a coat of Future will restore their clarity.
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The underside of the E with rough sanding complete. The sighting periscope for the Sperry remote belly turret will be installed later in the build to reduce the danger of breakage.  Test fitting shows the Kora Sperry turret is smaller than the fuselage opening so that will need to be addressed as well.
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Here is a comparison of all three. I find it easier to work on large aircraft as a series of sub-assemblies, addressing the the main fuselage and wings separately.  This makes everything more accessible while sanding and scribing, , and is certainly easier to handle on the bench.