I really expected to be further along with this build by now. Some progress has been made, but construction always seems to slow down during the sanding phase. Here is the Special Hobby B-18, showing some obvious fit problems along the wing / fuselage joint. What is more serious and not obvious in the picture is that the canopy is undersized in width. I am using the kit canopy as a master and attempting to plunge mold a replacement out of thick clear plastic in the hopes that will increase the width enough to match the fuselage. Stay tuned!
The wing joint was filled with 0.015″ square stock and superglue, and then sanded back down. I also shimmed the interior of the wing before it was attached to match the upper and lower fuselage contour. This eliminated any steps and left me with a straight-forward fill job.
The Academy B-17s have not been neglected, here the C/D is taking shape. Fit of the clear parts left a lot to be desired, and the smaller windows all had distortion due to shrinkage and were not used. The larger windows were coated with Future on the interior surfaces, then superglued in place, with more superglue added on the surface to fill any seams. Then everything was filed and sanded down smooth.
The clear parts were buffed out with a 8000 grit sanding cloth to restore clarity. The one drawback to this method is fine sanding dust infiltrates the interior. This can be removed by blowing out the inside with a clean airbrush. Persistent specks can be mitigated by pipetting in some more Future and covering the inside of the transparency.
This is a comparison of the Academy Fortress engine and main wheel on the left and the Quickboost engine and True Details wheels on the right. A big improvement!
A similar shot of the Special Hobby B-18 kit parts and resin replacements on the right. The engine is another Quickboost set intended for the Revell B-17, the wheels are intended for C-47s.
The landing gear components for all three kits were taped to cards and sprayed with Alclad Aluminum. Shiny! Painted wheels are in the foreground.
Here are the props for both Fortresses. After looking at the films, I determined that neither of my Fortresses had props marked with the expected yellow tips. The C/D certainly has polished natural metal hubs, so I went with the pre-war standard of polished blades and Maroon rear surfaces. The props of the B-17E were all black, photographs show some HAD scheme Fortresses with yellow prop tips and some without so the all-black blades were more common than I would have thought. Something to check if you’re building one for sure!
These are the Quickboost engines all painted up. Push rods were made from 0.015 rod. The upper pair have ignition wiring made from solder and beading wire, the lower pair’s harnesses are from the Eduard PE sheet.
Part V here: