Hawaiian Air Depot Camouflage Scheme Batch Build Part V

The project has descended into the drudgery of sanding seams, polishing clear parts, and masking canopies.  I am making progress, but it just doesn’t seem like it.  Here are the tail wheel struts for the two Fortresses.  The part is designed to be trapped between the fuselage halves.  I managed to bend the strut on the B-17E during construction, so I decided to remove and reinforce the assemblies.  The bronze rod is drilled into the strut, and will extend all the way up into the top of the fuselage.  Hopefully this will give the strut enough strength to sand up to further handling.
A rather frustrating engineering decision on the part of Academy.  The tail gun position is molded as two clear parts, with the seam right down the middle of the rear facing window.  No way to effectively clean that up, so I cut the window out and will replace it with KrystalKlear.
Here are the underside details of the B-17E.  Kora’s Sperry ventral turret is smaller than the opening in the Academy fuselage.  I think Kora got the dimension right but the problem is the turret doesn’t quite fit into the kit.  I added a lip from plastic strip and that got the fit a little closer.  The opening for the sighting blister is an oval in the Kora set, I made mine round but not before I had cut out and test fit the oval window Kora piece.  The tail wheel opening had a canvas boot to keep out wind and rain.  I made my boot from masking tape and superglue.  This eliminates the see-through gap and also helps stabilize the tail strut.
A well-known problem with Academy Fortress kits is the wing has excessive dihedral.  To correct for this I cut off the mounting tabs and filed down the mating surfaces until I could get the proper angle.  Mounting pin locations were then carefully marked off and pins made from bronze tube were inserted.
The Special Hobby B-18 is as far as it can go at this point.  The kit’s canopy transparency is approximately 2 mm too narrow to fit the fuselage.  I went 0 for 19 in trying to plunge mold a wider replacement and managed to crack the kit part in the process.  I then tried to build out the steps with superglue and file them back smooth (something which often works) but in this case one side had some pretty bad imperfections and lost transparency.  My next attempt will be to cast a solid replacement in clear resin.  In any event I am still awaiting another B-18 with a different nose transparency which I purchased in Squadron Shop’s black Friday sale but which still hasn’t shipped.  Modelers are supposed to be patient, I know, but this is pushing things a bit.

Part VI here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/hawaiian-air-depot-camouflage-scheme-batch-build-part-vi/