Time to paint! This Fortress will be in the markings of B-17E serial Number 41-9244, HONI KUU OKOLE shortly before her loss in May 1943. She was unusual in that she was one of four Fortresses requisitioned from a British order and was finished in the RAF Temperate Sea scheme with British markings. The U.S. insignia were painted over the RAF roundels which meant that the size and locations were slightly different from the U.S. standard. Here I am using Maketar masks for the insignia so I can fade the colors and account for the odd sizes. The red dots on the wings are fuel cap locations. Replacement parts to maintain her would have been issued from U.S. stocks and therefor would have been in the standard Olive Drab over Neutral Gray. All of this is somewhat speculative as photographs of HONI KUU OKOLE focus mainly on her impressive scoreboard.
The undersides are painted in ANA 610, RAF Sky. This is from my remaining stocks of Testor’s Model Master enamels and performed well, something which is not at all guaranteed with the old TMM paints. The centers of the panels were sprayed with a lightened mix to break up the monochrome finish.
The same technique was used on the uppersurfaces, this is Mr. Color Neutral Gray mixed with a dab of Insignia Blue and White to represent ANA 603, the RAF Extra Dark Sea Gray substitute. This was lightened to represent fading but after it was done I felt I had gone a little too far.
Here is the result of another thin mix of paint sprayed to equalize the fading a bit. This can be repeated to get the finish you desire, I usually use three tones.
Several hours of masking and then the ANA 613 Olive Drab for Dark Slate Gray. There is some debate about the U.S. paints used for RAF schemes on lend-lease aircraft which is only more complicated whenever Olive Drab is introduced.
The scheme with paint masks removed and under a gloss coat in preparation for decals, showing the colors used. Mr. Color 304 was used for a darker Olive Drab to show where the RAF fin flash and serial were painted out, along with replacement parts. The de-icer boots did not fare well in the South Pacific, they were eventually removed and their former locations painted over, again with Olive Drab.
The second Fortress represents B-17E 41-2616, The “Blue Goose”. Another unusual Fort, this one was painted in an overall Light Glossy Blue Duco automotive paint at the Hawaiian Air Depot. The exact shade is not documented, but the finish was described as “a bright, light blue”. I took a wild guess based upon a Duco paint sample card and mixed Mr. Color 34 with Mr. Color 115 (RLM 65) in a 2 to 1 ratio. The monochrome finish was broken up with by adding a bit more RLM 65 to lighten the centers of the panels.
Here is HONI KUU OKOLE with everything in place. The Starfighter Decals performed flawlessly, just be careful in the application as the carrier film is quite thin. I added a panel line wash and some paint chipping. Exhaust and oil streaking is subtle and was represented with thin brown washes.
This is the Blue Goose in the full set of markings carried during the first months of the Pacific war. The red centers to the insignia and the rudder stripes would have been painted out by May 1942, assuming they were carried at all which is not a certainty. It does make for a striking scheme. The nose art was known to have been based upon the logo of the Blue Goose Produce Company, this is Mark’s best guess as to the possible appearance. Since there are no known photographs of this aircraft the nose art decals could be used by modelers in larger scales and still work just fine.
More completed photos here: