HK Models 1/32 Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress
By Tom Probert
This model represents ‘Skipper’; a Douglas-built B-17G 42-238129 assigned to the 367th Bomb Squadron, 306th Bomb Group, based at Thurleigh.
This aircraft was one of 234 built by Douglas that had both staggered waist gun positions as well as the factory-fitted Cheyenne tail turret, and were delivered in camouflage finish. This particular aircraft entered service on 25th February 1944, and was still on strength with the 306th on VE-Day. The replacement natural metal starboard stabiliser, fin centre-section, both elevators and tail turret were necessary after the bomber was rammed from behind in a taxiing accident at Thurleigh in November 1944. After repair, ‘Skipper’ went on to complete over 100 missions.
After hostilities ended, this veteran was transferred to the 398th BG at Nuthampsted on 28th May 1945, before flying back ‘across the pond’ in January 1945 where it resided at Kingman before succumbing to scrap man’s torch on 28th December of the same year.
This model has been built more or less out of the box, with only very minor additions. I made the small 'ice windows' on the pilots' windscreens from careful masking and Archer rivets. Aftermarket seat-belts came from Eduard, and a few additional details were added here and there from Evergreen strip where I felt them necessary, such as under the flightdeck floor. I used Eduard’s exterior set which provided some vents and grills omitted by HK, as well as more detailed fuel filler caps. I didn’t use any interior sets, as I felt that the kit parts were perfectly adequate when painted up, and Eduard have used ‘standard’ US interior green on components rather than ‘bronze green’ used on the B-17. I sprayed on the bomb group markings myself, and used the kit decals for the ‘stars and bars’ etc. The ‘Skipper’ name was printed for me, and I used KitWorld’s excellent stencil set. All paints were from Hannants’ Xtracolour range.
All in all a very straightforward and enjoyable build… although it’s an expensive model, if you’re a fan of the B-17 it’s a ‘must have’ kit. Was it worth the money? Roll on the B-17F version would be my answer to that!
© Tom Probert 2014
This article was published on Saturday, February 01 2014; Last modified on Friday, August 26 2016