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HK B-17 decals


lawman56

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I'm about to start doing my research leading up to the build of my HK B-17G, and have been gleaning as much info as I can from all the other B-17 builds here.

 

I'm curious though, has anyone decided to actually use the kit decals and build "Milk Wagon"?

 

Personally, I like unique nose art, and it certainly fits the bill. That being said, I still don't know which scheme I'll end up doing, and probably won't until just before I get ready to start the build.

 

 

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I had a post about Milk Wagon and remembering it had unstaggered waist windows but that was wrong and I also misinterpreted your original post thinking you were looking into Kit's World decals and not the kit decals....Sheesh, see what happens when I respond to posts when I'm not feeling well?  I'm attempting to re-do my post....

 

As far as the kit decals are concerned, Jennings Heilig did the art for them so I am willing to bet that they're pretty accurate if that's important to you.  As far as who actually printed them and their use I cannot comment as I don't have this kit any longer.  Like you, I have not seen them used yet on any build I've seen but someone out there probably has used them at some point.  I also can relate to your dilemma in which scheme you're going to choose.  There were so many striking schemes on these forts that choosing just one is very hard.  I have the fortunate luck to be drilled down into the 91st BG so if I were to do one, it would only come from the 91st, limiting my choice to just a few.

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Thanks guys,

 

@Nigel, I've been floating around different sites, looking to see what's available. I also have a young lady co-worker who is a fantastic artist, and it just so happens she loves to draw pin-ups. If need be, I can have her draw me something real, or ficticious and have it printed. Thanks to your simple re-fit of the waist window, I have even more options now!

 

@Tim, I wish it was simple as narrowing it down to a particular BG!

 

My question was less about the quality or quantity of decals, but more of a curiousity as to whether or not anyone is actually doing Milk Wagon. I'm caught as to do the B-17 in NMF and make her "Milk Wagen", or modify the window and do any number of OD aircraft.

 

Since I like to do the unique, I may just stick with Milk Wagon.

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You may not be aware of this but Douglas built two production blocks of OD/NG B-17G forts (234 airframes according to my sources) with staggered waist windows and the pumpkin turret so you do have a small option there if you can find one of these ships in photos.  I think Tom Probert is doing Skippy which is one of these ships.

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I was aware, but only because I was reading your answers on the "other forum", before it got crazy. I've been following Tom's fantastic work with Skipper, which I had thought about doing as well, but he beat me to it!

 

Do you happen to know, off-hand, what the other OD tail number or name was? I may take a look at that one as well. Again, I still haven't made a decision yet as to what I plan to do. I might be wrong, but I believe if I was to re-align the waist windows, as Nigel has done, wouldn't I also have to rebuild the tail turret? I thought all the staggared window birds were also equipped with the "Cheyenne" type turret. That would also open Pandora's box, as then the tail gunners windows would have to be rebuilt, as would the tail under the rudder, etc....

 

Of course, if I decide to stick with NMF, then my next conundrum will be Alclad vs foil! :poo:

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There were 234 made with both the staggered waist guns and the pumpkin (aka Cheyenne) tail turret so there are a few to choose from.  I think I can find a serial number range but the the production blocks were, according to my references, Douglas blocks 25 and 30.

 

I prefer Alclad.  The shade variations of aluminum I can get with Alclad are far more than any kind of foil treatment.  I tried foiling but even with the smoothest of adhesive applications, the foil shows any lumps or bumps underneath and smoothing just adds grainy streaks to the foil. 

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Thanks for the tips. I'll check the block numbers tomorrow and see what pops up. 234, eh? I had no idea that many were made with both features.

 

If I recall, you posted once that, with a few exceptions, most of the interior of the NMF birds had painted internal framework, but the interior skin was NMF, so I've been thinking of playing with some foil in and around the nose area. I've heard the same thing about Alclad, and since I already know how to airbrush, the learniing curve will be less steep.

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I have a great picture of one of the Douglas built aircraft Tim is referring to in the book 'The B-17 Flying Fortress Story' by Roger Freeman.

 

This book contains the history of each and every B-17 built, and it shows one of the OD/NG birds with the Cheyenne tail as well as the enclosed staggered waist windows - exactly right for the HK kit.

 

The serial is B-17G-30-DL-42-38133 (just four away from the one I'm building) and was delivered to the 96th BG at Snetterton Heath on 15th January 1944. It was assigned to the 337th Bomb Squadron and was given the codes AW-O. It went MIA on 5th December 1944.

 

Her name was 'Reluctant Dragon' but I haven't been able to find a shot of the nose art as of yet, but maybe with the above information you could find something?

 

It's also interesting to find out when researching these aircraft that Skipper, of the same production batch, also would have been fitted with the OD Cheyenne turret. I have a colour picture of her in later service with a NMF replacement tail and had initially presumed she was fitted with the earlier 'stinger' tail. It just transpires that when she was rammed up the backside the original Cheyenne turret was just replaced with a new one!

 

I'll do some more digging on 'Reluctant Dragon' and see if I can find any more info for you. With nearly a year's service under her belt she'd be pretty heavily weathered!

 

Tom

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Thanks Tom,

 

I'll search the net at work today as well. Especially now that you gave me so much info to play with. For some strange reason, I seem to recall the name "Reluctant Dragon", but it may be either a B-24 or B-25 I've seen wearing it. Although it is possible the name went with the pilot, if he had been re-assigned from another group.

 

Then again, I look at so many period aircraft pictures, there's no telling what I may have seen it on!

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