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B-17E/F release - A quick preview

James H

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Ladies and gentlemen,


Within a couple of months, or thereabouts, the new B-17E/F will be released by HK Models. I sort of get the impression that this is the one that everyone wants to see, as Memphis Belle can be built from this (and will be included in the decals), plus there will be an option to build another as yet un-named famous machine (with specific glazed part), and parts will be there to build standard E and F variants. Jeroen will be doing a more thorough assessment of the kit, along with Cees, within the next week, so my post here will just take a look at the new parts in this kit. Please remember that there is always the possibility that there could well be some refinement of the model as of yet, including the reduction of internal ejector pin marks etc. This kit contains no decals or PE parts. The final kit will have three schemes (2 x B-17F, and 1 x B-17E). 

First of all, there are around 15 to 16 new sprues! So, this isn't just a minor rework. The first one up is a whole new starboard fuselage. This is superbly packed in order to protect the delicate fin to rudder connection. How is this part different? Well, firstly, you will notice that the crew access door is now moulded separately, giving the modeller another display option. I couldn't understand why this wasn't the case with the initial 'G' version, and HK have obviously listened to comments. Secondly, the waist gun window has now moved in line with the one on the port-side. The old position can still be seen, but faired over.













One great feature of this model is the ability to unplug the wings. To attach, you just clip them to the fuselage, and push them forward to lock into position. Here you see the chunky connector. This model needs to filler in this area, so rest-assured that this is a practical feature. 





New internal bulkheads are supplied. One of these is for the radio operator station, and one for the forward cockpit. These was certainly enough in the way of change to merit these being re-tooled. Of course, new parts are included to further furnish these areas. 




The E/F had quite a different upper turret, with a slightly lower profile, and what looks to be far more in the way of glazing panels. The turret internals are also markedly different, having built up the cutaway model for the HK stall at Telford last year. 








The instrument panel is also different, and here it can be seen, along with the plug that fits into the rear of it, sandwiching the instrument decal.



Here we can see the earlier engine cowls that have a squarer front radius. New prop blades are also included. HK haven't simply done the most obvious in the way of changes. There are of course refinements in the original design, such as that fuselage crew entry door, but there are also new internal parts, such as new crew seats, and details that seem to be specific to the E/F, some of which can be seen in the waist gun areas. 






Here, we appear to see a fairing for the upper nose area of the 'F' version, maybe to convert the model to a late 'F', or perhaps even an early 'G' without the chin turret........








New internals for the E/F noses. Also included is the rear part for the new tail turret. 








The E/F didn't carry the Cheyenne tail turret that the later 'G' did, and here you can see that earlier tail, plus new internals for the various crew stations. 










New parts for the B-17E nose, inside and outside shots. 










And if the B-17F floats your boat, here are the specific nose parts for this, including internal shots. 








No less that FOUR new clear sprues here, containing new noses (although you should see another in the production kit, designed for another 'F' machine). New parts for Memphis Belle will also be tooled. Note the small astrodome for that fairing we saw a earlier. Also of note are the different waist gun windows, and the canopy for the tail turret. You can usually glean a lot about a kit from looking closely at the options, such as that astrodome. 









So, there you are. 


Expect to see far more in the next week when Jeroen and Cees will really look in depth at the whole kit, including the common sprues. 




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Excellent Preview James, good to see that HK corrected some of the small issues with the late G release.  Looking forward to this kit being released, the early G model with a retro fit Cheyenne tail turret is the one I have wanted to build, now will have the parts to do so.

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Looks like an assembly ship, never knew they used B17 too, All I have seen are B24's


Yup Cees! Assembly ship from the Mighty Eight.


There were as few of them besides B-24 and even there were several P-47 assembly ship :)






All of them were F type and E type. Only one was G type.



In red




and Black and white


All black (this one is the G type)

and my favourite after Spotted Cow


The Green Hornet






all these pics came from this book







JimD , maybe i will! Need to get a F first! :)


I would love to see a Spotted Cow in Hk Models Stall in Telford! :)



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Wow, those are some seriously psychedelic colour schemes there Fransisco. It would certainly be cool to see one of them done.

I certainly never knew they used P47s as assembly ships. Think I'm off to google that book.


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May have to see it I can order just sprue's from HK got an unmade G sitting here....don't want to buy a whole F if I have to....


I'm kind of in the same boat. Can you let me know if you have any luck getting onto them? I've tried emailing and haven't heard anything back.



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15 to 16 new sprues mean that this isn't just a few changes, guys.


Overall, there is probably around 20 - 25% new plastic parts, totalling half of the sprue count. I hope you can manage to get the sprues alone, but don't be surprised if you can't. The very reason that companies release multiple versions, and usually in the least attractive version first, is to maximise their profit over initial tooling costs. HK are a business, and will no doubt want you to purchase a full kit. 

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Yes I heard back from Neil and he said the same thing basically..... Only wanted the F nose and transparencies to make an early G!


How were the waist guns though? Were they staggered as on the 'G' release, or inline as on this kit?


There are different cockpit parts in this kit too, for the control columns and wheels. Were these pertinent to the early 'G'? A good number of internal parts differ for the waist guns too, and of course, the cowls are different I know the B-17 can be a complex beast with the block numbers etc. so I don't know if simply gluing on an 'F' nose will help you create an early 'G'.

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