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HK 1/32 B-17G 96th BG "Ragged But Right"

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Glad to finally join the forums here. Here's my first work in progress post, my HK 1/32 B-17G depicting my Grandfather's aircraft, 44-6888 AW-R, unofficially named "Ragged But Right". My Grandfather, Joseph Denver, was a bombardier with the 96th BG/337th BS, being stationed at Snetterton Heath and flying missions from Feb. 1945 until wars end. He completed 13 missions, received a purple heart for a piece of flak that went through his right hand, and remained in Europe after VE Day with the occupation forces, flying P-51's with the 55th FG stationed at Y-90 in Geibelstadt, Germany.


I had always wanted to build a detailed and accurate representation of my Grandfather's primary bird (he flew missions of several different aircraft, which was common for a Bombardier late in the war), but 44-6888 was his main squeeze. The crew unofficially named her "Ragged But Right" and began the process of putting nose art on her, when the war ended and she was written off after a landing accident on May 11, 1945. She's the subject of one of the most popular 96th BG images since WWII, seen here:


34911207194_00056392c7_z.jpgmedia-5331 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr


She lost all power upon landing, and the pilot, Bruce Bronson (my Grandfather's best friend) was able to get the engines completely shut down before she rolled off the end of the runway, through a row of hedges, coming to rest across Eccles Road.

My Grandfather slipped into dementia real bad about ten years ago, and passed away on Christmas Eve, 2017. Shortly after his passing, I came into possession of several hundred photo negatives he took during WWII, which I had developed by Film Rescue International, which does photo developments for the Imperial War Museum in Duxford. Upon getting the photos back, I was able to piece together my Grandfather's journey through Europe during and after WWII. Additionally, the photos contained dozens of detailed photos of the crash of 44-6888, which helped provide the last impetus to get this project off the ground. To this day, I don't have any photos of 44-6888 in flight or otherwise; only photos of her crashed on May 11, 1945.

For the build, I decided on HK's 1/32 B-17G, complete with the full compliment of aftermarket do-dads. I didn't go through the process of fixing the shape inaccuracies of the kit, as it certainly looks like a B-17G when finished, and that was good enough for me. I added several scratch built and self-casted resin parts, to include the chin turret motors, parachutes, and individual crew life preservers. Eduard came to the rescue as well, providing several of the details for the interior.

She's currently packed up, as I am in the middle of a move and don't have a desk at the moment. My wife and I close on a new house on 1/22/19, and I will have my own hobby room in the basement. Once I get a desk set back up, I will get back to work on her. The fuselage is almost complete, and the wings are near the paint stage. Not much left to do now!

Without further delay, here's a smattering of photos taken along the way during the build:

34911207494_b9014d9b65_b.jpg18622250_10101958881323342_2387607033197495195_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

Scratch build motor drive for the chin turret, along with Uschi wood grain decals for the floor.

34911207464_4ac597498c_b.jpg18700134_10101971091049952_774865234760883703_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

The completed forward cockpit floor.

34911207594_87ed67ed5c_b.jpg18581864_10101958881298392_1565577310635706018_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

Starboard side of the nose, with Eduard and resin detail pieces. No interior green here!

34911207344_1531ab72e7_b.jpg19657209_10102040708461102_1171184228371285611_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

Completed cockpit and forward nose interior.

34911207274_ba4dac1a98_b.jpg19748461_10102040709414192_7445443816114921575_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

Cockpit and Eduard instrument panel, complete with Boeing logos on the control wheels.

38447982812_d8790d0be6_b.jpg23472969_10102248939130172_313212922174476905_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

Port side waist area.

38447982592_b6d1c5d5af_z.jpg23622374_10102248939030372_3174878160371067045_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

Top turret, using the more accurate innards from the B-17E/F kit.

23917971627_6e67a1b026_b.jpg24232601_10102272818924872_1620211532282173634_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

Ball turret.

23917971777_80a8b91d8f_b.jpg24177082_10102271475796512_191279881460025936_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

All buttoned up, with the appropriately busy nose compartment.

42702704140_7d23daeb0b_k.jpg20180903_102202 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

42702702730_d44aa6e18f_k.jpg20180905_105139 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

42702703190_a1c3d35464_k.jpg20180905_105048 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

42702703720_3e1517d5d4_k.jpg20180903_140122 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

Paint has begun. AK Extreme Metals were used for the natural metal finish.

44481918122_e80db02b16_k.jpg41045759_573396976425563_6324215403488739328_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

Time for her red bands and nose stripe, using MM Insignia Red enamel.

43875490824_58f39aef8f_b.jpg41418398_10102634811119612_2424225514915889152_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

She's starting to look the part. The frame around the starboard front window was painted red, as was the front of the cheek gun on the port side. These little details were picked out of the several dozen detail photos from the crash.

43853656395_bd07a3dca3_k.jpg41938677_242730879773721_2932020494754381824_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

Her smaller nose art/personal crew touch: Her buzz numbers, 888, had ears and tails added to depict 3 cats on either side of the nose.

... and here's how the stands today. The rest of the decals were applied, and a light wash as well:

44037257665_aecf3fd4f0_k.jpg42666812_2473702635979958_1751715373884899328_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

44037257985_ede7ebe90a_k.jpg42649082_270661936900512_5571247043101327360_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

44037258495_80f4f62d1c_k.jpg42633843_2201670630118226_9213430214061719552_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

44037258865_945f48d189_k.jpg42627930_662491927483742_542971904454033408_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

44037259385_4f5739ef1f_k.jpg42612009_308207156634512_6888743405204013056_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

44037260155_16911d5eb1_k.jpg42601091_281713176008644_6617723061791621120_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

44037259765_0e1352e7d7_k.jpg42611657_310386739787574_6135258768272785408_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

44037259055_eca1407882_k.jpg42622703_2082137988766615_4282316491304468480_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr

44037258685_1e2fb838c1_k.jpg42627934_691565847868586_3618207585477328896_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr


That's about it for now folks. Comments and critiques are most welcome. Hoping to be able to post more progress here soon! Thanks for bearing with such a long post.

And, before I forget, here's Joseph Denver, in his better years as a young hero in England during WWII:

25594739788_2e703f612b_z.jpg26241290_10210747976678803_569739957_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr


- Dennis S.

  Thornton, CO USA

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Beautiful work, and thanks for sharing this here! I am certainly looking forward to seeing her come together. That’s a great photo of your grandfather.

Happy New Year,  Tom

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Dennis, absolutely stunning, wow what a first WIP posting. Somewhere I have a book concerning the 96th at Snetterton, I’ll have a look.........happy New Year and looking forward to the wrap.....

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Terrific work on the fortress - looking so good

Keep 'em comin



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Super impressive, and a great back story too

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Excellent '17 ! And a good story to  boot.

My kinda thread all pics , all work , no whining about "the kit this or that " crap.

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