B-17G Midsection Interior

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Company: HK Models Co. - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: HK Models Co. - Website: Visit Site
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This second installment covers the midsection interior, which is from the aft bulkhead of the bombardier and navigator compartment through the bomb bay and to the ring mount around the ball turret. Instruction steps 1 through 15 are used to construct this mid-section subassembly. I continue to be impressed by the fit and detail of the moldings.

Please consider that the associated pictures illustrate in-progress shots. There will be much touch-up, and I was reluctant to get too carried away with painting until I had a better feel for what was visible or need dry-brushing, etc.

Following are a few of my observations about the work so far. Pay careful attention to part numbering – the sheer number of parts can be a little overwhelming. It certainly takes a bit of recalibrating to get used to look for bigger parts. You don’t actually need magnifiers to see throttle quads. The sprue attachment points are interesting; it seems that HK may have designed the points to enter the part cavity on the joint. What this means is that trimming the part off the tree reduces surface sanding. The bomb pieces are the parts I especially noticed having this design. There are 16 O2 tanks and 10 bombs, and the cockpit detail is excellent. The only drawback in this area is that the instrument panel seems a little barren.

Examining the parts carefully paid off; there are small pins that really help with precisely gluing the bomb fin parts together. They work very well, but are easy to miss. I drilled out the bomb mounting holes a little larger so they’d snug down a bit more; otherwise, the fit between the side-hung and center-hung bombs was a little too tight, and parts N15 and N13 didn’t snug in well. Pay very careful attention to the alignment of the bomb fins when you glue them on to the bombs – juggling the bombs in the bay racks was the most frustrating part so far during construction. However, I do not think this is a kit flaw, but an end-user problem. I was worried about good fit later in the fuselage halves, but the wing spars and whole interior assembly popped in very nice and snug when I test-fitted the fuselage halves. In fact, with only a little wiggling and slight pressure, the two fuselage halves came together almost ready to glue! This is a very nice statement on the kit’s design.

One concern I had while reviewing the parts before construction was how strong the wing attachments would be. After test-fitting and otherwise looking at the wing roots, I believe that the wing should be very well supported. Stay tuned on this point!

I have no big surprises to report. In fact, overall, I am very, very happy with the minimal amount of cleanup. I continue to have a strong sense of excellent fit and quality about this kit. This kit is a super-detailers dream. So until the next report, have fun!

Again, thanks to Mr. Neil Yan of HK Models and the IPMS Reviewer Corps for this opportunity!

Notes on Photos

  • Bomb farm – freshly assembled bombs with very minimal cleanup – mat squares are 1 inch, for scale.
  • End of step 15 – starboard side view of subassembly, needs paint touch-up but ready to go in! Again, mat squares are 1 inch, for scale.
  • Front end – looking aft, showing detail on back of instrument panel.
  • Mid-section dry-fit photos – note the wing spar extending through the fuselage; the fit of the halves is excellent!
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