Thank you to Mr. Neil Yan of HK Models and the IPMS Reviewer Corps for the opportunity to review a wonderful new model release in large-scale aircraft. This next installment is fairly brief and describes the construction of the nose section and the remainder of the fuselage.
The bombardier and navigator stations in the nose are well appointed, with a Norden bombsight, a pair of 50-caliber flex guns with ammunition belts, the sight and controls for the chin turret so distinctive for the G models, seats and seat mounts, and navigation table. There is even a lamp for the table! Construction was very straightforward, although installation of the guns was a little tricky. The belts are not at all flexible, but are indeed correctly molded to fit. I elected to glue the belts to the guns per the instructions, and then install the guns in the cheeks following the rest of the interior. This allowed me enough flex to twist the guns around a bit to get proper fit before gluing the points where the belts exit the ammo boxes.
The clear parts are the real highlight of this section. For those of you who had things to say about cheek gun windows on smaller scale kits as you installed those parts, HK has developed a better approach. The window can be tilted and slid into the frames. Pressing down on the back end of the window piece will seat the window into the edge channels, just like on other clear parts in the kit. The front edge will rotate upward and pop in just underneath the framing, providing a nice joint. The smaller pair of window above the gun ports are also a little tricky. They do fit, and fit well, but be prepared for a bit of filing, scraping, and other fitting to get them to sit right.
The completed nose assembly popped right into place on the fuselage, and I mean popped! The fit is very snug, and with a very slight twist and gentle pressure, the nose held firmly for gluing. The tail planes and elevators are simple assemblies, with very nice hinges, identical in style to the rudder. The planes attach to pins projecting through the fuselage from the tail compartment bulkheads. The result joint is very clean and strong. I was concerned about the flying surface joints in my first-impression review, and I am now expecting that the wings will be the same.
As I move through assembly, I continue to be impressed by the engineering of this kit. HK has done an excellent job planning the molds. To date, I have done very little cleanup on anything; there has been little need. Cleanup has become a little trickier to do, as smaller and thinner parts are encountered. But this is not a criticism. I have been trimming and sanding, but still much less than nearly all kits I’ve done.
As I described in the previous section of this review, be very careful to make sure that all the locator pins and sockets, channels and bulkheads, and openings line up properly. HK molded very solid channels and receivers for the bulkheads, etc., and having just little bit of wiggle room really helped with seating the parts. Wicking a little CA into the joints after placement seem to be the way to go on many pieces.
If you are wondering why there has been little paint description in all of the assemblies, the reason is that I am building a very generic B-17G. I accepted this review understanding that no decals were to be provided, and only draft instructions included. I will include a reference list in my last installment.
The in-progress photo log is getting more difficult! Pretty soon I may need to change over to the telephoto functions. Finding a neutral backdrop is getting to be a challenge.
Once again, 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; it is a super-detailers dream. I am having a great time with this one. So on to the engines, props and undercarriage…
Thank you again to Mr. Neil Yan of HK Models and the IPMS Reviewer Corps for this opportunity!
Notes on Photos
- Photo 1 – details of the guns, bombsight, etc., are visible. The holes in the gun receivers for later barrel installations can be seen.
- Photo 2 – note the tilt and pivot point; pressing down on the back (to the right in the photo) popped the window in very nicely.
- Photo 3 – tailplane surface; note the clean joint made with only a little light sanding.
- Photo 4 – tailplane surface, elevator off, showing hinge detail.
- Photo 5 – details of the guns, bombsight, etc., are visible. The hole in the gun receiver for later barrel installation can be seen.