1/48 B-17F Build - 303rd BGs Luscious Lady {Continued)

An honor Sir!

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Nose Job

H.G writes me that

LL is on 3 books on her back getting a nose frame job. I’m having to break apart the old gun frame and place those bits in to match the curve of the body. Then it will have to be filled and sanded. Slow going but necessary. She gets two days at 16 hours each and then more this coming Monday after my other job tasks have been completed.

He adds:

The epoxy has to set-up in each place before moving to the next. The right gun mount is completed and cables ready to go in once this frame work is finished.

You can see what he is talking about. The feathering in of the grey nose front with the lower fuselage is exquisite.


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Progress on the “Nose Job” can be seen here, as H.G. continues to shape and epoxy-in pieces from the prior resin ring to mate with the clear nose piece.

There are other posts I will complete over the w/e, but this photo belongs here.


Nice! :wink: :sunglasses:


Here and There, “Final Construction” Continues

What impresses me most at this point in the build is how seemingly endless it is, even as H.G. drives inexorably to a conclusion. He moved away from the nose, back to the engines, which I can understand. Having worked on the plexiglass nose section myself, I know how damnably difficult that area is, even for an expert, much less an “advanced journeyman” like me. So that part is “to be continued.”

With my approval, we are back to the engines,

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where in addition to working on the superchargers,

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H.G. has, with my approval, proposed opening up the #4 cowling to expose the engine, like this.

However, the one thing we will change from the photo is to keep the prop on the hub, even if it is arguably a scene out of publicity photos. See below.

However, only the forward part of the engine will be uncovered, as in the LL photo.

More details as they become available!


Wonderful update and good to see the Lady is still looking amazing :+1:


Had to discard the nose framing twice… (eh em or three times, hee hee) @Johnnych01 I’ll reuse the brass. The exhaust pipes on NO.4 are now hand crafted… praised the Lord. It’s a grand project and deserves all the minicell details.

Now leave alone to do some masking LOL.

Sorry for jumping in on your blog @Redhand, but Jim Starkweather owns this site. Guys, can you please help Jim out with some funds. God bless.


Powdering her Nose

After all, she’s supposed to be the Luscious Lady.

I will only add that for sheer, exhausting tedium, the nose of this model, with its accurate single .50 MG installation anchored by four curving brackets, is my personal choice for the most repetitive, maddening, and tears-of-rage-inducing task in the whole build.

During my part of the build, before I conceded that I was out of my depth, only the eternally-coming-loose-pilot seats in the cockpit came close. Then again, I think both the nose and the cockpit will be focal points for the observer, drawing the eyes like a magnet.

Put another way, even the most beautiful lines on a body can be marred by a less-than-comely face. I know this will be worth H.G.'s efforts. Even Praxiteles would approve, I think.

And yeah, you can question my mental stability for this analogy. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

More to follow.



Is something like this ever final? A fellow modeler and friend who knows of the build but doesn’t post here, commented

That B-17 is a work of art…Almost unfinishable…So many years of work loaded into one model…Its astounding. [My emphasis]

which reminds me of a sadly disappeared build blog in which a Greek builder showcased his FM Models 1/48 Halifax Mk. II (custom Merlin engines!!!) by stating that a project of such size and magnitude is never really “complete,” but rather ends up on display “in an advanced state of construction.”

I think that fits here, too, thanks to H.G.'s incredible efforts over, what, 3.5 years?

c.f. The Great Wall of China by Franz Kafka which is only 11 pages but is worth a read if you’re feeling “in-tell-ect-ual.”

Anyway, enough preface. I’ll record current work starting on the nose, where we’ve discussed details.


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Me: Yes, but:

On to “I wanted wings.”

I don’t care to tour over Berlin or the Ruhr
Flak always makes me lose my lunch
I get the urge to pray when they holler, “Bombs away!”
I’d rather be home with the bunch
For there’s one thing you can’t laugh off
And that’s when they shoot your ass off
I’d rather be home, Buster
With my ass than with a cluster, Buster
I wanted wings 'til I got the goddam things
Now I don’t want them anymore

See this. Author unknown, Air Force traditional.

And this:

Yes, some repairs to the seam are needed behind the bomb bay (among innumerable other little things).

Speaking of the bomb bay:

At what angle should the doors dangle?

I vote for that imperceptible outward tilt that follows the curve of the bottom fuselage.

H.G. is now starting work on installing the doors and making the actuators, which couldn’t be started until the landing gear was installed.

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A source picture:

And what about the display case and diorama? As one of the madmen in Marat/Sade said:

You’ll see it all one day.
I’m not through yet.
I have plans.

(Go ahead, try and find those lines in the script)

I return to the subject of my pint-sized Tamiya refueling truck

and the suggestion of Richard Tool that if I looked hard enough, I could find 1/48 models of the bomber-sized tractor-trailers that were what really got the job done.


Easy to do in 1/72, with the Airfix Accessory set.

In 1/48, not so much, but with a WTH, I did a casual search on eBay, and to my surprise
found this:

which is surprisingly large. Got it. I then decided to look for the Gaso.line tractor that Richard mentioned, and saw that that was “really a thing” too., i.e., WWII US International M-426 semi cab. That search was also successful.

Both of them are surprisingly complex kits. I am also intrigued by the fact that both models are Fabriqué en France. Is this a coincidence? Anyway,

For now, the first priority is the B-17.


You had me at bomb bay… Absolutely stunning! :bomb:



Thanks. That’s one of the parts that I did, a long, long time ago, with some cleanup by H.G. on things like loose parts and restringing the catwalk ropes to make them more to scale.

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Don’t forget the Accurate Armour Crossley crash tender since you seem to be on a roll here Brian …

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Another nice little update … And now a truck … another interesting aspect of the build …


I’ll check it out. It was one vehicle I thought wasn’t available in 1/48.



I am informed by H.G.'s roommate in Edmonton that my friend and “the partner of my labors”, albeit a faithful one, is no more.

H.G. died in his sleep on Sunday, with the end of this epic build in sight.

I’ll have more to say about this when I learn more. I also need to reflect on it before saying more.

One thing I can assure the followers of this build is that it will continue. I’ll have to figure out a way to get it back from Edmonton in one piece and then find someone else who will help get it to the runway. Our mission was almost done.


Very sad news. Prayers. No one can prepare for a loss; it comes like a swift wind. But we take comfort in knowing that he is now resting in the arms of our Lord. My deepest condolences to his family


I’m so sorry ti hear that, Brian- my sympathies.


This is not true, Brian, isn’t it? That’s so, so sad to hear.

I always admired his accurate work on his builds with the eye for even the tiniest detail. He was one of the best modellers I had the pleasure to know - even only though the internet. In my own build blog he was always full of encouraging words for my work. He once told me that he suffers from Parkinson. That makes his works even more precious. This is a sad loss for us here at the Kitmaker Family.

RIP, H.G. :cry:


So sad to hear the news. H.G. was always a great teacher and inspiration to many. My sincere condolences go out to his family and friends.



Terrible news Brian - I know what started as a business relationship evolved into a friendship for the two of you . My sympathy to all .
Hopefully he has some heirs that will be able to return your property to you in a safe and secure manner.
Perhaps there is another modeler in the area who can pack it with the roommate’s cooperation .
I don’t do Facebook but my brother in law is part of a large modeling community there . If no one in the Kitmaker network is in that area reaching out on Facebook may help. LMK if there is anything I can do.
With much sympathy- Richard


This is very sad news as H.G. was an outstanding modeler, inspiration and fantastic member of the forum community.

My condolences to family and friends.