While the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was arguably one of the most important aircraft designs of the Second World War, even the best designs can be improved. Combat experience against the Luftwaffe over Europe identified several potential improvements suggested by the crews. The job of evaluating those changes was given to Major Robert J. Reed. Reed was sent to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio and given B-17E 41-9112 to experiment on.
Reed replaced much of the B-17E defensive armament with components already in production for the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. The most obvious changes were mounting powered turrets in the nose and tail positions. Jagdwaffe pilots had identified the hand-held nose armament as a weak point in the Fortresses defenses, and the tail position had a very restricted field of fire. The Liberator turrets remedied both these problems at a stroke.
With the nose position now occupied by a turret the…
Highly recommended. This is another winner from Tamiya. I really enjoyed the build. The fit is fabulous, and detail is fine to boot. I don’t normally build Soviet subjects, but I’m glad I built this one, and I’m very proud of the result.
Review kit courtesy of my wallet. The kit isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for. (And if you shop around, you can get it for less than MSRP. I got mine at the local shop for 40% off during their end-of-year sale.)
Amazon just keeps on reminding me it’s just a click away for CDN$ 54.89 with free shipping, and I know there is only one way to stop it…
This really is a nice kit. To its plus, it does three different variants and has loads of weapons. The wing fits snugly and in general, it has very good fit. The wing gun insert is probably the worst fitting item in the kit and I’m not totally jazzed with the decals. It is a real plus having separate flight control surfaces, though I did find the clear bits a bit thick with the definition of the frame lines not as crisp as I’ve found on other kits. Still, it is nothing really major.
Now I did use two Pavla resin sets on this one and they do add a level of detail not found on the kit. The gun barrels and exhaust are particularly well done as are the wheels. However, for most, this set isn’t really necessary, though it is nice. Overall, I’d have to say that this one offers real value for the money and is one I think you’ll enjoy as well.
Now my motivational photos…
Being motivated I have started the cockpit yesterday and found small issues mostly with fragile parts to be detached from the sprues and then to be glued together.
Here I had to add a small piece of sprue to hold the seat level since a pin was cut off.
I also found that the best way to work around some fitting issues was to use two tweezers when I am holding parts to glue them.
Next time I will be painting the cockpit using the paint found in the kit.
I write so I won’t forget to build some of what I have bought since the 1980s and also not to forget how building model airplanes was and still is lots of fun… well most of the time.
Building my latest model kit has lowered the bar for whatever expectations I had with newer model kits. I am now reconciled with Airfix Spitfire Mk Vb.
I had started painting my Airfix Spitfire Mk Vb last week after I had glued the canopies with clear acrylic paint. That’s the best way I have found for glueing canopies since reuniting with my forgotten hobby.
I had used light gray as a primer coat following Jeff’s advice. Then I did some experimenting with pre-shading using diluted black acrylic. A few days later I painted the underside using Airfix azure blue acrylic paint found in the kit, and then left the Spitfire alone.
Then this morning on the spur of the moment I have tackled the top side.
Airfix acrylic paints found in the box are working surprising well. You have to be careful though when you open the tiny jars because they are hard to open and it is easy to spill the content. Also once you have opened them it is easy to topple the jar if you don’t put something behind to hold it.
I have traced the camouflage lines using a lead pencil and then I have added a thin coat of matt desert yellow.
I will be adding later a thin coat of dark earth later and we will see how things work out.