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Revell B 17 'Memphis Belle' - 1:72 by Popeye

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the case in point.........    for as long as I can recall,  I have complained about molded detail in model kits.  I fell victim to quite a few times.........see a kit that looks really cool,  only to find a few parts in the box,  with whatever existential detail molded to the parts........some poorly at that.   true........as time went on,  the kits became more sophisticated to the taste of the builder.   car.......and aircraft kits got the biggest boon I think......engines,  chassis,  and suspensions were molded less and increased the parts count of the model...........engines,  ailerons/flaps,  and cockpit detail respectively {let's not forget the planes} ;)   when I purchased the Lindberg B 17 kit......I have to be honest........I thought it was more of the same.  even the decal led to be desired....but hey!  tweak the subject,  and look what happened........I'm a happy camper with how it came out  :) the subject is huge.......enter the world of the B 17,  and you see more candy than at Willy Wonka's!  B 25's and B 24's are no exception { can you tell I like bombers}.  during the project of the Nine o Nine,  I stumbled on pictures of the Wulfe Hound..........the more I looked into the idea of the captured aircraft......the more I wanted to build it.  I put in my Christmas wish list,  and in it was an 'already started' kit of a B 17.......not much of an investment for the joy it will bring { my list was all at the same place ;) }.

    Lou.........you have a big heart........but you out did yourself.  one look at the kit you sent me,  and there was no way I was going to blow it on a whim.  this kit is way to special....it totally blew my mind,  as well as my thoughts of what I would expect in a kit.  the kit I got for Christmas will more than suffice,  for what will be the Wulfe Hound.  the kit you sent me deserves to be special,  and I do hope I can pull off a very attractive piece of Air Force hardware.

   both of these kits that I speak of were produced by Revell Germany......the one for the Wulf Hound was produced in 1989.  the one that Lou sent me was produced in 2010.....and for a model kit that is 1:72 scale,  the details in it,  is  extraordinary.  pardon if I seem startled by all the bells and whistles,  but I'm not accustomed in seeing kits like this.  for what the 1989 kit has in it,  it only has 82 parts {it was a sealed kit BTW}.  the 2010 kit more than doubles it, with a parts count of 235 pieces.

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the instructions is not a folded up 'road map'.......but a booklet!  there are eight sprue sheets housing the parts.......there are a few extra parts for different variants.  I used to like that with car models.......I bought the three in ones exclusively just for that reason.  the decal sheet has all the decals for the Memphis Belle and another named plane called the Shamrock Special.  sorry for the blur......

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detailed engines,  cockpit,  ball turrets,  and more!

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...and the main event...

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the interior detail is amazing....little flash,  but I can deal with that......trust me  ;)   the fuselage together as a dry fit,  shows the emphasis of the nose and tail.......there is another variant for the tail,  as well as the cockpit housing.

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it has a sophisticated design for the wing roots,  and yes.......the ball turrets are not built up,  as in the 1989 kit.  thumbing through the instruction booklet,  one can see how much R&D was put into this kit.  if anyone is looking for a good replica model for a B 17,  this is the kit to get.

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another feature of this kit is the intake inlets located on the underside of each wing.........they are not 'dummied'.   the bomb bay doors can be done open or closed........they will be open in this project.

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which brings us to the bomb bay itself........there is one :)   being the first page,  this is where the fun starts.

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step #1 is done.........I also assembled the bombs,  but failed to get a picture.  no worries,  you'll get to see them later :) 

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this kind of came off as a review........guilty as charged.  it's nice to be able to show a good example of how the kit {in general} has evolved.   some manufacturers {mostly overseas} have been producing complex kits all along,   while some still chose to simplify their kits with the molded detail.  it's a toss up as to whether their goal was to cut cost in R&D,  or to satisfy mass appeal.  I think that with the emergence of PE and resin,  it's spurring the evolution of the model kit,  as we once knew it.  I haven't seen too many 1:72 scale this complex.......usually larger kits were more involved....1:28 was my go to for planes.  for the time being,  I will leave it as the Memphis Belle,  but after receiving the decals for the Wulfe Hound,  I now can go for three different planes........the Memphis Belle,  the Shamrock Special,  and the Sentimental Journey.  once I can decide on which way to go,  I will change the title accordingly :) 

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WOW, I had no idea that this was not the same model I built back in 19?? You are right, it would be a shame to put iron crosses on it. In fact I made a mistake, send it back! :D

 

Really, it is in the right place!

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I wasn't kidding when I told ya Lou..........for a 1:72 kit.......this is amazing.  it's a far cry from 1989. I even measured the fuselages just to be sure.  the date stamp is located inside one of the rudder 'fins' of the fuselage...Revell Germany 2010.  I made a mistake on the one for the Wulfe Hound....the box says Germany,  but the date stamp is located inside the upper starboard wing half......says 1989 Revell USA.  it is interesting to note that a second set of molds were made for this model.....likely that Revell Germany found that the US molds were outdated or worn.

 

I'm not sure yet OC........the Nine and the Wulfe Hound are olive drab........it would be neat to break up the manotany with an aluminum paint scheme.  the Sentimental Journey has some drab areas and a blue stripe on the rudder fin.  not sure,  but I think the Shamrock Special was olive drab.  another contender is called Sweet and Lovely......she's olive drab,  but has some red and white stripes around the waist gunner's windows.  of course, we all know that the Memphis belle was olive drab.  it's still up for grabs ;) 

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If you do end up building the Memphis Bell then you also have a number of choices in the look and there should be plenty of reference material.

https://www.wearethemighty.com/memphis-belle-b-17

https://sofrep.com/fightersweep/b-17f-memphis-belle-exhibit-opening-events-set-for-may-17-19-2018/

 

I even find these shots interesting:

img.jpg?width=980

 

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Obviously nothing like what she looks like today. I think these are shots taken while she was on tour in the US.

 

Belle

Edited by lmagna

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reality sets in..........I just saw that the Sentimental Journey was a B 17G :(    I really was starting to warm up to her too..................

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you are correct there Lou........not too many f's that were in their natural skin..........99% were olive green.   the natural aluminum finish was reserved for the G variant.   the F's had the chin turret....as you see in this picture,  it went through some changes as well.  the first picture you sent Lou is not an actual plane........can't find that number anywhere.   I try to avoid paintings........too much room for error.   you would not believe how many sites I've book marked related to the B 17....good way to know that a certain marking is real.   Lou was suggesting that I go with the RAF OC.....I think that one is an earlier model 299,  since it is void the ball turret underneath.

   yea..........I guess the Memphis Belle has it.  I've also ordered the 1990 film...there are also a trove of documentaries on the M.B. and B 17's in general.  so.....that's that........I won't even need to alter the title.

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I knew that the painting was probably just a fictitious aircraft as like you say, the tail numbers do not match any list i was able to find in a short search. But it was worth a try. I think that the reason that not many, (Or any) "F" models made it into natural metal finish was that the unpainted finish came later in the war and there were not that many "F"s left that were not worn out or shot down.

 

If I saw the plans you posted correctly, it looks like the kit is designed to be built either as a "F" or a "G" model based on whether you use a plate or install a turret under the nose. Could you get a turret or scratch one?

 

It's too bad, I should have waited until you settled on your choice. It would have been just as easy to do the "G" version but I wanted to do it in time for Christmas and you seemed to be wrapped up in the Wulfe Hound idea that required an "F" model. 

Edited by lmagna

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not to worry Lou ...it is the thought.   good you brought it up though.........not all B 17F's had the chin guns.  you stirred enough curiosity in me to look at the Wulfe Hound,  to see if she had it...she doesn't!  it's an F kit anyway.........I should have known better.  there is the hole for it on the one you sent me,  but looking through the instructions,   there is a 'plug' for it.

Edited by popeye the sailor

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The kit fuselage has the opening for the chin turret already. That turret was a G model signature, as was the Cheyenne tail gun setup. Apparently, the last run of F models had the turrets, but if you want a tail number.... , A few F's were converted to YB-40 as long range escorts before the superb Mustang came on the scene and these also had chin turrets. See wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_B-17_Flying_Fortress

 

Maybe a heavily gunned YB-40? :D

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I have it book marked already ;)   I also have listings of B 17 bomber groups,  and that number comes up no where.  I knew a few had the chin gun.......likely testing it before the G's came out.   I did find a group with similar markings....'V' stripe on the wing......but little else matched.  there are options for a different variant,  perhaps the kit has the option to cross over to a G.  I haven't seen anything about it.......then again,  it's hard to turn pages with a tube of glue and an x actor in one's hands  ;) 

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10 hours ago, popeye the sailor said:

reality sets in..........I just saw that the Sentimental Journey was a B 17G :(    I really was starting to warm up to her too..................

1883505233_SentimentalJourney.thumb.jpg.51a6ee5ee318d34af18a88bd1f95a050.jpg

you are correct there Lou........not too many f's that were in their natural skin..........99% were olive green.   the natural aluminum finish was reserved for the G variant.   the F's had the chin turret....as you see in this picture,  it went through some changes as well.  the first picture you sent Lou is not an actual plane........can't find that number anywhere.   I try to avoid paintings........too much room for error.   you would not believe how many sites I've book marked related to the B 17....good way to know that a certain marking is real.   Lou was suggesting that I go with the RAF OC.....I think that one is an earlier model 299,  since it is void the ball turret underneath.

   yea..........I guess the Memphis Belle has it.  I've also ordered the 1990 film...there are also a trove of documentaries on the M.B. and B 17's in general.  so.....that's that........I won't even need to alter the title.

This would look Superb though.

 

OC.

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2 hours ago, Roger Pellett said:

What was the actual experience in combat of gunners on board bombers downing enemy aircraft?

 

 

The Memphis Bell claimed 8 kills in her 25 missions. That would have qualified her as an Ace if she was a fighter.

Edited by lmagna

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On 1/16/2020 at 8:57 PM, lmagna said:

WOW, I had no idea that this was not the same model I built back in 19?? You are right, it would be a shame to put iron crosses on it. In fact I made a mistake, send it back! :D

 

Really, it is in the right place!

:D:P to funny!I have one of these Denis and you are right it's a beautiful kit esp. being 1/72 mine is a different plane/decals. ;) Kevin

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I always thought the NM came about later in the war due to air superiority and camo was not needed as much the fighter jocks really took off with it with all the colors,personnel hot rods courtesy of the US government. ;) Kevin

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I've probably seen pictures of her OC........never knew you folks had a mock up of her.  I don't think the M.B. had the checkers on the cowl.....if she did,  I'm in trouble {I don't have those decals}.  great looking plane! :) 

 

there are many kits out there Kevin.......Lindberg alone had at least five.   you can post a picture of it her if it's handy......love to see it :)     eye candy :stunned:  eye candy :stunned:  eye candy :stunned:

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my god!   yes!!   I just read something about her!  I will have to dig up what I was reading and post it.  I also bought the 1990 movie "Memphis Belle".........I think the description said something about her too.   now this is gonna bug me until I find it........something about the Sally B and one other plane........some airshow or something........wish I could recall!  I'll look it up.

 

don't jog my memory too much.........it'll fall out :wacko:

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On 1/17/2020 at 5:17 PM, Roger Pellett said:

Probably a silly question, but since airplane models are not my thing, “inquiring minds want to know.”  What was the actual experience in combat of gunners on board bombers downing enemy aircraft?

 

Roger

Early on, the Army Air Corps brass figured that with all that firepower, the bombers would be safe.  This Hap Arnold and band of "we do bombers, don't need anything else" types.  What fighters were available when the bombing Germany started, didn't have the range.  They had to turn back at the German border.  There'weren't drop tanks at that points.  Losses were extreme for the bombers and they had to stop the daylight raids until the drop tanks could be provided.   Part of the problem was the British did the night bombing.   They "offered" to have the US join them at night but with the amount of planes to be used, it was felt to be too dangerous as the planes couldn't run any position lights.   Besides,  Arnold said "US does precision bombing" and needed daylight.  The fact the Nordon bombsight has "issues" along with dodging flack, etc. didn't help either.

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10 minutes ago, mtaylor said:

Early on, the Army Air Corps brass figured that with all that firepower, the bombers would be safe.  This Hap Arnold and band of "we do bombers, don't need anything else" types.  What fighters were available when the bombing Germany started, didn't have the range.  They had to turn back at the German border.  There'weren't drop tanks at that points.  Losses were extreme for the bombers and they had to stop the daylight raids until the drop tanks could be provided.   Part of the problem was the British did the night bombing.   They "offered" to have the US join them at night but with the amount of planes to be used, it was felt to be too dangerous as the planes couldn't run any position lights.   Besides,  Arnold said "US does precision bombing" and needed daylight.  The fact the Nordon bombsight has "issues" along with dodging flack, etc. didn't help either.

Yep!   my farther told  me a few stories about this.

 

OC.

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Yep, we hung our hats on the precision bombing idea and the Norden bombsight. It was a wonderful early computer, but the levels of training weren't quite there. And we didn't understand the affects of the jet stream in the upper atmosphere. That's why LeMay went low (8,000 ft) over Japan. The jet stream played havoc with the bombs and accuracy was atrocious. Preciion didn't become real intil we developed laser and TV guided weapons.

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