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Jeff Groves
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Academy B-17E in the Hawaiian Air Depot Scheme in 1/72 Scale

Here is another in the camouflage, this time serial 41-2437. This is one of two Fortresses seen in John Ford's documentary film of the Battle of Midway. The U. S. national markings were modified by ALNAV97 on 06MAY42 which directed that the red centers of the insignia should be painted over in white and that the tail stripes be removed. In this case the rudder was painted over in black. If you look closely at photographs taken during this period many of the white stars show signs of overpainting.
The kit is the E model Fortress. I didn't spend a lot of time detailing the interior of this one as very little can be seen inside. I did replace the engines with Quickboost resin which look much better. I also enclosed the wheelwells and added some detail there. The big change which is needed is the kit comes with a ball turret in the belly, and the Fortresses which fought at Midway in the HAD Scheme were all still equipped with the Sperry remote turret at the time (not the Bendix turret as most references erroneously state, which is different). For this model I used a Kora resin belly turret and scratchbuilt the sighting blister for it.

For those who want to see more references, color screen captures and photographs of 41-2437 are here:

The differences between the Sperry and Bendix belly turrets are described here:

Reader reactions:
8  Awesome

16 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. Beautiful very rare scheme of the B-17E. This is the first time ever seeing it modelled by anyone. What I find interesting or caught my eye is the Neutral Gray wrap around. And nice research in regard to the ball turret. Excellent model. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. That's one eye catching Fortress! I love the color scheme.

  3. Uau, never saw such colourful scheme in any USAF plane before, let alone in a B-17! Very nice indeed, great job

  4. Another good looking B17 Jeff, a well done different scheme !

  5. I love the camouflage scheme, you've made a little gem there !

  6. Hello Jeff,
    First time I get a good explanation of the color schemes on these planes.
    The model looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge with us.
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  7. That's got to be one of the most colorful camo schemes on a US WWII aircraft! Very nice.

  8. Thanks for the kind words guys! I got fixated on the HAD scheme B-17s, they make a nice alternative to the usual NMF or OD/NG camouflage.

  9. Definitely encouragement for the H-K B-17E I have here.

  10. That is one cool looking model, Jeff.

    I always liked the B-17E and F and their combat service in the Pacific seems to get overlooked a lot. The Hawaiian Air Depot B-17s at Midway represent a "Missing Link" in the history of one of the most iconic planes in history.

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