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Rodney J. Williams
171 articles

1/72 Scale Academy B-17G converted to a YB-17G

November 3, 2019 · in Aviation · · 23 ≡

After years of building models I knew everything...hum-bug! I found a photo on the web of a "YB-17G ." As lot's of modeler's say: "I gotta have that kit," but there is no YB-17G kit available.

For me that was not a problem, so I bought the scale kit as I had built two of them. I searched the web for more photos of the "YB" but found nothing!

I found out on my previous Academy B-17G kit that it was best to build in the landing gear struts before you attached the bottom wing section.

I found a spare gun turret, so I built it in by just looking at the photo of the real airplane. I jumped from one section of the model to another and I drilled holes in the machine guns and added the front gun post. My next segment dealt with the cockpit and I added home made seat belts.

My next project dealt with a nose wheel well, including a nose gear strut, tire and doors. I found these ready-made parts in my spare box, which came from a scale TF-104G jet model. I closed up the main wing section and added some "b-b's."

I revised the two aft stabilizer/elevator parts and added what I thought was two large 20/40mm machine guns. I attached these two items to the front section of the model and used my 90-degree angle card stock tool to align the parts to the model.

I had no idea how to attach the two finish wings to the aft section of the fuselage so it was back to the "experiment" game of try one thing and it that does not work, try something else. After some work, I put on the prop on the inside engine and the ends of the prop hit the fuselage. Revision time! I had to add a spacer to the front of the wings.

I could not get rid of the ridge in the rear tail gun sight window so I just cut it off and glued in a new piece of clear plastic.

I started to paint the model using 's paint's. I found a little "BEAR" image, so I reduced it down and then painted it on top of the left wing.

On final assembly, I added the nose blister using Future Floor Wax as my glue, then added some other parts and some decals.

I like the finished model and it was entered in the annual 2015 IPMS/USA Creig Hewitt "Modelzona" contest and won first place in that category.

What more can I say ...But... Enjoy the photos! Rodney.

Reader reactions:
14  Awesome

45 additional images. Click to enlarge.

23 responses

  1. This is a really cool build! I like the YB 17, but unfortunately, I think the image is photoshopped. I'm not sure though, so dont quote me on that! I love that design.

  2. Amazing project Rodney. If anyone ever doubts whether the YB-17 existed, here is the proof: Rodney built it! Very much liked this, thanks for posting!

  3. LOL...I love this "what if" and your ability to make it. I'd seen that photo before, but...It ain't real. Sorry to say.

    The YB-17 was real, but not in this form. For those of you not aware, it was the predecessor of the now historic B-17. Go here and enjoy:

    Nice job Rodney @f2g1d, really love it!

  4. Guess no model exists due to the fact it didn´t become operational until after VE-day. The photo is before they stuck pods containing twin booster jet engines under the outer wing panels as there was a certain lack of umpf in the engines they used. By the time they tried out the concept with a B-29, SAC had already decided to go for the B-47. Radials was a thing of the past.

    Great project. Well executed.

  5. That scores a 10 for creativity!

    Yes indeed, if Burt Rutan had been around in 1942, things would have been VERY different. 🙂

  6. Well done Rodney, greatly enjoyed your build narrative as well.

  7. Really cool build, very inventive!

  8. Ya mean it's not real? Creativity at it's best, well done!

  9. Superb piece of modelling imagination. Anyone out there brave enough to do this in 32 scale?

  10. I don't know if the YB ever really existed, but I sure appreciate the model-building skills that brought the replica into being.

  11. Rodney, Very cool build. I think a lot of us will enjoy watching this one unfold !

  12. Modeling Madness at it's finest.! That YP-17 is awesome, great job Rodney. I've heard the original is stored in a hanger at Area 51. Just sayin. .

  13. wether it is a "what-if" or the picture is posted april 1st really does not matter - it is such a great build from a single photo - well done sir! lets have some more from your files.

  14. Nicely executed project! A little creativity goes a long way...

  15. Bonkers - but magnificent!
    Congratulations on an epic build Rodney - a master class in scratch building/ conversion.
    Wonderful to see - thank you for just building it!

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