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Mike Grant
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Revell/Monogram 1/48 B-17G

November 12, 2019 · in Aviation · · 46 · 13.5K

Let me prelude this by saying this is an older build– from 2005, in fact. It's spent the last 14 years in a box under the stairs, but this weekend I dug it out and decided to shoot some new photos of it. There are plenty of things I'd do differently now, but at the time I was really pleased with how it came out.

I used quite a bit of aftermarket on the build: Eduard PE sets, True Details resin wheels, Kayera metal gun barrels and some resin engines (forgot the source). I didn't use much aftermarket in the cockpit, just painted and added a little bit extra to the kit parts. The detail on the kit was a bit soft but looked OK with careful painting.

Based on my research the forward parts of the B-17 would have been painted bronze green, not interior green as I'd originally assumed. I added some headphones and a lamp to the navigator's desk, and some extra stuff to the Norden sight.

The model was re-scribed. Some modellers have taken exception to this, because the real B-17's surface was constructed of overlapping panels. Which is true, but raised panel lines don't replicate that any more accurately than a scribed one, IMO. Besides, I like the look, and it's my model 🙂

Most of the clear parts were replaced using a Falcon vac canopy set, and some custom cut acetate parts. Various MV lenses were used to replicate the myriad of formation/navigation lights on the B-17 airframe. There were lots of other details which I'd forgotten about but noticed when I was re-shooting the pics, such as the zippers on the nose turret and the chalked numbers on one of the prop blades.

I think this might have been the first model on which I experimented with scale colour, using various mixes of Polly-Scale acrylics IIRC. The scheme I chose was '2nd Patches', a war-weary bomber which flew shuttle missions from Africa to Russia, then to England before being flown back to Africa.

The weathering was based on several wartime photos of Forts, and I paid particular attention in trying to replicate the exhaust patterns over the wings, the wear and tear from mechanics and crew walking on the wings, and the patching done to the flying surfaces.

I believe there's a new-release B-17 imminent, which should please a lot of people. I probably won't get one– I'd forgotten how big it was in this scale!

Reader reactions:
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1 additional image. Click to enlarge.

46 responses

  1. With a beauty like that on display, I'd not be able to convince myself of the need for the new release. That is truly a terrific build, showcasing that this old girl can be dressed up into a fine replica.

  2. Glad you pulled it out of wraps and shared it with us. That's one fine looking build. What else is lurking under those stairs?

  3. I can remember when it wasn't Revellogram ...the Monogram B-17G was a separate company and then Revell sort of reversed engineered their version into a earlier model F . What a great model considering the age of its manufacture and considering that the folks who made this kit used slide rulers and paper. They weren't digital natives whose lives depended on batteries. We could coin the engineers and designers as Graphite natives whose lives depended on paper and erasers.

    What a real treat Mike, A very sharp model done to perfection and made with a lot of TLC and it shows. The one thing that is missing from this kit are the O2 bottles. Everyone has been prejudiced by the Warbirds and the folks who fly and run these birds take out the yellow oxygen bottles so the public can sit and have enough space to ride in the a/c. Behind the cockpit was a battery of yellow oxygen bottles and they weren't those neat little hand held bottles. I got my look at a oxygen bottle when it had been repurposed ...I was driving past a art gallery and the sculpture sitting out side sort of resembled a zebra thingie with a O2 bottle welded too it. I am sure any museum would have loved having that bottle ...

    Two thumbs up on pulling out the oldie but goodie and thank you for taking the time to photograph her.

  4. Mike, great job on this old bird, I especially like the additional interior detail you did.

  5. Thanks very much for sharing that with us all, and THANK YOU for turning your kit over for shots of the underside! The interior work you did was awesome! I have one G already built, and two more Monogram G's and one Revell F in the stash- seeing yours has got me thinking about finally getting one of the G's done as "Thunderbird"- it has everything in the box for getting the job done!

  6. Absolutely stunning build. Ole Shep would be proud of this. Well done on the tones, it looks like a Robert Taylor painting.

  7. Mike... I love it!
    It will inspire my 1/72 fortress!
    Best regards

    • Cheers Mattia. If I build another B-17, it'll be in 72 scale. In fact I have an early model Academy kit in the stash, with some unusual RAF markings for it.

  8. Simply beautiful work, the wear on the wings is spot on. Overall one of the best B-17 I’ve seen, glad you remembered and took it out of storage for the photos. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Really good build. Just goes to show what some modelling skill and some bits and pieces can achieve especially with this kit which really was state of the art when first released.

  10. extraordinary work

  11. Beautiful B-17! Great work.

  12. Simply spectacular.

  13. Excellent Fortress!

  14. Wow - excellent! With all the work you did on research, I'm just gonna use yours as research for my 1/72 build! Love it.

  15. Best build of that kit I’ve ever seen. Hell, it might even be the best build of any B-17 kit, in any scale that I’ve ever seen! I always enjoy seeing your work, Mike.

  16. Your work is always inspirational, Mike. Another beauty.

  17. Very inspiring work! Your scribing job is amazing. Certainly would be mistaken for a recessed panel line kit!

  18. Excellent work and result
    Love it

  19. This is exactly what I intended to do!
    I made a matchbox as a kid .
    And bought it years ago 1/48 decals
    Superscale .
    Now the easier outcome will be made from the new HK.

    Mike your Monogram B-17G is made in your style perfectly!


    • Thanks P.k! For sure the HK will be an easier build and a lot more accurate, I'm sure. I suspect a lot of old B-17 decal sets will be re-released to coincide.

  20. as with all your work Mike, this one is a true work of art. your "style" is instantly recognizable to me, your attention to detail second to none. A beauty

  21. Beautiful work! Excellent job on the exhaust stains. That interior work is sharp. Awesome job dude!

  22. Beautiful B-17! Among other things I found the navigators table amazing , realistic wood.Great work!

  23. One of the best such builds I have ever seen, of what is arguably the most accurate 1/48 WWII aircraft kit of the 1970s (by my reckoning). It still vastly beats the new HK release, and this build proves it.

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