1/48th Boeing Fortress MkI (B-17C) Koster / Revell conversion
I’ve been working on this on and off for the last few months and have finished it off this week.
I’ve used the classic Revell 1/48th B-17F kit and coupled it with Koster’s vacformed beautiful early Fortress conversion set. This comprises a new rear fuselage with the distinctive ‘shark fin’, a new early nose and cockpit transparency as well as other various vacformed clear parts, along with some additional air intakes for the early oil cooler set up – all in all a very comprehensive conversion set. You have to undertake other mods to the Revell kit such as shortening the nose (the later Forts had a longer nose due to the heavier rear fuselage needing to be rebalanced), add additional seats to the flightdeck as well as reshaping the later paddle-bladed props to the earlier ‘needle’ type. The cowl flaps have to go too, as these weren’t introduced until the D-model.
I started with the Revell F-model kit rather than the Monogram G-model as the nose is far easier to modify – I just needed to blend in the larger cheek windows and then open them up in the shape of the smaller windows seen on the earlier models. Using the G-model would have meant lots of additional surgery to remove the chin turret and fairing, remove and replace the bulged cheek windows and remove the astrodome on the roof of the nose. With the F-model I was over half way there already.
I decided to do a later scheme used by the RAF on their Fortress Is which was slate / extra dark sea grey uppers with PRU blue undersides. I used my favourite Xtracolor enamels with generic Xtradecal codes and insignia to cobble together a 90 Squadron machine which was operated out of Polebrook in the Autumn of 1941.
The fit of the Koster parts was exceptional – once they were removed from the backing sheet and sanded correctly it was like working with an injection-molded kit. In fact, the Koster parts fitted better than the Revell kit! The only tricky area was the nose transparency – this was a little too large to fit the Revell nose, but some careful trimming and careful blending with Milliput solved the problem.
I’m now trying to get hold of the 1/48th Privateer conversion, but now Koster kits are OOP I’ll have my work cut out – and they’re currently going for silly prices on eBay!
Regards to all,
10 additional images. Click to enlarge.