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Jeff Groves
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Airfix Boeing B-17E Conversion “THE BLUE GOOSE” in 1/72 Scale

B-17E serial number 41-2616 THE is somewhat enigmatic due to there being no known photographs of her. What is known is that the requisitioned her from an RAF order and that she was given a unique paint job at the Hawaiian Air Depot.

From Fortress Against the Sun, pg 218:
"Interestingly, Waskowitz' plane, the Blue Goose, was actually painted a bright, light blue. Perhaps as a test for a new camouflage scheme, B-17E 41-2616 had been given a coat, top to bottom, of Light Glossy Blue Duco paint at the Hawaiian Air Depot. With its highly unusual color, the and its crew were soon known to everybody."

Unfortunately the exact shade is not recorded. I have included a Duco automotive color chart below, perhaps the paint is one of the blues on this card. My color is a mix of Mr. Color 34 with Mr. Color 115 (RLM 65) in a 2 to 1 ratio.

The BLUE GOOSE served with the 11th Bomb Group. She was lost off Bougainville on 29SEP42, shot down by antiaircraft fire while attacking a Japanese cruiser. None of her crew survived.

The model is back-dated from the B-17G kit. Markings are from Starfighter Decals #72-162 “Fortress of the Skies Part 3: E Models”. The Blue Goose wears the full set of markings carried during the first months of the war. The red centers to the insignia and the rudder stripes would have been painted out by May 1942, assuming they were carried at all which is not a certainty. It does make for a striking scheme. The nose art was known to have been based upon the logo of the Blue Goose Produce Company, this is Mark’s best guess as to the possible appearance. Since there are no known photographs of this aircraft, the nose art decals could be used by modelers in larger scales and still work just fine.

For anyone interested, work on the Airfix kit is described here:

13 additional images. Click to enlarge.

20 responses

  1. A beautiful build in an very unusual color, Jeff.
    It looks very nice like in this scheme.
    Detailing and weathering is great too.

  2. GREAT LOOKING MODEL...The old paint question and answer was : "It not what color you paint on the model...but..."HOW WELL IT WAS APPLIED"

    It looks A-OK to me! Rodney

  3. Nicely done and unusual!

  4. Nice colour guess, Jeff. And a nice work too.
    I did not know that B-17E had side machine guns in the cheeks, nor any antenna riggings, but (question: would not to be easier to start from academy B-17E?)

    • I have built both kits, it's really a toss up. The Academy kit does not have nearly as good of an interior, the wing angle is wrong, and the inlets between the engines are missing. The Airfix kit is easier to assemble and better detailed, but it's the wrong version.

  5. Nice to see an usual scheme on the ole' Fort! Very striking, and you did a very nice job with the finish. Well done!

  6. I love this ,it was a brave choice to risk such a great kit but i think it paid off really well , great job and even our resident know it all can't call you on it !

  7. Great colour scheme Jeff - love the way it changes in the sunlight - the early war markings set it off nicely. Nice work.

  8. An excellent and very unusual model, Jeff. Definitely my kind of liking!
    Apart form your excellent building and painting, I loved your research and "justification" on the subject.
    Well done, my friend, this is really striking!

  9. This is a really good "educated guess" on the Blue Goose. You did some really excellent work on the conversion (backdating the G to an E is harder than one might expect). Those Hawaiian Air Depot schemes on early B-17s are very interesting. It's really too bad those guys were so busy fighting a war that they'd forget to take proper photos.

  10. High quality conversion and paint. Great colour choice.

  11. Looks good in blue Jeff, nicely done.

  12. Great looking Fort, really like the camo scheme.

  13. A truly beautiful Fortress.

  14. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    This one is really a visually spectacular build Jeff.
    Your conversion paid off as well as the good clean build in total.
    This is a very delightful model to see, as well as the good photography, thank you for sharing these images.

  15. Well done Jeff, never heard nor read anything about a blue B-17. Always nice to acquire new information about the Fort. I like it.

  16. Thanks for the kind words! I hope that someday somebody will uncover a big box of Hawaiian Air Depot records in some archive and we'll get to see all the details of what those guys were doing!

  17. Paint scheme is awesome, Jeff (@inchhigh). Well done on this eye-catching model.

  18. I'm a real B-17 lover - this one is georgous!

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