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Monogram B-17 Flying Fortress, "The Swoose -1944 Model" 1/48th

February 19, 2021 · in Aviation · · 25 · 2.8K

Well my first completion of the new year, and one that I have been working on for a longer period of time than I would like to admit. I did a build blog in the Aircraft work in progress . I could have just as easily done it in the SOD build group.

This was originally the visible version of the kit, and the molds were beginning to show their age with many details getting soft. Still is was very typical , and the fit was good if you took your time and test fitted before gluing.

I started with the long and tedious task of scribing all the raised panel lines, not perfect but ok. I did some scratch building for the interior and used some photoetch but since you can't see 90% of what you do I didn't go crazy.

The build it self was challenging. The cowl flap, a photoetch addition fought me to the point that at this point I think I will limit my photoetch to seat belts. I had many issues with paint, (I HATE silver), then the decals, between breaking into double digit numbers of pieces and wrinkling and then peeling off and then of course I broke the little vertical antenna off a half dozen times.

Still while no show winner, I am generally happy with the results and think it makes for a pretty nice presentation.

The bird it self served in Italy and from pictures I saw could actually be much dirtier than I made it. At one point the port horizontal stabilizer was damaged to the point that it was replaced with a silver one. I chose to model mine prior to that, or better said I was forced to model it prior to being replaced (I HATE silver).

I hope you enjoy the build, and you can see more over in the build blog.

Reader reactions:
20  Awesome

20 additional images. Click to enlarge.

25 responses

  1. Walt, it was a pleasure to follow the @luftwaffe-birdman build in the group section. Being a huge undertaking it is only natural that it was a on-off affair, and it was a pleasure to follow your progress.

  2. That is possibly the best Monogram B-17 I have seen.

  3. Just a word: AMAZING. The paint work is stunning, well detailed model. I wish to reach this level of modeling with my upcoming models and I will take example when I start the Memphis Belle.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Nicely done Walt, glad you persevered and brought her across the finish line, she looks great from here. I like it, even if you hate silver.

  5. Thanks for sharing the entire build in your thread, Walt.
    It was great and educational to follow your building progress.
    You have created a fantastic looking bomber.
    Especially the paint and weathering is awesome.

  6. This is such an amazing finish of this beautiful bird, Walt!
    I enjoyed following your thread a lot!
    Congratulations, this is an excellent Fortress!

  7. Great B-17! Weathering looks very realistic! Liked!

  8. This is masterclass work at every level. Well done! Excellent paint finish and weathering makes this model stand out!

  9. Nice job, Walt. You put an incredible amount of work into this.

  10. Man you did the team at Morton Grove proud! I still think it is the best 1/48 B-17, the HK models one just doesn't look right, a bit off. Monogram came close to nailing the shapes, and you definitely nailed this build!

    • Thanks Rob, @robertandy . I think you are right, shape wise I think the Monogram G and the Revell F kits are shaped better than the HK Models kit. I put the two halves together along with the wings and there are distinct differences. I am not a rivet counter type of modeler, but sometimes you just know one kit looks more right than another. I think HK Models has more and better details but misses the mark a bit on the shape.

  11. Incredible job. Really liked the underneath shot which shows all the work that you put in there, too. Liked.

  12. that is one handsome Fort! Well done.

  13. Very Cool! My wife's grandfather was a ball turret gunner in the 463d in Foggia. Before he passed a few years ago, I made him a book of all of the aircraft in the 463d and he definitely recalled "The Swoose". I even built him a 1/48 Monogram B-17G of his aircraft "Our Bombay Baby". I may post pics of here before I gave it to him. My mother-in-law has the model now. I am currently working on another one for my wife.

  14. Thanks to every one for the kind words, and to those of you that followed my build blog, your encouragement along the way was greatly appreciated. I also have to say don't give up on those older Monogram kits. They were, in my opinion, by far the best of their era and with a little work still build up to a presentable model.

  15. Bravo Walt. Enjoyed your build blog. All that hard work paid off big time.

  16. Hello Walt, @luftwaffe-birdman
    I have been following your build journal and "The Swoose" turned out magnificently. It was a very informative build journal you posted, and it will be a roadmap for others to follow when they start building one of their own.

    I have built one of these kits when I was a kid, and one later in my adult life, and like you, I think that Revell hit the mark when they made both the F and the G versions. I can't comment of the HK model, but it's hard to beat Revell's models from the 1970's. I have been very fortunate to be around and get inside several B-17G's as they were having maintenance work done or restoration work performed. These planes look very big on the outside, but they are actually quite cramped on the inside.

    The details you added look very good, true to the real thing.

    Thanks for posting this beauty for us to enjoy, and for the incredibly detailed build log.

    I definitely pressed the "liked" button.

    • Thanks Louis, @lgardner it looks like you get to have some enjoyable times in some B-17's. When I was in HS, I was in ROTC and also a member of the Fort Crook Chapter of IPMS in Bellevue, NE. We met at the SAC Aerospace Museum which at the time was at the end of an unused runway at Offutt AFB. Long story short my fellow ROTC friend and model builder Ed were able to get the keys to the aircraft and go exploring. You are totally right the B-17 looks pretty big, but is is pretty cramped once you get inside.

    • Cramped because we're full-grown men, not 19 year-old kids! Hard to imagine they were wearing all their flight gear in there too. I'm 60 and my heroes are 19.

  17. Great work on this old bird. A super result.

    I used to know Frank Kurtz's widow here. Definitely "A real character." If she was still around, she'd be asking you for this.

    • Thanks Tom, @tcinla I appreciate that. I would have liked that. I have only done a couple commission builds, I usually just enjoy building what I like to build, but knowing it would have meant something special to somebody is a good feeling.

  18. I told the P-61 builder this too, it's like Monogram Heaven here today.

    Blueprint-accurate or not, Monogram was always good at capturing the look and feel of the subject. It doesn't have to be right, it just has to look right. More important that it looks right, as you said when comparing the two.

    Nice work on this big B-17, really impressive.

    • From what I have read, Monogram would deliberately make a kit look "right". When making the B-25 wooden patterns for mold making they'd have folks look over the scale accurate mock ups and listen to their comments and change things so that the patterns felt right to the viewers eye.
      The cowlings of the Monogram B-25 are not accurate but, feel right to the eye. Much better than the Accurate Miniature kits.

  19. Terrific result after all that hard work, you've really brought out the best of this kit, definitely liked.

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