Revell 1/48, B-17F, "Memphis Belle".
I purchased this model at an estate sale a couple of years ago. It had no directions or decals. The son of the previous owner explained to me that whenever his dad purchased a model, he would open the kit and pull and file them. Hmm. Whatever. Somehow all those files he could not locate. No problem. I downloaded the directions and purchased after market decals. There's no shortage of Memphis Belle online, believe me.
Not sure how old the molds are for this kit, but as I got into it, I likened it to "putting a shine on a turd". Warpage, fit and flash. It had it all and was a real challenge! Not a whole lot of detail either. I would compare the clear parts to gluing finger nails on; tiny for some and flimsy.
Still learning the fine art of airbrushing with this kit. I'm using an Iwata Eclipse and really like it. I first primed the entire model with Sky Grey and laid down some black panel lines. For the top, I made a nice mix (so I thought) of lighter OD and lightened it further for the fabric control surfaces. I then "banged" it up a little with some 2000 grit to bring out the raised surface details. I also had fun stenciling the rather odd cammo pattern the planes of this period had using a Tamiya Dark Green 2. I was pretty disappointed when my "beautiful" light OD green darkened up more than I liked when I hit it with the clear, but oh well, the decals were on and there was no turning back. For the underside, I stuck with the Sky Grey.
Another big first for me was airbrushing the exhaust stains on the wings. I studied photos of battle worn B-17's, and got some input from the experts on this great site as well. The National Museum of the Air Force has a nice page on the Memphis Belle restoration with hundreds of photos, but it is too clean. I looked mostly at old black and white pics to get my patterns. Interesting how exhaust marked up the tail surfaces as well. I enjoyed this part of the build the most. For the future, I think I need to add a little grey in it.
Despite the challenges, overall I am happy with it. It's now up on the wall in "Bomber Corner" in my studio. I have an old Monogram "G" variant that I will hang underneath it. The lessons learned from this build will influence that one!
Side note, I brought it over to the convalescent facility and showed it to my friend Vincent (see one of my earlier articles). He really liked it. As I was leaving the place, other residents saw it, and thought it was cool. One of them mentioned, "modeling is a lost art". I hope not! I try to share the hobby to as many kids as I can in an effort to get their thumbs off those controllers and remotes!
7 additional images. Click to enlarge.