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Mike Yee
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B 17 exhaust staining on wing tops

January 16, 2023 · in How-to · · 12 · 2K

I'm sure this has been covered before. I see many B 17 models that show engine exhaust staining when viewed from above as incorrect. The four vents behind each engine were for the intercooler and did not create any dirty staining by themselves. If there is to be staining it would be oil and such generated from the engines. Anytime I see this staining on a B 17 I always look for correct stain patterns. I've also not ever seen the same staining reach behind to the stabilizers.

Picture #1 shows an incorrect staining behind the four vents of each engine.

Picture #2 and #3 shows how the stains come from the engine and flow between the vents and not directly behind them.

So, if you're interested in depicting accurate B 17 engine staining then I hope this helps with your build.

Reader reactions:
15  Awesome

2 additional images. Click to enlarge.

12 responses

  1. Thanks for sharing this valuabe information, Mike @micrometer
    Means I recently finished a B17 with the incorrect staining, well, a good reason to build another one 🙂

  2. Thanks for this great info, Mike!

  3. Thanks, John and Spiros

  4. Thanks for this. Hopefully your "sermon" will reach further than the choir. 🙂

  5. Thanks for pointing this out, Mike. The exhaust from the intercoolers maybe actually serves to channel the engine exhaust. It's easy to see how modelers working from memory would misremember the locations, similar to how color memory often "remembers" something on the opposite side of the color wheel.

    • I've also read that the air rushing past the vents create the effect of dispersing the oil and such from the engine in that specific pattern. That's why it does not appear directly behind the vents.

  6. I hate it when reality and imagination collide...

  7. Gracias Christopher and David.

  8. Right on! It's been painful to see so many nice buildings "ruined" with this misinterpreted stain pattern.

  9. I suppose one could paint over the error and try to re-stain, if one was inclined.

  10. Thank you. I'm building a B17 for a sick friend right now so this is very good to know. 🙂

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