Boeing B17G Flying Fortress "Sally B", Revell 1/72 (No.04279 year 2012)
After receiving an invitation from Bernard @lis to participate in the fantastic B17 group build, I could simply not resist. Deciding which aircraft I wanted to build was an easy task. In 2019, together with my dad, we visited the Flying Legends airshow in Duxford. We were very impressed by seeing all those warbirds in real active life. Although each single one was impressive to see, the one that drew our biggest attention was "Sally B", a late version B17G. With that in mind I thought that building a copy of this aircraft would be a great remembrance of what I have seen together with my dad that day.
The kit used is the Revell kit of the Memphis Bell in 1/72 (04279), correct, this kit is intended to buid a B17F, however the exact same molds are also used for Revell's B17G version. Everything, well almost, was there to build the G-variant including the chin turret. I say almost, because the side panel windows which are used on "Sally B" were different than the ones provided in the kit. Also the position of the starboard waist gunner position is different on "Sally B", more to the front, compared to the location on the F-variant. For the decals I used the Kits-World 172019 set (includes the decals for the B17s used in the movie of Memphis Belle). So besides some incorrect positions of the windows, I had everything there to create an almost copy of "Sally B". In addition, I used a PE pilots seat replacement and a PE replacement for the instrumentation panel to give the interior an upgrade. The interior was nicey detailed, only issue to mention is about the bullet belts which do not fit at all, a correction needs to be made there. The fuselage halves go together pretty well. Only worry I had was about the nose, after mounting the transparant part, there was not a fluid transistion between the fuselage and the nose cone. This required some work and I was worried that after removing the masks it would look terrible, but in the end it looks quite okay to me. Externally you have the option to have the flaps and rudder moveable as well as the flaps to be opened, the bomb bay doors as well. Chin, ball and upper machine gun turret are moveable as well. Revell left the tail end, where the guns are extruding, very spartic. "Sally B" has a metal plate and a piece of canvas, this I tried to replicate using a piece of plastic card and patafix to create the canvas looks. The Kits-World decals did lay down nicely and after some decal softener they followed the surface nicely. Only incorrectness was the checkerboard cowl decal, this one should cover the entire surface from the edge of the cowl flaps till the inside of the cowl. Unfortunately the decal was not large enough to achieve that but since it still looks better than correcting it by hand, I left it as is. Paints used were Vallejo acrylics. Although "Sally B" is a well maintained aircraft and therefore not that weathered (thanks for pointing that out Stephen @stephen-w-towle), I wanted to give her a bit of a worn look and there added some washes and exhaust stains. In general the entire kit did eventually go together quite nicely and most of the mistakes were created by the buider himself.
From a distance and leaving out the minor incorrect elements, the aircraft looks like the "Sally B" my dad and I saw during this rememberable day. One of those days that will be rembered forever.
I would like to thank Bernard @lis for the invitation and all the people who followed the building thread and commented on the progress made. Again another great adventure and very learningfull.