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capt. R
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B-17 F Academy 1/72 Operation Frantic-1 1944.

February 15, 2024 · in Aviation · · 22 · 313
This article is part of a series:
  1. P-51 B Hasegawa 1/72, 325 FG, Operation Frantic-1
  2. B-17 F Academy 1/72 Operation Frantic-1 1944.

Back to the past again... model from 1994. Despite the passage of time, it is still quite good, although outclassed by models from, for example, Airfix. However, the pleasure of an older model is enormous, especially when you can get it at a lower price. You should consider purchasing aftermarket machine guns, which in this set differ from modern productions. I also decided to replace the wheels for a better effect and add crew figures to the cockpit. The model assembled perfectly well, one might say, without any major difficulties. Typically, some putty and sanding were required, but it did not exceed the critical value. One problem was the low quality of Montex masks, which were peeling off the transparent curved surfaces. To place the pilot figure, I had to move the control board a little deeper. It is also worth drilling a hole in the window on the right side of the plane's nose and adding a machine gun. A nice surprise is the possibility of making an open bomb bay. For painting, I used Mr Color paints as usual. Neutral Gray, Olive Drab in two shades, Interior Green and other colors in smaller quantities. It's rare for me to make an exact airplane from a box painting, but the fact of offering a painting that is rather rare in the modeling industry of the 15th Air Army made me very interested. The Fort Alamo II Flying Fortress was an F model, which became famous for setting the record for the number of missions flown for the 15AF. There were a total of 131 missions from May 1943 to October 1944. I made the plane in the 483rd BG livery, from a shuttle mission to Soviet-occupied Ukraine. I used some of the decals from the box, with liquid decal film, as they were thirty years old. The squadron markings were made to order, and I used the national identification emblems and numbers with the aircraft number from my spare box (Kits-World).

On June 2, 1944, 130 B-17s, escorted by 70 P-51s, bomb the marshaling yard at Debrecen, Hungary and land at bases in the Ukraine. the B-17s at Poltava and Mirgorod and the P-51s at Piriatyn. One B-17F (42-30319, 301st BG, 419th BS) is lost over the target. The mission was led in person by the Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces, Ira Eaker who wanted to impress the Soviet leaders and the military at Poltava. Eaker flew in a B-17 of the 97th Bomber Group called Yankee Doodle II (Does anyone of you know what this plane looked like)? Initially, I tried to find materials about it without success. In 6 june 104 B-17s and 42 P-51s attack the airfield at Galați, Romania and return to their shuttle bases in the USSR. Eight enemy fighters are shot down and two P-51Bs (42-103369, 42-103432, 325th FG, 318th FS) are lost. In 21 June 126 B-17s and 60 P-51s departments their Ukraine shuttle bases for Italy, completing FRANTIC-1. On the way, 121 of the B-17s bomb the Focșani, Romania airfield. One B- 17F (42-3383, 97th BG) is lost.

After the first shuttle mission, the consensus was that operations had been highly successful, and spirits were high at Poltava. Unfortunately, subsequent missions were to radically change this, but that's a topic for another story...

To sum up, the B-17 model from Academy, especially the F version, is still an interesting proposition for modellers. The B-17 F model is similar in price and workmanship, but it does not have concave dividing lines of the sheet metal, and additional variants can be equipped with open flaps, but with the bomb chamber closed. Academy B-17 has better exhauts in look.

I invite you to check out the film and the gallery and well... I'll be back soon with another project, I hope it will be no less interesting...

Reader reactions:
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71 additional images. Click to enlarge.


22 responses

  1. Outstanding work and more awesome operation Frantic history. I'm in agreement with you no the benefits of a good older kit. Even some of the not so good older kits. We're modelers right? Overcoming the downsides of a kit can be fun and satisfying, and it improves our skills. Great job as usual my friend.

  2. What a wonderful Fortress, Bernard @lis
    Your did add a lot of detail into this build and it all looks great.
    Excellent work on the diorama as well.
    Thanks for the historical facts and the great video.

  3. Excellent job all over, my friend @lis!
    Fantastic build thread and great video!
    Congratulations!

  4. Your work is always so interesting. @lis

  5. This looks really great. Love the work!

  6. Your modelling and photographic skills are on display again here, another great post with an interesting write up as well.

  7. Nice project! Where did you find the figures?

  8. @lis - Fantastic work, love the greyscale photos. It definitely adds the nostalgia.

  9. A very nice project! Well done.

  10. Another superb build Lis (@lis), and another great video.

  11. Beautiful work on this project!

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