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Old Jul 07, 2014, 11:38 AM
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Sperling234's Avatar
Los Angeles, Ca.
Joined Jun 2010
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Mini-HowTo
HK B-17 refurb.

Greetings All,

Now that I have a bit of a break from work, I'm diving in to do some building.
Yes, I'm wrapping up my P-38 but while I'm ironing out that wiring and balancing, I wanted to do something that was a bit more "instantly gratifying".

My good friend and flying buddy Jim, (RCG handle pilot40874) has a Hobby King 1875mm B-17 that he has put over 1600 flights on.

you read right, over 1600 flights!

At five minutes a sortie that's well over 130 HOURS on the same airframe.
It's had 8 or so crashes over the life of the model and last week was the most recent one.

As it was getting pretty bad since it had broken amidships and had its nose crumpled several times, it was in need of a real boost. I said, "let me take it. Let me see what I can do with it". Fuselage parts, (no wing) in hands, I brought it home.

This quickie thread will show the progress of the fuse refurb. It's done and back in the air as of yesterday so there won't be any waiting for progress, (like on my P-38)

Most of this work is pretty self explanatory or it's been described in other threads of mine.
The only sort of difference in technique is that to lower the foam surface for Depron skinning, I started by using a retractable knife and adjusting the blade depth to 2mm. I then criss crossed over the foam surface to make 2mm deep slices in the surface. I then extended the blade and carefully shaved down until I got rid of all the criss crossing. Worked great. I'll use that technique again.

So here's the first few for starters.

More very soon,

Sperling
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Old Jul 07, 2014, 11:43 AM
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Third photo had a caption that I forgot to save...
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Old Jul 07, 2014, 07:05 PM
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Redhood's Avatar
United States, MN, Odin
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Here I was hoping you would do a XB-38. Looks like it can stay on my list. I look forward to the build.
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 12:19 AM
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Los Angeles, Ca.
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Next steps.

My friend gave me free reign to do whatever kinds of mods and cleanup I was up for. To me B-17's don't really look right unless they have the chin and cheek guns. So yeah, I added those.

Again, pretty self-explanatory.

Yeah, I had to put in the working crew door, don't ask me why...

And Redhood, I'm working on a "P"-38 not a "B"-38
Actually, I didn't know that plane existed until today. Keep it on your list. Man, that's cool! Again, awesome work on your XP-72!
Part of the reason I wanted to go after this one a bit is because I'll never own a B-17. This way, I'll have the satisfaction of taking a bit of a shot at one.

Now if HK comes out with a 1900mm B-24...

Cheers,

Sperling
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 02:16 AM
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New Zealand, Auckland
Joined Aug 2011
54 Posts
Very nice work!
i'm going to enjoy watching this,
I;ve got one as well and your making me want to pull it apart and redo her,
cheers for shareing
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 08:25 AM
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United States, CA, Lincoln
Joined Jan 2011
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Scott, you're just a master modeler. Like you, I'll probably never own a B-17, just no room for that monster. I'm subscribing because I learn a lot and apply to other similar repairs.
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 12:35 PM
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United States, MN, Odin
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Thanks Scott.

A B-24 would be terrific! When I was a kid my Dad built a Jack Stafford B-24. He intended to power it with Fox .25 motors. It sat as a bare balsa model for years. Well about 2 years before I drug him back into RC he cleaned out the basement and it went into the garbage. It would have been a perfect subject to convert into electric. I would like to try my hand at building a foam version of it. I know wow planes makes a smaller kit but for it's cost a guy could almost buy a HK B-17.
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 02:17 PM
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Los Angeles, Ca.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhood View Post
Thanks Scott.

A B-24 would be terrific! When I was a kid my Dad built a Jack Stafford B-24. He intended to power it with Fox .25 motors. It sat as a bare balsa model for years. Well about 2 years before I drug him back into RC he cleaned out the basement and it went into the garbage. It would have been a perfect subject to convert into electric. I would like to try my hand at building a foam version of it. I know wow planes makes a smaller kit but for it's cost a guy could almost buy a HK B-17.
You are so welcome!

Yeah, a B-24 would be great. The Wowplanes one is a bit too small for my taste.. After watching those HK B-17's fly so much, I think that the 72" or bigger size would be perfect for a B-24. I want that slower flying quality. The HK 17's fly beautifully like that. That Stafford 24 would have been a great conversion! Maybe HK will come out with a 24 in scale with their 17?

So here's more; One thing that always bugs me a bit is how no one seems to be able to get the B-17 tail shape right. This one is close but the trailing edge of the rudder curves on the model. I cut it straight from the 3rd rib down and then added a sliver of the cutoff to the top end of the rudder. Ahhh, much better.

After the black/silver underpaint I used an old plastic model technique for the chipping. I wetted salt in a cup and made, well, wetted salt to use as a masking material for chipping. It's great because it goes on in a random way. You let it dry and then paint over it as usual. when the paint is dry you brush the salt off and viola! I'll show a picture of it later.

And of course my favorite part is the personalized nose art and pilot name. That kind of stuff really sells it for me.

More soon,

Sperling
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 03:53 PM
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Los Angeles
Joined Sep 2010
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Thanks again, Scott. Can't thank you enough for the fantastic work that you did to tranform my B-17 into a awesome looking "G" model that looks better than it ever has!

Fantastic thread! (But then again, I'm partial! )

It's like watching a Discovery Channel documentary where a team locates a rare warbird rotting in a swamp someplace, and you get to watch the process of salvaging the airframe and subsequent refurbishment.

Can't wait for you to show everybody the "money shot" that you took with the plane sitting on the ramp.

With this restoration, I hope to get another several years out of her!
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Old Jul 08, 2014, 07:25 PM
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Augusta, KS USA
Joined Dec 2007
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Sperling -

What a super write up and report. Articles like yours that were published in the magazines during my early 'learning' days in the hobby were the "bread and butter" types that helped crafters build their skills and become what made the hobby so attractive in the '70s and later on.

Super work and results. Much appreciated approach to doing real crafting.
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Old Yesterday, 12:58 AM
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Los Angeles, Ca.
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Jim, you are of course so welcome!

As I told you, you are right at the center of our warbird group at Apollo. It's also been great getting to know you as a friend. It's my pleasure to have been able to help with the "restoration" May she have many, many more flights...

Thank you so much Gnats!

I truly appreciate the compliment. Being relatively new to the hobby, I'm excited to bring the various art skills along that I've used for a long time. I'm so glad people like the results.
How are things in Augusta? I actually lived in Wichita for a few years as a boy. I saw the Blue Angels for the first time on my 9th birthday at McConnell. That's still a great, great memory for me!

So I'll wrap this up with the last salvo of pictures. Again, self explanatory with the help of my sometimes wordy captions.

I think we might actually wrap this thread up in one page. We'll see when I hit submit reply!

Thanks for watching. See you soon,

Sperling
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Old Yesterday, 03:43 AM
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United States, MN, Odin
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Great work Scott!
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Old Yesterday, 04:22 AM
The faster the better!
TLMARK's Avatar
Southern England
Joined Jan 2009
1,705 Posts
agreed great work
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Old Yesterday, 06:43 AM
Oh no, not again!
jhspring's Avatar
United States, LA, Carencro
Joined Dec 2005
5,206 Posts
Sperling, that is extraordinary work. What a transformation. Nice job. Jeff
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Old Yesterday, 07:06 AM
Buildings what I enjoy.
Australia, QLD, Witheren
Joined Nov 2007
668 Posts
Thats just one fantastic rebuild.
Job well done.
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