Given that it was the 50th anniversary of the B-17’s first flight celebration at Boeing Field in 1985 that got me interested in starting to model again, it is surprising that I haven’t built that many B-17s. I think I have a couple in the display cases somewhere, one of which is an early variant. So I decided it was time to correct that oversight, and I was aided by what at the time was a new decal sheet.
This is the Minicraft B-17. Although there are newer kits out there, I still have a few copies of this kit, and I don’t really see the new ones as enough of a quantum leap to chuck these out. If Airfix eventually issues a variant that Minicraft doesn’t do, I may have to reconsider that.
The decal sheet is the Kits World 72125, a selection of RAF Fortresses. For some reason I was drawn to the Black, Dark Green, and Dark Earth version from 214 Squadron RAF Coastal Command. It is one of the RAF B-17s that carry nose art, always a draw for me. This is for “Take It Easy” as it was at Downham Market in January of 1944. Kits World specializes in nose art, and in fact all three of the Coastal Command Fortresses on this sheet have it.
Construction, though a bit drawn out, proceeded without incident. Most of the drama came while trying to take the masking off the cockpit. This was another Cutting Edge set, in the black vinyl they were famous far. I have had nightmares dealing with the stuff. It’s probably self-inflicted, since I doubt there would be an issue if I had gotten the masks on and off in a timely manner. But this model spent some time on the Shelf of Shame, and once those masks are attached for a while, they grasp on like the model owes them money. Scratches, remaining adhesive gunk, and much foul language ensues. Some can be repaired by judicious use of WD40, but not all. However, at this point, I just found a space in the back of a display cabinet, declared victory, and headed for higher ground. Still, I think this is my last voluntary involvement with black vinyl masking medium.
This is completed aircraft #466 (#33 for the year of 2016), finished in July of 2016.