Hong Kong Models 1/32 B-17s: Building Sky Giants

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Hong Kong Models 1/32 B-17s: Building Sky Giants

Postby vhcguys » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:23 am

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Or how today, the bigger the kit gets, the better the build!

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Hong Kong Models’ 1/32 B-17E/F Flying Fortress has arrived in store, and we’re all admiring the awesomeness of this kit yet again. Did we mention that these kits are already on a limited time special holiday price of $399.99?

Here's two of the decal options in the box...
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We popped open one of the boxes to have a look. The differences are noticeable, as we think Neil Yan and the HKM team really went the distance to get this kit right. Over 40 sprues, three large decal sheets (compared to the previous one), and a resin sprue is all hard to place back in the box if you take them out.

We figured many will be taking a 1/32 B-17 home soon, so we did begin construction on yet another 1/32 B-17G which shares the basic interior. So we thought we’d show you how to get started with your own gigantic Fortress.
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For this first installment, we’ll focus on the interior. The parts breakdown is very simple and straightforward, and there is no lack of detail. The steps for constructing the main cockpit is broken as a modular subassembly that attaches in stages to the bomb bays, then the radio compartment, then down to the waist gunners catwalk.
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The bomb bay section may look fragile and intricate, yet when we cut the parts off it really wasn’t. Have a look at how the bomb bay roof (detailed as it is) is really a solid reinforcing spine that will serve as that section’s main support.
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Those massive wing attachment points are solid pieces of plastic. We will not really see it when the fuselage gets closed up and the wings get attached. Actual B-17 reference photos will tell us this is a good thing, and we realise how smart they used their slide molding. It reminds us of the clever engineering we saw in Hong Kong Model 1/32 B-25 with similar solid struts, and the HKM 1/32 Mosquito with the solid one-piece wing.

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The cockpit itself was a work of art, and there is room to play with. The large oxygen bottles are all convincingly laid out, and the cockpit seats will have enough window room for detail to be seen outside.

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The entire top section of the fuselage roof is designed to be removable - another bit of clever engineering. This means all that luscious detail won’t be unseen when the fuselage comes together. That said, you need to decide whether you desire to have the bomb bay doors open or closed. Of course, we will leave ours open so we won’t lose viewing the interior top and bottom.
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About that fit. We got the major subassemblies together to test out how close all the sections come together. As you can see the gaps are really non-existent. Careful cutting of the parts and cleanup will result in an excellent closure, and you can proceed with detail painting with confidence that it will go together once you’re ready. Like with many modern tool kits today, we can wholeheartedly recommend the modeller to trust the kit engineering!
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Speaking of engineering, we also noticed a bit of plastic magic that Hong Kong Models is using here. The sprue attachment points, much like Tamiya, Dragon and KittyHawk, are mostly all offset from the part. That means every step of preventing damage to a highly detailed area (like the main rudder fin with rivets here) is taken so that cutting, cleanup and filing are all away from the patterned surface. Well done Hong Kong Models!
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We finally got the fuselage halves together for a dry fit, and happy with this, we’ll move on to the wings. We’ll leave the painting till we get most of the major assemblies done, as we expect the generous use of US Zinc Chromate will be needed to be done by airbrush.

Look at the size of that fuselage! We haven’t even added the nose and turret yet!

Stay tuned for Part 2!
vhcguys
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