B-17F Flying Fortress “Memphis Belle” 1:72 scale Academy Kit #2188 Review

2012 November 27
by Doug

RoR Step-by-Step Review 20121126* – B-17F Flying Fortress “Memphis Belle” 1:72 scale Academy kit #2188 review
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The B-17F Flying Fortress “MEMPHIS BELLE” (Serial No. 41-24485) was one of 12,750 B-17’s built by Boeing Aircraft Co.  The BELLE was the most famous bomber, because she was the first heavy bomber in Hitler’s European war theater to complete 25 combat missions and keep her entire crew alive.  She flew for 10 months from November 7, 1942 to May 17, 1943.  The BELLE shot down eight enemy fighters, probably destroyed five others, and damaged at least a dozen more.  She dropped more than 60 tons of bombs over Germany, France, and Belgium.  During her 25 missions, she flew 148 hours and covered more than 20,000 combat miles.  The MEMPHIS BELLE and her crew left England for the USA on June 9, 1943 to make a War Bond and Public Relations Tour.  The MEMPHIS BELLE was named for pilot Capt. Robert K. Morgan’s wartime sweetheart, Ms. Margaret Polk.  The MEMPHIS BELLE is currently being restored at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Oh.

For the modeler; Even in 1:72 scale this skill level 2 kit is a larger model with a 12” length and 17” wingspan. This kit includes: a highly detailed bomb bay, fully engraved panel line and rivet details, detailed cockpit, optional position landing gear and bomb bay door, nose armament and clear canopy, manually operated ball-turret in the belly, tail and waist gunner compartments. Decal markings are included for: Memphis Belle, 324th BS/91st BG/8th AF, June 1943 and Miss Ouachita, 322nd BS/91st BG/8th AF, Feb. 1944. This was a fun kit to build. I definitely recommended it for hobbyist or collector that wants a Memphis Belle. A complete listing of all the finishing colors, sequences, and techniques; multiple adhesive selection criteria, weathering choices with pastel powders; the use of masks; decal preparation steps and finishes; window enhancement with Future; fuselage and wing assembly procedures; F & G version changes; landing gear, tire, and turbo weathering; weighting the tires under load; cockpit, prop, bomb bay, and engine detailing; seam correction; camouflage and de-icing boot schema; are all fully examined in this exhaustive 19 page full color Step-by-Step review.

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