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World War II: USA
Aircraft of the United States in WWII.
Hosted by Rowan Baylis
Super-detailed B-17: Visible or Cutaway?
bstarr3
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: July 24, 2017
KitMaker: 7 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Monday, April 09, 2018 - 02:14 AM UTC
Hello, all. I'm in the planning phases of a big project: a super-detailed, in-flight B-17 with crew. I want to be able to display all the detail I'm going to put into it, so my options are to do a cutaway build of the Monogram B-17G I have presently, or to scour ebay for a copy of the Visible B-17G. I have secured the in-flight figure set from the 1/48 B-24D, which as I have understood are the same five figures as are included in the visible B-17. I've gathered up enough figs to complete a full crew set, although I still haven't decided if I'm going to try to man the ball turret.

So, the question for the group here is: what are the pros and cons to the visible fuselage half vs cutaway? I've never done either, and I'm trying to weigh my options, because that will make a big difference to what areas need to be built up. I appreciate any input people have to offer. Thanks
Scarred
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Washington, United States
Joined: March 11, 2016
KitMaker: 1,013 posts
AeroScale: 22 posts
Posted: Monday, April 09, 2018 - 08:40 PM UTC
I like cutaway displays more than clear parts because no matter how nice the clear parts are you will always be looking thru clear plastic and that distorts what you are trying to show. Cutaways just look better imo.
drabslab
_VISITCOMMUNITY
European Union
Joined: September 28, 2004
KitMaker: 2,149 posts
AeroScale: 1,581 posts
Posted: Monday, April 09, 2018 - 08:52 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I like cutaway displays more than clear parts because no matter how nice the clear parts are you will always be looking thru clear plastic and that distorts what you are trying to show. Cutaways just look better imo.



I tend to agree but then, a cutaway looks like a plastic model of a real thing instead of being real itself and that is a real bummer to me.

In my enormous back pack of grazy ideas I have one particualrly bizarre of depicting an aircraft that had been hit by a bomb while being on the tarmac.

That seems like a perfect scene to combine super detailing, cut away, burn dammage, seperated engines ... and still look like the real deal.

Kevlar06
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Washington, United States
Joined: March 15, 2009
KitMaker: 2,557 posts
AeroScale: 627 posts
Posted: Monday, April 09, 2018 - 08:54 PM UTC
I recommend looking at some of the work done by Dan Jayne in Finescale Modeler a few years back, or recently by Joe McCaslin here in tribute to Dan. I have mixed feelings about cutaways, some can look really good, others look incomplete to me because the modeler skimped on interior detail, or ends up with "gizmology" because they don't do enough research or take shortcuts. Dan and Joe are exceptions. But I've also wanted to see a clear model done, with a fine feathered paint edge fading into the surface detail to show the interior. I don't think many models are built that way because it's difficult to paint detail on the inside and outside of the clear plastic-- but it would be striking to see it done. A compromise might be to build the bulkheads and stringers to scale, then vac-form sections of the model in clear plastic to thin the skin to more scale thickness, and blend it into the rest of the model structure. I don't think anyone has done that before, It's much harder to do, but would look more realistic than taking huge chunks out of the model (but then again, either way, realism is going to be sacrificed because a cutaway or a clear panel is a departure from realism to some degree). In the end, it's really your choice. I know you mention you have the crew and kit already in 1/48 scale, but this kind of project begs for 1/32 scale. Trying to replicate all the detail in smaller scales from scratch would be a challenge.
VR, Russ
bstarr3
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: July 24, 2017
KitMaker: 7 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Monday, April 09, 2018 - 09:40 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I like cutaway displays more than clear parts because no matter how nice the clear parts are you will always be looking thru clear plastic and that distorts what you are trying to show. Cutaways just look better imo.



Cutaways can certainly look better. It also depends on the thickness and clarity of the clear plastic, which in a Monogram kit from the 80s is probably not outstanding.
bstarr3
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: July 24, 2017
KitMaker: 7 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Monday, April 09, 2018 - 09:47 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

I like cutaway displays more than clear parts because no matter how nice the clear parts are you will always be looking thru clear plastic and that distorts what you are trying to show. Cutaways just look better imo.



I tend to agree but then, a cutaway looks like a plastic model of a real thing instead of being real itself and that is a real bummer to me.

In my enormous back pack of grazy ideas I have one particualrly bizarre of depicting an aircraft that had been hit by a bomb while being on the tarmac.

That seems like a perfect scene to combine super detailing, cut away, burn dammage, seperated engines ... and still look like the real deal.




I really like your idea of a bombed out plane on the ground as a way to display internal detail. I also considered modeling a B-17 with one of those huge gaping flak holes in the side of the fuselage, as we often see in archival photos. That would however not meet my goal of demonstrating the interior detail with crew at stations.
bstarr3
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: July 24, 2017
KitMaker: 7 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Monday, April 09, 2018 - 09:52 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I recommend looking at some of the work done by Dan Jayne in Finescale Modeler a few years back, or recently by Joe McCaslin here in tribute to Dan. I have mixed feelings about cutaways, some can look really good, others look incomplete to me because the modeler skimped on interior detail, or ends up with "gizmology" because they don't do enough research or take shortcuts. Dan and Joe are exceptions. But I've also wanted to see a clear model done, with a fine feathered paint edge fading into the surface detail to show the interior. I don't think many models are built that way because it's difficult to paint detail on the inside and outside of the clear plastic-- but it would be striking to see it done. A compromise might be to build the bulkheads and stringers to scale, then vac-form sections of the model in clear plastic to thin the skin to more scale thickness, and blend it into the rest of the model structure. I don't think anyone has done that before, It's much harder to do, but would look more realistic than taking huge chunks out of the model (but then again, either way, realism is going to be sacrificed because a cutaway or a clear panel is a departure from realism to some degree). In the end, it's really your choice. I know you mention you have the crew and kit already in 1/48 scale, but this kind of project begs for 1/32 scale. Trying to replicate all the detail in smaller scales from scratch would be a challenge.
VR, Russ



I saw some of Dan's amazing cutaways when I subscribed to that magazine. What I'm trying to achieve here is less a structural cutaway like his F-4 phantom, that I can recall, and more of a "ant farm" view of the crew at stations during combat. This will be an inherently "unrealistic" model, but it is a realization of a vision I've had since I was a kid, slapping together an old 1/72 B-17 with too much glue and not enough patience.

As to scale, I know that this could be done brilliantly with an HK kit, especially with the mountains of expensive aftermarket and figures available in 1/32. This project will get expensive enough in 1/48 as it is, and could easily run into the $700 range in large scale. Also, I have nowhere to display a model with a three foot wingspan. I have considered a similar style project using the HK b-25 with clear fuselage, so maybe one day...
drabslab
_VISITCOMMUNITY
European Union
Joined: September 28, 2004
KitMaker: 2,149 posts
AeroScale: 1,581 posts
Posted: Monday, April 09, 2018 - 11:27 PM UTC
Don't mind our suggestions, you have a good idea what you want so just go for it. I would do a real cutaway and no transparent parts

bstarr3
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: July 24, 2017
KitMaker: 7 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 12:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Don't mind our suggestions, you have a good idea what you want so just go for it. I would do a real cutaway and no transparent parts




I am leaning towards going forward with the cutaway. The discussion has really helped me to focus what my vision for the project is. I hope no one feels I was dismissive of their suggestions - I really appreciate the feedback and dialog!
highpoint
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Arizona, United States
Joined: October 14, 2011
KitMaker: 49 posts
AeroScale: 1 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 03:30 AM UTC
Brian,
If you get a chance, go over to largescaleplanes.com and find an article in the forums section. Guy was doing an amazing job with a cut away on a 1/32 catalina that is probably close to what you have in mind although bigger.
Jeff
bstarr3
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: July 24, 2017
KitMaker: 7 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 04:04 AM UTC
Yeah, I think that was Karl. He's a remarkably talented modeler. The cutaway Catalina is very impressive for all the scratch built interior detail. He also did an amazing diorama with a HK B-25 glass nose bomber, complete with dusty Corsican airfield and local donkey cart in the background!
Vicious
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Queensland, Australia
Joined: September 04, 2015
KitMaker: 1,336 posts
AeroScale: 70 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 04:05 AM UTC
It is more complicated but i likes the idea of the exploded ... like a exploded drawing in mechanics
bstarr3
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: July 24, 2017
KitMaker: 7 posts
AeroScale: 7 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 04:19 AM UTC
This is a really cool idea, I agree. I think it would be well suited to something like a Trumpy 1/32 fighter, where there's a lot of structural detail that you normally never get to see, but could demonstrate if it was blown up all over an air strip. Realistic damage modeling is not a skillset I've developed yet, though, so I'll leave this very cool idea to someone who has the skills to execute it.