I fabricated a new lower portion of the tail wheel strut from brass.  A new tire and wheel were turned from acrylic rod, Fig. 55.  Two pieces of brass rod were added to the tail wheel strut for a little rudimentary extra detail, Fig. 56.

Monogram B17F conversion Budzik
Monogram B17F conversion Budzik
Monogram B17F conversion Budzik
Monogram B17F conversion Budzik
Monogram B17F conversion Budzik FineScale

A little extra care and shimming were necessary to get the tail gunners glazing aligned, Figs, 57, 58.  Note the brass bezels for the formation lights.  The completed tail gunners position with an added site, Fig. 59.

The landing light was made from an aluminum turning and a turned acrylic lens, Fig. 60.  Inside view of the wing inlets showing the brass screening and additional styrene structure, Fig. 61.

Monogram B17F conversion Budzik
Monogram B17F conversion Budzik
Monogram B17F conversion Budzik


Before and after shots of the wing, Fig. 62.  The cover for the landing light was made from acrylic.  It was cemented in high and then sanded down, Fig. 63.  The masking tape protect the existing wing leading edge while the excess acrylic is removed.

Blocks were used to align the horizontal stabilizers.



Final masking of the nose and cockpit glazing, Fig. 65.  An acrylic plug masks the top turret opening.

Different shades of olive drab and medium green were used on the tail surfaces, Fig. 66.

Monogram B17F conversion Budzik
Monogram B17F conversion Budzik FineScale

Some final remarks regarding weathering.  Any of these aircraft that spent time in combat would start to look pretty ragged.  Work from good photographs of your specific airplane.  Please don’t turn the B-17 into a tick-tack-toe game with the current fad of overdone pre-shading.  They don’t weather that way.  And specifically, the dark streaks coming back off the wing ducts originate at the edges of the duct openings.  The only thing coming out of the duct is hot air and the air actually diverts any oil coming over the wing away from the airstream coming from the ducts, thus forming the pattern that you typically see.  My personal taste is to be restrained with the weathering (shown in these two photos) but everyone has their own limit.  I would just suggest that you do it intelligently.

Monogram B-17 conversion B-17F Paul Budzik
Monogram B-17 conversion B-17F Paul Budzik

Wabash Cannonball - #42-29947 -.(L)  B-17F -80-BO was originally assigned to the100th BG at Poddington on May 8, 1943, moving with the group to Thorpe Abbotts on June 9, 1943.  On July 6,1943 A/C #42-29947 was transferred to the 91st BG stationed at Bassingbourn.  Tony Spencer applied his "Disney" inspired Goofy nose art.  The bombers name was inspired by an old West Virginian ballad.  The “Cannonball” first flew combat on 7/14/43, but had to abort the next three missions.  With such a poor record, the aircraft could easily have become something of a "jinx ship", but the “Cannonball” turned the corner in August - it suffered no further aborts until February 1944.  On 23 May, David Hanst nursed the "Cannonball" home from Berlin after flak had shot out the number 3 engine, which in turn caused the propeller to fly off, scattering debris through the side of the B-17.

Wabash Cannonball B-17F 91st BG

After completing some 60 plus missions this veteran  bomber was transferred to the 303rd BG, 360th BS located in Molesworth and used as a "HQ hack " ,aka The Headquarter Hack.  The “Cannonball” became the second formation assembly ship assigned to the 303rd BG joining, Tugboat Annie #41-9020, ( N )  a B-17E.  The Wabash Cannonball returned to the USA in July, 1945 where it was broken up for scrap on July 16, 1945.

Wabash Cannonball B-17F 303rd BG

Birdsall, Steve. B-17 Flying Fortress. New York: Arco Publishing Co, 1965

Birdsall, Steve. B-17 In Action. Carrollton: Squadron Signal Publications, 1973

Birdsall, Steve. B-17 Flying Fortress in Color. Carrollton: Squadron Signal Publications, 1986

Birdsall, Steve. Pride of Seattle. Carrollton: Squadron Signal Publications, 1998

Bowers, Peter M. 50th Anniversary, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress 1936-1985. Museum of Flight, 1985

Davis, Larry. B-17 In Action. Carrollton: Squadron Signal Publications, 1984

Freeman, Roger A. Combat Profile: B-17G Flying Fortress in WW2. London: Ian Allan LTD, 1990

Freeman, Roger A. B-17 Flying Fortress at War. New York: Scribners, 1977

Graham, Thomas.  Monogram Models: Atglen: Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 2006

Lloyd, Alwyn T. & Moore, Terry D. B-17 Flying Fortress, in detail & scale. Fallbrook, Aero Publisers, 1981

McDowell, Ernest R. Flying Fortress, The Boeing B-17. Carrollton: Squadron Signal Publications, 1987

Peeters, Willy. Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, Lock on 24. Belgium: Verlinden Publications, 1994

Wabash Cannonball B-17 42-29947



A special thank you to all the people who made Monogram such a great company.  For nearly 40 years, Monogram models provided terrific model kits that gave us countless wonderful memories.  Affordable and well done, kits like the B-17 are still a benchmark.

Monogram Models Logo