Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I've got four kits on the bench right now that had mostly been waiting for Tamiya to start shipping paint again. Joy of joys, my LHS just got some in and I will be starting up again. Maybe I can get at least one thing done for CanAmCon this year.

A good friend gifted me with Revell's 1/72 B-17! Wow! What a guy, huh?

When things got frustrating last week with my conversion of a Fairey Rotodyne into a gunship, I put that aside and opened up the B-17. I promised not so much AMS this time and dove in. Here's the thought process:

"Wow, pretty nice kit. Hmm. I think I'll OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?"

It's a big kit. While waiting for the oil paint woodwork to dry (yes, there was a lot of wood on a B-17), I thought about display and came up with a little diorama idea. For that idea, I needed bicycles.

I searched online and found that the bikes were expensive and not that good. I then found a vintage Airfix WW2 German soldier on a bike and thought I could cut away the figure. No dice.

The only thing left to do was build one. I grabbed some sprue and started stretching. My first bike turned out okay, but the lines were wrong so I hit the internet to find a pic of a 1930's Raleigh. I took this pic, scaled it down to 1/72, traced the fame, tires and fenders in illustrator and made a template:

I laid out the frame and glued it. I made a coil of copper wire on an Xacto handle to make the wheels (the handle's diameter was nearly perfect for a scale 26"). The fenders were rolled styrene sheet.

Here's the difference between the templated (in tweezers) and the non-templated bikes.

I then made a second templated bike just for fun. Here's the trio painted:

And here's a close up of a tempalted bike:

Not bad. We'll see how the B-17 itself turns out!