March.08.2011 · Posted By - Paul

After an absence of four months I have decided to do another blog.  In the last blog I built a Norden bombsight.  In this one I discuss building the bombardier/navigator compartment.  This is the point where things get really complicated.  I find building the external portion of the aircraft to be the easy part.  Building the interior is harder because you find yourself constrained by the shape of the exterior.  If the exterior aircraft shape ends up being a little incorrect it can magnify into  something very obviously unwieldy when building the interior that must conform to it.  Fortunately,  while I did end up finding one or two problems while building the bombardier compartment, I was able to modify the exterior geometry easily enough to get everything back on track.

The first thing I had to do was build the bulkheads and longerons.  This was generally done by starting with a simple geometry shape and extruding it around the interior of the aircraft frame.  An image of the finished version can be seen below:


When I started building the individual interior models for this aircraft I decided to work from front to back to better keep track of what I had done.  Since I had already built the Norden bombsight I put that in first.  I then worked on bombardier controls as well as the bombsight computers, chin turret gun sight and controls, and bombardier seat.  I then built the ammo boxes for the chin guns and then moved on to the navigator seat and desk.  Images of the finished compartment can be seen below:




When I started working on the interior I had to decide how much detail to really include.  Many of these aircraft are filled with large amounts of wiring, bolts, and other small details.  I wanted things to be as detailed and accurate as possible but I had to place certain limits on what I built otherwise I would be working on this forever.  The other problem of course is that despite the large number of sources I have I don’t have the kind of extreme detail I would need to get down to individual wiring systems.  Some of that had to be abstracted.

For the next blog I will talk about the construction of the pilot’s compartment.  That compartment will prove to be the most difficult task of the entire model.

  • Carl D. Beier

    Hi, Do you think you will ever make a cockpit for the B-17 ( Don Smith plans ) If Not, do you know anybody that does? ( any scale ) Thank You, Hope you are having a great year. Carl

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