Kit Review: Lindberg (J. Lloyd) 1/64 scale Kit No. 75309; 97 parts (73
in white styrene, 23 clear styrene, 1 thick mild steel wire); retail
Advantages: ONLY injection molded kit in this scale; shapes not bad
for its age
Disadvantages: see text
Rating: Recommended with Reservations
Recommendation: for nostalgia buffs or anyone wanting a reasonably
price B-17 desk sitter
Sundays in our household were pretty consistent: up at 8, off to
Sunday School at 9, church at 11, out at 12:05 (our minister was
precision incarnate on his sermons) and then off to pick up the Sunday
paper on the way home. Our local news store, Gallagher=92s, was the
first place in town to carry model kits =96 they stocked the Aurora WWI
biplanes and all of the Lindberg kits coming out at the time.
After doing something right (can=92t recall what it was =96 may have been
a good report card) my father splurged one Sunday for the Lindberg
B-17G kit. This cost a lofty $1.98 at the time, which was not cheap by
=9150s standards, so it was a big deal.
I spent the next six hours putting it together. The kit had a CREW!
Gun turrets that WORKED! Landing gear which RETRACTED (if, unlike me,
you didn=92t get glue on it)! For 1956 it was a great model!
In a fit of nostalgia I picked one up this afternoon at Ollie=92s for
half price. (Note that there is a =93chrome=94 version of this kit out
there as well.) While fairly simplistic by today=92s standards, the kit
really does hold up reasonably well to my surprise.
True, there are some serious compromises. One of the first things to
notice are the crew figures, which at least show leather helmets,
goggles and attempts at facial features. The pilots at least sit in
seats and the bombardier and his sight are one unit (but no seat!).
The upper gunner hangs from his guns and the ball turret gunner simply
perches on top of his turret (which looks like an inverted upper
turret). Both turrets swivel and the upper guns theoretically
The other two crew members (there are only 7 out of 10 provided) are
the waist gunners, and this variant of the G has even beam windows and
guns with no glass.
The wings are pretty straightforward with a moveable aileron in each
and a one-piece engine with pin inserted from the back for the
propeller (=93old school=94). Landing gear legs are one-piece
approximations with a two-piece main wheel with keeper that
theoretically permits rotation as well. A =93keeper=94 holds the landing
gear in position so it can hinge for retraction.
The elevators and stabilizer and the rudder all come in halves, and
with careful installation each will work as well.
The interior consists of nose compartment and cockpit floors and five
transverse bulkheads =96 bombardier=92s compartment, pilots=92 compartment,
bomb bay front, and bomb bay rear; there is no radio operators=92
compartment, details in the gunners=92 compartment, or a tail gunner
position (it does have the windows and guns though). The tail wheel is
=93trapped=94 and rotates to retract. (I faintly recall once it retracts
you need a pencil to get it back out, however.)
But that is about it. None of the intake openings in the wings are
present, and while the kit has the turbosuperchargers present they are
underscale in size. The other major problem is with the windscreen
which seems too narrow for the kit =96 slant is about right unlike the
later Revell B-17F in 1/72 but the height is too low. Many other small
details are absent.
But for some reason the Lloyd people have included the original
design of stand with the kit. This is a big clear styrene disk with an
arm and brace and a small fitting with a soft steel wire that fits
into a grommet in the belly of the model, permitting it to be posed at
any angle. This was Lindberg=92s response to the =93Revelling=94 ball stand
from what they felt was their main competitor of the day. It permits
the model to be built as a reasonably sized (19" wingspan) desk sitter
for any B-17 fan which costs a LOT less than the prefinished ones
offered today on the market.
One set of markings are included for 42-34083, LG-V, olive drab over
neutral grey with a red tail, which should be from the 322nd Bomb
Squadron of the 91st Bomb Group. I am willing to bet they are not
complete as it comes with mission markings but no name.
Overall this is not in a league with the Monogram/Revell 1/48 kits or
the Hasegawa 1/72 ones, but if you want a desk model of a B-17 for
less than $150 it fills the bill.
11 years ago