Tackling the 1/72 A Bit O Lace by Airfix

I just finished building Airfix’s old 1/72 B-17G, “A Bit O Lace,” and I love it–despite (or maybe because of) all the extra work I needed to do to massage this old kit into something presentable by the high expectations we put on models these days. Embossed on the inside of one of the wings (now never to be seen again), it read, “Airfix ©1962.” So although I believe I bought this particular kit in the ’90s, it derives from a design that is over 50 years old. It’s not just that the design is old; the execution of the parts had some major problems, too. One reason I had never undertaken to start the kit these 20 years since I bought it was that there was a sizable hole in the port fuselage half where the polystyrene injection had simply not quite filled the mold in one place. I fixed it with a backing of tape on the inside and putty filler on the outside. The same thing was true of one of the stabilizers on the tail, where the injection had fallen a few obvious millimeters short of the edge of the mold. Other than that, the clear parts didn’t fit very well, forcing me to employ a fix I discovered I’m not very good at yet, which was to fill in the gaps with putty. I could fill the gaps, but it was difficult to keep the windows clear of putty or incidental scratches.

As I looked around online at other B-17Gs and indeed other renditions of “A Bit O Lace,” some much better than mine, I came across a discussion thread in which one modeler judged, not without affection, I think, this kit to be worthy only for collecting, and no longer for actual building. Given what I experienced with the kit, I reckon he may be right, but I still feel quite satisfied finally to have taken this one down from the shelf and finished it off.

Ultimately, although I must concede that my “A Bit O Lace” does not bear the closest scrutiny, I think it will look pretty good from a reasonable distance, and for a brand and a vintage model kit that hold a lot of sentimental value, that is good enough for me.

Take a look at the history page for the 447th Bomb Group to see actual photos and a brief history of “A Bit O Lace.”

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