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 AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"

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daveyator

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PostSubject: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Wed Apr 26 2017, 19:31

I took the plunge and bought one of these. Partly because Corgi are just so much and its hard for me to spend that much on a scale I don't collect. Partly because when I initially went to buy one after I finally decided to TFM was out of stock. Then I poked around a few days ago and they had some in so I went for it. Knowing the toy like attributes that AF1 is known for, and that I own their B-25, I was a little apprehensive so I had "managed" expectations. Overall I'm really pleased with this effort. For $115 I think its well worth it compared to shelling out $150-$200 or more for a Corgi. Since I don't have a Corgi I can't directly compare them but this is IMHO better than the B-25 I have. The airplane is mostly die cast except the control surfaces but they all move (ailerons, elevators, rudder). The chin, top and ball turrets all move as well as their guns. The tail guns also move. My only gripe here is my chin turret is a little "loose" and hangs down showing a little separation. The guns themselves have no details but at least aren't oversized and too long like on the B-25. The engines and props are actually okay. Being hyper picky here but you can almost see bare metal around the cowl flaps and cowlings but like on the B-25 the cowl flaps are more detailed than I expected. The paint and markings look relatively good. The underside of the tail is detailed but "glumpy" looking somehow but still is acceptable. The landing gear is okay and better again than the B-25 but in that AF1 kind of way you can see the metal rivets that evokes that toy like look. The gear up display is better and unlike the B-25 this one sits nice and even on its stand. Again its better than I thought.










Notice the space on the chin turret. Thinking a small paper wedge would do the trick.

Some of the metal showing in the cowls.

Beware the bomb door open piece is really TIGHT inside the styrofoam. I managed to pull off a bay door getting it out.

The toy like axles on the wheels


Glumpy looking tail detail.
From the box:
First delivered to the 323rd Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group on Feb 24, 1944, the soon to be prolific B-17G Flying Fortress-named for the last three digits of her serial number-immediately got to work, flying her inaugural mission the following day. By war's end, "Nine O Nine" had flown 140 combat sorties without loss to crew, believed to be a "Mighty Eighth" record. While she was scrapped after the war, the Cowlings Foundation has an airworthy B-17 currently painted in commemoration of the legendary bomber.

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PostSubject: Re: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Wed Apr 26 2017, 21:24

Thanks for the review and close-up pictures. It does look better than the initial reviews. My only gripe is the open cowlings which are too exaggerated for me (are the rivets too apparent?). I do hope AF-1 creates a Pacific version (wishful thinking).
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PostSubject: Re: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Thu Apr 27 2017, 05:47

Thanks for the review daveyator.  Glad you touched on both the positives and the negatives of the model.  

I love the B-17 and have over 20 in my collection in both die-cast and plastic kits in either 1/72nd and 1/144th scales.

Despite my love for the plane, I have no AF1 versions and don't see myself getting one presently at the pricing they ask for.  For me, there are just too many serious inaccuracies and short cuts that I'd have to accept for the $115 and climbing price.  I've got enough "good" models in my collection that I don't have to settle for what I consider a "flawed" model like this one.  If I could get one for under $100 in a close-out sale, then maybe I'd buy one.

Sakai, AF1 only makes this hybrid "G" model.  The B-17G never served in the Pacific Theater.  They would have to make a new fuselage mold to do a Pacific B-17.  I'd be happy if they did and fixed the main issues with this mold to make it "right".

Allan

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PostSubject: Re: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Fri Apr 28 2017, 00:37

Yes the AF1 isn't the best but I've been aced out of a few Corgi's passing the $250 range. Some buy it now are approaching $300. A lot to pay for a person like me that's never seen one in real life. Still I'm really just trying to say it's better than their B-25. I actually had several Corgi tanks and vehicles as a kid. I guess based on that I'm reluctant to pay these prices for Corgi that to me were toys as a kid. Even with all the pointed out short comings it's just not that horrible. I think we have to be a little careful comparing die cast to plastic kits. Because a kit will always be more detailed and accurate than diecast plus kits can be worked to fix any shortcomings. As an example, when I see pictures of Corgi, the cockpit plus other areas look just as funny to me as AF1 but again I have to remind myself it's a freaking die cast vehicle and you can only expect so much. We seem more forgiving of say Marushin inaccuracies because they're rare and expensive. But having said all that I appreciate all the comments. It's what makes this fun talking about the good and bad points about these models. Makes me dig out my B-17 books to reacquaint my self to how they look and yes AF1 blew it on those cowlings..

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PostSubject: Re: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Fri Apr 28 2017, 06:01

Definitely agree with you Dave.  Corgi's secondary market prices are through the roof and definitely out of line for the value you get.  I've paid $150 for one (Sentimental Journey) on eBay about 5 years ago.  That's my most expensive model in my collection.  I'm very uncomfortable paying more than $100 for any model (die-cast or plastic kit), so if I do, it better be a good one.  I also agree that you can't compare a die-cast model to a plastic kit straight up.  My point is that if you have the skills and will to build a plastic kit of the B-17, you would be better served to go that route rather than wasting money on this AF1 offering that is really inaccurate.

The AF1 B-17 is simply an alternative to Corgi's offering. The choice is one of "do I pay hundreds of dollars for a model with a few issues or about a hundred dollars for a model with a lot of issues?"  This is a personal choice only an individual collector can make.  Some can buy the AF1 model and enjoy it, others can't or won't.  As long as someone likes the model, it's all good.  Our job is to present fact based information so a collector can make an informed choice based on fact and not emotional responses.  Your review did that and it is appreciated.

I agree with your comments that AF1's B-25 has issues.  But once again you are dealing with the same problems faced by the B-17 collector community.  As with the B-17, for a B-25 your alternative is to go the Corgi/FoV route or build a plastic kit.  Unfortunately, those die-cast models are now unavailable at retail and are therefore now subject to the pricing determined by a fickle secondary market.

Allan

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PostSubject: Re: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Sat Apr 29 2017, 07:46

Interesting discussion. I have a friend who collects, but doesn't build. He mentioned he was thinking of buying the AF-1 B-17. I too, considered it, but the photos I researched revealed some weak areas from lower budget manufacturing. I never noticed the blacked out windows until I read about them here. Ugh.

I have to admit that I steered him toward some of the Corgi versions due to issues with the AF-1 version. I have a couple Corgi B-17s and admit that I really don't have any issues with them. They are more expensive, but probably worth the extra money to those who can appreciate Corgi's style of manufacturing.

Building a kit is a much better alternative to buying, if you have the patience and skill. I like building, but I do go for the quicker satisfaction that a factory built and painted model can give now and then.

To bad AF-1 sort of dropped the ball on this one, but it would be a great beginner piece if it was a bit cheaper.

Tom

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PostSubject: Re: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Sat Apr 29 2017, 10:39

Let's see! I can spend $115 plus shipping for one of these or I can buy three of Airfix's new, state of the art 72nd scale B-17G models which go for about $40.00 a piece.

I can pop a flawed die-cast model out of the box in 5 minutes, or I can have hours of enjoyment building a finely detailed and accurate model of my favorite plane in markings of my choice.

I can buy a model that needs to be viewed using the 3 foot/3 second rule (look at it from 3 feet away and for no longer than 3 seconds), or I can build a kit that I'd be proud to display and post on-line.

Rather simple decision on my part as to where my money goes.

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PostSubject: Re: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Sat Apr 29 2017, 11:20

Daveyator, thanks for the review. The important thing here is if YOU are happy with your purchase, and obviously you are.

I have four Corgi B-17's, purchased years ago for between $30 (dumps at Tuesday Morning) and $50 each. I like them.....but they are not perfect. But, they look like B-17's, and that is what is important to me.
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PostSubject: Re: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Sat Apr 29 2017, 13:00

Captain Eddie wrote:
Daveyator, thanks for the review.  The important thing here is if YOU are happy with your purchase, and obviously you are.  


That's the MOST important thing regarding ANY model we buy! HappyHappy HappyHappy HappyHappy

Allan

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PostSubject: Re: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Sat Apr 29 2017, 15:07

Captain Eddie wrote:
Daveyator, thanks for the review.  The important thing here is if YOU are happy with your purchase, and obviously you are.  

I have four Corgi B-17's, purchased years ago for between $30 (dumps at Tuesday Morning) and $50 each.  I like them.....but they are not perfect.  But, they look like B-17's, and that is what is important to me.

Totally happy might be a strong word. Accepting of something for what it is might be more like it. My other collection is 1/400 airliners. Some are really good, some so so and some of course are awful. But sometimes you get a so so one because its the only one in those markings or you simply got it for dirt cheap. There is a model of a Delta 767 in the marking of one the employees bought for the company at one point that I decided I wanted. Gemini Jets made a version but they would usually cost $40, $50 or even more and frankly I didn't want it that bad. Dragon Wings makes on also but they are not as well thought of because their models often use excessive plastic parts including the wings. But there I was at a show and ran across the DW one for $15. I got it because it was cheap and still adequate. Do you mean that store called Tuesday Morning? I didn't know die cast would show up there. A couple of other random thoughts. Corgi is a European (I think even British) company. So I wonder if they put more zeal or emotion or whatever in their renditions of things. Maybe using multiple sources or pictures or whatever. Sometimes I think Japanese renditions of things are emotionless so to speak. They might get the actual measurements or blueprints or whatever and try to simply make an exact copy of whatever it is they use. But if the model doesn't exactly look its real life counterpart they just stop there. Plus maybe their renditions of Allied planes might not be um done with the most care (we were their enemies at one point). Examples might be this B-17 or how HM messed up the serial numbers on some of their mustangs. Also at least AF1 and other companies are designing and producing models for us. While it's certainly up to them to make models worth buying do we have any obligation to "support" them? Finally collecting is collecting. I noticed I have a cabinet full of HM. Thats why I was glad to get a few Marushin. Now these AF1 albeit in a scale I don't really collect. In other words without an AF1 you might not appreciate your Corgi. Having said all of that I'm enjoying the back and forth conversation.

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PostSubject: Re: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Sat Apr 29 2017, 18:14

Yes, I mean the store Tuesday Morning.......but they do not get them anymore, have not for some years unfortunately.
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PostSubject: Re: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Sat Apr 29 2017, 18:19

Daveyator, I didn't mean to come across as being critical of your purchase. Sorry about that. I was ready to buy a AF-1 B-17 until I read the reviews and decided it wasn't for me. I don't think Corgi made anything perfect either. I only have a couple of those and one is a British Coastal Command version. I bought it more for the paint scheme rather than perfect design and details.

I was waiting for the green AF1 B-17 to come available as the "Bit o lace" version wasn't my cup of tea. It isn't a bad looking model in the least. I guess I am picky about certain things, but that is my problem.

I am grateful that you posted the review with all the great pictures. Thanks for taking the time to do that. You are seemingly proud of your purchase and that is great. We all differ a bit when it comes to subjects here. It is a nice looking model. Display it proudly!

Tom

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PostSubject: Re: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Sat Apr 29 2017, 21:35

Excellent review daveyator and speccy piccies.

Like many have said,....I think its reasonable value for money, The colours look good and other than the snout, which I think is a tad misshapen I think its not a bad buy if you don't have Corgi's effort.

Again, like many have stated, Pooch B17s, inparticular 8th Air Force B17s are fetching top dollar on the secondary market. In my view it beggars belief that Corgi have not released another B17 recently. Although the newly announced Bomber Command 100 group MKIII B17 (as part of the new Airfix B17 mould) gives more chance for Pooch B17 in the next CAT. Whether its a new 8th Air Force B17 or a RAF MKIII is another question? Whether Corgi has invested in a new B17 tooling (from the Airfix mould) is also another question.

I have five Pooch B17s in the Hanger. If the Pooch continues to leave the B17 to AF1 and AF1 release a 8th Air Force B17 scheme not already done, then I will buy it.

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PostSubject: Re: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Sun Apr 30 2017, 06:45

PBRStreetgang wrote:
I have five Pooch B17s in the Hanger. If the Pooch continues to leave the B17 to AF1 and AF1 release a 8th Air Force B17 scheme not already done, then I will buy it.


I think that's a fair representation of where we, as a die-cast collecting community, find ourselves right now.

I feel the Corgi mold (as it is now) can still be utilized with some success.  I do agree that a re-tool of that mold is long overdue, especially since Airfix has done a stellar job on their new mold.

If our only option is the AF1 tooling, than hard decisions will have to be made once they start releasing coveted and long sought for schemes.  The issues with the mold will still be there though, so each collector will have to decide if the quality warrants the cost they have to pay.

Allan

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PostSubject: Re: AF1 B-17G Flying Fortress 1:72 "Nine O Nine"   Sun Apr 30 2017, 07:04

If AF1 release "Little Miss Mischief" or "Thunderbird" I'll be falling over myself buying the damn thing,...warts and all.

And I am Australian!!!! Shocked

Imagine what US collectors reaction would be??? bounce
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