Before we start building, it is always smart to have the research done. Or at least, knowing what direction you’re going to take. I mentioned that the B-17 is my all-time favorite airplane of WW2 so, over the years I went a little “nuts” in acquiring references.
Do you really need all these books? Absolutely not! There is enough information online, to build a real one from scratch! So, if you have access to a computer with internet connection, you won half the battle! Myself, I’m a book-o-phile. I like to hold, smell, caress and cuddle a book and yes, read it too. Call me weird, that’s ok! But books are still the best reference material of all things. Unless you have admission to the real contraption, having a book on your workbench with adequate pictures, is as good as crème fraiche on a Belgian waffle!
Here are a few that you might consider getting;
Haynes, B-17 workshop manual, Warbird Tech B-17, Pilot's Manual For The B-17 Flying Fortress and Squadron Signal's B-17 In Action. 
Lots of original photos and technical drawings. These are the books you'll definitely want on your bench if you're into super detailing.
I also had the opportunity to photograph “Aluminum Overcast” inside and out. That will help tremendously with some of the innards around the front section of the plane, where most of the “damage” will be added.
This book will help me with choosing a B-17G that will come close in corresponding with the story I want to depict on my diorama.
The B-17 Flying Fortress Story. Not really a picture book but it lists every B-17 ever built with a brief account of its history and fate. 
A crash site is a little more complicated than, let’s say, a stationary scene where the airplane is either parked or maintained. First on the list, is simulating and determine, the battle damage that brought the plane down, how much of it and where. It can be destruction around the engines or a more fatal approach, like a shot-up cockpit. I would rather keep it somewhat humane and have a combat related, mechanical demise as a cause, instead of a mortal one. So, I’ll poke some holes, away from the crew sections. There is plenty enough room!  
Then there are the damaged areas, where the plane hit the ground. That is going to be the tricky one to simulate, since it will incorporate metal deformation and distortion. This will generate extra work because all the detail on the inside of the fuselage need to be scraped off. I need to Dremel the thickness of the plastic paper-thin and then reconstruct all inner airframe members and detail that was removed.
A rough sketch of where I want to simulate areas of battle damage. Now, this might change as I get further into the build .
Not all that easy! But if I want to keep it realistic and logical, I need to go thru the pain of walking the extra mile. I’m pretty much set up now to finally start the project. I had some set backs with the filming and editing side of the build. I’m still a novice at this, so bear with me. Everything will be taped. At this moment, I’m still waiting for my new computer to arrive. Frustrating, oh well…there is an excuse for everything…
I’m already off to a slow start but in this case, I don’t want to cut any corners. Once I get on track and I have all my sh*t together, things will run a lot smoother. (No pun intended!)
So, hang in there, it’s coming! Meanwhile, here are some more photos.
Jef V.

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