1/48 GHW P-61B Black Widow

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules

Week 8 of the P-61B has been a tough one. You build many models long enough you do make errors occasionally. Many mistakes can be corrected, some modelers move the model to the "shelf of doom" to figure out how to fix it later, some just leave the mistake and continue on, and some will put it in the circular file (aka trash can) Now onto the mistake I made. To start off it was noticed by a few that the main landing gear was installed backwards. The struts should be outboard with the wheels facing inside. I then assessed what it would take to correct the issue. Due to the large amount of photo etch and the current level in this build I had three choices. The first option was to cut apart the wings and booms to swap the complete landing gear bays. The second option would be to leave the landing gear with the incorrect configuration. The third option would be to remove the landing gear and install the landing gear doors closed.

After careful consideration I chose the third option and finish the build "in flight". Originally I was going to build this kit wheels down and I have the 1/48 HobbyBoss P-61C that I was going to build "in flight" to hang in my studio. Now the GW kit will be the hanging kit and I will use the already detailed SAC metal landing gear on the HobbyBoss kit. With my decision made, I carefully removed the landing gear and reworked the nose gear doors so these could be closed. I spent most of the week adjusting the fit of the landing gear doors. I then built up and painted the turret. I used the Vallejo metal air for the gun barrels.

Moving forward I painted the propellers and applied the decals. I then started applying the decals to the aircraft. I used the kit decals for the "Lady in the Dark" scheme. The decals are slightly thick but with a little decal set and decal solvent they laid down very well. The red walkway lines come in four separate sections but line up well. The red triangles require a little care as there is no carrier film in the middle so they can be easily distorted. Next week I will be weathering the aircraft with pastel chalk and then applying the final top coat to seal everything.

There are more photos and details from the start in my build log at 1/48 P-61B Black Widow – Lady in the Dark







The "Lady in the Dark" is now finished! First, I know it has been two weeks since my last update. We were out of town last weekend visiting friends. To bring everyone up to date I completed the decals and then weathered the exhaust using pastel chalk. For the exhaust I laid down a medium brown followed by a light gray and finally a streak of black giving the exhaust staining some depth. In the reference photos there are two short whip antennas on each side just behind the nose cone. I use 30AWG wire to simulate these and then sprayed the final top coat of matte on the aircraft. The canopy masks were removed and I then added the wire antenna from the tails to the rear of the main fuselage using EZ-line. I installed the propellers completing this build.

This kit is good in details but has some issues during the build. As stated previously the fuselage assembly is challenging due to the belly guns. The other issue with this kit is the decal sheet shows the wing insignias incorrectly. The previous confusion with the landing gear was due to the Eduard instructions only showing one side of the landing gear bays and showing the numbers for both sides. This led me to assemble the main gear bays backwards. Aside from the incorrect instructions the kit decals worked well. They went down well and conformed to the surface details. Since I changed this to wheels up, this is now displayed hanging. Overall this kit had its issues but in the end it makes for a nice looking P-61B.

There are more photos and details from the start to finish in my build log at 1/48 P-61B Black Widow – Lady in the Dark










I like this plane. Sorry I wasn't here earlier. Nice build by the way. A little more information about this plane. Lady in the Dark was unofficially credited with the last two kills of WW2. Both planes were brought down without firing a shot and there was a different crew between those two encounters. As was reported by the crews in both cases, when the enemy plane found out that there was a widow on his tail, they went into crazy maneuvers that resulted in losing control of their aircraft resulting in immediate loss of airspeed after gravity overcame lift. The pilot of the second plane was later awarded a medal for that last kill after the war.
One other final note. The black widow, at the end of the war, was high gloss black. They found that this worked better than flat black.

Users who are viewing this thread