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1/48 Great Wall P-61B 547th NFS (Times A Wastin') FINISHED

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  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
1/48 Great Wall P-61B 547th NFS (Times A Wastin') FINISHED
Posted by lawdog114 on Monday, April 30, 2018 3:30 AM

I have been tasked with building a P-61 Black Widow in Carroll "Snuffy" Smith/Phillip Porter's 547th NFS "Times A Wastin' markings. Smith was the highest ranking nocturnal ace with 7 kills.    

As all P-61 mavens know, this scheme has been the mainstay in the Monogram kit that has been around since the Jurassic Age (what memories though......my first airplane kit).  I had the original release of Great Wall's kit so I dragged it out. I will try to make the necessary corrections/improvements without getting too crazy with it.  I found a cheap Revell release on ebay which I will raid for the turret cover, the drop tanks, and of course the markings.  I grabbed a recent release with the hopes that the decals will be somewhat useable, especially the nose art.  I have resin guns, props and replacement cowls on their way as well.    

      

I started with the pit, which is very nicely done.  The seats were a four piece chore to build, but I managed.  Boy I miss Tenax, this Tamiya extra thin cement I'm stuck using now just doesn't have the same bite and takes too long to set up. I have a jug of MEK I grabbed at the hardware store a few months ago that I'm going to try once I run out of the Tamiya.  I'll pour it into the Tamiya jar because I like their applicator.  Anyways, I digress, after XF-1 Flat Black preshade of everything, it was all sprayed Gunze Interior Green.  I added the included PE belts which seemed a bit thick and lacking in detail. I painted them XF-57 Buff.  They are passable. I then did my usual cockpit process with a Detailer wash and seal with Testors Dull Coat.    

Sidewall detail is good and you even get decal placards which really enhance the look of these areas.  

GW offers individual dials for the instrument panel or a brass PE replacement.  I chose the decals over the plastic and  thought it looks halfway decent.  I think my eyes are starting to go as I ended up with a few stray ones on the lower right.....Oye!  Oh well...

 

I added some Airscale dials for the back compartment.  I'm not sure how much of this area will be seen.  

A little test fit.  So far so good.  Is it me, or does the steering wheel seem huge on this thing?

Time to get ready to close this up.  

 

 

  

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2012
  • From: Parker City, IN.
Posted by Rambo on Monday, April 30, 2018 3:40 AM
I will definitely be watching this one closely, I picked up the GWH B version about a month ago from what I understand that kit is alot more accurate than their A kit was. But both are a hugh leap from the old monogram kit. Also on spruebrothers they have a squadron black widow book on sale 7 for the hardback and 20 for the paperback not sure why the hardback is so much cheaper but it's a really good read.

Clint

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Monday, April 30, 2018 3:54 AM
Good to have you along Rambo. Indeed, I built the updated version a few years ago and there were a lot of corrections made. The latest incarnation of that Monogtam kit is absolutely brutal! The glass doesn’t even fit anymore from what I understand. Thanks for the information about the book, but unfortunately I have little time to read.

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Monday, April 30, 2018 4:11 AM

Great subject, gotta love the Black Widow. Looking forwared to seeing plenty more.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Phantom FG.1

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Naples, FL
Posted by tempestjohnny on Monday, April 30, 2018 4:15 AM

I'll be watching this one too...

 

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Monday, April 30, 2018 4:22 AM
Sweet!.......good to have you guys along.

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Monday, April 30, 2018 8:54 AM

I didn't want to buy any more kits until my stash got some needed attention but OOOOOO a P-61. In your hands it's gonna be an inspiration and learning experience for me just to watch.  TY for posting Mate.

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Monday, April 30, 2018 12:04 PM

Joe, I'm using stuff from Flexi-File that acts like Tenax to me, even has the same Touch and Flow applicator.  The call it Plast-I-Weld.  The glue is Item #7112.

http://www.flex-i-file.com/adhesives.php

John

To see build logs of my models, go here: http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

  

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Monday, April 30, 2018 12:39 PM

Hello lawdog114!

Nice start on this Black Widow!

As for the glue - I'd like to suggest you don't wait until you run out of Tamiya - just mix some MEK right in. That should give you a better "bite" right away. Pure MEK is a bit annoying because it evaporates so quickly. I prefer using lacquer thinner for glue - I'm doing this for like 20 years or so. Lacquer thinner has some additives like Toluene that prevent it from evaporating too soon and that allows me to apply the glue (=lacquer thinner) with a small brush (a dental micro-brush actually).

Hope it helps - good luck with your build and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    May, 2008
  • From: Ypsilanti, MI
Posted by MIflyer on Monday, April 30, 2018 1:17 PM

Looks like a great start on what I'm sure will be an epic build. The P-61 sure is a monster! The interior looks great - especially the decals. They really dress things up.

Kevin Johnson    Ypsilanti, Michigan USA

On the bench: 1/72 Fujimi Ki-36 J-BAAR

  • Member since
    August, 2012
  • From: Parker City, IN.
Posted by Rambo on Monday, April 30, 2018 4:01 PM

jeaton01

Joe, I'm using stuff from Flexi-File that acts like Tenax to me, even has the same Touch and Flow applicator.  The call it Plast-I-Weld.  The glue is Item #7112.

http://www.flex-i-file.com/adhesives.php

 

I've been using this too since running out of tenax it's good doesn't seem as hot though

Clint

  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Wednesday, May 02, 2018 11:07 AM

Another fun WIP to ponder.

This IS your full time job .. right Joe?

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Wednesday, May 02, 2018 11:20 AM

Another fantastic cockpit!!! 

Looking forward to more photos! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Thursday, May 03, 2018 7:15 PM

Pawel
I'd like to suggest you don't wait until you run out of Tamiya - just mix some MEK right in. That should give you a better "bite" right away.

Thanks guys for all the suggestions.  I will try this as I am now down to about half the bottle.  I never realized you could use lacquer thinner too,very interesting. 

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Thursday, May 03, 2018 7:16 PM

1943Mike

This IS your full time job .. right Joe?

 

I wish!  Thanks for all the kind words guys.

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Tuesday, May 08, 2018 11:35 PM

I got a bit of bench time in the other night, mainly fuselage and wing work.  GW gives you an insert for leading edge wing intakes that is supposed to simulate the vents.  I must say this looks like complete ka ka, especially for an $80 MSRP kit.  I decided to improve these areas.  I carved out the inside "wall" with an exacto, then added sheet styrene to simulate the vents.  

     

Much better. This was actually very easy.  I'm not sure why GW couldn't come up with something similar, especially for this price.

Wings are together and fuselage is joined.  Almost time for the booms.

  

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2012
  • From: Parker City, IN.
Posted by Rambo on Wednesday, May 09, 2018 12:05 AM
Looking good lawdog! Do you know if they changed them vents in later releases?

Clint

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Thursday, May 17, 2018 1:02 AM

Rambo
Do you know if they changed them vents in later releases?

Thanks Clint. No idea, I was just going for realistic looking. I'm sure it's far from accurate.  

Trying to fix up my house for sale has been really cutting into my bench time lately. I did get some quality bench time in over the last few days.  I figured that before I started joining wings and booms, I'd knock out the canopy masks then attach them first. I procured the Eduard set for this. Whoever designed these must have been drunk because alot of them didn't fit at all.  I might as well have used Tamiya tape.  I had to trim alot of them with and Exacto and fill in with Tamiya tape here and there.  What a nightmare.  Also, the front canopy (by the nose) is too thick and leaves a step where it meets the body. I filled it in the best I could with putty. I think it's passable.    

 

The booms went on without issue.  They fit fairly nice actually.

This area needed a bit of attention.  Nothing serious though.

A little sanding filing, no big whoop.

All together....

I got Quickboost cowls.  The kit example is on the left with the "pin hole" opening.  GW fixed this on later releases. 

  

I added some fishing lead to the nose to keep it on it's landing gear.  I hope its enough.  Here's a test fit of the nose.  I also sprayed the canopies interior green then flat black.  seams were checked with grey Alclad primer.  I'm pretty happy so far.  It's been fairly painless.  

I deflected the rudders for effect...

Now with the cowls tacked in place...not bad.

Almost time for some paint, but I think I'll direct my attention to the Pratt & Whitneys next.   

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2012
  • From: Parker City, IN.
Posted by Rambo on Thursday, May 17, 2018 2:54 AM
Everything is still looking good. Thanks for the heads up on the masks I was planning on picking them up for mine. Also the PE dive brakes are they from the kit or eduard?

Clint

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Thursday, May 17, 2018 3:15 AM
Thanks Clint. They come with the kit as part of the PE fret. I was going to display one side up, but....... 1. They are inaccurate and supposed to be curved with perforated holes in them and.....2. They were never up while on the ground.

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Great Southern Land
Posted by damouav on Thursday, May 17, 2018 5:15 AM

Again, missed the start of another of your splendid builds. Great subject matter and, as usual, well executed. Would love to build a bomber or similar one day, when I get time and learn patience.

Looking forward to the remainder of this build.

In Progress
1/48 Hasegawa P51-D
1/48 Hobby Boss TBF-1C Avenger
Pending
1/48 Tamiya P47-D Bubbletop
1/48 Roden S.E.5a
1/48 Airfix Walrus
1/48 Hasegawa P38-L
  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Friday, May 18, 2018 1:13 AM

Thanks Damian, Nice to have you along.  

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    March, 2015
  • From: Streetsboro, Ohio
Posted by Toshi on Monday, May 21, 2018 9:24 AM

Exceptional work lawdog114!!!  You are one of my favorite top five builders. You also inspire beginning modelers on FSM Forums like myself.  I’ve built a GWH P-61 a few years ago but it fell from the ceiling and upon impact the P-61 exploded all over my modeling room.  lol!

Your friend, Toshi

P.S.  I hope to be at your level sometime sooner than later!

On The Bench: Revell 1/48 B-25 Mitchell

 

Married to the most caring, loving, understanding, and beautiful wife in the world.  Mrs. Toshi

 

 

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 12:45 AM

Thanks Toshi, your always so kind and a good friend.  Your positive attitude is an inspiration to us all.  I'm also glad you get use out of my threads.  It's funny how in today's day in age you can make friendships with people and never actually meet them face-to-face. On that note, I just read about the loss of fellow modeler (and hero) Hunter Anderson to an unfortunate accident.  He was always so inquisitive and eager to learn about our unique but great hobby.  I just read all the PM's conversations we had, with the most recent a few months ago, and it pretty much brought me to tears.  My thoughts are with his family and I will dedicate the rest of this build to his memory. 

I decided I was going to chip up certain areas without getting to carried away.  I fired down some Alclad Aluminum on the wing leading edges and the front of the cowls. I then sprayed some AK worn effects fluid, which is basically the hairspray technique. After the paint is fired down,  I will go back and expose some Aluminum, well that's the hope...lol.

   

I then took a break from the air frame and switched to the radials.  I opted for the open cowl flaps option, but I wasn't happy with the single row "teeth".  I improved this area with some styrene. 

     

The GW Pratt & Whitneys are kind of lousy.  The gear box is wrong and should look like a canister on the P-61 (actually I think it's a cover that goes over the gear box, not sure). They also forgot the magnetos and the box in the middle (distributor?).  I found some from Tamiya P-47 parts in my stash to solve this issue. Accurate? Dunno, but better than nothing.  They corrected these issues on the later release.  I used the kit supplied PE ignition harnesses and must say they dont look half bad. I used copper paint to make the "wires" look round. Here we are after a wash and dullcoat.  I may grime these up more, not sure.   

 

  

I added the cowl flaps and exhausts.  The fit was poor and I needed to snip off some of the longer pipes to make it fit in the back. No biggie since they won't be seen. 

  

A test fit...not bad

I painted the general area red where I will tape off the wing walk stripes and angled tail stripe.  It's much easier than decals. 

 

I'm definitely ready to start painting this turkey. 

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 1:10 AM

So the ETO and the PTO had really divergent aircraft requirements. 

The ETO mostly were issued a new aircraft when one was damaged. In the PTO they repaired them a little more frequently.

 

  • Member since
    August, 2012
  • From: Parker City, IN.
Posted by Rambo on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 2:19 AM
Nice work on them Pratt & Whitneys. I'm very interested in seeing how you mask off the wing walk areas I was thinking about how big a nightmare that decal is going to be.

Clint

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Naples, FL
Posted by tempestjohnny on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 4:38 AM
Great work as always Joe. And a big kudos for dedicating this. I'll bet Hunter is upstairs with a big smile looking down

 

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 4:52 AM

Those ignition wires look great!  I would never have thought a PE harness could ever look good.  See now you made me want to try it! Big Smile  The engines look terrific too!

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 5:47 AM

tempestjohnny
Great work as always Joe. And a big kudos for dedicating this. I'll bet Hunter is upstairs with a big smile looking down
 

 

Thanks for stopping in guys...

I hope so Johnny, this one is for him.

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 11:31 AM

As usual looks great, esp love your engines! 

And thanks for the warning about the issues, lucky for me my version is a later kit. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

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