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1/48 P-61 Black Widow, "Moonlight Serenade" - Revell kit - Work in progress

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  • Member since
    February 2020
1/48 P-61 Black Widow, "Moonlight Serenade" - Revell kit - Work in progress
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Friday, February 21, 2020 10:23 PM

I'm very new to the hobby (well, since I was a wee lad some 30 years ago), and I've heard this kit is kind of notorious, so I thought I'd document my progress here. I've been doing a lot of reading and YouTubing, so it's time to put all of that learning to work.

First thing I notice is there is a lot of molding flash. I'm spending a ton of time cleaning up parts. The nose gear is especially bad, with the halves of the mold not even lining up properly.

Again I'm fairly new, so this may be the norm, but it was surprising. I'm also re-doing a couple of Bandai X-Wings that I did a while back, and the fit and finish on those is superb and crisp.

But anyway, I'm trying to get the interior parts together to a point that it makes sense to prime and paint. I've been at it for a few hours, and it's now way past my bedtime, so enjoy a few photos.

Tags: Black Widow , p61 , Revell
  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Saturday, February 22, 2020 8:24 AM

Hi ManSkirtBrew, 

Good to see that you've started your build! 

I know very well what you are going through with all that flash and ejector pin marks which this kit is full of. It's a real b#%ch, but worth it in my opinion. :) 

Since you are doing the "Moonlight Serenade" bird, check out a YouTube video called "Not Quite Black" or something like that. Might be of use to you to create a more interesting finish. 

Best, 

Nikola

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Saturday, February 22, 2020 8:25 AM

I just noticed that you have the gunner's seat wrong way round. 

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Saturday, February 22, 2020 10:01 AM

Nikola

I just noticed that you have the gunner's seat wrong way round.

Oh! Thanks for noticing. I haven't glued them in yet! It was just for the pic :)

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Saturday, February 22, 2020 10:28 AM

Phew! That's a relief. :)

My advice is to paint them separately and then CA them to the cockpit floor.

Best, 

Nikola

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Cleveland, OH
Posted by RadMax8 on Saturday, February 22, 2020 11:28 AM

MSB,

Off to a noble start on a notoriously difficult kit. To answer your question, I'd say that molding issues like you're seeing aren't really the norm. But keep in mind this kit has been out since the 60's, and it has been rereleased countless times. The molds are pretty heavily worn by now. You saw for yourself the Bandai kits were very crisp... pick up some newer kits and you'll notice the same thing. 

Best of luck! And thanks for sharing.

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Saturday, February 22, 2020 1:34 PM

Nikola
My advice is to paint them separately and then CA them to the cockpit floor.

My plan exactly. Thanks for the advice. I'll take any and all.

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Saturday, February 22, 2020 2:49 PM
Greetings, this is my first time writing to any thread and since this one deals with a subject I'm very familiar with, I thought I would join in. I've built this kit a few times and I'm very familiar with widows so should you have a question on these birds let me know.
  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 10:18 PM

Oh hey thanks, it's very much appreciated. I'm about to start painting the interior. Some threads I've read talk about it being a darker color than the stanrdard zinc chromate, but the pictures I've found of the interiors seem to be a light shade of green like most other WWII birds. What's your take on it?

Link for example.

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Thursday, February 27, 2020 2:35 PM

Painting has finally begun!

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Sunday, March 1, 2020 8:20 PM

More progress, including gratuitous well-organized desk shot.

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Monday, March 2, 2020 8:25 PM

Got the fuselage halves together. Looking at the glazing in the final product, I'm a little sad about how much effort went into the interior and how little will be seen, so I hope at least someone enjoys it :)

And yes, I know the gun bay should be yellow as well, but I made the decision to forego absolute historical accuracy for the enhjoyment of not repainting it.

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Thursday, March 5, 2020 10:00 AM

I was going to leave the radar out, but I couldn't resist...

Reference:

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Thursday, March 5, 2020 10:11 AM

Make sure you add weight in the engine nacelles and everywhere else you can. Otherwise it's a tail sitter for sure (if you don't use the clear peg from the kit or some other support). 

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Thursday, March 5, 2020 11:27 AM

Thanks, it's on my list. I need to pick up some lead from the local tackle shop.

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Thursday, March 5, 2020 10:36 PM

My canopy looks eerily familiar to Nikola's. Man the fit is awful.

Two of mine are also cracked in the box :/

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 10:12 PM

I'm not sure why, but I'm working on detailing the engine--90% of it will be hidden in cowling. I started off trying to model the fuel lines, but the copper I had on hand is a little too big for scale. I ran with it anyway, and I have to say it's pretty nice and I don't hate it.

But then I found some stranded 16gu wire and that seems more to scale. So I used th 18gu solid wire to make the feeder ring, and am using the smaller stranded wire for the individual cylinder feeds. More to come...

 

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 6:44 AM
ManSkirtBrew, your P-61 is looking good. Thanks for the frequent updates and photos; they can be very time consuming!

On the Bench:

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 8:10 AM

Thank you! I like sharing because I know how much I like looking at other peoples' work.

I've become obsessed with the copper ring I'm modeling on the engine (I'm assuming that's the fuel lines, but please correct me if I'm wrong).

I've seen it in many different configurations for the same engine. For example:

Notice how the center ring goes around all of the electronics on the second one, but behind them on the first. Obviously I chose to model the first style, but it's interesting to see all of the variations.

  • Member since
    April 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 9:19 AM

What you are referring to as copper rings and fuel lines are actually components of the Bendix low-tension, high-altitude ignition distributor and harness system. The lines running from the distributor ring to the front and rear of each cylinder are ignition lines to carry power to the spark plugs.

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 9:30 AM
Ah ha! Thank you, that does make more sense. I was wondering why they'd have two lines going to each cylinder. I'm guessing two plugs per head, which would make sense for redundancy.
  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 11:02 PM

Okay, few more for you. First, after getting all of the ignition wires (thanks, KnightTemplar5150) bent into place:

Then after painting them black, which made me a little sad I have to admit. I left just a bit of copper peeking out at the ends to suggest the connectors I've seen in many reference photos.

And here's the other engine with the larger wires for comparison. This one is very deeply hidden in the cowling, so only a tiny arc of it will be visible anyway.

 

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Saturday, March 14, 2020 11:10 AM

Very nicely done.

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 8:53 AM

Night Fighter
Very nicely done.

Thanks! I'm up to the part where I have to sand all of the putty I had to apply to fill all the huge gaps and misfits, without rubbing off too much of the raised detail.

It's kind of making me wonder if I should just scribe all new panel lines and rivets, or just leave it be and let this kit be what it is. I'm thinking it's going to be that second one.

Total aside, I was just watching PLASMO paint a 1/48 P-51 interior, and I notice the seat seems like twice as big as the one in this 1/48 P-61. Is that a scale accuracy issue with this kit, or is it just my eyes?

Mine then his:

  • Member since
    August 2019
Posted by Night Fighter on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 9:11 PM

It's difficult to tell about the seat accuracy. I tried to see if a 48 scale pilot would be able to sit in the seat and I found that I had a little trouble.  I'm guessing that the seat might be off just a little but not by enough to worry about.

  • Member since
    September 2019
  • From: Belgrade, Serbia
Posted by Nikola on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 2:36 AM

Hi ManSkirtBrew, 

I wouldn't worry much about that at all. Just enjoy it as it is a very fun kit to build, as you probably already know :).

Use it as a good practice kit as you will learn a lot from it due to it's well known issues.

That's how I approached it anyway. :) 

 

Best, 

Nikola

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by ManSkirtBrew on Thursday, April 2, 2020 2:57 PM

Little more work inside the wheel wells before buttoning up the booms.

 

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