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World War II
Discuss WWII and the era directly before and after the war from 1935-1949.
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REVIEW
P-61A Black Widow
tinbanger
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Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 06:05 AM UTC
The P-61 Black Widow was one of the largest fighter aircraft to see service during World War 2, a twin engine fighter of a size more akin to a medium bomber of the period. Designed at the request of the British for a twin engine night fighter; twin engine to allow the nose to be filled with a radar. The P-61 as far as I can ascertain never actually got into the hands of the Royal Air Force, but it did see service in the UK to intercept and shoot down the V-1 flying bombs with the 422nd Night Fighter Squadron.

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
phantom_phanatic309
#372
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Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 07:37 AM UTC
I often find the colours on some Hobby Boss decals can be a bit 'off' but they usually work quite well. Replacement US national insignia should not be too hard to find.
As to the question as to why release it? Well it's just a little over half the price of the GWH kit, so it's very attractive to modelers on a budget.
Look's to be a good kit and it might even tempt me out my 1/72 comfort zone.
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
#406
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Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 08:39 AM UTC
Sorry Stephen that was not my question but one of the posts I read in a thread about the release.
Merlin
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Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 02:54 PM UTC
Hi Darren

Nice Review.

While it looks like they've done a better job on the canopy than GWH, the cross-section of the radome looks rather suspect compared with shots of the P-61 restoration project. Considering the price, the engines and wheels look very simplified - no crank-case covers and not even a hint of the second row of cylinders, and what appear to be bald tyres with a solid nosewheel hub and moulded-on mudguard.

All the best

Rowan
Planenuts
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Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 06:18 PM UTC
I was mostly disappointed with the kit myself, all they had to do was down size their nice 1/32 scale kit but it's almost as if the 1/48 group didn't talk to the 1/32 scale group. I'm no expert but the shape of the fuselage in the area of the turret seems all wrong to me as there is no bulge for turret as well as the cover for the hole mentioned above. None of my references show a straight fuselage in that area as depicted on the model. I don't consider myself a rivet counter and most of the shape issues others complain about I have difficulty seeing but this issues stands out like a sore thumb to me.
phantom_phanatic309
#372
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Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2015 - 12:59 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Sorry Stephen that was not my question but one of the posts I read in a thread about the release.



Hi Darren, I understood what you meant so that was in no aimed at yourself or anyone else. Like yourself I've seen the same question asked the kit in several places. A lower cost alternatives can only be a good thing.

All the best
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
#406
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Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2015 - 01:31 AM UTC
No foul Stephen. The lower cost is a plus falling in the middle of Revell and GWH.

Rowan: there is a tread pattern on the front wheel and I will check the wing wheels as I just cannot recall. the moulded mud guard is a pain but not the end of the world.

Gary other than the panel lines I was unable to identify any issues with shape on the fuselage.
GastonMarty
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Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2015 - 04:08 PM UTC

Probably the best choice in 1/48th if you square up a little the top fuselage in the turret area... Way better than the horrendous GW or Monogram, but that's still not saying much... Apparently the cockpit canopy is much too long, but it looks a little better than the others. Still a very poor kits as are all the P-61s, including in 1/32 scale... I don't know what they have against this aircraft, but it must really have angered them...
G.
Joel_W
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Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2015 - 10:09 PM UTC
Darren,
As usual, another excellent and well thought out review. I built the GWH P-61 2nd boxing, which had some needed corrections.

The biggest drawback to that kit was the horrendous multi glass pieces, which were generally over sized or incorrectly sized. The front windscreen took way more time to blend into the fuselage then I would have ever imagined. That issue is the strong point of the Hobby Boss kit. Talking to other modelers who have built it, the glass is just two main pieces, with all the access hatches in the closed position, and the glass fits very well.

Another issue is the GWH kit has a pure fantasy gun turret. I used the Monogram turret instead. HB kit doesn't have the turret, nor the plate, which is interesting in that about 1/2 the total production run of A's didn't have the turret gun, and the latter portion of the A production run didn't have the cut out for it.

The shape of the fuselage is completely wrong missing the bulge where the turret gun funnel was. Why they just didn't scale down the 1/32 kit amazes me.

The engines were Pratt & Whitney R-2800-65W Double Wasp radial engines, the kit engines are molded as single Wasps. Replacement engines are available from Quickboost.

Replacement wheels from Detail in Scale seem to be a necessity as well to obtain the correct tire pattern.

The decals are another issue that will require After Market ones. As stated the colors are wrong for the stars and bars, and as Darren pointed out, one aircraft depicted had the upper turret. The spinner decals look to be a real challenge, as well as the red upper wing lines. GWH has them as individual sections which worked out quite well.

The addition of the weights really is a plus, as the model is a serious tail sitter. I used Terry Dean's weights and still had to add a little more weight.

If I Had to choose between the two kits now, I'd still go with the GWH kit.

Joel
Merlin
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Posted: Monday, January 05, 2015 - 02:18 AM UTC
Hi Joel

Let's not forget Sergey Kosachev's superb Vector resin correction sets too - they may well fit the HobbyBoss kit.

Has any got a shot of the kit's mid-fuselage from an angle that gives more of an idea of the cross-section? From what you and Gary say, that really does sound a bit of a killer - and, as I noted from Darren's photo, the nose cross-section is off too.

If I didn't have so much stuff piled up, I'd be tempted to get one for a mega kit-bash with the GWH version - but it would still need the help of correction sets.

All the best

Rowan
SunburntPenguin
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Posted: Monday, January 05, 2015 - 12:40 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Probably the best choice in 1/48th if you square up a little the top fuselage in the turret area... Way better than the horrendous GW or Monogram, but that's still not saying much... Apparently the cockpit canopy is much too long, but it looks a little better than the others. Still a very poor kits as are all the P-61s, including in 1/32 scale... I don't know what they have against this aircraft, but it must really have angered them...
G.



Because every P-61 kit I have seen and owned looks nothing like the real aircraft. I knew that this review would see you post your usual negative comments.

Darren thanks for the review, it has confirmed in my mind that the GWH kit is the way to go along with the various correction/update sets.
Planenuts
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Posted: Tuesday, January 06, 2015 - 08:02 PM UTC
Here is a comparison photo of the Hobbyboss (top) and Great Wall (bottom). While the Great Wall may not be totally correct I believe it is way closer to reality than the the Hobbyboss kit. http://www.olddogsplanes.com/p61-fusecomp.jpg
Joel_W
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Posted: Tuesday, January 06, 2015 - 08:34 PM UTC
I just looked at the over head picture of the GWH and the Hobby Boss fuselage. The overall width is the same , but the top surfaces are completely different.

Carefully looking at the 2 drawing and the one photo, you can see that Hobby Boss did indeed get the contour of the side to top surfaces completely wrong. They're much to square

Joel






CMOT
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Tuesday, January 06, 2015 - 08:59 PM UTC
Joel you are going to have to point out which area this refers to. I thought it was were the turret went but it is flat in your images and flat in the model. I do not bulld aircraft models as often as you gents and I am getting a little lost here in the discussion.
Joel_W
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Posted: Wednesday, January 07, 2015 - 12:43 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Joel you are going to have to point out which area this refers to. I thought it was were the turret went but it is flat in your images and flat in the model. I do not bulld aircraft models as often as you gents and I am getting a little lost here in the discussion.



Darren
In the actual photo of the plane where you can see the side and top by the turret, you'll see that it bulges and curves more like the GWH fuselage then the Hobby Boss one. The two line drawings are harder to see that effect. There are curved lines from the gun turret to the front and back glass. Those lines represent the slope of the fuselage. At least that is how I'm interpreting that.

Joel
Merlin
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Posted: Wednesday, January 07, 2015 - 12:57 AM UTC
Hi Gary

Many thanks for the comparison shot. Good grief, that's bad! - way worse than I'd feared. I'm stunned - I don't know what the designers could have been thinking?...

All the best

Rowan
Merlin
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#017
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Posted: Wednesday, January 07, 2015 - 01:01 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Joel you are going to have to point out which area this refers to. I thought it was were the turret went but it is flat in your images and flat in the model. I do not bulld aircraft models as often as you gents and I am getting a little lost here in the discussion.



Hi Darren

Here are a couple shots from a Web-search that should clarify what we're groaning over:





All the best

Rowan
CMOT
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ARMORAMA
#406
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Posted: Wednesday, January 07, 2015 - 01:18 AM UTC
Now I understand what feature you are looking at, thank you. I am sorry I missed this but none of my reference showed this difference clearly for me to pick up. My next question would be is this a match for a P-61 that was made never to have a turret fitted.
Joel_W
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Posted: Wednesday, January 07, 2015 - 01:35 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Now I understand what feature you are looking at, thank you. I am sorry I missed this but none of my reference showed this difference clearly for me to pick up. My next question would be is this a match for a P-61 that was made never to have a turret fitted.



Darren,
Are your referring to the Hobby Boss kit? As far as I can tell, the basic fuselage shape remained the same throughout it production run.
Joel
Merlin
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Posted: Wednesday, January 07, 2015 - 01:42 AM UTC
Hi Darren

Not as far as I know. As you can see in Gary's shot, it throws out the shape of the rear compartment canopy too. I was contemplating a possible fix while at work today using a large helping of Milliput, but I don't think that would work after seeing Gary's photo.

All the best

Rowan
Planenuts
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Posted: Wednesday, January 07, 2015 - 06:54 PM UTC
Since there is a turret dome on one of the sprues one would assume that they plan on doing a version with the turret. It will be interesting to see how they handle that.
Joel_W
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Posted: Wednesday, January 07, 2015 - 10:08 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Since there is a turret dome on one of the sprues one would assume that they plan on doing a version with the turret. It will be interesting to see how they handle that.



Gary,
I missed that when I took a quick look at the sprues. Personally, I can't see them doing any modifications to the fuselage just to incorporate the turret. And since the turret tunnel is buried deep in the fuselage and not seen, I doubt that they would include it. With that being said, it looks a lot closer to the correct shape then the fantasy one GWH conjured up.
Joel
Merlin
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Posted: Thursday, January 08, 2015 - 02:38 AM UTC
Hi again Gary

From the photos, I can't see how their turret would fit the current fuselage parts at all.

All the best

Rowan
Joel_W
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Posted: Thursday, January 08, 2015 - 02:57 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi again Gary

From the photos, I can't see how their turret would fit the current fuselage parts at all.

All the best

Rowan



Rowan,
If the kit turret is correctly sized, then it would over hang the top of the fuselage, but if they scaled it down to slightly smaller then the width of the fuselage, it would fit. Of course we know that Trumpeter/Hobby Boss would never do such a thing.
Joel
Merlin
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Posted: Saturday, January 10, 2015 - 10:24 PM UTC
Hi Joel

You're a very naughty boy for even planting the thought!

All the best

Rowan