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gary sausmikat
71 articles

P-61B “Lady in the Dark”

March 1, 2021 · in Aviation · · 27 · 10.9K

Hey All,

Presenting the , , , Black Widow built OOB along with Eduard Brassin Wheels and Print Scale decals.

Primed with Floquil Old Silver. Humbrol Maskol used for the chipping effect. Painted with Mr. Color Surfacer 1500 Black and AK Real Colors Red. The Maskol was removed to reveal the silver base, followed with oil washes of grays and dry-brused with oil white. Initial coat of VMS semi gloss clear was followed with Mission Model Paints Flat coat to add some variations in sheen.

Hope you like, KEEP IT FUN!

Reader reactions:
17  Awesome

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

27 responses

  1. Very nice Gary. Some of those P-61's to a real weathering

  2. That is some REALLY, Really excellent work on the "Lady". I want to get a GWH P-61, but they seem to be hens teeth here in NZ...

    I do have the Hobby Boss 1/32 kit, which, despite some pretty Basic flaws can be made into a show stopper - with about a hundred bucks worth of resin and PE- aske me how I know, I have 2 kits, one for a B and one for an A! (The kit you get in the "P-61B" box is closer to an A model than it is to a "B".

    While researching what would be needed to make a B, I did discover one point about the "Lady" that most profiles and decal makers miss: She did not have the upper .50 Cals in a turret, rather she was adorned with the fixed fairing for the fwd firing .50 cals, which is a different shape to the turret, being more angular with a wider rear edge.

    Another quite big difference (ignoring the longer radome -Yes another $20-outlay for that, the kit has the short radome) was the change in the Main Undercarriage doors. Operating off rough coral strips in the Pacific and dirt strips in France, the "A" type had no rear "wall" on the U/C bay and the tires used to throw debris up into the rear booms, where it would soon affect the balance of the airframe. Northrop 'fixed' this in the "B" model by simply making the 2 doors into 3 doors, the main doors opened and closed normally, but the "Leg" door remained open while the main doors closed again after the u/c was locked down, sealing off the bay entirely on the ground and for takeoff and landing.

  3. This Widow turned out well. Looks dangerous just sitting there.

  4. Impressive build, Gary.

  5. Love the nose art, Gary. Your paint and weathering really makes this one pop. Definitely liked.

  6. Great build, I love the P-61 and you did a great job on yours. I have the Great Walls kit, and am building it here
    I hope mine turns out looking as good as you. It looks every bit the sinister plane that it is. Black looks great this bird and fits the name Black Widow best of all!

  7. This is a wonderul Black widow, my friend @gwskat!
    Love the chippimg effect!

  8. Fantastic work on this iconic P-61. Your finish and weathering adds to the visual interest. Well done!

  9. Very nice Gary - likealot!

  10. Super sharp looking Widow buddy. I give it two thumbs up.

  11. Nice job, Gary!

  12. Gary, simply marvelous. Seeing the P-61 does bring back some fond memories of the initial release of the Monogram kit back in the 70's. Having one of those in the stash now. This is the first Hobbyboss kit to see finished. Seen a number of the GW kit and of course a few of the Monograms that still build very well into a nice Widow. Nice work Gary, thanks for sharing.

  13. Thanks ALL... I really appreciate the "kudos"
    I took on the HB kit while lovingly laboring, and still laboring, away on the Monogram kit. Maybe someday I'll be posting that one.

  14. Hey there Gary ! @gwskat
    Your HB "Lady in the Dark" looks magnificent. I like everything about this plane. Going from memory, these P-61 groups were given their final Stateside training in the Tampa / St. Petersburg area, as there was a huge Army Air Force base there, and the Orlando Army Airfield was only a short distance away.

    I have heard a few of our local "Old timers" tell me they had a saying, "One a day, in Tampa Bay". This was in reference to the attrition rate of the B-26 Marauder crews since they were flying a very fast airplane and not used to the performance it had. There were numerous types of aircraft being flown from MacDill AFB during the War. The P-61 and the B-26 Marauder were just two of them.

    Now I'm beginning to wonder if the Army salvaged all of them or are there any crash sites left in Tampa Bay. I'm sure that years of salt water immersion and fishing nets would be detrimental to whatever was left of them if indeed there's any planes that were left at all.

    I definitely pressed the "liked" button. Your "Lady" looks good.

  15. Wow looks great Gary. I would like to know if the Hobby Boss kit has any serious issues accuracy wise compared to the GWH release. Based on Brett's comments, I gather this kit does have its issues but what kit doesn't?

    • Eric, I wish I could give you an answer but I don't have any knowledge of the GW kit. I try to make my builds as accurate as possible but to be honest, unless there are glaring errors, I don't get caught up in smallish errors. And like you said, no kit is perfect. Besides, to me it looks like a Black Widow. Good luck with your build!

  16. A great-looking P-61!

  17. Gary, this is a sensational build. A real stand out for me. Whenever a new build is posted here - especially of a plane I know less about I tend to have a look at original photos.

    Wow - you have nailed this bird in so many ways. I am a particular fan of the weathering. The contrast of the pale exhaust stains against the dark paint seems spot on. It would have been easy to leave it at that and produce an ‘unbalanced’ weathering job - but you have really gone to the next level with the chipping effects. I think they look outstanding. Having looked at those old photos the upper wing surfaces look great. Especially once you ‘modulated’ the sheen with the various clear coatings, washes and oils. Beautifully done. It looks like it could fly right out of the computer screen!

    Last I’d like to congratulate you on your photography. It leaves no-one in any doubt about the superior standard of your finished P61 - the tones are perfect. The crisp background is a credit to your ‘white balance’ skills. And it really presents your work in a way that it deserves.

    They say black is a difficult colour to model - your painting, weathering and finishing skills have blown that old chestnut and many others away!

    • As always, appreciate your comments, thanks! At times I thought I may have gone overboard with the chipping but there are many pics that do show that amount of wear and more.

  18. All of the above, looks great!

  19. So you built this in-between your Monogram P-61, that's admirable, somehow.
    I agree with no kit being perfect, and glaring errors aside, good enough.
    Or "close enough for the girls we run with" as they said at work.

  20. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Amazing work Gary !
    Nice work on the chipping.

  21. Wow! That's the first time I've seen a P-61 weathered to that extent, well done. Did you run into any issues with the Print Scale decals?

    TY the head on shot, it really shows the upgrade from some of the flaws the monogram kit had.

  22. Great nose art and a really nice looking build.

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