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P-61 "Nocturnal Nemesis"1/48 Great Wall Hobby

June 29, 2021 · in Aviation · · 30 · 3.9K

The has always been one of my favorite aircraft from WWII. When they first came out I built two of the Monogram kits and had a ball with them. I even put electric motors in one so that the props would spin. All in all I think the Monogram kit still holds up well, even if it does have some issues especially with fit.

The 's kit does offer improvements in fit and detail, but is not perfect either. I won't discuss shape issues in the end it looks like a P-61. My biggest gripe with the kit is the spindly extremely fragile landing gear. There are issues with the engineering that make it necessary to install the gear earlier then I would prefer. You can see other issues and difficulties as well as the good stuff on my build blog

Overall though I would have to say I really enjoyed the kit from start to finish. I am happy with the finish, I see in some of the closeup pictures I need to clean off some dusties which I will do before the next show. I will make sure to support the model in the case for the trip to Nationals in August. I hope you like the finished product, and if you have one of these kits in your stash I recommend building it, I was a good kit and enjoyable to build.

Reader reactions:
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15 additional images. Click to enlarge.

30 responses

  1. Walt, after seeing these wonderful photos of your finished model I had to run your WIP thread to see the “how” behind such great P-61. Thanks for posting, because the plane itself isn’t really my vibe (that’s why I missed out your WIP posting) but your model is simply sublime. Great details and some perfect paint work really captures the best of the Black Widow

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    said on June 29, 2021

    Lovely work. Well done!

  3. Turned out wonderfully, Walt!
    I love that scheme and the build thread was a joy to follow.

  4. That’s one cool looking bird. Fantastic work Walt, the paint looks great and I like the base too.

  5. That came out very well, Walt. I like how the engine exhaust on the wings looks. I was following your build and am inspired to take mine off the shelf.
    Did you detail the leading edge intakes or build out of the box?

    • Dave, @davidnla312, I built the model itself for the most part out of the box, just improving kit pars where necessary. I just put the inserts in from the kit for the leading edge inlets. I think it looks fine for the scale.

  6. An incredible result, Walt.
    You did great on the canopy paintwork, very precise.
    Thanks for sharing the building progress, I loved to follow it.

  7. Nice job all around, Walt!
    Whichever kit one builds of the P-61, she's a big bird, with a lot going on, inside and out...twin engine, booms, twin tail, three crew compartments, lots of area to paint, plenty of weathering, etc.
    Again, really fine job. Two thumbs up.

  8. I like it! great job with the spinners!

  9. That's a beauty. You can tell a good one when they stand up to the closeup shots so well. The sharp canopy frames really stand out. Excellent modelling.

  10. Having followed your build I can only say MAGNIFICENT! Your P-61 build has inspired me to get mine on the to do list asap. Your base adds even more realism to the overall model. Well done!

  11. Walt: absolute killer. Great photos. Thoroughly enjoyed the ride to the finish line.

  12. Exceptional, WB.

  13. A real beauty! I also think the -61 is one of the best-looking airframes to come out of WWII.

  14. What a superb model and great photography. This is a show stopper.

  15. Great work on the 61. The interior is very well done.

    • Dale, @dtravis, the kit really offers a good interior, and the interior you see is out of the box, except for the addition of the gun sights for the turrets added to two of the seats. I got these from the Monogram kit graciously donated by a fellow iModeler Tom, @tom-bebout. Thanks again Tom!

  16. Splendid work on an exceptionally nice model! Great photos complement this beauty as well! 🙂

  17. I have to agree this is one primo build with the prop spinners being masked and the O.D. being spot on. The decals are excellent. One can never argue with girlie art. One niggle, the main landing gear, the tires and wheels are very similar to B-25s. However, if you do a quick Google on the P-61 photos the main's should have the gear facing inward. With the gear legs and oleo's being on the outside of the tire and wheels. Easy fix.

    Two thumbs up Walt.

    • Thanks Stephen, @stephen-w-towle, I missed that, when putting the booms together. I was not paying attention and the parts did not seem to want to go together the other way when I tried to install them. Now it is a major error captured in perpetuity on the model and the internet.

      I have to say I really feel like a Grade A i***t for missing that. There is nothing that can be done now so I will live with it, and I do really thank you for pointing it out. I will use it as a lesson learned to pay better attention to my instruction, my part number and my references. The best lessons learned are from our mistakes...and trust me I have made plenty in my life time, you would think I would be smarter 😉 .

      • Walt,

        Your not alone in that error. Northrop designs things a little different and during the War B-25 tires and wheels where used and I've had the same problem with gears facing in another direction. My solution at first was to break off the gear and drill holes into the plastic and run rod. Which worked but, didn't look so great. I then bought a set of SAC white metal landing gear and drilled out the offending gear. I then got some brass tubing slightly bigger than the end of the SAC gear and glued the cut down brass tubing into the kit with epoxy. Followed by placing the white metal into the tubing fixed with more epoxy.

        I've been lurking but, have enjoyed following your build and seeing and reading your build log on the agony and ecstasy of making this kit. Its all good.

  18. Great job Walt even with the gear issue, and I didn't noticed until it was mentioned. Glad to see the parts were put to good use. Keep up the good work. If you're ever near the USAF Museum let me know I would enjoy meeting you there.

  19. A really good finished model, Walt, I really enjoyed reading your WIP, and the photographs posted here show what a great build it is. Definitely liked.

  20. Beautiful finish on your P-61, Walt! I love the paintwork, dealing and subtle weathering. The Black Widow looks really striking in OD, particularly with the checkered spinners and finely done nose art. I am really happy that you got through this project with flying colors. I set aside my GWH P-61 when I couldn't find the right cockpit view to finish detailing the cockpit heating system. Just discovered I had the appropriate book in my library all the time! I get so used to scouring the Internet for detail pics that I forget to check the bookshelves! Anyway, thanks for the great inspiration. Midnite Madness II might see the light of day after all.

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      Walt said on July 2, 2021

      Thanks Colin, @coling, having seen your work here before I know you would a great job on it. I like the markings for Midnight Madness II, red on a black plane is always great, and the nose art looks fun. I hope to see the finished project here soon.

  21. New to this - how big is a 1/48th scale, say, if I were comparing it to a can of Coke?

  22. Dan, @Bubblebeth2005, I don't drink much Coke, but I do drink beer. Here is a picture of the kit in its storage bin, with a 1/48th Me-410 fighter. It was as far as fighters go a very big plane. as kits go for 1/48 it is just on the large size of medium, being similar to a medium bomber more than a fighter in size.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

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