1/48 Revell/Monogram P-61 Black Widow

by Brian Parameswaran

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Background

I have always wanted to build a Black Widow, but somehow I never got around to doing it. So when I saw the reissued Revell/Monogram 1/48 P-61 at my local hobby shop, I did not think twice and purchased it. 

The Kit

The kit is basically the old Monogram kit in a Revell box with different and more attractive box art. Not a very difficult kit to put together. But I have seen better fitting kits then this. Detail level is typical Monogram which is good. It also comes with a bunch of figures and an oil drum to start one off with a diorama. In my opinion, this kit is crying to be modeled into a diorama, because there is a bunch of stuff on the kit which could be displayed well in a diorama. The kit comes molded in black making painting a bit difficult as the scheme I wanted to do is black. It is also a heavy tail sitter, there must be adequate weight put into the nose to stop it from sitting on its tail. Monogram included a prop/stand made of clear plastic to poke into the rear of the plane to stop it from tail sitting. 

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Construction was quite straight forward. I had no major problems, but one area to watch is the main gear doors....the fit for the doors are very bad. There are few versions to choose from a combination of (European theater and Pacific theater of operations). I modeled my Widow as “Times a Wasting” from the Pacific theater as I felt that this aircraft gave the Black Widow its glory plus I liked the nose art. The Aircraft was finished using Revell and Model Master enamels with the major colours of Matt Black and Interior Green. The aircraft was also weathered quite heavily with poster colours and oil pastels. Paint chipping was achieved using a toothpick as well as slapping silver with a small brush. 

Displaying 

Since, I wanted to display the model with all the figures, I decided to make a small diorama. Nothing fancy just the plane with figures and a self made ladder and wooden platform. The base was made out of modeling clay. Ground textures were simulated and various imprints were made on the clay. Once dry a fine wire mesh was then rapped around the base to simulate the "Marsden" matting area. Once rapped into place, the whole base was airbrushed a mixture of earth shades to simulate the ground. Once dry a bit of rust water, and oxide brown was brushed on the netting to simulate rust. Silver paint was also slapped on to simulate chippings. Finally the base was sprinkled with simulated grass the (Model Rail Road type) 

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Then the aircraft was laid out on the base and the figures positioned. I also included the figures from the C-47 Monogram Skytrain kit. Next soaked tissue was used to simulate the tarpaulin covers. Lastly various odds and ends were added such as the oil drum, ladder, platform etc. One might ask why the pictures are not in colour. Well, I was trying to simulate the era and colour glossy prints do not depict the era well in my opinion.

S.B. (Brian)

Photos and text © by Brian Parameswaran