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This year's model - Hobby Boss 1/32 Black Widow


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Hello all,

It's been about a year since I last posted an RFI, as I have been chipping away at Hobby Boss' magnificent P-61 Black Widow, augmented by...

* Avionix resin cockpit and gunner's station set, and radar operator's compartment

* Eduard photo-etch interior and exterior

* Radu Brinzan seat belts

* Miracle Mask custom serials, and stars and bars

So, having done all that, what was it like? The cockpit was a real trial, trying to combine the best elements of each of the resin, photoetch and OOB features, as they all have their strong and weak points. Strongest point for me turned out to be the opportunity to make errors... cock it up with resin and it's OK because you can fall back to photoetch. And if you haven't sanded away the plastic, you might yet be able to revert to OOB. Go on, ask me how how I came to this conclusion?

It was hard work getting the fuselage to close up with the resin onboard, in the end I had to install a shim of plasticard and fair it in, but having the gun access and undercarriage doors open means you can't tell it is ever so slightly podgy.

After humming and hawing awhile, I decided *not* to go for broke and weather it heavily. Instead, I just relied on the effect you get when brushing Klear over extremely matt Tamiya NATO black paint to give it a semi used look. I didmake liberal use of Citadel washes around the interior bays and the engine, though.

So, on with the show.

3 overviews...

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A couple of views into the cockpit. The 'H' shaped radar aerials on each side had the original plastic mouldings replaced with straightened out rioja-bottle wire - it's the gift that just keeps on giving! Drilling holes through the two 0.5mm diameter horizontal arms gave my pin vice and me a slight work-out, I don't usually get that precise!

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The radar operator's position. Sadly, not much to see for quite a lot of mucking about with very fine tipped brushes and washes, but (all together now) "I know it's in there..."

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The eagle eyed might have spotted the nose cone isn't a great fit. That's because I thought I would have a go at making up some *entirely ficticious* wiring around the dish, courtesy of more rioja wire, then leave the nose detachable. Same bottle? Who can tell... It took *a lot* of grinding with the Dremel to thin down the interior of the nose cone to allow it to fit, and even now, if you look at it sideways it drops off without a moment's hesitation.

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I also dressed up the undercarriage with a bit of fuse wire. I originally started with the Eduard PE, but didn't like the two-dimensional effect it gave so replaced it with fuse wire (Rioja wire just doesn't seem to have the strength to carry brake fluid!)

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One of the engines (they can both be exposed), showing further liberal application of Rioja wire. Yes, I know Hobby Boss neglected to supply exhaust stacks but I couldn't work out how I would plumb them in so did the sensible thing and turned a blind eye!

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Hobby Boss leave large voids in the leading edges where I suspect lights are supposed to go, so I plugged them. Also, for the first time ever, I acquired some Micro Mesh which allowed me to boldly sand the transparencies flush, and then restore clarity through polishing. Result!

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Phwoar! Waddaya think of them guns, then?

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And here she is, parked up with the Luftwaffe's contemporary solution to the same problem.

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Hope you like...

Mike

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Thankee! Anybody know any good manufacturers of display cabinets? When I took the Uhu down for the comparison shot, I couldn't help noticing it was knee deep in dust from the man cave...

Mike

PS: I'm now going to do some searching of the forums, because I bet someone has asked this before, probably more than once!

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