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GWH 1/48 P-61A Black Widow "Jukin Judy"


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What is it that is dressed in black, curvy and is named after a dangerous arachnid?

 

Off course, that is Scarlet Johansen nowadays!

026e3a58214672202db6ff0ee2bda0570e8b43d4

First thing that pops into mind really...

But before her time, (and mine) there was a time when the idea of two rumbling engines, nice curves and black paint meant the P-61A Black Widow.
Northrop_P-61_green_airborne.jpg
We all know the story how this was developed as a night-fighter from the start with all the lessons learned from RAF night-fighters during the Blitz.

It seems to me, that the thought, lets make like a cross between a Blenheim If (with gunpack) and Defiant (that turret) but everything shall be larger!

Bigger radar, bigger engines, bigger guns, bigger wings, basically the hole shebang!

Naturally when you do things properly it takes time, so when the A/C was finished there were no large armadas of german bombers to intercept.

My plan is to do a certain individual from 422nd Night Fighter Squadron, called Jukin Judy.

The reason is clear, since it looks like this (the machine on the right:  
6dfe3e2331a27659bf892dc3acf9488c.jpg
This shows perfectly why I had to do it.

No?

Ok, a better picture then:
media-33270.jpeg?itok=68Q5eirJ
Still not clear?

Ok, this does it:
55a933eff490.jpg

Teeth!

I first thought sharkmouth but then I friend pointed out that sharks are a bit more pointy but perhaps a whale is ore like it?

He's absolutely correct! The nose with mouth looks a lot more like an angry sperm whale, so therefore this is my first whalemouth.

 

Over to the contents. The GWH kit is from 2012 and has a rather nice and big box:
48601352161_858f53cd50_o.jpg

Popping of the lid reveals some very crisp cast runners with what appears as oodles of detail.
48601486402_35de2c10dd_o.jpg

Also included are a tiny etch fret, decals, TWO erratas for the instructions and a resin gunsight, and a nice A4 picture of the boxart. Could be a suitable picture for work...
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Nice looking decals, but I hope to only use the stencils.
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Off course I've bought a few extras as welll:
48601352076_13581f3760_o.jpg

I recent trend that I've stumbled upon is that all my kits contains errors that must be fixed, and this one is no exception:
First:

The cowling opening is too small. Replacements from quickboost sorts that out.
48601352076_13581f3760_o.jpg

Second.

Propeller is cast as one piece, and although clever it just looks too simplified!

I'll order a Quickboost or True Details example soon.
48601351631_ddcd551b84_o.jpg
Third:

Someone forgot to include the magnetos on the reduction gear casing.

There is two small sports where they supposed to go, ut I guess someone forgot to include them on the runners...
48601351531_1b4804a279_o.jpg

I could replace it by two Brassin engines but since that costs a wee bit more than what I'm prepared to pay for it, I'll go with option two.

Make my own.

Fortunately I've got a friend with a high res 3D printer, and I know my way around CAD software so this should be fun!

 

No, I haven't forgotten about the Hornet, in fact it's wheel wells got sprayed yesterday!

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Thanks for the heads up Peter!

Some shims and trimming to be considered for the center pod, but that should hopefully not pose any big problems.

I think I'll start with the booms and engines though 🙂

 

Your cockpit of the Virgin Widow looks magnificent! (and I can sort of understand german, if I squint a bit...)

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I've made a start with the engines, because engines are always cool.

First, cutting off all parts from the trees, I count 8 parts + etched ignition harness

48619196972_a6c7eae8b1_o.jpg

That's actually quite a lot.

However, the detail is great for plastic!

48618700303_4d457c738a_o.jpg

48618700303_4d457c738a_o.jpg

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You can also se the locating spots for the magnetos, but those are located on a sprue that is not included in this boxing. I looked at the instructions on Scalemates for the GHW turreted P-61A and B and they sure has these parts! I guess they were placed on the same sprue as the turret.

 

Well, with Eduard Brassin being helpful enough to put a picture of the engine i started to work on my own magnetos.

48628463181_a590a0122d_o.png

 

I've been working professionally with CAD for 15 years so I think I can manage it 😎

Here's a start.

48628112373_522a368ef7_o.png

 

While pondering how it should look, and what decimals to tweak (it's just 2,7 by 3,8mm in size!) i started to paint the base engine parts.

The required the normal amount of cleaning up, but in the end I was pleased with the result.

48618700268_4c2f9b91b0_o.jpg

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The P-61A's used the either the R-2800-10, -10W (water alcohol injection) or the R-2800-25. Be careful about the magnetos, as they were not symmetrical as shown on your CAD drawing, but were egg or trapezoidal in shape. Looks like the Eduard brassin engine got them pretty close.  See the link below for a comprehensive photo collection of the P-61B recovered by the Mid Atlantic Air Museum being restored to flight. there are some good detail photos of the R-2800's as well as the interior, wheel bays, etc. that you will find useful for your P-61A build. Scroll down the 2nd link to see the restored R-2800 on their P-61. Be aware that the gunner's and radar operator's positions were swapped on many P-61's, so you might want to check the one you are modeling for this. Can't wait to see the finished model! Not sure which R-2800 the MAAM is installing on their Black Widow, but I believe the mags in the photo are correct for a P-61A/B You have to be careful using a modern restored aircraft for a reference, as there were military as well as civil applications for the R-2800, and the magneto type and shape varied from aircraft to aircraft. Hope this helps you.

Mike

 

http://www.maam.org/p61/p61_rest.htm

 

http://www.warbirdsandairshows.com/Airshows 2011/reading-2011.htm

 

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Thanks Thom and Mike!

If I understand correctly the 10W (and 25) had a more flat shape of the magnetos, like seen on this -21

800px-Pratt_&_Whitney_R-2800_Engine_1.jp

 

The P-61B from Mid Atlantic (and I have just started to look into the vast amounts of pictures there) should use the -65 and that one has the more rounded magnetos, like this

pr-2800-2.jpg

 

It is very clear, when looking at the last picture, that the shape is totally different compared to what I had drawn.

 

I should have time to do them both though, and I'll continue to add progress pictures of my CAD stuff.

In the end, I'll probably fuzz about something that wont be seen, but if I had fun doing it, it was worth it!

 

 

Edited by Christer A
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Today I did a version of the Magnetos on the -21 engine.

It was done in PTC Creo and then rendered with Keyshot just like the model companies does it 🙂

48645694741_83ce321125_o.png

Not really to scale, but perhaps good enough?

There will be a left and right version of this when printed.

Edited by Christer A
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Time to leave the virtual modelling for a little while and focus on the actual stuff.

GWH has made a rather fancy set of open cooling flaps, but nothing in the way of actuators or other internal gubbins. I added some pieces of plastic to at least stop the see though effect.
48658739748_c545b36c0e_o.jpg
Then it was painted with Vallejo Pale burnt metal and the exhaust got some Burnt Iron to complete the look. Everything at the rear was put together and I ended up here.
48659093071_58fbf41325_o.jpg
That'll do, since no one is able to see anything of it once it's installed 😐

 

With inspiration peaked, even with a nasty man-cold I plunged towards the main wheel wells. Surprisingly, GWH gives a blank firewall, that is filled with ejector pin marks. Not a nice thing to do.
48659239522_941627b98a_o.jpg
A suspicion was nagging me, maybe this is somehow ot visible in the end?
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Result! Not a thing will be seen later. Score one for the lazy team then.
The rest of the wheel wells are made up of wings and booms. It will be an open roof in there though
48659093271_e313fdfe18_o.jpg

Maybe I should add some details to it, just to make things a bit more interesting?
Naturally the main gear must be installed before I can close up anything. Why is this a trend nowadays?
I took a leap of faith and glued the booms together anyway, since my dry runs hinted at that possibility.

On the outer side, behind and below the engine, GWH wants you to install a mesh. I figured it would look a bit better if the mesh actually was an opening into the fuselage. Now I probably need to add some stuff in there.
48659239397_780d04d94b_o.jpg
The mesh comes for the kit supplied photo etch, and this was actually a nice thing, since it was a lot more brass than steel and therefore a lot simpler to cut and sand to shape. Many thanks GWH!
48659239142_9ecee920df_o.jpg

I also made a start with the wings.
48658739448_48343ef664_o.jpg
All control surfaces are separate, so there is all the opportunity in the world to pose them as one would like, but it seems to me that almost all P-61:s were not left with all flaps dangling about like so many other American machines. I chose the closed version, even for the brass spoilerons.
48659239212_3a56168ec7_o.jpg
Now, let's add a few smears of filler before doing anything else.

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8 hours ago, Christer A said:

Maybe I should add some details to it, just to make things a bit more interesting?

Christer,

 

This link might be too late to help you with the wheel bays, but it has an extensive photo collection of the P-61B being restored to flight by the Mid Atlantic Air Museum. Hundreds of photos, to be sure, but covers the airplane from recovery through each stage of the restoration. I thought this might be useful for your project or anybody else planning a Black Widow build. I can't wait to see this airplane in the air! (We used to have one on the civilian registry here in San Antonio back in the sixties used for photo mapping,  but I never had the chance to see her fly- just parked on the ramp.) MAAM's Widow was brand-new when she crashed on a test flight; no nose art or squadron markings had been applied, so the museum is going to select one of the squadron's P-61's that had nose art to represent one of the squadron's aircraft. I hope these photos are of use to you and others.

Mike

 

http://www.maam.org/p61/p61_rest.htm

 

http://napoleon130.tripod.com/imagelib/sitebuilder/misc/show_image.html?linkedwidth=actual&linkpath=http://www.a-26invader.co.uk/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/61exec.jpg&target=tlx_new

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That mag looks awesome! Can't wait to see how the other type comes out! The mags really add character to a build and the kit makers seldom get them right or they are so simplified that they are really unusable! I would wish someday that one of the aftermarket resin firms would release sets of magnetos in 1/72 and 1/48 scales to cater to R-1820, R-1830, R-2600, R-2800, R-3350, and R-4360...it would be license to print money, methinks! ( I can dream, can't I?)

Mike

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16 hours ago, 72modeler said:

Christer,

 

This link might be too late to help you with the wheel bays, but it has an extensive photo collection of the P-61B being restored to flight by the Mid Atlantic Air Museum. Hundreds of photos, to be sure, but covers the airplane from recovery through each stage of the restoration. I thought this might be useful for your project or anybody else planning a Black Widow build. I can't wait to see this airplane in the air! (We used to have one on the civilian registry here in San Antonio back in the sixties used for photo mapping,  but I never had the chance to see her fly- just parked on the ramp.) MAAM's Widow was brand-new when she crashed on a test flight; no nose art or squadron markings had been applied, so the museum is going to select one of the squadron's P-61's that had nose art to represent one of the squadron's aircraft. I hope these photos are of use to you and others.

Mike

 

http://www.maam.org/p61/p61_rest.htm

 

http://napoleon130.tripod.com/imagelib/sitebuilder/misc/show_image.html?linkedwidth=actual&linkpath=http://www.a-26invader.co.uk/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/61exec.jpg&target=tlx_new

Hi Mike!

Yeas, I've been looking at that site for some time and they have some lovely pictures of all details that one could add.

All those oxygen bottles in the booms for instance and all stringers, and ribs and...

My feeling now is that I know how to do it, but I'm not really having an urge to do so.

 

I will for sure do some extra detailing in the crew pod, since all those plexiglas windows sure makes everything very visible.

14 hours ago, Crimea River said:

Great work going on here Christer. The power plant looks the biz and I'm looking forward to see how you make out with the magnetos.

Thanks! I'm quite curious in how these will turn out as well.

12 hours ago, 72modeler said:

That mag looks awesome! Can't wait to see how the other type comes out! The mags really add character to a build and the kit makers seldom get them right or they are so simplified that they are really unusable! I would wish someday that one of the aftermarket resin firms would release sets of magnetos in 1/72 and 1/48 scales to cater to R-1820, R-1830, R-2600, R-2800, R-3350, and R-4360...it would be license to print money, methinks! ( I can dream, can't I?)

Mike

Thanks! If these ones turs out ok it's fairly easy to print more of them and perhaps sell a couple. I fear that postage would be a killer though..

11 hours ago, neil5208 said:

An aircraft that doesn't get enough respect, will be doing one myself soon so will follow yours.

It's a big brutish plane all right! Welcome aboard!

11 hours ago, Thom216 said:

Real nice! Got a pair that are waiting for The Day, (also a Reporter conversion) so it is real interesting to watch yours go together.

A pair of Widows? That's almost too much fun!

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6 hours ago, Christer A said:

...snip...

A pair of Widows? That's almost too much fun!

When I bought them I still had a pair of Monogram P-61s and decided to sell them. I only had one box though, so when I sold them on ebay it was under the tag 'Box Full of Widows."

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

On 04/09/2019 at 20:38, Thom216 said:

Nice work on the magnetos! I'd be interested in a pair...

Thanks! I do have quite a few of them now, but I wonder what the postage would be to send them across the pond...

Maybe it's cheaper if I just send you the 3D files and then you can have int printed at your side?

 

I've now received both the printings, from 3 batches. The last two were made with the new slightly exaggerated one.
48739056947_f0f2d2071b_o.jpg
The single magneto / distributor (which is it? I get conflicted messages all the time)  is from the first batch and the dual ones are from the new model.
I think I'll settle for the last ones, since they're a bit more defined.
My mate also experimented with different angles when printing to see the effect. See for your self.
48738546613_74ec70883b_o.jpg
It's possible that the tilted ones shows the screws a bit better, but the flat ones shows the screw bosses a bit better.

I think I need to shoot som primer onto it to make the final judgement.

 

Anyway, it sure is fun to detail engines, but I have also shot some Yellow Zinc Primer in the rear wheel bays, with some assistance from Tamiya XF-4
48739056792_07851dceec_o.jpg
Always fun to paint stuff. Just to make things more interesting I opted for marbling in upper roof.
The booms were primed with black, painted from above with FX-fore and than had a light drybrush.
48738873581_737e65c1cf_o.jpg
Yes, I ignored the ejector pin marks. I couldn't be bothered this time.
48738873496_b8f945e804_o.jpg
Misc wires and pipings needs to be in bright aluminum if the pictures from MAAM are to be trusted (and I do!)
113.jpg
IMG_2028.jpg
Just add paint!

 

The next strange GWH-omission is the air intakes at the wing leading edge. They're modeled closed and the guide vanes are added later as a solid part, but still no opening!
I'll add some structure further back in order to stop an eventual see through effect like this:
48738873411_ddfc6e33e7_o.jpg
The plan is the to open upp the intakes from the front with drills and micro files once the wing is glued together.

A clever plan I hope!

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Looking awesome Christer..one of my all time favorites and you're doing a great job! I don't have the GWH kit so this is a real treat to  see someone work on it. I have several of the original issue Monogram kits though and some of this may translate but if not it's no matter you're doign a great job.

 

All the Best!

Don

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Hello Christer !!

Should I take a seat at the bar ?

I still have a Monogram one and a fancy decal sheet to go with it !!

I'll follow if you don't mind it !!

Sincerely.

CC

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