Roar is a Chinese company
that produces a variety of high quality detail sets for plastic model kits
including photo-etched frets, tools, cast metal, turned alloy and even resin
figures. All of these items are produced to a very high level of detail
and accuracy. Great
Wall Hobby is
a line of model kits produced by Lion Roar and they are well known among the
armour modellers and I'm pleased to see them releasing aircraft kits.
This latest release
Wall Hobby is a
multi-media plastic model kit that includes photo etch brass detail items.
The Northrop P-61 Black Widow was the first operational U.S. military aircraft designed specifically for night interception of aircraft, and was the first aircraft specifically designed to use
radar. It was an all-metal, twin-engine, twin-boom design developed during World War II. The first test flight was made on 26 May 1942, with the first production aircraft rolling off the assembly line in October 1943. The last aircraft was retired from government service in 1954.
Although not produced in the large numbers of its contemporaries, the Black Widow was effectively operated as a night-fighter by United States Army Air Forces squadrons in the European Theater, the Pacific Theater, the China Burma India Theater and the Mediterranean Theater during World War II. It replaced earlier British-designed night-fighter aircraft that had been updated to incorporate radar when it became available. After the war, the F-61 served in the United States Air Force as a long-range, all weather, day/night interceptor for Air Defense Command until 1948, and Far East Air Force until 1950.
On the night of 14 August 1945, a P-61B of the 548th Night Fight Squadron named "Lady in the Dark" was unofficially credited with the last Allied air victory before VJ
Day. The P-61 was also modified to create the
Reporter photo-reconnaissance aircraft for the United States Air Force.
This kit includes;
sprues of grey styrene
4 smaller sprues
of grey plastic each containing one part
1 sprue of plastic styrene
1 clear styrene
nose cone part
1 fret of photo etch brass
12 page instruction booklet
2 page large 4 view colour profiles
decal sheet with markings for 2 different aircraft
which are packed in bubble wrap
parts are all packed in plastic bags....including the clear styrene parts
of the box art is contained inside the box
images below to see larger images
As soon as I opened the
box I immediately noticed the effort by this manufacturer to careful pack all
parts of this P-61A model kit. Opening each of the many bags revealed
beautifully detailed parts contained on sprue and sprue of plastic parts. All panel lines are recessed and very
crisply done. Flying surfaces on the tail and wings are pose able, cockpit sidewalls includes ribbing,
main wheels wells contained ribbing, engines are included, tires are weighted, clear styrene is very clear and includes actual raised frames just
like the real aircraft. Some of the delicate window framework parts have rivets.
The photo etch includes air brakes, engine wiring or fuel lines, seat belts and a few other tiny parts. In the
instruction booklet, the photo etch parts are shown in gold making them very easy to find in the pages of instruction booklet.
Engine cowls will hide the bulk of the engine detail and super detailer will be
tempted to cut open the engine cowlings to show off the lovely engine detail. The cloth covered control surfaces
appear overly ribbed. The propeller blades are nice and thin.
Some canopy windows are separate from the main canopies permitting you to pose them in an open position to show off all that wonderful interior detail.
Also of interest is the many
individual decals for each instrument on the instrument panel in the cockpit.
Other extra features of this kit include cannons in the belly gun bay that you
can pose with open gun bay doors. Plus you get a radar in the clear nose
cone as well as a boarding ladder on the underside of the aircraft directly
behind the nosegear.
I was unaware that
the P-61 wore anything but black paint schemes, so it was a treat to see the
usual black scheme as well as a faded Olive Drab scheme. Both aircraft
have some sort of noseart including one with a white goose in flight firing
- P-61A "Sweatin'
Wally", Myitkyina, Burma in 1944. Overall black paint scheme.
- P-61A "Lady Gen",
Florennes, Belgium in Dec 1944. Paint scheme is Olive Drab on top and
grey on the undersides. Aircraft has partial D-Day stripes on the
underside of the tail booms.
For paint, the instructions list the numbers for the new
GSI Creos Corp. colours and Vallejo colours as well as the usual normal names
for the colours (Neutral Gray etc).
The 1/48 P-61 is an aircraft that badly needed a
kit with modern tooling and I'm pleased to see Great
Wall Hobby has
released this kit for all 1/48 WW2 modellers to enjoy. This is a very
involved kit and is head and shoulders above the old Monogram P-61 kit.
You can purchase this and other items directly from Great
Wall Hobby or from the many retailers that carry their products.
I would like to
Wall Hobby for
providing me with this review sample.