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P-61B Black Widow 'Last Shoot Down 1945' Kit

Great Wall Hobby 1/48 P-61B Black Widow 'Last Shoot Down 1945' Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2013 Manufacturer Great Wall Hobby
Subject P-61B Black Widow 'Last Shoot Down 1945' Scale 1/48
Kit Number 4810 Primary Media Styrene/Photo-Etch
Pros Beautifully done model of this distinctive aircraft Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $108.95

First Look

P-61B Black Widow 'Last Shoot Down 1945' Kit
P-61B Black Widow 'Last Shoot Down 1945' Kit
P-61B Black Widow 'Last Shoot Down 1945' Kit
P-61B Black Widow 'Last Shoot Down 1945' Kit
P-61B Black Widow 'Last Shoot Down 1945' Kit
P-61B Black Widow 'Last Shoot Down 1945' Kit

For a brief history of the subject, look here.

Great Wall Hobby has released their 1/48 scale Black Widow as an early block P-61B. Externally, there are not many differences between the P-61A and P-61B airframes though the B did introduce an 8-inch stretch in nose.

We looked at their first release here but over time a number of detail inaccuracies were uncovered and Great Wall Hobby corrected them in their next release.

Looking at the features and options in this kit:

  • Beautifully detailed cockpit
  • Correct seats for pilot, gunner and radar operator
  • Decals for cockpit placards and instrument faces (not an instrument panel decal)
  • Positionable forward and rear crew entry hatches and ladders
  • Positionable overhead escape hatches for all three crew stations
  • Beautifully detailed landing gear
  • Photo-etched splash guard on nose gear
  • Nicely detailed SCR-720 radar inside the radome
  • Nice radome!
  • Positionable spoilers
  • Positionable elevators
  • Positionable rudders
  • Positionable full-span flaps
  • Detailed R2800 engines
  • Choice of open or closed cowl flaps
  • Detailed ventral 20mm gun bay
  • Dorsal turret

The cockpit is a work of art and uses a nice mix of photo-etch and decal placards to provide the visual detail. The option for open overhead escape hatches will make it even easier to look inside the aircraft and admire that detail.

Speaking of admiring the detail, Great Wall Hobby not only produced a nice radar, they also provided a clear radome complete with integral pitot tube that comes specially packaged inside the box. Very nice!


There is still one glitch in this kit that is left over from the previous releases. The instructions indicate that the spoilers are airbrakes and are depicted with rear hinges. The spoilers are stowed inside the wing and while they curve forward when extended, they are invisible when stowed. When they are open (and since they provide roll control, only one wing will extend them at a time), they are perforated like an SBD or SB2C dive brake.

One other minor glitch in this release, both of the subjects depicted in this release have the dorsal turret as provided in this kit but also exteranl fuel tanks on the outboard stations which are not provided in this release. If you have an earlier boxing of this kit, you can raid the external tanks from there.

Markings are provided for two examples:

  • P-61B-2-NO, 42-39408, 548 NFS, Iwo Jima, 1945, 'Lady in the Dark'
  • P-61B-1-NO, 42-39405, 548 NFS, Iwo Jima, 1945, 'Anonymous III'/'The Spook''

The decals not only provide all of the external markings for the airframe including stencils, the kit also provides a nice array of cockpit placards and instrument faces. Nicely done!

Great Wall Hobbies Black Widow has produced arguably the best P-61 available in any scale. Now let's hope this series extends into the P-61C/D and F-15 Reporter!

My sincere thanks to Great Wall Hobbies for this review sample!