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GWH 1/48 P-61B Black Widow
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:53 am    Post subject: WIP 01-02-17 Reply with quote

Yesterday was spent working on the decals and letting them dry overnight before they were sealed in with a 2nd pass of the Future to unify them with the finish and protect them going forward. The GWH decals mostly went on without issue but the toughest ones to deal with were the red walk-strip indicators. These had a tendency to want to tear even though they were already designed in 4 separate pieces/sections, so it was an exercise in patience to piece them all together. They responded reasonably well to the Solvaset I normally use but they did take a long time to settle in, so I had to be strategic in how I added the markings. I did all the big stuff first and then added the smaller stencils where appropriate.





Not hard to see where the 'Black Widow' nickname comes from once the markings are on! I also added the stencils and maker's marks to the props. The stencil and round label are separate decals, so that meant a total of 16 decals but worth it to avoid having to conform single decals to the complex surfaces of the angled prop blades.



Will let that 2nd Future coat thoroughly dry and then it will be time to add some light weathering to show an aircraft in service but not too badly abused.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:17 pm    Post subject: WIP 01-03-17 Reply with quote

The weathering adventure started yesterday but was really a 2-day effort to get the dot filtering process done. You never truly appreciate the amount of surface area involved until you actually have to cover it all, slowly, one section at a time! I've been looking at different photos of P-61s in the Pacific to get an idea of how they weathered and decided to go with a dusty finish. Since 'Lady in the Dark' was based at Iwo Jima, that made things perfect. After all, the sand there is volcanic and a shade variation of black.



To that end, I mixed up a 90/10 mix of Flat Black and Light Gray to use as my filtering/fading shade and applied it as small dots along with small amounts of straight Light Gray dots to get the look I was after. The underside of the wing served as a nice little test area to get the ratios right.



I worked with square tip blender brushes lightly dampened with thinner to blend the dots. Since they are enamels, they dry quickly so had to do it in small sections at a time working my way from wing tip to wing tip on the underside, including the booms, before I stopped for the night, saving the topside surfaces for the next day. I did the left-hand wing first so I could get a good feel for how it would all look and to match it up with the work I had done the day before for consistency.



A total of 9 hours later, I had the whole surfaces faded/weathered.



Will take a little bit of a break from the paint breather mask before starting in on the last phase, adding a pin wash to bring out some of the excellent panel detail. Almost there!
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:49 am    Post subject: WIP & Completion 01-04-16 Reply with quote

I did a quick test with my planned pin wash as I suspected that it might not do what I wanted it to. Sure enough, even pure Flat Black wasn't strong enough relative to the other shades to produce any noticeable difference, so that was scrapped. I suppose if I used a much lighter shade it would'ver caused the panel lines to pop out but it would look strange IMHO against the fading work already done, so I left it as-is. After doing an airbrush test with both Model Master Semi-Gloss and full Gloss Lacquer on an old model that I keep around as a test subject, I opted for the full Gloss option. Normally I would use the spray can varieties for applying a sealing coat but I needed more control this time around and was pleased with how it performed through the airbrush.

That meant it was time to remove the masks. I had no issues with how the masks performed, in fact they performed almost too well in terms of the adhesive on the vinyl. I had to work very carefully to lift the masks, a task made a little harder with the fuselage attached vs. separate when I placed them, but I managed. The masks did leave some adhesive residue behind in some spots, so I used an old strip of T-shirt and a wooden toothpick to carefully remove it. A second coat of Future applied with a small square tip brush completed the canopy work. The last remaining details included the install of the propellers, the addition of the small antennas, the wingtip lights, and the landing lights on the wing undersides. With that, Lady in the Dark was ready for her walk-arounds!











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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:02 pm    Post subject: Publication 10/2017 Reply with quote

This project has also been featured in the Halloween Special October 2017 issue of FineScale Magazine.

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