by Alan Greenstadt
Sure the P61 was an important plane, probably the first to really use radar as an effective bad weather/night tool. But is that the reason we all want to build it?
We want to build it because it’s different and sexy. Gloss black outfit, lots of glass and a twin boom tail…sounds like something out of a Gentlemen’s Club.
The original design grew from a British initiative to use the radar they were developing. Northrup picked up the ball and delivered a platform that could handle the fledgling electronics and some healthy firepower.
Dorsal guns were 50 caliber. The model shows four of them but most production types had two. They were operated remotely via radio signal. Ventral were twenty mm cannons sighted close in.
I decided to build this one right out of the box, and things went well except for fitting the wings, which required filling and shaping. The cockpit and crew compartments were lightened from the usual green to accent the detail. Several washes brought it down to spec but still keep a bit of the glowing aspect the lit compartments must have had.
One thing was over looked, and you might want to consider weighting the nose to avoid using the prop under the fuselage to keep the nose wheels down.
The radar compartment has decent detail; but if I were to do it again I’d jack up the detail in the crew compartment and cockpit. There is a great deal of reference on the Internet.
Photo by Alan Greendstadt