The Black Widow was the US Army Air Force's first purpose-built night fighter.
In a few weeks time I will be traveling to Swindon in the UK for the Great Western Lego Show, where I will be displaying some of my minifig scale WWII aircraft. This provided a little extra incentive for me to build a new one. I've been a fan of the P-61B Black Widow for years and after having seen a real one (at the National Air and Space Museum in Dulles) it was my first pick. It arrived too late in the war to make a large impact, but makes up for that by looking menacing!
P-61B Black Widow (1) by Mad physicist, on Flickr
This was not an easy build. There are a few things that I am not happy about, but that I don't know how to improve either. One thing that gave me a fair of trouble was the design of the nose radome. Many thanks to Gambort for suggesting the parts for the sides.
P-61B Black Widow (2) by Mad physicist, on Flickr
The P-61's main armament consisted of four 20mm cannons in a ventral bulge. Late production P-61s could carry up to four external tanks, although in service it was rare for all four to be fitted. My model has only two.
P-61B Black Widow (5) by Mad physicist, on Flickr
My model represents a P-61B named 'Little Audrey'. It was one of few P-61Bs to be used in the European Theatre of Operations, with most of the Black Widows in Europe being earlier P-61A models. 'Little Audrey' served with the 422nd Night Fighter Squadron from late 1944 until the end of the war. During that time the squadron flew from bases in the UK, France and Belgium, following the Allied advance towards Germany. The 422nd NFS was the highest scoring unit to fly P-61s.
P-61B Black Widow (6) by Mad physicist, on Flickr
Minifig scale aircraft is are one of the more challenging things to build IMO, and they always require compromises. The engine nacelles on this really ought to be one stud shorter at the front and the main gear should be one or two studs further backward. However, I intended to use long curved triple wedges for the sides of the tail booms and these limited my options. However, overall I am happy with the end result. I hope you agree
Edited by Rufus, 11 September 2011 - 08:30 PM.