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World War II
Discuss WWII and the era directly before and after the war from 1935-1949.
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FEATURE
1:48 Northrop P-61
Merlin
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AEROSCALE
#017
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Posted: Friday, January 13, 2012 - 10:00 PM UTC
Jean-Luc Formery does a beautiful job on GWH's Black Widow, tackling some of the more noticeable issues with the kit along the way.

Link to Item



If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
kenner
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 06:50 AM UTC
Beautiful job on the kit, and an excellent review.
While some talk, others build.
Well done Jean-Luc!

Jessie_C
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Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 08:07 AM UTC
Well, that hardly looks "fatally flawed".
Grumpyoldman
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Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 09:11 AM UTC
Very nice build and article, Jean-Luc.
I wonder how the Squadron Vac-form canopy set would fit this kit.
GastonMarty
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Quebec, Canada
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Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 10:23 AM UTC

Very nice build and nice review Jean-Luc, since it doesn't overlook the numerous shape issues like so many others... You also mention the difficult fit of the clear parts, which many reviewers omit, including Brett Green, despite the poor fit at the front being visible on his finished model...:



I agree that the model's basic research is undoubtedly copied directly from the Monogram kit, the only differences being incomprehensible additional errors, the cowling openings for instance, or here the rear canopy, Monogram being quite correct on the left...:



This should not obscure that the Monogram model is a true abomination, from which the Great Wall kit is a huge improvement, with top quality engraving, good symmetry of components and a great fit for the most part.

Just how badly off is the Monogram kit can be judged here from my canopy smash mould master put on a lenghtened GW fuselage: This is all based on dimensions I got directly from the MAAM restauration (the narrowness of the master is slightly exaggerated by the angle, and the need to undersize the master):



VS the Great Wall:


I will post later a more detailed article on the MAAM P-61 canopy dimensions, and what they imply about the availale 1/48th kits (mostly utter devastation and desolation, unless an entire resin front correction fuselage is offered: The whole front fuselage, nose gear bay, nose gear door and canopies were in real life much longer than in either of the kits!).



I would like address the issue of who I think is responsible for this weird debacle: A top quality kit with mostly very sharply fitting parts (execution-wise), with research and observation that would embarrass a caveman painter of the prehistoric caverns of Lascaux...

I think the culprit is modellers of decades past at least as much as Great Wall themselves (though GW could have got the canopy dimensions from MAAM in less than 24 hours for a modest donation, as I did): Great Wall went mostly with Monogram's great reputation, and theirs is not a bad copy at all: Anybody who thinks the Monogram kit is still anywhere near in the same league as the GW kit has no idea of what they are talking about.

On the other hand, if you think the accuracy of a kit is "sufficient", based mostly on the fact that you won't confuse the resulting P-61 model with a Sunderland, perhaps it would be best to consider that you don't care about accuracy at all, and not try to bolster the reputation of kits that don't deserve it.

I have observed rivet counters rarely get an issue wrong, and even when it does happen, for one reason or another, it merely result in the dismissal of the issue: On the other hand, lavish praise by people who don't care about outline accuracy gets us this: Unwarranted confidence in a model's outlines, and future kits that imitate the previous generation's crap... Not all Monogram kits were deserving of the name's reputation.

The result is that for the next decades almost no one will ever have an accurate 1/48th scale P-61 (including me if I never finish mine, which is very possible), as the amount of work is simply prohibitive:








It's easy to say that some people only talk about the flaws without ever building models, when correcting those flaws is about 20 times the work... The pictures above don't give the slightest concept of the amount of work it took to get there...

I think the Great Wall P-61 kit is probably a good demonstration of what happens when you don't talk harshly enough about a previous kit's flaws, and that is a far worse risk than any miscreance rivet counters supposedly do...

Again, the above review is comparatively a step in the right direction.

Gaston








BlackWidow
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Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 10:39 AM UTC
A great build of a fantastic aircraft, as always from you, Jean-Luc. And a very good review about the pro's and con's, too. Hope that my Monogram "Lady Gen" will meet your GWH "Lady Gen" at an expo this year. Maybe Strasbourg? I'll be there.
Okay, now let's wait for the P-61 B .....

Happy modelling!
Torsten
AussieReg
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AUTOMODELER
#007
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Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 10:42 AM UTC
Beautiful build J-L, very nicely done indeed, and a great review.

Cheers, D
Keeperofsouls2099
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Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 12:00 PM UTC
Beautiful build as always JL and nice review most excellent
JPTRR
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RAILROAD MODELING
#051
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Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 01:53 PM UTC
Jean-Luc,

Wow, you bring back some memories! This looks like a fine revision of the old classic. Great build.
SunburntPenguin
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Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 10:15 AM UTC

Quoted Text


I have observed rivet counters rarely get an issue wrong, and even when it does happen, for one reason or another, it merely result in the dismissal of the issue: On the other hand, lavish praise by people who don't care about outline accuracy gets us this: Unwarranted confidence in a model's outlines, and future kits that imitate the previous generation's crap... Not all Monogram kits were deserving of the name's reputation.



Well who would've thought that you would defend the "rivet counters". These are the people who lurk in hobby stores and at shows denigrating people's work without actually displaying any built work.

Gaston, well done on highjacking Jean Luc's review. Why don't you post your own review instead on taking over this thread.

As Jessie said it doesn't look fatally flawed to me, in fact it looks like a P-61.
Keeperofsouls2099
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Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 02:38 PM UTC
Ditto
Tailor
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Posted: Monday, January 16, 2012 - 04:05 AM UTC
Thanks for the great build-up review and óutlining the shortcomings of the kit so clearly. While the maker, I certainly hope they will heed you advices to improve on future releases. I am glad to hear that the general fit makes lining up the airframe and booms so easy. I remember blood, sweat and tears when building my Monogram widow a decade ago. I hope I'll find some time to build the GWH kit sometime soon.
Your works keeps inspiring me greatly! Keep it up, mate!
Cheers,
Guido
TedMamere
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Posted: Monday, January 16, 2012 - 08:14 AM UTC
Hi all,

Thank you for your kind words about the model and the article.

Gaston, this looks like a fine work on the clear parts. If I tackle the P-61 in it's B variant, could you send me one of your vacu replacement part?

Guido, I'm looking forward to the Devastator. It looks very promising from what I have seen so far.

Torsten, I think we will find an occasion to compare our P-61. It will be interesting to have the Monogram and GWH models side by side.

Matt, no worries. I don't feel as if Gaston has highjacked my review. To the contrary. His input is always very interesting.

All the best,

Jean-Luc
MrMtnMauler
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Posted: Monday, January 16, 2012 - 12:06 PM UTC
Jean Luc, an absolutely magnificant build! I think you did a great job on this kit even with it's flaws. So good in fact Gaston Maty hasn't even bombaded us with his typical rant. Great work and thanks so much for sharing. Take care :-)

Jim
GastonMarty
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Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - 06:38 AM UTC

Thanks Jean-Luc,

I will see what I can do with the spare clear plastic pieces I have: The master often has a lot of primer on it to smooth flaws out, and this makes it susceptible to surface damage from the heat of the softened plastic after a few copies: It is very little damage however, so I should be able find, or complete, one more useable copy...

Gaston
Propellerfanatic
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Posted: Friday, January 20, 2012 - 09:57 PM UTC
Beautiful work!
Respect!