The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

P61 Black Widow

with one comment

I had a chance to visit the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio last spring.  I enjoyed the few hours I spent there, though I needed about three times as long to see all of it.  Still, I saw tons of cool planes from WWI and WWII.  The gift shop was stocked with all kinds of interesting stuff, including dozens of model airplane kits.  I was nostalgia-struck, and decided to buy two models to someday put together.  That “someday” tuned out to be the middle of August, and I’ve finally assembled the first of the two.

What a pain in the ass.  The number of individual paints required to cover the planes is staggering.  Between my two models, I need about twenty-five different paints—some of which are almost impossible to find.  Then there’s the damn directions.  Even as a well-educated adult with design and assembly experience, I was often dumbfounded.  And you can forget total adherence to the directions and full functionality of the model if even one major piece is off by 1/16″.  After a week of casual assembly, the pieces of the model sat on my kitchen table for days on end without me touching them.  But I wasn’t going to pack it in and give up.  I’m far too stubborn for that.  So I forged ahead, putting parts together in clusters, painting, repainting, and rereading directions six or eight times.  I still screwed stuff up.  The model box said it was appropriate for ages ten and up, but I’d probably get a visit from DCFS if I put a ten-year old through the agony of assembling one of these things.

The hidden face of child abuse.

The hidden face of child abuse.

Thankfully, I learned a few things along the way and already have some strategies for the other model.  Don’t know when I’ll get to it.  Maybe when I have a few months to spare.  There was some interesting historical information included with this first model, so at least I learned a few things besides how to manage a huge tediousness huge mess on my kitchen table.

The P61 Black Widow was designed exclusively as a night fighter…  it could reach a top speed over 370 MPH…


Four .50 caliber machine guns were mounted to the dorsal turret and could be controlled by any of the three crew members…  there were also four 20mm cannons in the ventral location on the fuselage pod.


The P61 Black Widow proved to be effective for its purpose, though it was too slow to compete with higher-performance and jet-powered planes developed near the end of WWII.  The plane was also vulnerable to giant predatory cats…


Written by seeker70

September 30, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. You’ve made me feel a lot better about screwing up my beloved Star Wars fighter models!

    Joel David Hutson

    October 2, 2014 at 10:25 am

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