P-61 Black Widow

This is the 1/48 scale P-61 Black Widow plastic model airplane kit by Revell.

Revell-Monogram P-61 Black Widow Plastic Model Airplane Kit 1/48 Scale #857546
 Revell-Monogram # rmx857546
Retail $32.95  SAVE 21% !
Revell-Monogram Item # rmx857546
Specifications :
  • Scale: 1/48
  • Pieces: 130
  • Wingspan: 16 1/2"
  • Length: 12"
  • Revell-Monogram Product Number: 857546
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Spotlight Review

"Great value P-61"
Despite being ancient (30+ years IIRC), Monogram's P-61 has long been the go to kit, and still holds up well when compared to new Chinese kits as a good bang for the buck value. It doesn't have the fantastic detail of the newer kits, but it doesn't cost $100 either... What you get for twenty bucks is a very well detailed, feature filled accurate representation of the historic first purpose built American night fighter.

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  • Waterslide decals for two aircraft.
  • Detailed engines, cowlings w/removable panels.
  • Detailed landing gear and wheel wells.
  • Cockpit contains floor instrument panels, pilot seats and controls.
  • Rear cockpit with navigator/radio operator's positions.
  • Detailed gun bay w/20mm cannon and flaps may be posed up or down.
  • P-61B fuel tank option.


  • Scale: 1/48
  • Pieces: 130
  • Wingspan: 16 1/2"
  • Length: 12"
  • Revell-Monogram Product Number: 857546

Requirements & Suggestions

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"P-61 Black Widow"
Very simple: Yes-this is the most affordable P-61 in this scale, No-it isn't worth the money. The kit is Revell at its worst, the engines don't match, wings and fuselage do not fit together the amount of putty and time it takes to build this is not worth the end product. You can buy for instance, other manufacture's kits for under $20 and the quality is 10 times as good. Cost can no longer be an excuse for this poor of a kit. I have been building Revell aircraft you years, I normally tolerate the 70's mold's flaws, but not this time.

"Olive Drab Widow"
johncpo41 (www.hobbiesinabarn)
I built this model several months ago and the enjoyment was great as I had built previous kits and lost them over time. I still believe that the details on this model far outreach some of todays by earlier standards of detailing. The cockpit and crew compartments are really well done for the time of Monogram way back when the model was first released. I built the kit straight from the box with no problems except that the wings needed support while being attached to the fuselage and that was a minor problem. All the other parts fit accordingly for such older molds. I again painted the model using all acrylic paints and used the Olive Drab theme as many reference photos showed the aircraft painted in that tone. Additionally I found that there was a version that actually carried a bomb on either wing and I copied what I thought was a close representation of that modification. Although an older model and re-released over time I found it to be a fun challenge.

"A good effort from Revell."
Patrick (Sydney, Australia)
I reviewed other Revell kits and I stated in one that you get what you pay for. At US$19.95, I can't complain about the price, but the kit needs improvement. 1. The instructions are vague and omitted the installation of a couple of parts. The decal instructions are poor to say the least. Revell, go buy a Trumpter model and see how they do it with color drawings and precise pointers. When fitting the decals, ignore the instructions and look online for photos or refer to the pictures on the side of the box. 2. The front forward (pilot) canopy top was not sized for correct fitment for a closed position. I used canopy glue, which dries clear to fill in the gaps if you want a wheels-up model as I created. Use a toothpick to dab the glue into the gaps. Also use the same method to fill other gaps where the canopy doesn't fit flush with the fuselage. 3. Fitment of parts was surprisingly quite good! As previously mentioned, I created a wheels-up model and the wheel bay doors fit well in the closed position. The optional external fuel tanks fit satisfactorily; to fit them, you need to cut a slot and hole in the underside of the wings where the molding is thin which is easy to locate. I chose not to glue the nose cone on because behind it is the radar gear, and it was a shame to cover it up. The nose fits snugly enough dry so that it doesn't fall off. 4. The decals are quick to separate from the sheet, so you need to be diligent when applying them. When applying the red and white stripe decals to the rudders, use a toothpick to push the decal into the seams. The quality of the decals is good; they aren't too delicate in that they don't tear easily. 5. Cockpit detail is quite good and if you are keen, spend some time to detail the gauges and interior. You could go the extra mile and make your own seat harnesses. Refer to online photos of cockpits and emulate the real thing. 6. Sprues had lots of flash so you need to be patient to clean the parts. For a kit under US$20, I am satisfied with the quality of the product. The instructions are the worst part of this kit, but if you are diligent and refer to online sources, you can build a very presentable representation. I bought from Hobbylinc the Polar Lights Universal Dome Base to mount the plane in flight, so this model works well as a wheels-up or grounded plane. Enjoy your modelling!


A longtime favorite with modelers, the Black Widow was the foremost American night fighter in WWII. This huge, black, 38,000 lb. airplane is complete with removable nose, radar, engine, detailed cockpits and rotating top turret.


  • #1: P-61B #403 "Times A Wastin," 418th NFS, Pacific Theatre, 1944.
  • #2: P-61A #25536 "Husslin Hussy."

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