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Thread: P-61 Black Widow Night Fighter

  1. #1

    Default P-61 Black Widow Night Fighter

    Has anyone attempted to make a card for the P-61? I do not want to try, because I don't really know how.
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    Its specifications are:


    Machinery Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-65 Double Wasp radial engines with water injection, rated at 2,250hp each
    Armament 4x20mm Hispano M2 cannon in ventral fuselage, 4x12.7mm Browning M2 machine guns in upper turret, optional 2x726kg bombs, optional 6x127mm HVAR rockets
    Crew 3
    Span 20.12 m
    Length 15.11 m
    Height 4.47 m
    Wing Area 61.53 m²
    Weight, Empty 10,637 kg
    Weight, Loaded 13,471 kg
    Weight, Maximum 16,420 kg
    Speed, Maximum 589 km/h
    Rate of Climb 12.90 m/s
    Service Ceiling 10,600 m
    Range, Normal 982 km
    Range, Maximum 3,060 km

    Thank you!

  2. #2

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    Here is a top view of it.
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  3. #3

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    Here is another picture.
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  4. #4

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    In Jager's album for WGS US Planes.

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    Last edited by Teaticket; 05-13-2019 at 14:23.

  5. #5
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  6. #6

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    Nice work Peter. So at short range attacking from the rear you would take 2 B damage chits. At long range to the rear 1 B chit. Have I got that right?

  7. #7

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    i hope ares puts out a p-61 some day. a guy can dream cant he?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baxter View Post
    Nice work Peter. So at short range attacking from the rear you would take 2 B damage chits. At long range to the rear 1 B chit. Have I got that right?
    Actually Gary, the cards were made by Max Headroom; I reposted them in my albums when his were lost in the Great Hack several years ago.
    The "rear" guns are actually the dorsal turret of 4x50cal MGs. The firing arc for them is 360 degrees, level to high. Note that the turret caused a lot of problems; it was often removed, or not even available and if there, was often locked in the forward position.
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by milcoll73 View Post
    i hope ares puts out a p-61 some day. a guy can dream cant he?
    Probably see one from BRS first
    AiM doesn't have one either, though AE models on ShapeWays does.
    A bit pricey now at $18.70. (wonder if I bought a couple when they were cheaper?)
    https://www.shapeways.com/product/UU...li=marketplace

    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  10. #10

    Guntruck's Avatar Central England Command Squadron Leader & Librarian
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jager View Post
    Probably see one from BRS first
    AiM doesn't have one either, though AE models on ShapeWays does.
    A bit pricey now at $18.70. (wonder if I bought a couple when they were cheaper?)
    https://www.shapeways.com/product/UU...li=marketplace

    Karl
    It’s the price of the Shapeways model that’s stopped me having lots - I love that aircraft.

    Edit: Just checked the SW site again. They want £103 for a Widow in fine detail plastic They are having a giraffe surely!
    Run for your life - there are stupid people everywhere!

  11. #11

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    Everytime I see reference to this plane I think of the one at the Air Force Museum. Whenever I walk up to it I see a very striking aircraft.


    Here's to them what are like us. Damn few and they're all dead.

  12. #12

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    One thing to keep in mind about the AE Models Black Widow is that it's much closer to 1/160th (or even 1/144th) scale than 1/200th, as Kevin Hammond and I noticed when I asked him about doing decals for the P-61. Wwwitalik's Shapeways shop has a Black Widow that's the proper size https://www.shapeways.com/product/YK...ionId=63624608 , but at the rate Warlord is going, I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see a BRS metal version appear sometime in the future.

  13. #13

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    With a bit of effort, someone might be able to knock out a card with this drawing:

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    PS: Hmmm... This will be complicated.

    The Gunner and the Radar Operator could control the turret, if not locked in place. The Gunner did the front 180 degree arc, and the Radar Operator did the rear 180 degree arc. So, this plane needs a Management Card, and it will have to be something like the B-29 indicating who could shoot where.

    Not quite as complicated as this: OldGuy59's WWII US Bombers Album - B-29A

    Another version, as black panel lines on black color schemes don't work very well:
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    Last edited by OldGuy59; 05-17-2019 at 00:45.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  14. #14

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    [Edit: Added USAAF Roundel to Left Stats Box]

    Technically, this needs a Management card, but that will wait until someone has a model to put on the table?
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 05-18-2019 at 00:01.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGuy59 View Post
    Attachment 267997

    Technically, this needs a Management card, but that will wait until someone has a model to put on the table?
    Great job!

  16. #16

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    And my version of a Management Card:
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    Note: This is my best guess as to how to show a turret controlled by three crew members. The Black Widow used the same system as the B-29, which had priority switching between gunners, but the Fire Control system would allow more than one operator to use a turret. Targets in front of the plane could be targeted by the Gunner behind the pilot. Targets to the rear of the plane could be targeted by the Radar Operator in the tail blister. Due to visibility, these arcs might have overlapped on the sides, but for game mechanics sake, keep the arcs to 180 degrees.
    The turret could be locked in the forward position, and when locked the pilot controlled the firing, adding if desired the damage from the turret to the cannons. The turret couldn't be used by either gunner, if locked. As to how fast this could be done in game terms, is not available with online documentation. Assume, electrically, this could be done with a phase delay between gunner control to pilot control and phase to go back.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  17. #17

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    I wonder if the turret guns could be elevated while in the locked condition. That would make for a good Schräge-Musik attack.
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jager View Post
    I wonder if the turret guns could be elevated while in the locked condition. That would make for a good Schräge-Musik attack.
    Karl
    According to my limited research, the turret could elevate the guns to 90 degrees. This was, I suspect, only when controlled by the Gunner and Radar Operator, allowing the targeting of any plane in the top hemisphere above the plane. Once locked in the forward position, they would hopefully be in a position to converge with the 20mm rounds. Otherwise, not much sense in having the pilot control the firing. So, no Schräge-Musik attack by the pilot, but if the Gunner was still available, very possible.

    Side note: The crew could not change positions in flight. The Radar Operator was not able to get past the turret, nor could the Gunner swap positions with the pilot. The Crew Management card is primarily for what gets controlled by whom, and what part of the firing arc isn't usable, if the Gunner or Radar Operator are injured.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  19. #19

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    What are deck modifications in the H* and R* decks, please? According to the Osprey book 'P-61 Black Widow Units Of World War 2' by Warren Thompson the P-61 could perform Immelmann turns and loops and was pretty manoeuverable.

    Sadly the book does not discuss the practicalities of switching control of the turret between crew members but if it was just a matter of flicking a switch, I do not suppose that it would take very long.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naharaht View Post
    What are deck modifications in the H* and R* decks, please? According to the Osprey book 'P-61 Black Widow Units Of World War 2' by Warren Thompson the P-61 could perform Immelmann turns and loops and was pretty manoeuverable.

    Sadly the book does not discuss the practicalities of switching control of the turret between crew members but if it was just a matter of flicking a switch, I do not suppose that it would take very long.
    I can't speak to the stats, and technically not even to the gun system.

    However, within the game mechanics, and a two-second turn, throwing a switch and taking control of the gun could be fudged. How long does it take to rotate the turret from where-ever it was positioned to the forward arc? In the reverse, how long to take the turret from the locked, forward position to the bearing where the target is in the #2 arc? Just the switch being thrown isn't the whole picture. I'd say, at least, two seconds, but the card above indicates that you can choose the arc and shoot, but not at two separate targets in the same turn.

    Situation #1: Forward Gunner is tracking and shooting at a target on the left side of the plane, as it moves towards the rear. As it passes the left wingtip, the Radar Operator picks the target up on his controller, and continues to track and shoot. Note: This would be instantaneous, but with a new gunner, the Aim bonus would be lost, IMHO.

    Situation #2: Radar Operator is shooting at a target in the rear arc, and a new, higher priority target appears to the front. The Gunner takes control of the turret, swings it around to acquire the new target and shoot. Throwing a switch and rotating the turret could conceiveably happen within two seconds. Player agreement would be required, in this instance, if immediate shooting could take place in the next turn. I'd let it happen, as I've seen videos of the B-29 turret system in action, and it is very quick.

    Situation #3: Radar Operator is shooting at a target in the rear arc, and the Gunner is incapacitated, but a target appears to the front. Pilot takes control and locks the turret in the forward position (assuming this can be done remotely, or by the Radar Operator). How long before the Pilot can accurately shoot? The 20mm cannons could be fired in the first turn, but in the second turn all the guns could be fired at the front target.

    Just my thoughts, being an old Naval Gunner and a Radar Tech on airplanes.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  21. #21

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    New Olive Drab card set on this thread: PTO Northrop P-61 Black Widows - Post #18
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  22. #22

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    No nigtfighting rules, so far... I am afraid the game should not drift toward night fighting...
    I played a WGS "night" game once and won't repeat it. Waste of time, sorry. Not this game system.
    That is why Lancasters minis were a pure waste of resources.
    <img src=http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=2554&dateline=1409073309 border=0 alt= />
    "We do not stop playing when we get old, but we get old when we stop playing."

  23. #23

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    My last picture of the P-61 they are restoring in Reading. This was 2 years ago.

  24. #24

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    I own an old C.A. Atkins 1/200 scale metal kit to build a P-61 Black Widow, which I found on eBay but I have never got around to building it.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naharaht View Post
    What are deck modifications in the H* and R* decks, please? According to the Osprey book 'P-61 Black Widow Units Of World War 2' by Warren Thompson the P-61 could perform Immelmann turns and loops and was pretty manoeuverable.

    Sadly the book does not discuss the practicalities of switching control of the turret between crew members but if it was just a matter of flicking a switch, I do not suppose that it would take very long.
    Quote Originally Posted by OldGuy59 View Post
    I can't speak to the stats, and technically not even to the gun system.

    However, within the game mechanics, and a two-second turn, throwing a switch and taking control of the gun could be fudged. How long does it take to rotate the turret from where-ever it was positioned to the forward arc? In the reverse, how long to take the turret from the locked, forward position to the bearing where the target is in the #2 arc? Just the switch being thrown isn't the whole picture. I'd say, at least, two seconds, but the card above indicates that you can choose the arc and shoot, but not at two separate targets in the same turn.

    Situation #1: Forward Gunner is tracking and shooting at a target on the left side of the plane, as it moves towards the rear. As it passes the left wingtip, the Radar Operator picks the target up on his controller, and continues to track and shoot. Note: This would be instantaneous, but with a new gunner, the Aim bonus would be lost, IMHO.

    Situation #2: Radar Operator is shooting at a target in the rear arc, and a new, higher priority target appears to the front. The Gunner takes control of the turret, swings it around to acquire the new target and shoot. Throwing a switch and rotating the turret could conceiveably happen within two seconds. Player agreement would be required, in this instance, if immediate shooting could take place in the next turn. I'd let it happen, as I've seen videos of the B-29 turret system in action, and it is very quick.

    Situation #3: Radar Operator is shooting at a target in the rear arc, and the Gunner is incapacitated, but a target appears to the front. Pilot takes control and locks the turret in the forward position (assuming this can be done remotely, or by the Radar Operator). How long before the Pilot can accurately shoot? The 20mm cannons could be fired in the first turn, but in the second turn all the guns could be fired at the front target.

    Just my thoughts, being an old Naval Gunner and a Radar Tech on airplanes.
    The Comox Air Force Museum Library comes through...

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    On take-off, the "A-C Power" is switched on, warming up the system and air compressor. Not before 30 seconds have passed, can "Turret Power" power be switched on. In P-61A aircraft, the Gunner must switch control to the Pilot, in order for the Pilot to control the turret. In later P-61B aircraft, all that is needed is for both the Gunner and the Radar Operator to release their respective control switches for the turret to automatically slew to the "strafing position". So, if the Gunner and the Radar Operators are incapacitated on P-61B aircraft (equipped with turrets), the Pilot will automatically have full control of the firepower of the plane.

    The individual sights for the Gunner and the Radar Operator have switches on the sights that take control of the turret when closed, with the Gunner having priority. So, taking control and firing is as indicated in my example above, and all that needs to be considered is the relative position of the different targets, and the ability of the turret to move to the new firing position.

    Nothing in the manual states that the pilot has any ability to control where the turret fires, and the "strafing position" is probably a pre-set position calibrated to the 20mm guns at a pre-arranged spot in front of the aircraft. Note that the Pilot does have two distinct triggers on his control column for each gun system, and can choose to fire each separately, or together, if he has control of both.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  26. #26

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    That was a good document to find, Mike! It has cleared up many questions.

  27. #27

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    Just recieved this cool "white widow" P-61 from Shapeways

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  28. #28

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    I'm quite pleased with my www.italik P-61 as well. Just need to decal it, but Kevin of Miscellaneous Miniatures has a lot on his plate, so I have no problem holding off on that.

  29. #29

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    Darryl;
    your link doesn't go anywhere. Misspelled?

    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  30. #30

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    I'm sorry. That wasn't intended as a link--it's the name of the Shapeways shop. The link for the model is here: https://www.shapeways.com/product/YK...ionId=63624609



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