Balance Your Black Widow Without Lead
by Reg Hardy
Gear Down without lead additives
As I get to the final dregs of building the Revell 1/48 scale P-61B Black Widow, I know I have to come to grips with the warnings I've read everywhere, "She's A Tail Sitter" meaning most of the weight is towards the twin tails.
That means she will not balance on the three-wheel tricycle gear and is at rest "nose-up".
There are various suggested remedies with the most popular, adding lead (either in the form of buckshot or a roofer's sheet lead) to the nose to offset the weight of the tail section.
Th biggest problem with this solution is the lead most easily goes into the radardome, home of the radar unit's detailed assembly. Happens to be the main reason for the plane in the first place.
My diorama scene calls for the nose to be open displaying the radar being worked on by a tech.
Instead of gluing the nose shut to hide the lead infusion, I opted to balance the Black Widow another way.
Embedding a Neodymium Block Magnet in the base of the diorama's runway and inserting two steel washers in the nose wheel of the Black Widow kisses the nose wheel to the ground like the actual plane.