Airfix 1/72 C-47 Skytrain
Stock number: 3030-8014
Status: Available now!
We've received the new Airfix 1/72 scale C-47 Skytrain. The kit looks very good. Parts are crisply molded and our example appears to be warp free. I'm assuming that the dimensions are correct but haven't actually measured. The fuselage and wing plan forms appear to be accurate. In short the model looks convincingly like what it's supposed to. It has been many years since we've seen an all new kit of this very significant aircraft in this scale, and I'm glad to see it.
The kit particulars are published on the box as follows:
Length - 273mm
Wingspan - 400mm
Part count - 142 pieces
Exterior skin paneling is represented primarily with recessed lines which are thin and not too deep. Certain details such as control cable covers are raised.
|Combination recessed and raised surface detail. Panel lines are delicate|
|Stretched fabric over elevator structure is convincing!|
Kit clear parts are nicely produced. They are cast uniformly flat and have minimal distortion. The fuselage side windows attach to the outside of the fuselage.
|Instructions show windows mount from exteri|
The model's interior is nice considering that most will not be visible after construction. The cockpit has a decal instrument panel with separate throttle/trim wheel center console.
|Cockpit and radio/navigation compartment instructions.|
|Delicate antenna and control wheel parts.|
|Right fuselage interior. Note molded structure and mold push marks above first, third and fifth windows.|
The main wings have interior spars which should provide a sturdy structure. The main wheel wells have interior detail which I believe is unique for 1/72 scale C-47 kits. It includes nacelle rib detail, rear engine firewall detail, and oil tanks. Also, the landing gear can be built retracted if the modeler desires to show the aircraft in flight, or with snow skies for arctic operations. The skies are very nice consisting of five parts which include the rear mounted lift supplementing winglets. A separate one piece tail wheel ski is also included. Main landing gear struts are multi piece and appear cleanly molded and appropriately thin. Separate "H" main struts, actuator jacks, and "Y" support struts combine to create mechanically busy assemblies. They are far from the clunky softly detailed gear struts in past kits.
|Delicate landing gear strut components.|
|Main wheel tires appear to need some air!|
The kit provides two multi part twin row radial engines representing Pratt & Whitney R-1830s. Each engine assembly consists of four parts: two separate seven bank cylinder rows; one gear reduction housing; and one prop shaft. The cylinders on all rows are notable for their lack of any cooling vain detail. This will not detract greatly as the engines are tightly cowled and and will only be visible after looking past wide chord Hamilton Standard three bladed props. Good painting technique and shadow will greatly alleviate this issue. Two part (front and rear section) carburetor air intakes are added to the top of the engine nacelles. Intake mouths are recessed but not very deep. Some modelers may wish to open them further.
Kit decals provide markings for two aircraft. The first option is for a World War 2 USAAF aircraft from the 92nd Troop Carrier Squadron, 439th Troop Carrier Group, 9th Air Force. The plane was based at Upottery, Devon, England on June 6, 1944. It is painted in wartime standard olive drab and neutral gray camouflage colors with white and black invasion stripes. It features nose art "Kilroy is Here". The second decal option is for a post World War 2 ski equipped Skytrain from the Military Air Transport Service based at Isachsen Airstrip, Northwest Territory, Canada in October, 1949. The aircraft is unpainted natural metal with arctic red wing tips and tail. Common decals for either option are provided for all technical stencils found on C-47s. The Airfix decal, in fact, includes the most complete set of technical stenciling I've seen for any C-47 kit. The decals are printed in register and appear to have thin carrier film. I'd be inclined to use them unhesitatingly.
|Nice kit decal sheet with complete technical stencils.|
The C-47 Skytrain kit from Airfix is the latest in the new generation of kits from the iconic kit maker. It does not disappoint. Airfix has really stepped up its game in the last several years. It has produced a string of new 1/72 kits which are great quality and value. This kit has many strong points as noted above and, as with all kits, several minor and easily correctable issues. In addition to those knocks noted above, the kit does not include an emergency escape hatch above the cockpit. This can be fixed with a rectangular piece of evergreen .005" styrene laminated in the correct location. Also, there are several ejector pin marks inside the cargo bay which disrupt the stringer detail above the mid fuselage windows. These will be slightly visible if the model is displayed with the cargo doors open. Evergreen .010" x .020" strip grafted into the gaps in the stringer detail, and then a drop or two of Mr. Surfacer primer should solve this small problem. One other issue is that the kit does not include a balance tab on the right aileron. Mark, scribe, and cut in the proper location on the right inboard portion of the aileron to resolve the oversight. In short, I have very little to call out on this kit. I think it's great! I look forward to seeing which other versions of this aircraft Airfix has in store for us. Several unused parts in the box such as thin chord propellers suggest a DC-3. I'll also be surprised if we don't get an AC-47 Puff since they had a boxing of this aircraft using their old kit. Can't wait!
Photos: Jack Johnston
Check this link for details on the D Day C-47 on the kit decal.
|Additional sprue view. Add a balance tab to the inboard portion of the starboard aileron.|
|Port outer lower wing detail. I'd cut the aileron end lines with a micro saw to show daylight in the gap.|
|Lots of detail in the box!|
|Optional up or down troop seats.|
|Clear parts show little distortion.|