C-47 Skytrain with Paratroopers
Thanks very much to Revell for providing IPMS/USA this re-release… This is a timely addition to their catalog for D-Day interest (Was it really 70 years ago?) or just those of us wanting to build a C-47! We appreciate your support; I also provide the usual thanks to IPMS/USA leadership for allowing me to review this item.
This is the venerable C-47 originally released by Monogram in 1978, now molded in China and carried by Revell. The original Monogram copyright on the lower exterior wing now says “China 1978”, and a stamp with that information was also used on the inside of the kit in white ink… Molded in Dark olive green and clear, this kit has survived the test of time, to include releases of a DC-3 version, and later an AC-47 gunship with later minigun fit. No flash, and fit (with the exception of that noted later) is great.
There are three types of Carburetor intakes provided for variants, and in this release you only have the cargo door with its integral troop door insert. I’ve never built the DC-3 release in Eastern Airlines markings, so I don’ t know if there was a different insert or not with just the passenger door with integral ladder). The propellers in the kit are appropriate for early or commercial versions; in this review, I swapped paddle-bladed propellers from a Revell B-24D for the kit’s slim versions. That and the markings are different, which came from the Mike West upgrade to make a ski-equipped C-47, (which will be a separate review.) If you acquire an AC-47 variant, these propellers are included in the upgrade sprue… Check internet sources.
This kit is a relatively simple build; you can tell by the pictures that the interior is one of Monogram’s early kits; a lot of detail in areas that would never see the light of day (such as the in-flight toilet area). The forward fuselage is crammed with radios, boxes, and detail (see the pictures). A full-length cargo floor with support railing, and side troop seats are provided, along with stringer details for the fuselage halves if you leave the cargo door open. Having built a few of these over the years, I decided the next time I was going to paint the interior dark green and button up the aircraft, and focus on the exterior; hence the closed up kit on this review.
I did use the new decal instrument panel; it’s nice and saved a bit of AMS squirreling around. You can see the panel if you leave off the cockpit side windows, but otherwise it’s not really worth the effort. In 1/32 scale it might be, but… no seat belts, either!
The side windows fit perfectly; use liquid cement, and careful application for a capillary action effort over about 10 minutes, and they will stay in place. Same for the windscreen; when the time came after most of the body was assembled, it fit nicely. I did use a bit of vallejo putty around the co-pilot’s cockpit window, but that was it.
On this build I had four areas needing putty assistance; the upper fuselage seam, the main and stabilizer wing roots, and the lower aft fuselage area behind the wing root, which had a poor fit. I masked off the lower fuselage section during putty application as it was a pretty substantial area requiring attention. I used Tamiya white putty for the majority of the build. See the pictures for details, but it was not a major issue. All modelling stuff to deal with.
SOME rescribing will be required on a kit like this due to the raised details; Many would remove it all and totally rescribe, but it’s not required.… This was, also, an opportunity to test the rivet tool I bought a while back from John Vojtech with UMM USA; it worked well, and when done looks far better than trying to add on 50,000 raised-head rivets by hand . Fun fact: the actual aircraft was not flush riveted, but used AN 474 rivets over most of the surface. Having replaced some on an actual C-47, I can vouch for the surface texture…
I did not use the troop seats or any of the figures; they are all designed to be standing outside the aircraft. You get three actual aircrew and maintenance persons; these are the same as in the Revell/Monogram P-61, B-24, and B-17 kits. The paratroops are of three different poses; all standing around the aircraft waiting to board. Certainly useful for the D-day setup, but not an arctic environment!
The kit decal is a vast improvement over the original, in that is has all stenciling, a full set of D-day stripes, and accurate U.S. Insignia. The nose art is for “buzz buggy”, which is depicted on the box art. Included are white backgrounds for the national insignia if you intend to have the full-up D-day invasion markings; this prevents the markings “bleeding through” , and is a very much appreciated touch. I found one error, that being on the propeller markings; the drawing shows the index stencil outboard (toward the tip) of the manufacturer’ logo, which is backward. The logo is basically centered on the front of the prop blade, with the index and operation stencil right next to the hub. Also, the yellow was not very opaque; you can see them on the props but most of them disappeared on the black background. As I painted the kit as an arctic bird, I can vouch for the prop blade stencils and fuel cap markings but not the remainder of the sheet. The rest of the decals would, by how these performed, do well.
A great kit and I’m pleased to see it back; no resin corrections required for the basic aircraft, and so far it’s the best 1/48 C-47 out there (and the lowest cost by far). Thanks again to Revell for providing this kit to IPMS/USA!