P-47D & F-86E "Gabreski"
This is a dual kit of two famous aircraft flown by American Ace Francis Stanley Gabreski (nicknamed “Gabby”). Gabreski flew the P-47D in WWII scoring 28 kills, and flew the F-86 in Korea with 6.5 credited kills. He was one of only seven pilots to become an Ace in two wars. It was my pleasure to meet him in person at the IPMS/USA National convention in Chicago in 2001.
Both the Academy kits have fine recessed panel lines and are molded in a light gray plastic. The builds are fairly straightforward with some fit problems. I needed some filler around the leading edges of both airplanes’ wings. The P-47’s cockpit floor seemed to be too low and left a gap between the instrument panel and the top of the fuselage.
The F-86 had some sink marks in the landing gear doors. I left the canopy on the Sabre open because it hit the back of the seat when I tried to attach it in the closed position. Both kits have nice cockpits with side consoles in the F-86. I made belts out of masking tape to detail the seats. For painting, I used Testors Non-Buffing Aluminum Metalizer on the F-86 and Tamiya acrylic on the P-47.
The decals were made by Carograft, were in register, and covered well. They were somewhat stiff, though, and needed several applications of Micro Sol to get them to lie down. There are two markings options for the F-86: Gabby's regular aircraft, and the one he sometimes borrowed, which was normally the mount of fellow Ace Major Bill Wescott. The P-47 is marked as it appeared after his 28th and final kill in WWII.
Decal #41 is not depicted on the instructions, but is applied to the left side just forward of decal # 33.
Overall a nice pair of planes in tribute to one of America's top Aces. My thanks to IPMS/USA and MRC for the opportunity to review this set of kits.