Roden continues its 1/48th scale family of T-28 Trojans with a “D” model. The kit comes with three sets of markings for an Air Force Training Squadron from Eglin, a CIA plane based in the Congo (both of which are light gray in color), and a Special Operation marking in SEA camouflage based in Thailand in 1960. The kit parts are found on light gray sprues with good panel lines, and there are a clear sprue, decals, and an instruction sheet.
Construction starts with the engine, and it is good. For those wanting a little more detail, Quickboost offers a very nice replacement. The kit does include all the need parts, such as manifolds and push rods. Once those are complete, I moved to the fuselage. The cockpit is decently detailed and will show nicely through the large canopy. Decals are provided for the instruments. I struggled to get them to settle into the nicely molded detail in the panels. Foreshadowing? The seats are OK but have an ejector pin mark in the bottom that is huge. I opted to spend the $8 and get the really nice Quickboost set which already has the seats molded into the resin. You will have to add the armored back plates from the kit, but that’s easy to do. When the cockpit is complete, the fuselage can be closed and the fit is good. But don’t forget to add 25-50grams to the nose or it will tail-sit badly! Minimal to no putty needed on the main parts. There is an insert in the back where Navy planes have tail hooks – this version had a small skid. This piece needed some putty to be a good fit, but not much. The remainder of the tail, stabilizer, and cowling parts were added and fit well. One quick note right up front – the color call outs on the sheet are wrong. Do a little research and get the correct colors. The ModelMaster colors called out are correct but they’re not always assigned to the correct parts.
The wings were built next. I wanted to do a trainer version initially, but this “D” wasn’t used much that way and comes with underwing things like bombs, gun pods, and bazookas. So it was time to arm it up, and for that there are lots of holes to be drilled. A great feature of the wings is that the flaps and ailerons are separate, but fit great. The wings went together with no issues. The rest of the undercarriage parts were prepped, including the SAC landing gear reviewed earlier (http://web.ipmsusa3.org/content/t-28-trojan-landing-gear).
Joining the wing to the fuselage was the only issue I had, and in hind sight it was my fault. I had a fairly large gap on both wing roots when I added the wing. Bottom fit was excellent. I use some strip and filler and it went away easily. Looking at the kit when finished, there is not enough dihedral and I should have pulled the wings tighter. Nuts!
I masked the canopies after a quick dip into Alclad Aqua Gloss, and sprayed the wheel wells white . I elected to paint the plane as the Air Force version from Eglin, and that means overall light gray. The black where the engine grime would be has to be masked as well as the wing walks and a few other places, which were shot Tamiya black. The entire kit was sealed with several coats of Aqua Gloss and left to dry.
And the adventure begins. The decals for the kit are very bad. Several are smeared like someone touched them before the ink was dry. Two of the national insignia shattered when they touched water and could not be salvaged. Last and worst, nothing affected these. They were more similar to cellophane than decals. I tried MicroSol, Microset, Solvaset, Mr. Mark Softer – I tried alcohol. These decals laughed at me, silvered, and would not settle in the least. I replaced a fair number, and the ones that could not be replaced, I ended up taking a brush and the light gray and black and touched up multiple times. Another clear coat and done with that portion.
A wash and I added all the things under the wings, electing to go with bazookas, rocket launchers, and two types of gun pods. All fit well and the remainder of the landing gear doors, lights, canopies, and antennas were added. A quick flat, and then adding the lights, and we’re done.
Outside of the decals, this kit was a blast. It builds well, there is plenty of aftermarket if you desire, and several good schemes. It needs to have decals. It really, really needs decals. It is possible I might have gotten a bad set, so I am checking for builds elsewhere but haven’t seen any. The kit is most definitely recommended and I am certainly doing a trainer. My thanks to Gary Newman and Squadron for the review kit and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it.