This is my first Great Wall Hobby kits and I was very curious to see if they are as good as I have read. Well from the moment I held the box you can see the box is high quality and that was just a taste of what was come. The kit inside the box looked great and very well molded and a super finish.
This is a kit of an early production version of the T-33A Shooting star and comes with markings to build a US, German and Spanish Air force machine
In the box is:
- 10 x light grey sprues
- 1 clear Sprue
- 1 decal sheet
- 1 instruction booklet
- 1 revision instruction sheet (corrections to the instruction sheet)
All the sprues are extremely well molded and great detail; the instruction booklet is a fold out type and has a loose front sheet showing the Sprues
My only disappointment with the kit is that there is no seat belts for the seats, they could have supplied decals. So I suggest if you are going to build this kit either get some aftermarket ones or make them yourself.
Stage 1 is the construction of the very detailed ejections seats that are comprised of seven parts. As I mentioned before the addition of Seat Belts would have made the seats really great. That being said the seats are very well detailed. There are some injection pin marks on the back of the seat which should not be seen but I still cleaned them up.
Stage 2 puts the cockpit tub together, the instruments and other cockpit equipment is shown using the decals provided. I was a bit concerned about this, but found that once the decals on the side panels were installed and a good amount of Micro Sol was applied they actually look great!
The front instrument panel is made up of two parts and a decal place between the two like a sandwich. The front panel is very thick and this means that you cannot really see the decals. I suggest you thin down the front part (part number B11) so you can see the decals.
Stage 3 is the assembly of the Front landing bay and landing gear which when very well. The only area you need to do a little additional work is on the interior of the front landing gear bay as there are two very visible injector pin marks that need cleaning up (part number A1). The front landing gear assembly this then assembled to the cockpit and a weight (included in the kit) is attached. The plastic weight included is perfect for the job and works well, I was concerned it was not heavy enough but it was.
Stage 4 uses the revision sheet and is the assembly of the main fuselage and this was very well engineered and had no issues. I did find that in my kit the part A5 had a little damage but it was easily fixed with a little filler.
Stage 5 was the main wing assembly, main landing gear and airbrake. Once again needs the revision sheet this stage was also very well designed and when together easily.
Stage 6 is just the installation of the main landing gear to the wing assembly.
Stage 7 attaches the main wings to the fuselage and again it was a dream to build.
Stage 8 assembles the wing auxiliary fuel tanks which had no issues
Stage 9 is the final stage which adds the fuselage details, and canopy. The kit also includes a very nice crew ladder which is a very nice bonus to this great kit.
Now for the painting and decals, I decided to do the U.S. Air Force version of the 78th Fighter Interceptor wing, Hamilton AFB, California 1957. My only comment here is that I felt the decals very a little too thick and made it harder to have the settle correctly even using lots of Mirco Set and Micro Sol.
This was a fantastic kit and really fun to build. I would recommend this to anyone who wants great looking T-33 in their collection. I am very pleased with the end result, and am looking forward to builing more Great Wall Hobby kits!
Thanks go to Dragon USA for providing this kit to review and IPMS USA for allowing me to review it for them.