T-33A Shooting Star and Cockpit Detail Set
- Platz T-33A JASDF Trainer, stock no. AC-6, $29.00
- Platz T-33A US Bicentennial Trainer, stock no. AC-8, $29.00
- Eduard T-33 cockpit set, SA, color, stock no. 73409, $29.95
This is going to be a strange review in that I am reviewing two of the same kit but with different markings. In addition, I will be reviewing the Eduard photo-etch cockpit detail set.
Let me begin with the T-33A. This is one terrific kit. I have built a few T-33s by different manufacturers, but this is the best, in my humble opinion. When I refer to any parts in the kit, I am addressing both kits.
The instructions are in both English and Japanese. They are well thought out and very clear. Colors are referred to by their FS numbers. There are 58 grey plastic parts and one clear.
The cockpit is very nice, except that I would rather have had better ejection seats. Those in the kit are primitive and do not have seat belts. The instruments and side consoles are very nicely done in decals, even though the instruments are raised. I can’t see having both.
The fuselage is split where the real a/c would be to separate the rear half in order to remove the engine. This leads me to believe that at some time in the future, Platz will release an engine to go into this space. There are even some nicely molded ribs in both the rear and front of the open fuselage.
The intake splitters are very nicely engineered and fit perfectly. One of the best features of this kit is the perfect fit. The wings attach without any filler required.
The landing gear is a work of art. They look exactly like the real thing and the attachment points are very positive. The same is true of the air brakes.
I must mention it’s necessary to add a bunch of weight to the nose before closing the fuselage halves or else it will be a tail-dragger.
The wing tanks are beautiful and are split down the middle to allow the two-color paint job on the JASDF T-33.
I built my T-33 as the JASDF a/c but it may be built the same for both planes. I primed mine with Duplicolor Light Grey automotive primer and sprayed bright silver over it.
One of the best features of both of these aircraft is the Cartigraph decals; they are super thin and adhere over any surface. I must caution that the location must be WET so that they may be moved. If not, they will stick where they are not wanted.
Now I must mention some of the things I did not like about this kit. If you use part C-17, test-fit it, otherwise you may not be able to close the fuselage. Part C-16, the inside canopy frame, should be test-fitted also, otherwise it will not fit with the front seat in position. Lastly, the canopy comes in one piece. I would have loved it to be in two so that it could be positioned open to show off the beautiful cockpit.
Would I recommend these kits? You bet. I plan on buying a couple more.
Now, on to the Eduard photo etched cockpit set. I did not use it in this build, since I found almost everything I needed on the kit decal sheet. The instruments and consoles are the same as the decals, and the scissors for the L/G were a little over the top. The kit L/G is so good I felt I didn’t need the Eduard parts. This is not to say that the photo etched parts are bad, just that they really were not needed in this instance, in my opinion. If you are into super detailing to that extent, you can’t beat Eduard products. Yeah, I recommend these, also.
Thanks to Platz and Eduard for supplying these review samples, and to IPMS/USA for offering me the opportunity to review them.