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C-47A Skytrain

Trumpeter, 1/48 scale

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: Trumpeter Kit Number 02828 - C-47A Skytrain
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 297 parts in light grey plastic; 111 photo etched parts; 3 soft vinyl parts; 31 clear injection moulded parts; 2 metal undercarriage parts; one acetate photo instrument panel .
Price: Around AUD$99.00, distributed in Australia by J.B. Wholesalers
Available through specialist hobby shops worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: High quality mouldings; clear transparencies; crisp surface detail; exceptional detail; excellent instruction sheet; good decals
Disadvantages: Metal skinned rudder
Conclusion: A big and well detailed model that beats the old Monogram in all aspects except price.

 

Reviewed by Mick Evans


Trumpeter's 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain is available online from Squadron
 

FirstLook

 

Trumpeter’s 1/48 scale C-47A is a totally new and up to date model and represents a welcome addition to modellers interested in large 1/48 scale aircraft kits.

This new kit is very impressive and outclasses the previous 1/48 scale kits from Monogram. The Monogram kit was a DC-3 Dakota that was first released over 30 years ago and then re-released as a C-47A and most recently as an AC-47D gunship.

Typical of Monogram kits of that era, their kit had raised panel lines and the interior detail was chunky and sometimes questionable in term of accuracy.  The fit of the kit was a bit challenging in places, but with all that said it was produced over 30 years ago and for many years was the only 1/48 scale kit. For its age it was, and still is, a great kit and was reasonably priced.

So what about the Trumpeter kit? Is the Trumpeter kit good enough to justify the much higher price tag?

On opening the box we are presented with a beautifully engraved and detailed multimedia kit. 

Inside the stout packaging are approximately 297 finely engraved grey coloured injection moulded plastic parts, 111 photo etched parts, 3 soft vinyl parts, 31 clear injection moulded parts, 2 metal undercarriage parts and 1 photo instrument panel .

 

  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/48 scale C-47A Skytrain Review by Mick Evans: Image
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The plastic parts have absolutely no flash at all. Surface detail is crisply moulded displaying fine panel lines and rivet detail.  The surface of the parts have no moulding imperfections.  Trumpeter’s moulding these days is nothing short of superb.

Cockpit detail is provided by the way of 35 plastic and etched parts. The radio/galley area is made up of 37 plastic and etched parts while the cabin area is made up of 144 plastic and metal parts. All this detail should be visible through the crystal clear cabin windows and windscreen and whether the main cabin door is modelled in the open or closed position.  The cabin troop seating has individual etched metal seat belts provided for each seat and each one of these is made up of 3 etched metal parts.  My only comment is about the aircrew seats.  Etched metal seat belts are provided to be fitted and step 9 shows them installed but there is no instruction in earlier steps to install them, a slight oversight by Trumpeter. 

A nice touch though is the inclusion of an etched metal pull down step ladder for the main cabin entry door if you choose to model the main door open.

 

 

The main wing is broken down into three sections just like the real aircraft.  The centre section is integral to the fuselage where the fuselage basically sits on top of the centre section.  The centre section contains the engine nacelles, main flaps and main undercarriage. The outer wing panels bolt to the centre section and Trumpeter have engineered this by providing 2 spars for each panel to set the correct anhedral, this set up may facilitate the removal of the outer panels for the model to be transported or stored.

Separate flaps are provided and these may be installed in the lowered or raised position.  The DC3/C-47 looks awesome with the flaps lowered as they are very large.  The rather large ailerons are provided separate from the wing allowing them to be positioned offset if the modeller so wishes.

The horizontal stabilisers have the elevators moulded separately, allowing them to be positioned in the dropped position which was common for the aircraft when the flight control lock was not engaged on the flight control column.

A good representation of the main landing gear bays are provided along with nicely detailed main and tail landing gear and these require very little clean up before installation.  The main wheel bay contains the prominent engine oil reservoir and cabin heater ducting. The main landing gear is supplied in white metal, while the tyres are vinyl.

 

 

The two P&W R-1830 S1C3G Twin Wasp radial engines are beautifully replicated using 9 major parts.  The parts competently replicate the cylinders, pushrods, exhaust piping and the ignition harnesses with the whole assembly mounting onto the heat shield which in turn is mounted to the bulkhead by a replicated engine mount.
The external exhaust is made of 3 parts and really looks to be accurate.

Finally the rudder is modelled separate from the fin allowing it to be modelled offset.  I am sure that the rudder is fabric covered the same as the ailerons and elevators, at least the Aussie one was that was flown by ARDU.  Trumpeter has moulded the fabric effect on the ailerons and elevators, but not the rudder, so this may need a bit of work to correct. Check your references.

Clear parts are provided on two sprues. Cabin windows and the windscreen sections are supplied as individual parts.

 

 

The instruction sheet is made up of a detailed black and white exploded assembly view that details the assembly of the kit with no ambiguity except for the missing aircrew seat belt instruction. 

Overall the kit looks accurate to the 1/72 scale Warpaint plans.

The colours schemes are provided on a glossy colour sheet detailing the colours required for the provided scheme.

 

 

The decals are crisp, accurate in colour and in register and provide for two aircraft the main one illustrated is a Douglas C-47A, Sno 2100521 of 92nd TCS, 439th TCG USAAF in the June 1944 D-Day landings.  The aircraft is finished in Olive Drab upper surfaces and Neutral Gray under surfaces with large D-Day Black and White invasion stripes painted on the fuselage and wings.  The aircraft has a large white cartoon of Kilroy on the nose with the words “Kilroy is here” painted beneath.

 

 

Conclusion

 

In the case of the C-47, I particularly like the surface detail provided by Trumpeter.  The C-47 has lapped panels this is difficult to mould and can neither be replicated by engraved lines such as in the Trumpeter kit or by raised lines such as the Monogram kit and my opinion of raised riveting is that it is also difficult to capture to scale in 1/48 scale without looking like they were meant to be installed in the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 

The Trumpeter kit definitely has far more and much finer detail than the Monogram D-3 / C-47, and it is certainly much better engineered.

Is it worth the substantial cost difference? Only the modeller hungry for the latest and greatest and your hip pocket can determine that, but for me the Trumpeter kit is the one!

Thanks to J.B. Wholesalers for the sample

Text and Images Copyright 2008 by Mick Evans
Page Created 10 August, 2008
Last updated 10 August, 2008

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