by: Darren Baker [ ]
IntroductionThe following introduction is supplied by Revell of Germany;
The C-47 is one of the most legendary aircraft in the history of aviation. The DC-3 appeared in 1935 as a further development of the DC-2. The C-47 freighter version emerged later. During the Vietnam War specially rebuilt C-47's entered service as attack gunships from 1964 onwards. Now known as the AC-47D and nicknamed Puff the Magic Dragon these aircraft were used to deliver concentrated fire support for beleaguered outpost and camps. Within a very short period of time the AC-47D became one of the most feared weapons in the Vietnam War. Together the three mini-guns were capable of delivering a devastating 18,000 rounds per minute. There have been numerous reports about deployments of the AC-47D showing that hard fought over locations were relieved by continued aerial actions of the AC-47D. Codenamed Spooky the AC-47D remained in USAF service until 1969.
ContentsThis model is supplied in a very large card tray with a separate card lid; the artwork on the box top is very eye catching. Inside you will find;
4 grey sprues
1 clear sprue
A decal sheet
An instruction booklet
An advisory leaflet
My first thoughts when opening the box for this model was only four sprues for a model of this size, but then again that is not always a bad thing. This model is from a mould that is nearly 40 years old, the date stamp is 1978. Examinations of the parts reveal no flash, miss mouldings or sink marks. There are a number of flow marks on the large mouldings, but these do not feel to have left any issues for the modeller to fix. The only downside is the size of the gates between the sprues and the mouldings, but that should be expected with the age of the moulds.
Despite the years on this model anyone seeing the included interior of this model for the first time should be reasonably impressed. The cockpit is reasonable considering how little of it can be seen through the glazed area of the cockpit. The instrument panel has raised detail on it and there is a decal supplied for the instrument details, this provides the option of removing the raised detail and adding the decal or cutting out the detail on the decal and applying that to the raised instrument detail. The seats are a little simple but passable and perhaps could do with some harness detail. The bulkhead behind the cockpit has detail on both sides.
You are then provided with the navigator and radio operators stations. The navigatorís station has the bench and seat detail and the bulkhead wall has detail for stored maps. The radio operatorís station has a bank of radios also moulded to a bulkhead and a seat. You then move into what would normally be the cargo deck through another bulkhead, but this time the door is closed. There are a bank of 4 fold down seats with reasonable harness detail present, I like that the harnesses are sat in random ways rather than all the same.
Moving into the business area of the models interior we start with what I believe is three flare storage bins, be prepared for a lot of decal application with these parts. The mini guns do look to be reasonably accurate when compared to some of the images online of the real aircraft; depending on your goal with this model the barrels would be better if replaced with after-market offerings. Revell of Germany has also included the sheeting between all of the guns; I believe these were to prevent spent shells casings flying around. The last detail included here is the toilet facilities at the rear of the aircraft.
Raised rib detail is present on the inside of the fuselage halves and even the floor has not been left out detail wise. One issue I do have with the fuselage halves is the windows, these have been supplied as two runs for each side of the aircraft and will not look good, at the very least they should be split and used individually.
The radial engine detail supplied with this model is lacking as you only get detail for a single bank and no ignition harness detail, this will not matter to the youngster but others will likely want to look for some after-market engines with either a scratched or photo etched ignition harness. There are two sets of propellers supplied with this kit, the thin blades were used on the WW2 era aircraft and the broad blades are correct for this aircraft. Make sure you use the right ones.
The undercarriage is quite nicely detailed and from what I can see accurate. There is one thing that needs adding for an improved look is the brake lines, not really surprising considering the age of the model. The wheels and tyres have reasonable detail, but could be improved by the use of weighted tyres. The tail wheel has not been ignored in this respect and is also quite nicely replicated. The main downside of the undercarriage is in the wheels bays where there is a large ejector pin mark that has obscured some or the detail there.
Fuselage and Flight Surfaces
The dimensions of this model are very good being a perfect match in terms of length and only 1mm long on the wingspan. The wings, tail and fuselage only consist of 11 parts and should not create too many issues for the modeller. The panel lines are raised which is a shame, but not surprising for the age of the model. The rivet detail is also raised but that is accurate I believe. I have never built this model but the mouldings look as if they should go together without to many issues.
The decals are new offerings in this kit and as such are of a reasonable thickness, I will say I was surprised at just how many decals there are to be used on this model and so I believe are complete. The finishing options are;
3rd Air Commando Squadron, Nha Trang Air Base, South Vietnam, 1968
4417 Combat Crew Training Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida, 1971
This model is getting on in years, but one of the beauties of the age of this model is that there are a lot of AM products out there. If built from the box you can build a fair model and one that a youngster would be really happy with. This model could also be decked out with after-market options and a very accurate model could be achieved. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the interior in this model as I found pictorial reference harder to come by than I expected. I understand that Trumpeter has released a 1/48th scale kit of this model, but the price is quite high and this offering from Revell of Germany is affordable and I believe has more options despite not being up to the same standards as a modern offering.
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell
Box art photo by Revell Germany.
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