Italeri 1/72 DC-3 "Swissair"
KIT #: 1349
PRICE: $15.00 shipping included
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2013 Reissue


Prior to the development of the 'Boeing' DC-1/2/3 series, scheduled air travel was noisy, relatively uncomfortable, and something that could only be afforded by the wealthy. The DC series changed all that by providing comfortable, realatively fast and reliable air service. What's more, the type was easily converted to military use by adding a reinforced floor and a cargo door. As such, it was pretty much the primary cargo type for the US and Allies during WWII with  thousands built. These planes also formed the basis for renewed passenger air transport after the war as surplus C-47s were dumped on the market at a pittance. Many companies were formed to convert ex-military planes into passenger liners. Even today, decades after the plane first entered service, there are DC-3 and C-47s flying in third tier passenger service some place in the world. Many others have been preserved and still flying for the enjoyment of passengers and fans alike. 


This is not a new kit by any means having been released in a variety of boxings including Swissair in the past. Those who have built an Italeri DC-3/C-47 in the past will find nothing new other than fresh decals. I picked it up because it was inexpensive and one can never have enough of these.

In line with the other releases, there are parts that are solely for the C-47 version, the DC-3 variant being done by use of a fuselage insert that has a passenger door instead of the cargo door. Experience has shown me that this insert does not fit all that well and will need some interior reinforcement.

The cabin is basically the same metal formed seats that the C-47 has so those hoping for airline seats will have to look elsewhere. The cockpit has a pair of seat, a pair of control wheels, a pair of pilots and an instrument panel. There are three bulkheads to help stiffen the fuselage. Since this is the airliner, one will need to open an additional window n the left fuselage half.

Wings consist of a lower fuselage section with upper and lower sections for the left and right side. Tail planes are also upper and lower sections. The airplane has a proper longer tail cone insert appropriate for the DC-3. A nice pair of generic engines is included and the kit only comes with the paddle props. Judging from photos of the real plane, these are the wrong props and should be the thinner earlier versions. Sanding should cure this glitch. Earlier Italeri boxings of the C-47 had both early and late props, which made it useful for an early war C-47. While a C-47 can be built from this kit, it will have to be a late war version. The kit also has the proper short carb intakes for atop the engine though the longer C-47 ones are also on the sprues. A variety of antenna are givein and this includes the lower nose ADF antenna with the long fairing.

Instructions are well printed and provide both generic, FS 595 and Italeri Acrylic paint references. Markings are for the lone box art plane in aluminum with a white upper fuselage and fin along with light grey upper cowlings and nacelles. This plane is on display at the Swiss Traffic Museum in Lucerne and I suggest googling the registration for more photos as there is a bit more to the scheme than shown in the instructions.  


While I have no intention of building this as a DC-3, purchasing it to do a C-47 in the near future, it is a kit that will appeal to both airliner and military modelers. The detail level of this plane has been eclipsed by the recent Airfix C-47, but this one can be found for less money and does not have the parts count of the Airfix kit, a plus for some modelers. No matter how you build it, the resulting model will look nice on your shelves.

June 2016


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