FCM 48052: F-80 & T-33

Units: See review




Scott Van Aken

Some of the first jets operated by South American air forces were T-33s with some nations also receiving the F-80. Both of these aircraft proved to be reliable, fairly easy to maintain and were a great introduction to turbojet aircraft. The types served for many years due to fairly low usage and the lack of superior aircraft in the air forces of surrounding nations.

One of the major users of the types was Brazil so it is not surprising that this sheet concentrates on this nation. Five of the seven options are Brazilian. with three of them being F-80C aircraft operated by the 1/4 G.Av.

First on the right of the above image is an all white airplane of the unit's commander. This plane has extensive red markings and to help you out, FCM includes a set of masks (not shown). As you can see, most Brazilian F-80/T-33s had red areas around the intakes and these are provided as masks as well. The other two F-80s are from the same unit in 1959 and 1965 respectively.

Of the two Brazilian T-33s, the one with the nice fuselage band  is an AT-33 with 1/14 G.Av in 1974 while the second is a TF-33 of 1/4 G.Av. in 1967.

The next T-33 is a Portuguese aircraft with large daglo orange markings from 1968. These planes were an overall FS 16473 ADC grey. These aircraft flew for many years afterwards and the daglo was eventually replaced with international orange.

Finally, a nice F-80C with the Uruguay air force in 1969. One thing to note is that all the F-80s used T-33 style tip tanks so you will need to do some robbing of a T-33 kit to obtain these as I don't think there are any aftermarket tanks in this scale.

For kits, you have several for both aircraft types. The T-33 has been done by Hobbycraft/Academy and by GWH with the latter probably your best choice. The F-80 has been done by Monogram and by Hobby Boss, but the Hobby Boss kit, while quite nice and easy to build, has intakes that are too large and I doubt if the masks are designed for that kit.

Overall a great sheet and if you are willing to do some kit bashing for the F-80s, you'll have something quite interesting for your shelves. It appears there are enough stencils to do two complete aircraft.

The decals are superbly printed by Microscale and the instructions are very nicely done. These include upper surface views as well as underside ones where required. There are a number of places that sell FCM decals, so check the web for your nearest dealer.

April 2019

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