Italeri 1/72 C-47




currently $20.00


Two Aircraft


Scott Van Aken




Ask any aviation enthusiast to list the top ten most influential aircraft in the history of aviation, the DC-3/C-47 would be right near the top of the list. It's forefather, the DC-1 first flew in 1933 with the aircraft we all recognize as the DC-3 taking to the air a few years after. What is even more amazing is that several hundred of these planes are still flying, many of them still earning revenue for their operators. A truly amazing feat considering that even the newest one of them is well over 55 years old.

I seriously doubt if there is a country on this planet where a 'Gooney Bird' has not been flown. The combination of rugged construction, ease of maintenance, pleasant flying abilities and load carrying capability have sealed its place in the annals of aviation history.



There have been several C-47/DC-3 kits produced in 1/72 scale. The most renown are those by Airfix, ESCI and Italeri. Monogram did one that was a scale somewhat close, but not really a 1/72 version. Of the three, Airfix's is the oldest and probably least desirable. Between the ESCI and Italeri kits, it is a toss-up of which to choose. The ESCI kit is very similar, but many are put off by the slightly overdone panel line engraving. However, these same folks think that ESCI's overall presentation is a bit crisper than the Italeri offering. I have built both, and find it pretty much a toss-up between the two. Since ESCI has been out of business for a long time, the choice is, by default, to Italeri.

What you will get are two large sprues that contain all of the parts needed. There has always been some discussion as to the landing gear legs of the various C-47/DC-3 kits and their accuracy for specific versions. I'll let the experts handle that one and only say that I have never had anyone condemn any of my C-47 kits for having the wrong ones.

C-47s did have several carb intake differences and all three sizes are offered in this kit. I do know that there were at least two different prop types for the C-47, but only one is given here. It looks fine to me, but if you are fussy about being 100% accurate, you may want to replace them with metal ones from various makers to match your particular subject.

The cockpit is pretty well appointed with seats, control sticks and and an instrument panel. Crew members are also supplied. For the cabin section, you get basically just a floor and some bulkheads. Troop seats (actually rather uncomfortable looking troughs) are molded into the floor. A small entrance door is separate from the main cargo door. While there is no option to open both sides of the cargo door, it seems a simple enough operation. No aft boarding ladder is provided. Most will probably glue the smaller door shut. The clear parts are well done, but a bit thick for the cabin windows. No real loss as, unless you detail the cabin area, there is little to see.

This kit was a swap meet special so has no instruction sheet, but building the kit should be very easy. There are two options. One for a camouflaged wartime RAF Dakota. The RAF rarely repainted Dakotas so it was probably in OD over neutral grey. Those kept after the war did have the paint stripped and were flown in bare metal. The other is for a post war USN R4D. From the looks of the markings, it was a hack of some sort with a large sharkmouth. The box art colors look like overall light gull grey with a white upper section, but were probably natural metal with the upper section white. The decals look pretty good and should work out rather well despite being rather old. This particular kit dates back to the 80's when Italeri was called Italaerie. Dropping the extra vowels was a good move on their part!



Having built this kit before, I can tell you that you will be able to make super looking model from it. It is not so complicated that new builders will have trouble, so it can be highly recommended. This kit was also boxed by Testors, though with different marking options.

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

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