Academy 1/72 C-97A Stratofreighter






See review


Scott Van Aken





If you have read the KC-97G preview of a few days ago, you knowmost of the history of this plane. It was developed for the military based onthe B-29, changing only the upper fuselage. It first flew in 1944 and was asuccess, as it should have been using proven airframe parts! Unlike the moreprolific KC-97, there were relatively few C-97s built with only around 30 or soseeing service. Probably the reason for this was the huge numbers of C-47s andC-54s still around from the war and the newer C-119 and C-124s being developed.


The biggestdifference between this and the previous KC-97 is the elimination of all thoseparts needed for the tanker version. Other than that, the sprues are identical.There are no boom parts in the C-97 kit at all. In fact, if you have the KC-97kit and a C-97 decal sheet you can build this aircraft. 

Theparts are well molded with crisp detailing on the greenish grey plastic. Alldetails are engraved as we have come to expect in today's kits. All but onesprue and the transparencies seem to be from the B-50 kit, and why not as theyhave parts in common. Test fitting the fuselage shows that the parts fit cleanlyand the panel lines match up. There is no flash and only a few sink marks inareas of thick plastic such as the attachment areas for thetailplanes.  

The cockpit is well detailed in thisscale with instruments represented by decals, a good choice for a 1/72 kit. Thenose transparency includes part of the fuselage. This is great as it makesfairing it in place a lot easier. I am concerned about the long wings beingwarped, but I guess building will tell. There are short spars that jut from thefuselage to help with the mounting of these long wings.

Whatreally is neat is the decal sheet. It is huge! It is also very colorful andincludes four aircraft. Three are MATS aircraft and one is ANG. Two of the MATSplanes are the early markings with big, colorful nose insignia; one for theAtlantic and one for the Pacific Divisions. The third MATS bird is in latermarkings with bands and patches of da-glow red. The final scheme is for one ofthe 115 ATS of California Air National Guard, the only guard unit to fly theC-97A. All are in silver or natural metal with the ANG bird having an ADC greyfuselage underside. 


The instructions are typical drawings showing thevarious construction steps, the parts breakdown and paint reference. The decalplacement and overall painting instructions are a four page supplement.

Itlooks like it will make for a nice and big model.

Review copy courtesy of me and my wallet! 

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