Superscale 72-133: T-33 Shooting Stars

Units: See review


LONG out of production


Scott Van Aken

The T-33 hasn't been as well represented in scale modeling as many would have liked. There are really just two available kits in 1/72. One is the very old Hasegawa kit, which is still not too bad, but is probably one of the first generation of kits that Hasegawa produced in the late 1960s/early 70s. Next is the somewhat newer Heller kit, which is really much better than the Hasegawa kit in terms of overall detail and fit. It is raised panel line technology, however and a new one would be appreciated. I'd be surprised if Academy doesn't come through in the next few years for us.

Anyway, this sheet covers a number of display team birds plus one.

First is a Thunderbirds T-33. This was used to take the media and other VIPs on flights with the team. Nowadays this is done with two seat F-16, but in the past, the T-33 performed this task.

Same thing with the Blue Angels, though in Navy parlance, it is called a TV-2 Sea Star.  Addendum: It has been pointed out to me that the Blue Angels badge is missing from this sheet. Guess I missed that one.

This tendency to use the T-33 wasn't just a US deal as the Golden Hawks used a Canadair Shooting Star when it was flying Sabres.

The last T-33 on the sheet is pretty much of a 'fill-in' and is a hack of the 27th FIS. The instructions tell you to paint it in natural metal, but I've seen photos of this plane in overall ADC Grey (FS 16473) in case you'd rather have an easier job of painting it! Insignia for this one will have to come from the kit or other source.

Your editor built the 27 FIS bird and the Golden Hawks version using the Hasegawa kit many, many years ago and was happy with the results. Below is your editor's 27 FIS bird, crooked decals and all!

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