Italeri 1/72 T-33A Shooting Star
KIT #: 1444
PRICE: ~$30.00
DECALS: Six options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Reboxed Platz kit


The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star is an American-built jet trainer aircraft. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948, piloted by Tony LeVier. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 starting as TP-80C/TF-80C in development, then designated T-33A. It was used by the U.S. Navy initially as TO-2 then TV-2, and after 1962, T-33B. While there are no more military T-33s still in active service, the type is very popular with the jet warbird crowd. Many T-33s spent over 40 years on active service before being retired.


The T-33 has been seeing some popularity in the last few years. Prior to this resurgence, the only T-33s kitted in 1/72 were by Hasegawa (one of their first generation kits) and Heller. Both were from the 60s and 70s. A few years back, Sword released their T-33 as part of their Shooting Star series, all of which are short run kits and all of which sold very well.

This Italeri offering is a reboxing of the excellent Platz kit. Of the four main sprues, two are specific to the T-33. Typical of Platz kits, the molding is top notch. The cockpit is very well done with raised detail on the instrument panels and decals to put over them if one so wishes. The seats appear to be the proper version. This is all covered by a one-piece canopy.

Since this is to be part of a series of kits, it is not surprising that the fuselage is modular. It is split about where the real aircraft is divided to gain access to the engine. There is, of course, no engine in this boxing, but there is a lot of detail on the inside of the fuselage that hints at something like this in the future. There are blanking plates for the engine intakes and a nice, long tailpipe for the exhaust.

Landing gear are well molded with all the appropriate struts. You also get separate speed brakes that can be molded open. As these usually bled down after the engine was shut off, it is an appropriate option. No indication of nose weight is give in the instructions, but wise modelers will add some just to be sure. From the look of things, this kit is not designed to be built gear up.

Instructions are very nicely illustrated and provide Italeri acrylic and FS 595 references. The booklet instructions provide three pages of construction information and six of camouflage and decal information. The camouflage pages are all in full color.

You have six options. One is the box art plane with the 5th FIS and you get two tail markings options for this plane. Though the painting instructions tell you to paint this one FS 36495, that is incorrect. These planes were ADC Grey, FS 16473. Most of the rest of the option are overall unpainted metal. This includes one for Germany, Italy, France and Spain. These all had black insides to the wing tip tanks with the German and Italian plane having red or international orange outer surfaces. The French and German planes have extensive decals for the markings shown. The Greek plane is camouflaged in the standard SEA scheme. Decals are superbly printed so should provide no issues in application.


Those wanting a quality T-33 in 1/72 scale should really look for this kit. It has a great selection of options and really the only thing I'd change with it is to offer a separate windscreen and canopy for those who want to add aftermarket to the cockpit and show off the interior. This one is a real beauty and offers just about all one would want.


April 2022

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