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Best 1/72 C-47/DC 3


Mozzy19

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It's a toss up between the Italeri and the now long OOP Esci kits, the general consensus is that the Esci kit is better, but only just and the Italeri kit is probably more readily available.

The Italeri kit has also been boxed by Revell and Airfix.

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I have the Italeri and the post-war ESCI (different nose shape) and I'd say the ESCI was considerably better - but a lot less obtainable, particularly since Italeri now has the tools and keep repopping their own simpler kit with rather heavier-handed detail. The Italeri kit is nice enough. Amodel have done Li2 and Tabby variants, so a "pure" C-47 from them may not be too far away. However, I haven't seen any reviews of this tooling. It is fairly safe to say that it will be rather more work than the Italeri.

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This is the one called a Dakota Mk.III rather than the C-47 Skytrain. It does look to have rather more about it (he said, having just gone to look at the Italeri site). Thanks for the tip. On the italeri site you can look at the sprues for both toolings, which may help you to come to your own decision.

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Italeri has just announced a new issue of a C-47 that judging from the sprues looks a lot like the old Esci kit, so it might not be hard to find anymore

I'd just seen that in new products at modelhobbies and that prompted the question.

Cheers for the replies,

Sean

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Agree that ESCI gets a slight nod on overall shape and fidelity. However, both it and the Italeri kit suffer from fuzzy, deep, wide, and utterly and completely inappropriate panel lines. Both companies' designers added their deep, wide, fuzzy panel lines at every place on the real airplane where there was a visible row of rivets, the majority of which were not skin joints at all, but just rivets over the structure below. The result is, both kits look like a crazy roadmap. How much that bothers you depends on how much that bothers you. It bugs the crap out of me to the point I've never been able to finish either model, much as I'd like to. But that's just me...

:)

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One thing that seems to be overlooked in comparing the Italeri and Esci kits are the ailerons. I have got both kits built and the underside aileron of the ESCI kit is much wider than the Italeri one. But not really sure which is the most accurate. The ESCI ailerons suggest it was a Frise type. But I'm not sure if that was the case on the real ones. The Italeri is more of a standard looking aileron. But again ,not sure if thats right! But, each kit has their pros and cons. Both nice and look the part. The surface detail is overdone on both I feel but could be reduced by whichever method one prefers. But my preference , because of the odd aileron issue on the ESCI, is the Italeri one.

Quite honestly I'd love to see a new tool by Airfix but with alll those panel lines restrained and maybe reintroduce raised rivets as per the real aeroplane.

Edited by Paul J
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The recent Amodel kit is an "almost copy" of the Esci kit.

It is not.

For those who read Russian:

http://scalemodels.ru/modules/forum/viewtopic_t_16778_start_420.html

Conclusion - the kit is more accurate that ESCI. The shape of nose section is different as well as panel lines. ESCI offers better wheelware.

Note, that AModel kits represent not a C-47/DC-3 but soviet / japanese license built copies that are slightly different

Edited by Pin
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I've never built the ESCI Dak but I have built several Italeri examples, and kit that is in the most recent Italeri boxing isn't their own older mould. Whether it's the ESCI kit or an updated attempt by Italeri, I can't comment on but it does look nice.

I wonder which plastic will feature in the new Airfix boxing?

John

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This is another one of those aircraft where there are various different iterations but not much high quality choice. Having built the original Airfix kit (of historic interest only), the Esci (best by a small amount) and Italeri (not that bad but needs work) kits and started the A-Model one (having seen fit problems reported), I have to agree with Jennings about panel lines (ugh) and with both CarLos and Pin that the A-Model kit is a descendant of the Esci but much improved.

Probably the 'ideal' DC-3 would be a heavily modified A-Model or Esci with panel lines filled and some of those resin rivets - the real thing is festooned with the proverbial mushroom sized rivets. We at Red Roo do a nose for the Esci kit which ameliorates to some degree its NQR nose shape......... http://www.redroomodels.com/conversions.php?conversion=387 Ask Model-Craft in UK to get one for you. Or do an ANARE one if you like colour.....

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234935142-anare-c-47-dakota-conversion-for-italeri-kit-172-red-roo-models/?hl=anare

Edited by Ed Russell
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I think I'll get the new release, maybe 2 if I can find some decals for a US navy R-4D the other in a RAF D day scheme inflight doing a cargo drop maybe. Not sure if I have the skill or patience to fill and re-rivet the entire airframe (or airframes). Again cheers for the help and review links,

Sean.

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I was thinking about doing something like this: http://www.warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=48252&start=30 ( bottom pic of one of the middle posts)

Or this: http://www.combatreform.org/hptll.htm ( 4th from top)

What do you guys think?

Cheers,

Sean.

Edited by Mozzy19
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  • 3 weeks later...

One thing that seems to be overlooked in comparing the Italeri and Esci kits are the ailerons. I have got both kits built and the underside aileron of the ESCI kit is much wider than the Italeri one. But not really sure which is the most accurate. The ESCI ailerons suggest it was a Frise type. But I'm not sure if that was the case on the real ones. The Italeri is more of a standard looking aileron. But my preference , because of the odd aileron issue on the ESCI, is the Italeri one.

Recently I just have compared ESCI and Italeri kits with real thing. And first - DC-3 ailerons ARE of Frise-type. At aileron inner end (flap outer end) the aileron chord is 77cm (30.3") topside and 93cm (36.6") underside, while flap chord is 61cm (24"). The distance between wing rear spar and the trailing edge is 138cm (54.3") at aileron/flap joint line and 166cm (65.3") at outer wing/centre wing panel join line. In 1/72 scale these five dimensions should be 10.7mm, 12.9mm, 8.5mm, 19.2mm and 23.1mm respectively.

Now the kits. Italeri shows ailerons as symmetrical (10.0mm top- and undersides, both of which are too narrow), the flap is 8.1mm wide (too narrow), while the spar goes spot-on (19.2 and 23.1mm from the trailing edge).

ESCI have reproduced the ailerons just a bit too wide (11.0 and 13.1mm respectively), whereas the flap is OK (8.6mm to be exact) and the distance between rear spar and wing trailing edge is a bit too narrow (19.0 and 22.9mm respectively).

So in my opinion the winner is ESCI

PS. I have photos of both Italeri and ESCI wings, but the method of attaching them to this post remains mysterious - for me at least :(

Edited by KRK4m
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Many moons ago there was an article by Bill Matthews in either Scale Models or Mushroom Monthly which compared the Esci, Italeri and (old) Airfix kits. As I recall he concluded that the Esci and Italeri kits were line ball, but he came down on the side of Italeri because he felt that its outline was marginally more accurate. The old Airfix kit, which first saw the light of day in about 1960 or '61, finished a far-off third.

Having built all three kits, I tend to agree with him, which is why, whenever I come across one of those "What would you like to see next" polls, I continually call for a DECENT DC-3/C-47 in 1:72. Mr Airfix, are you listening? A new, accurate DC-3/C-47 woud be greatly appreciated; to follow it up with a DC-4/C-54 would be the icing on the cake. And, before anyone says the obvious, I know about Boeing's predatory habits ...

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Bill's comparison was in the December 1985 Scale Models International but I'm afraid the cookie crumbled the other way!

Esci: "despite minor inaccuracies and a high price (£6.25 in the UK), this is the best of the kits of the DC-3."

Italeri: "This is also a good kit and at £3.45 in the UK offers excellent value for money. It is, however, definitely less accurate."

His main objections to the Italeri kit were:

1. Fuselage too deep at the wing leading edge, giving "the whole nose, which is of the correct length, a very apparent 'perked up' look, accentuated by a fuselage top line which is too flat."

2. Passenger cabin windows too shallow.

3. Cowlings too rounded, more like the ones fitted to the R-2000 engines of some modernised aircraft.

Flaws in the ESCI kit are:

1. Nose 1/8" too short, though "this does not affect the appearance of the model too seriously as the actual lines of the nose are very nearly correct, the only fault being marginally insufficient curvature on the fuselage top above the cockpit".

2. Insufficient dihedral, corrected by inserting a 0.045" thick strip of plastic card in the joint between the lower wings and the centre section.

"Whether a modeller should choose [the Italeri kit] or Esci's largely depends on his pocket and on how much of a purist he is. Satisfactory models can be made from both though neither will be completely accurate."

Of the Airfix kit, he said, even in 1985, "this kit is of little interest nowadays except to the collector. It is heavily riveted and seriously inaccurate, especially (as usual) the nose shape and inadequate dihedral".

HTH

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Sounds like half of one and 6 of the other. Either way both kits portray the type very nearly well enough and for now, good enough for me. Not too bothered about minor shape issues.

But KRK4m, thanks for the info on the aileron issue. An issue that no one seems to have picked up on even the Scale Models feature mentioned in above post.

BUT, I would still love to see the ultimate 1/72nd kit and even 1/144 for that matter. I do know that Roden are releasing a 144 one this year somewhen so look forward to that one. Hopefully its going to be much better than the Mincraft kit which in itself is scaled down copy with all its faults from the 1/100 th Nitto /Entex/... issue.

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Thanks, Seahawk - obviously my mind's not what it used to be (but then it never was!).

The other, and very obvious, omission from the Italeri/Revell/Airfix kit is the emergency exit over the cockpit. Easy enough to add with some 5 thou card, but it needs to be done. As a mate of mine who used to fly them once said, Douglas cunningly designed the exit to ensure that both crew members got a cold shower evey time the aircraft flew into rain - apparently it was impossible to get it to seal.

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