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Airfix 1/72nd C-47A/D release date?


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Has anyone heard any news on the release date of Airfix's forthcoming C-47A/D Dokota/Skytrain kit?

The Big H and others have it listed as due in April - well there's not an awful lot of April left now, I was expecting to have heard something by now so I'm wondering where it's got to - I saw the test shots at the Yeovilton show and it looks lovely!

Wez

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It has been delayed slightly. The basic kit is now due 2nd week of May, the military kit with jeep load is due in August and the civil version in October

http://www.wonderlandmodels.com/products/airfix-172-douglas-dakota-c-47-d-skytrain/

Thanks Rod, I was slightly turning blue holding my breath, guess I can stop now and start fretting in a couple of weeks again!

Wez

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There is a build of it in the June 2014 Airfix magazine. It looks very good in terms of detail but appears to have Hasegawa/Italeri style panel line trenches and an absence of rivets - which the real thing has in multitudes. Perhaps rivets are too expensive to mould?

The builder has done it in the "Spanish style" of panel line emphasis so it's hard to tell much about it but it doesn't appear to be as much an advance as the latest superb Airfix kits - Gladiator, Swordfish etc.

I emphasise I haven't seen it yet so my opinion is based solely on this article.

dakota_1_zpsf2bb8357.jpg

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The mouldings didn't look that bad to me at Cosford :(

This looks quite disappointing, the trenches must have been muted in the light of Hangar One

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They have been accentuated by the modeller's treatment. However, this appears to be typical of Airfix's approach to giving the modellers what they are thought to want rather than a more realistic approach. As said above, other recent kits have shown a less heavy handed approach so perhaps this is partly due to larger aircraft taking longer to prepare. I must admit not paying the C-47 too much attention at Cosford but don't recall seeing any similar effect on the Blenheim.

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I've seen to plastic up close. The parts and detail are good. I wouldn;t go along with the pics of the made up model see here as gospel .. The kit is everything we expect form AFX. (Well I am overjoyed by it!!)

I'm now of to bask in the sun again!!

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I, too, don't think the particular modeller's approach does the kit any service (no, I haven't seen the parts). I'm somewhat more concerned about overall shape than style of tile in this case. But I have a strange feeling that if the price is of the sort I'd anticipate, I'll have to get one unless something really drastic arises.

bob

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I still don't understand why people highlight these 'trenches' with black(!) panel wash, it will obviously show it up a lot more, try using a slightly darker tone of what is on the aircraft, might seem a lot of work on camo aircraft but it looks a lot better IMO....

Ps, can't wait for it to come out, I think I'll be getting one as I love Goony Birds!

Edited by Radleigh
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It's funny how things change, I remember a time that Airfix in particular were heavily criticised because of their depiction of rivets, now they're being criticised for using incised lines - seems they cant win :shrug:

Comparing the Airfix kit to the Italeri and Esci kits, they too have incised lines, if the Airfix ones are more delicate than either those kits and the shapes are right, I'll live with it, the kit does after all provide the differences between the A and D so it's no one trick pony there.

Looking at the aircraft in this link http://www.aviationcorner.net/show_photo_en.asp?id=256903 it is evident the panel lines are prominent as are the raised rivets, please note, this is a real aeroplane with no pre-shading, all that muck and weathering is accumulated along prominent features on the airframe - real aircraft do that you know (I'm an aircraft engineer, pre-shading irks me as it's not how real aircraft are painted :angrysoapbox.sml::bleh: )

Wez

Edited by Wez
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As you can tell I agree with the last few posts

The mould shapes looked very nice at Cosford, I have it on my "YES" list

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I had a look at the Esci kits in my stash recently, and I was impressed by how good they still look. Accuracy issues aside, Airfix will have a hard time beating them, especially since the Airfix kit is quite expensive.

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There are some more shots on Hyperscale: http://www.clubhyper.com/forums/plasticpixframe.htm.

Overall shape looks good; probably the best of what's out there at present. I agree that the treatment of the panel lines doesn't do the thing any favours. If recessed lines aren't your bag, there looks to be nothing that a coat of Mr Surfacer (or something similar) wouldn't bring to heel. I might have me a couple ...

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I still don't understand why people highlight these 'trenches' with black(!) panel wash, it will obviously show it up a lot more, try using a slightly darker tone of what is on the aircraft, might seem a lot of work on camo aircraft but it looks a lot better IMO....

Strong agreement on my part. I find the highlighting of every single panel line by dark (or worse, black) washes to be the most ghastly of modern trends in modelling. Even well handled it makes scale models look like bad diecasts, or artists "profiles" and it is very rarely well handled. Why the devil, for example, would one emphasise panel lines one already thought were too prominent? Monkey see, monkey do adherence to blind fashion IMO.

Still, like the humungous rivets of the 1960s and 1970s, this too will probably pass.

Shane

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They have been accentuated by the modeller's treatment. However, this appears to be typical of Airfix's approach to giving the modellers what they are thought to want rather than a more realistic approach. As said above, other recent kits have shown a less heavy handed approach so perhaps this is partly due to larger aircraft taking longer to prepare. I must admit not paying the C-47 too much attention at Cosford but don't recall seeing any similar effect on the Blenheim.

That's actually the reason why I've been purchasing the older tool Airfix Lancaster: the raised rivets, though slightly oversized, are better than any of the new offerings.

I had a look at the Esci kits in my stash recently, and I was impressed by how good they still look. Accuracy issues aside, Airfix will have a hard time beating them, especially since the Airfix kit is quite expensive.

They are nice, but they have far too many panel lines... probably more than any other kit:

7Z4_zpsb2b8b03a.jpg

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Esci still looks a lot more accurate than the troughs on the Airfix kit. I must say that I've been impressed by Airfix improvements in this area, certainly their kits released in the last year or so are miles better than those from a few years back. However, this is a major step back. I know it's a test shot but I doubt we'll see this aspect improved on the final kit.

Aigle_Azur_Douglas_DC-3_Volpati.jpg

item.JPG

Edited by sroubos
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The trouble with the ESCI kit IS the panel effect! There are lots depicted when they should be purely rivet lines. For example the diagonal ones around the nose/cockpit area!! What were ESCi doing!!

Yes its a good kit but I am going to go for the Airfix one now!

As for the highlighting of such lines WHY!!??? To me preshading is like putting on dirty underwear then dressing up!! Study pics of worn Daks and compare to models one will see that dark lines hardly appear. I only ever accentuate moving or opening items on aircraft like hatches, doors, flaps ailerons etc!!

Back to the new AFX kit, It has lots of useful extra items tooo!!

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You are correct that they are rivet lines represented as panel lines. However, for me personally the effect is miles better than the Airfix kit. I'm not only talking about the depth of the lines, but also about the number, the Airfix kit looks far too clean compared to both the real thing and the Esci and the pattern of the lines makes it look like my laminate floor.

I've bought a great many of recent Airfix kits as I love to support their great work, but this kit adds nothing to what is already out there for me. And at that price, you can get two older toolings.

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I had a look at the Esci kits in my stash recently, and I was impressed by how good they still look. Accuracy issues aside, Airfix will have a hard time beating them, especially since the Airfix kit is quite expensive.

Whilst the Airfix kit may be more expensive, it will also be more readily available than the Esci kit (yes I know you can get them off of E-Bay etc but the average individual won't bother doing that). My first one is coming from eHattons which brings the price down a bit.

You are correct that they are rivet lines represented as panel lines. However, for me personally the effect is miles better than the Airfix kit. I'm not only talking about the depth of the lines, but also about the number, the Airfix kit looks far too clean compared to both the real thing and the Esci and the pattern of the lines makes it look like my laminate floor.

I've bought a great many of recent Airfix kits as I love to support their great work, but this kit adds nothing to what is already out there for me. And at that price, you can get two older toolings.

I've just looked at the Esci and Italeri kits in my stash, the panel lines on the Esci kit are finer (but only just) and more numerous (as others have said, rivet lines being reproduced as panel lines), the fabric effect on the rudder of both kits is atrocious - it would be like skinning it with a hessian sack! Why do kit manufacturers feel the need to do this? Properly applied fabric is as smooth as metal!!

Comparing the fuselage halves, the Italeri is bigger than the Esci kit, I don't know which is right but I do recall reading that the Esci kit was underscale although I don't know if this is correct, I do know that the two have slightly different shape to the nose and fin - again, I don't know who's correct. The Italeri kit has cowlings more appropriate to PW-2000 re-engined aircraft not a standard C-47A/D/Dakota etc.

I'll give the Airfix kit a go, I'm hoping the panel lines on the kit won't appear as deep as they appear in the photo's of the test shot - lighting has a habit of making those things appear worse than they are, I'm certainly not going to condemn it based on those photo's, I'll make the comparison against the Esci kit then.

Wez

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PW R2000 re-engined aircraft? Eight were modified that way and used by Pan American, but I don't think I've seen pictures of the cowlings. Were there some other civil rebuilds? It was said that some of the gunships in Vietnam were re-engined but this (I'm told) wasn't true.

I think you are right to make comparisons after seeing the kit for real, but it doesn't look promising. In this respect - which isn't the only point on which to judge any kit.

Edited by Graham Boak
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PW R2000 re-engined aircraft? Eight were modified that way and used by Pan American, but I don't think I've seen pictures of the cowlings. Were there some other civil rebuilds? It was said that some of the gunships in Vietnam were re-engined but this (I'm told) wasn't true.

I think you are right to make comparisons after seeing the kit for real, but it doesn't look promising. In this respect - which isn't the only point on which to judge any kit.

My understanding is that there were other civil rebuilds, if you look at the front of the Italeri cowling in plan or profile it has a much greater radius than that of a standard cowling, the cowling appears longer than standard.

I will still reserve judgement until after I've seen the kit, you're right, surface detail is not the only criteria to judge a kit by, the correct shape and buildability are also important factors.

Edited by Wez
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PW R2000 re-engined aircraft? Eight were modified that way and used by Pan American, but I don't think I've seen pictures of the cowlings. Were there some other civil rebuilds? It was said that some of the gunships in Vietnam were re-engined but this (I'm told) wasn't true.

From Peter M. Bowers DC-3 book:

"A more major change was to install larger 1450-hp Pratt & Whitney R-2000 engines as used in the DC-4/C-54 for increased takeoff and altitude performance.

The slightly longer engines fitted under the same cowling as the R-1830 Twin Wasp but the propeller was a few inches farther ahead of the cowling lip."

Apologies for the poor scan but the book is not scanner-friendly:

DC-3Alpha-R2000.jpg

Apart from the above aircraft I cannot find reference to other civilian DC-3s being modified with R-2000s.

Regarding the PAA aircraft the following info and photo also from Bowers:

"C-47E - Another engine change resulted in adoption of the C-47E designation in 1953, when Pan American Airways modified eight C-47As and Bs for MATS as airways checkers. Larger Pratt & Whitney R-2000-4 engines out of Douglas C-54s were used, not so much for the increase to 1290 hp, but because the increased generator capacity was needed to run all the electrical equipment. In a few cases, other C-47s were fitted with R-2000 engines without changing the series letter.

...The R-2000 fitted under the same cowlings used for the R-1830s, and C-47Es could be identified visually only by the fact that the propellers were now a few inches forward. This change was sometimes reflected by moving the red warning stripe on the fuselage a corresponding distance forward."

C-47E.jpeg

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