HpH Models | HPH32043L: 1/32 C-47 Skytrain
Reviewed by Anthony Galbraith
Upon opening the box you are met with lots of bubble wrap and inside the well-packed box come all the major wing and fuselage components. A couple of zip-lock bags on top contain the flap upgrade set (which includes the steps that hook into the floor at the cargo door entrance), which is resin, and big photo-etch sheet. Beautifully done. HGW seatbelts and loads of buckles for the paratroopers' seats and window masks. Another bag contains another large photo-etch sheet with various panels ribs, miles of stringers, cowl flaps, the list goes on. A backing for the inst panel with all the coloured instrument faces. In this bag there are the transparencies and they are impressively clear. One thing to be aware of is the windows down the sides have all the little circles for the ‘push out’ hole to poke a rifle through. If you are wanting to do a post-war machine then you will have to cut your own new windows or perhaps order the airliner ones when that kit is released.
One thing I really like is the instruction booklet. It is a thick, glossy publication that is really helpful to sit down with a coffee and flick through. I think my Catalina and Walrus kits contain CDs instead, which can be printed out. But this is nice HpH, thanks.
Then we find two boxes labelled C-47 Box 1 and box 2. Box one contains a lot of the larger items like spars and ailerons. The ailerons are really long and mine were both as straight as a die, maybe they have metal rods in them. Next are elevators, horizontal tailplanes and rudder. The fabric detail is stunning and subtle—most impressive! These two boxes are absolutely crammed with parts. In fact there is so much it is overwhelming and impressive. The cockpit and radio stations, etc., are works of art. My only criticism would be the main wheels. The hubs are really nice but those tyres just don't look right. The engines and wheel wells are incredibly detailed. You will need nothing extra as HpH provides everything you need and more.
This is a really expensive kit, especially if, like me, you brought the flap set as an extra! After purchasing it I then got hit with hefty customs fees and taxes. I did feel somewhat sick for a while. I hope it builds as good as it looks.
After I opened up the kit I have to admit I cast a critical eye over her. I had concerns over the nose of this kit when I looked at photos online. For some reason the nose contour and lower line up to the tip of the nose has been hopelessly reproduced by just about every kit manufacturer. I spent over four hours studying drawings (many of which I don't put a lot of trust in-generally speaking), but I had a couple of nice Douglas fuselage scans with lofts and measurements. But mostly studying photos. I set about the task being convinced something was wrong and was determined to find where it was so I could fix it! Rather than pretend it was good and never really know, I made the kit prove itself.
I like to think I have a pretty critical eye and personally (wait for it!) I think HpH nailed it! I honestly can't find anything wrong. I have looked at it at just about every angle I can, overlaying the kit on photos, taking into regard parallax, etc. I think they got it spot on.
But (and there is always a but), they got the side cockpit window just slightly too big and represented it with a photo-etch window frame. This will be fine, but I am going to shim it up smaller with plastic card (mostly on the rear of the frame), and blend it in with sanding and add some Archer rivets and it will look spot on. An easy fix in anyone's world.
I am really impressed with the kits surface detail, those lapped panels in this scale look fabulous with all the raised rivets. Fuselage halves all line up beautifully and panels match perfectly left to right.
Apart from the wheels and side window, I have to say well done HpH and I highly recommend the kit so far! The schemes and conversions are mind boggling and your mind certainly runs away with you when you open the box and put the 2 halves together!
Hmm, an RNZAF VIP or even an Antarctic VX-6 Ski Dak? I know I can't afford to do both!
© Anthony Galbraith 2019
This review was published on Saturday, January 26 2019; Last modified on Saturday, January 26 2019