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T-33A Shooting Star Kit

Great Wall Hobbies 1/48 T-33A Shooting Star Kit Build Review

By Fotios Rouch

Date of Review April 2020 Manufacturer Great Wall Hobby
Subject T-33A Shooting Star Scale 1/48
Kit Number 4821 Primary Media Styrene/Photo-Etch
Pros Beautifully done model of this distinctive aircraft Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $53.95

Build Review

For some background of this subject and a look at this kit out of the box, look here.

This is my second GWH T-33 I build. I really like the kit and it goes without saying that it leaves the other 48th scale T-33s in the dust. I decided to only use two photoetch sets and nothing more and make it a quick build. I used the Eduard cockpit set which comes with color instrument panels and side consoles. It goes together fairly well, and I had no issues other than handling the tiny levers. Eduard gives you duplicates because these parts can get easily lost.

T-33A Shooting StarT-33A Shooting StarT-33A Shooting Star

For the nose weight I decided not to use the plastic wight provided but to hollow out the nose part and fill it with lead. Once the model is on its landing gear, I will decide how much weight is necessary for the nose. Next, I focused on the brass flaps and they were more time consuming than I thought. I followed the instruction steps for the port flaps, and I found the fit challenging. For the starboard set I cut the parts to easier to construct sub-components and had a much better fit. Take your time and the result is worth it.

T-33A Shooting StarT-33A Shooting StarT-33A Shooting Star

I then painted the insides of the intakes natural metal as it will be impossible to mask them later. While I was at it I painted the Aircraft Gray part of the intake and since I had more paint left in the airbrush I painted the landing gear doors as well. You also need to carefully putty the sink marks on the intake splitters.

T-33A Shooting StarT-33A Shooting Star

The wings went on next and tape was applied for things to set correctly. So far, no fit issues just like with the previous build.

T-33A Shooting StarT-33A Shooting Star

The build continued with spraying Aircraft Gray and Insignia White.

T-33A Shooting Star

I chose the front wheel for the other GWH T-33A (ROCAF) that has the finned front hub. Not sure why GWH did not include both types since they have them designed and since they offered the Langley decal option.

T-33A Shooting Star

Now that the model is unmasked I will tend to a few more things, like painting the canopy and correcting the ejection seats to gray from black.

T-33A Shooting Star

Next thing was to work the landing gear using the Eduard photoetch pieces. The brass set offers the tie-downs and the scissors for all the legs.

T-33A Shooting Star

I then painted the red wing roots and stall warning leading edges and moved on to the decals.

T-33A Shooting Star

The decals are great. They are very well thought out and go down very well. I wish the red on the walk around areas was a little darker, but all was well. Then the model was sprayed with semi-gloss varnish and a little weathering was applied last. The installation of the clear parts was the last step and the application of clear red, green and orange for the position lights. I like the end result and I am willing to build many more GWH T-33s down the road.

T-33A Shooting StarT-33A Shooting Star

The GWM kit is the best T-33A in any scale. I have a few more to build. One will definitely be a TV-2 to keep company to my T2V and I have to have a shiny NMF one day as well. A highly recommended model.

T-33A Shooting StarT-33A Shooting StarT-33A Shooting StarT-33A Shooting StarT-33A Shooting Star

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