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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
The build continued with spraying Aircraft Gray and Insignia White.
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.
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.
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.
I then painted the red wing roots and stall warning leading edges and moved on to the decals.
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.
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.