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P-47D/F-86E 'Gabreski' Kit

Academy 1/72 P-47D/F-86E 'Gabreski' Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2016 Manufacturer Academy
Subject P-47D/F-86E 'Gabreski' Scale 1/72
Kit Number 12530 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Two kits in one box Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $31.00

First Look

P-47D/F-86E 'Gabreski' Kit
P-47D/F-86E 'Gabreski' Kit
P-47D/F-86E 'Gabreski' Kit
P-47D/F-86E 'Gabreski' Kit
P-47D/F-86E 'Gabreski' Kit

Francis Stanley Gabreski was a distinguised fighter pilot and command officer in the United States Air Force. Born in Oil City, Pennsylvannia, 'Gabby' Gabreski was the son of Polish immigrants and after completing flight school in 1941, he volunteered to serve as liason to the Polish squadrons flying with the RAF since he spoke fluent Polish. Gabreski flew the Spifire Mk.IX during his time with the Polish squadrons and then moved to the 61st Fighter Squadron flying the P-47 Thunderbolt. He would eventually become squadron commander and even bring over several Polish pilots into the 61st (Polish) Squadron. When Gabreski had completed his combat tour, he volunteered for one more mission before returning home, but was shot down and became a POW for almost a year.

After returning stateside and recuperating from his captivity, Gabreski continued his Air Force career transitioning into the F-80 Shooting Star and later into the F-86 Sabre. He would take command of the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing and led the wing against the MiG-15 over Korea. When Gabreski had completed his combat tour, he became only one of seven men to become aces in two different wars.

Academy has released this special edition kit honoring Gabby Gabreski and features two of his notable aircraft, the P-47D Thunderbolt and the F-86E Sabre. This dual-kit release is molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees plus two trees of clear parts.

Among the features and options in the P-47D kit:

  • Simple cockpit
  • Positionable canopy
  • Nice engine
  • Kit comes with two propellers
  • Choice of metal or paper external fuel tank
  • Optional underwing bomb load

Among the features and options in the F-86E kit:

  • Nice cockpit and ejection seat
  • Positionable canopy
  • Positionable wing slats
  • Positionable stabilators
  • External fuel tanks

The kit provides markings for the following aircraft:

  • P-47D-25-RE, 42-26418, 61 FS/56 FG, HV-A, Jul 1944, depicts 28 kill marks
  • F-86E-10-NA, 51-2746, 25 FS/51 FW, 'Lady Frances', 1952, sometimes flown by Gabreski
  • F-86E-10-NA, 51-2740, 51 FW, 'Gabby'

For whatever reason, Academy correctly provides the parts and markings for the bubbletop Thunderbolt but the instructions show the assembly instructions and parts layout for the razorback Thunderbolt kit. Since most of the parts are common, this shouldn't be an issue in building that kit.

Despite the above mix-up, this is a nice release with some great markings to honor an American hero and fighter pilot. Have some fun and this one a try!

My sincere thanks to MRC for this sample!