Italeri, 1/48 scale
u m m a r y
||Italeri Kit No. 2733 - H-21C Shawnee ‘Flying Banana’
|Contents and Media:
||Four grey plastic sprues plus one clear one for the canopy bubble and windows and a small etched fret.
||Appealing subject; great decals; lots of scope for super detailing.
||Panel lines, weak rotor attachment points and scant interior detail.
Reviewed by Graham Tetley
Eduard's 1/48 scale SE.5a ProfiPACK will be available online from Squadron.com
The H-21 was offered to the United States Air Force in 1949. These aircraft became the H-21A Workhorse (assigned to search & rescue duties) while the H-21B (powered by an uprated 1425hp engine) would serve in the transport and air assault roles. The US Army would also adopt the 1425hp aircraft as the H-21C Shawnee. These aircraft served through the 1950s and the H-21C saw combat during the early years of the Vietnam War.
Italeri has released their H-21 Workhorse / Shawnee kit in 1/48 scale after quite a long wait.
It is fair to say that this kit is easily the best of the bunch to date. It comes on four grey plastic sprues plus one clear one for the canopy bubble and windows and a small etched fret. Molding quality ranges from very good to basic with some flash and ejector pin marks present. The parts count is appealingly quite low for such a large model.
Construction kicks off with the cockpit. We get various controls, two seats detailed with etched brass straps and a display column that has a decal for the controls. Once assembled, the cockpit and cabin are sandwiched between the two fuselage halves. Interior detail is limited to the bulkheads and seats with no detail at all molded into the fuselage interiors but there are some hefty ejector pin marks to remove. A quick internet search will reveal several upgrade sets that can be used on this kit for both the interior and exterior if you want to go down the road of extra detailing. The cabin doors can be shown open or closed, as can the sliding side windows of the cockpit. To be fair if you close the kit up then the interior is sufficient but with the doors open it does cry out for additional work.
The area behind the cabin is visible from the outside and Italeri provide us with a complete engine section including exhaust system, fuselage ribs and drive shafts. The motor section is assembled as a single module and then glued in the fuselage halves. A nice touch is that the fuselage panels can be left open or closed to show off the engine detail from below. Note that you can’t get away with leaving the engine unpainted as you can still see it all through the etched brass screens.
There is one big problem though as a test fit of the fuselage halves reveals that the panel lines do not line up. This is not something that I would expect to see on a 2017 model.
The only way around this is to fill and re-scribe the panel lines as well as replace the rivet detail around it. One can only hope that Italeri correct this and offer replacement, correctly tooled, parts.
Here are some options and omissions that I spotted:
There are two different rear tailfin options but it is not highlighted in the instructions which type was used where.
We also have an optional set of lights that affix to the landing gear on the nose. The instructions again do not tell you which version this applies to.
A nice touch is that we get flattened and bulged tyres, but no so good if you want to display this in flight. Some ‘normal’ tyres would have been good as optional parts.
The kit does not provide the additional tanks and their mounts that were often seen on the USAF version in period photos.
The rotors are generally very well presented although the main rotor mount Part 18A is very fragile. Two of the rotor attachment points had broken off in the bag which means that I will have to drill & pin the parts to stop the rotors breaking off.
The instructions are nice & clear with some good, uncluttered, diagrams to work from that make it impossible to slip up. Worthy of note is the decal sheet in that all of the stencilling is readable and this is provided in different colours for the different marking options.
They are nicely printed and in register: a definite highlight of the kit.
If you want a Shawnee in 48th scale then this is the way to go, however the overall quality is mixed. The error with the panel lines, weak rotor attachment points and scant interior detail may turn some off, but the decal quality is really good and there is a lot of scope for super-detailing. Recommended, but with reservations.
Thanks to The Hobby Company Limited for the sample www.hobbyco.net
Review Text Copyright © 2017 by Graham Tetley
Page Created 11 August, 2017
11 August, 2017
Back to HyperScale Main Page
Back to Reviews Page