SAirfix 1/72 C-47 Skytrain A08014

I've recently been re-watching the old HBO series 'Band of Brothers', and found inspiration to pull this kit from 2014 out of the stash. As luck would have it one of the two schemes on offer is for the outfit that flew in the actual Band of Brothers unit (506th PIR) on D-Day.

Before cutting any plastic first some research was carried out.

The Osprey book on the right contains a side profile of the aircraft I intend to model, but has a few slight differences from the Airfix painting guide which we will look at at the painting stage.

On opening the box the parts were found to have nice surface engraving, and a well detailed interior with relief detailing on the fuselage sides, optional deployed or extended troop seats, and fully equipped flight deck. Behind this are the flight engineer's and radio operators compartments which are sectioned off, but missing detail and seats, but no worry as this cannot be seen once the fuselage is buttoned up. 

The kit also includes optional parts such as different props, ski and retracted undercarriage, and loading ramps not mentioned in the instructions. Freight and flight-deck doors can also be left open.


As well as some of the main components the main wheel skis and the larger of the loading ramps can be seen here


Frames of smaller parts,

 The decals to the usual high standard by Cartograf and the clear, detailed instructions.

Construction starts with the fight-deck and passenger cabin interiors. The fight-deck is well detailed, just needing straps for the crew. These could be made with tape, but I didn't bother this time as you can't see much through the small opening.

All goes together well, including the engineer's and radio operator's compartments, and good colour call outs are given. I didn't weather these areas as I said before it would be wasted effort as it wouldn't be seen.

Not seen here, but a convincing decal was provided for the instrument panel.

Soon I was ready to join the fuselage, trapping the internals. Dry fitting showed that things were very tight around the nose, and any stray paint in this area was scraped off. Some weathering was added around the freight door opening.

The fuselage went together well in the end, using clamps, and little to no filler was needed. Next on was the underside centre section of the wing, which included a semi span spar piece. Don't make my mistake of attaching the spar to the centre section and letting it dry fully, then attaching the centre section to the fuselage and leaving to cure before mounting the upper wings. I must have got the spar slightly canted backward, because the top wings wouldn't fit properly until I had shaved a significant amount from the rear top face of the spar. Best to attach all these parts in one action so they can be adjusted to fit correctly before the solvent fully cures

The completed fuselage with underwing centre section and spar in place. The join on the underside was good needing minimal filler.


Closeup of the wing/ spar/ fuselage join. the cabin windows are attached from the outside which will save on masking later.


The separate wing fillet piece, which will need careful fitting.

Next on were the upper wing sections.I could not get the front leading edge to join here, and had about a 2mm gap. A first I thought it was the spar still playing up from being misaligned, and I started to sand this down, but no difference was made. In the end it turned out to be two location pegs on either side of the engine nacelle, which didn't meetup with their holes. These were removed and the wings fitted fine.

One clever trick Airfix came up with was making the end of the spars into the landing lights inside the wings. No painting call out is given for these, but I painted the interior black with a silver light.

The outer bottom wings were next on, and here the spar really did need a slight reduction to get a good fit. The wing fillet piece fitted well in the end and only needed a brief rub down with wet and dry to remove a couple of high spots, and some filler where they met the fixed fillet section on the fuselage moulding.

The front of the nacelles and the engines and cowling then went on, again just a smear of filler needed, then onto the tail feathers. The horizontal tails are keyed so make sure they are level, but care is still needed so as not to get them a degree or two out of true. The elevators and rudder are separate, and were set at a slight angle for a bit of life. Last on before painting were the main freight doors and crew door. As the aircraft is being modelled as it would have appeared on the night of 5th/6th June 1944, before taking off for D-Day, these were left closed, with only the trooping door in the forward freight door left open, as on this night she would be carrying troops, not cargo.

Ready for painting, the areas already painted are to check the joins.


Underside. Again painted areas are to check seams. Here some hairline gaps were filled with wood glue, wiped off with a damp cotton bud.


1077 posts

I don't know when you started this kit as all your posts have been uploaded today but even for only a couple of says you have made good progress! And it looks a very good kit and build so far and you have reminded me this kit is on my intended  purchase list lol.


Looking forward to further updates of your build!


I don't know when you started this kit as all your posts have been uploaded today but even for only a couple of says you have made good progress! And it looks a very good kit and build so far and you have reminded me this kit is on my intended  purchase list lol.


Looking forward to further updates of your build!

Hi T2B,


I actually started this kit a few weeks ago, and have been taking photos as I go along, but didn't get round to writing it up. Yesterday afternoon I was sitting on the sofa watching Indiana Jones feeling full and finally got round to it Smile. get this kit if you can, it's a good one!

Aussie Jeff

54 posts

I seem to be channeling your builds PMM.  After completing the Warhawk/Zero dogfight double where I added to your older posts, I'm just about to start a Douglas Dakota/C-47 myself - mine is the kit with the Willy Jeep and othe ground equipment. I'll be able to use your experience to help me.  Cheers, Jeff.

After 45 years let's have another crack at this caper!


1077 posts



I think it's getting closer to the top of my wishlist! The question is can I stretch my Xmas cash to the C-47 and the 1:48th scale Blenheim? But out of all the Dakota kits the 1 your doing would be the 1 I would want!! 

Over the Christmas break I've painted my Skytrain and it's now ready for decals. All was done by hand with a brush, using mainly Humbrol Acrylics, with one exception. The basic colour scheme was easy enough with Humbrol 128 USN Light Gull Grey standing in for the neutral grey undersides, and Hu155 Olive Drab for the top surfaces. The demarcation between the two was soft, so no masking needed here, but this was soon to change. The next colour was the Medium Green blotches along the edges of the flying surfaces. As I did not have this colour as an Acrylic, and there isn't a good substitute in the Humbrol range I hunted through my enamel collection and found a tin of old Humbrol Authentic HU 1 Medium Green, which hadn't been opened for at least 30 years! After a very good stir it went on just fine though.

Now for the difficult bit, masking all the de-icing strips and invasion stripes. After a lot of measuring and fiddling about with narrow strips of tape, plus touch ups after the masking was removed, I'm more or less happy with the results. The stripes will be kept looking clean and fresh as I'm modelling the aircraft just before it's D-day mission on the night of June 5/6, when the black and white paint had just been applied.

I actually made three changes from the painting guide. I'm not saying that I'm right and the Airfix guide is wrong, but what I've done makes sense to me! First, I didn't include the anti glare panel in front of the cockpit, I couldn't find any photos of wartime C-47's with this, and why would it need one as the paint there is matt olive drab? Two, I didn't carry the invasion stripes over the wing leading edges as these were rubber de-icing boots, and if these were painted the paint would flake off when used. Third, It seems the fuselage stripes are about 8mm to far forward on the Airfix paint guide so I moved mine back a little.


I also worked on some of the smaller parts while painting the airframe, here are the main undercarriage parts, props, and the loading ramp and troop steps. The last two aren't mentioned in the instructions, but I will be fitting the troop steps on mine.


Next up will be decalling.


1248 posts

About the loading ramp; it's specifically designed around getting a Willys Jeep into the cargo door. There is/was one boxing of this kit that included a Jeep, and that's really the only time that part becomes applicable.

Though I fly through the shadow of the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am at 65_000 feet and climbing.

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