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Reggiane re

31 May

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As a last ditch effort to bring the technical standard of Italian fighters up to the same levels as their German allies as well as the opposing Allied forces, the Italian Air Ministry issued a requirement which resulted in three different aircraft, (all modifications of current designs), from Rat, Macchi and Reggiane being tendered – the Rat G 55, the Macchi С 205 and the Reggiane Re 2005. These aircraft, all powered by variants of the German Daimler Benz DB 605, were to become known as the ‘5 Series’ fighters.
The Reggiane Re 2005
Saggitario was the last of the line of well known Reggiane fighters that started with the Re 2000 back in 1937, itself based very closely upon the Seversky P-35. The original Re 2000s were powered by a Piaggio 870hp radial engine and after rejection by the Regia Aeronautica, were operated by Sweden, Hungary and eventually the Italian Navy. Although manoeuvreable, the aircraft had a structurally weak airframe and also lacked power. To help compensate for this, the next version, the Re 2001 Falco was strengthened and re-engined with a license produced version of the German Daimler Benz DB 601А-1 inline engine, the Alfa Romeo RA 1000 RC41-la Monsonie. As most of these engines were allocated to production of the Macchi MC 202, only 252 of this version were produced.

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The next version was the Re 2002 Ariete, which was a fighter bomber powered by a Piaggio P XIX RC45 radial of l,175hp. This version had a longer nose and a strengthened fuselage and was very effective in its designed role.
The last of the line, and arguably the best fighter produced by Italy during the war, was the Re 2005
Sagittario (Archer). This fighter reverted to the inline engine again and was powered by a license produced version of the excellent German Daimler Benz DB 605А-1, the Rat RA 1050 RC 58 Tifone.
Whilst retaining the overall configuration of its forebears, the new aircraft incorporated considerable structural redesign and a new undercarriage. Deliveries of the Re 2005 commenced in 1943, but it was rushed in to sen/ice. The prototype and ten pre-production aircraft were operated by 362a Squadriglia of 22 Gruppo and their main task was to protect Rome and Naples, although some operated from Sicily during the Allied landings there. By the time of the Armistice, only forty-eight aircraft had been built and most appear to have been destroyed due to bombing or air combat.
The survivors continued to be operated by the
Aeronautica Nazionale Republicana Italian Nationalist Air Force and the German Luftwaffe, but mostly in a high speed liaison role. It is said that in 1945, the few remaining survivors were withdrawn to Berlin and operated in the fighter role until that city fell.

Left: The Flying Machines’ box top and spread of injection-moulded plastic and resin parts, decal sheet and instructions.

Reggiane re 2005

This new kit by Rying Machines is, as far as I am aware, the very first release by them and is a very professionally produced kit, very reminiscent of Classic Airframes. The plastic parts, which include the main airframe and undercarriage, are very nicely detailed and the resin parts for the cockpit and wheel bays are likewise very good.
My first job was to pre-paint all the interior parts. The instructions suggest using Interior Green with black details. The wheel bays are really nice and are also to be painted Interior Green. When all of the paint was dry, I washed black watercolour paint into the recesses to show off the detail and dry brushed them with matt silver. There are pour lugs on the resin pieces and although the side walls and other smaller pieces are easy to remove,
I managed to cut through the roof of the wheel bay, so be careful! I covered the cut with a thin plastic card plaster’. The pour lug on the bottom of the cockpit floor can be left in place as there is enough space below it. Once all the pieces are painted and separated from their pour lugs, assembly of the model can commence.
The resin side walls were attached to the insides of the cockpit, making sure that the grooves at the rear line up with the end of the fuselage hump, as the head rest sits in them later on. The resin rear wheel bay bulkhead was fitted as was the propeller backplate and the instrument panel, before the fuselage halves were joined. Whilst the halves are held together with tape, the cockpit floor had the rudder pedals and the control column fitted and these were then fitted in to place from the ‘hole’ in the bottom of the fuselage where the wings would go later. Also at this stage, the upper cowling machine gun section was fitted, but this was too big and required sanding down later on.
The wheel bays were added to the lower wing sections and then the upper wings were added over these. If you don’t remove enough resin from the wheel bays the wings will not fit. You will know when enough resin has been removed as the top surface of the wheel bays become rather ‘see through’!
The completed wings were then added to the fuselage. Part of the lower rear fuselage required removing to enable the wings to fit and once in place there were gaps between the wings and fuselage on both sides. Once the correct dihedral was set and a bit of filler run in to the gaps however, they disappeared. Lots of tape was used to maintain the wings in place whilst they dried and whilst trussed up like this I fitted the tailplanes which also only needed a little filler applying to fair them into the fuselage.
After being left overnight to dry, all of the tape was removed and all the joints were sanded down ready for painting. Before this was done however the air filter was added to the side of the nose and the vac formed canopy was cut out and dry-fitted. There was a problem with the canopy as although I cut it along the lines that were in the clear acetate, when I dry fitted it to the fuselage it was far too small! Luckily a spare is provided and this was cut bigger and fitted okay, phew!


Now onto painting, the instructions state to use Verde Oliva Scuro (Dark Green) on the upper surfaces and Grigio Azzuro Chiaro 1 (Light Grey) on the undersides. No model paint manufacturer’s equivalents are mentioned, but luckily FS numbers are provided. FS 34052 is for the Dark Green, which is X109 Marine Corps Green in the Xtracolor range and FS 36307 is provided for the Light Grey. Unfortunately I could not find a manufacturer’s paint reference to match this and being on a deadline to complete the kit/review, I did not have time to order the paints. Instead I tried matching what I had to colour pictures of Italian aircraft and I came up with AeroMaster Grigio Mimetico 1 for the undersides. I believe Polyscale do a range of Italian colours and given time I would have liked to have given these’a try.
The paint was brushed on a usual and went on well with no problems, with a white fuselage band being applied using Humbrol Gloss White. The propeller spinner was painted green and white and once dry the propeller blades were fitted.

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Above: The resin cockpit interior and the mainwheel wells in place – (note the patching-up of the port bay roof!) – and……

Right:……putting it all together with plenty of Tamiya tape to make

sure everything stays together and the wing dihedral is correct.as was the undercarriage. Some rather nice resin parts are provided for the oleo links and the retraction struts.


Next it was time for the decals. I had decided to model one of the early aircraft in Regia Aeronautica markings, but also on the sheet are options for aircraft operated by the Luftwaffe and the Italian Aeronautica Nazionale Republica. All three are in the same basic ‘green and grey’ scheme. The markings that I chose are for aircraft MM.092351 of 362a Squadriglia of the 22 Gruppo, operating from Capua, which I think is near to Naples, in July 1943.

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The decals went on well and were sealed in place with Gloss Varnish. When dry the model was given a couple of coats of Polyscale Matt Varnish and a few paint chips and a bit of weathering was applied – not too much though as these aircraft were literally ‘factory fresh’.
I really enjoyed building this kit. I have always been fascinated by Italian World War Two fighters – they resemble the lines of classic racing cars to me. I have never built an Italian fighter in 1:48 scale before, but I think I am now hooked!
This new kit, despite having its problems, was relatively easy to build, the problems were very minor and easy to correct and at the end of the day it is a beautiful model of a beautiful aircraft. What more can we ask as modellers.
Thanks to Flying Machines for providing such enjoyment with this kit

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