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u m m a r y
|Contents and Media:
||26 parts in grey
styrene; 33 parts in yellow resin; 2 vacform parts
||Fills a gap in late-war
Italian aviation modelling; accurate outline; crisply engraved detail;
small sprue gates; simple parts breakdown; good detail; effective use of
multi-media; high quality decals and good choice of markings; impressive
fit (so far!)
required for preparation of some resin parts; no harness; shallow gun
troughs; raised ejector pins (on inner surfaces only).
General Ramble About Limited-Run Kits
Once upon a time there were two types of plastic model.
There was the mass-produced, injection moulded kit sold at hobby and toy
stores that anyone could build; and then there were the "limited-run" kits.
These were vacform or the dreaded short-run plastic kits. These kits were often
crudely presented and included only the bare minimum of details. Sometimes the
modeller had to scratch build such details as the cockpit, undercarriage,
aerials and smaller parts. These kits might have represented a rewarding
challenge to master modellers, but the rest of us were more likely to have
opened the box and run away.
More recently, a welcome middle standard of kits has become available.
Classic Airframes is a good example. They produce subjects that are never likely
to be released by a mainstream manufacturer, yet the quality of the plastic is
very respectable and the fit of parts, while not perfect, is certainly
manageable by modellers with only moderate experience. The plastic sprues are
supplemented with resin parts, often providing these kits with a higher level of
detail than mainstream manufacturers can offer.
Other model companies, including Special Hobby, MPM and Grand Phoenix, have
joined Classic Airframes in this space. The most recent entrant to the limited
run market is "Flying Machines" from Italy.
If you are familiar with Classic Airframes most recent offerings, you will
know what to expect from Flying Machines' 1/48 scale Reggiane Re.2005.
The Reggiane Re.2005
The Regianne Re.2005 Sagittario (Archer) was one of the three
"Serie 5" Italian fighters built around the famous Daimler-Benz
DB 605 engine.
The combination of this powerful and well proven German engine with
sleek Italian design created a graceful aircraft quite capable of
holding its own against contemporary Allied fighters including the
Mustang and Spitfire IX.
Of the three final generation Italian WWII fighters, the Re.2005 was
the rarest due to limited, hand-built production. Only about 30 were
Flying Machine's debut release is the Reggiane Re.2005 in 1/48 scale.
The model comprises just 26 parts in grey styrene, 33 parts in pale
yellow resin, and two vacform canopies.
The plastic parts are very nice. The texture is silky, panel detail
is crisply engraved and sprue connection points are narrow and few. Some
rivet head detail is slightly raised, while fabric texture is restrained
and convincing. Trailing edges of the wings and tailplanes are quite
thin, but a light scraping of the mating surfaces won't hurt. Other
features such as shell ejectors and cowling vents are recessed. Some
modellers may wish to deepen these.
Click the thumbnails below
to view larger images:
The resin parts match this high standard. These parts are used for
the cockpit, exhausts and wheel wells, in addition to detailing the
undercarriage. The exhausts and wheel well parts are especially nice.
Most of the parts are cast onto small blocks with slim connectors, but
the wheel wells, seat and radiator have stout blocks that will need a
little time and care to successfully remove.
The vacform canopy represents the final pre-series version. This is
appropriate for most of the Re.2005s that reached squadron service. The
clear plastic is quite solid (so it won't collapse as you cut it),
features distinct frame detail, and is very clear. Interestingly, the
canopy has a slight blue tint.
The instructions are just okay. Assembly is called out over 13 steps
using exploded view drawings, but the diagrams are quite small.
Fortunately, the model is relatively simple so there are not too many
opportunities to go astray.
The Cartograf decals are terrific. They demonstrate their usual
narrow carrier film, perfect registration and strong colour saturation.
Markings are provided for 362a Squadriglia of the Regia
Aeronautica, a Luftwaffe machine and a rare Sagittario in
service with the ANR.
Although the instructions only call out only three specific options,
the sheet provides decals to produce any of the aircraft in
service with 362a Squadriglia of XXII°
Gruppo. The Re.2005 spent virtually all of its short Regia
Aeronautica operational career with this unit. Not only is a full
set of aircraft numbers supplied, but tiny individual serial numbers are
provided in blue, white and black. If that were not enough, the word
Sagittario, which appears on the tail, is offered in both
red and white (for very early aircraft) and solid white (for the bulk of
the operational aircraft).
No matter how good a limited run kit might look in the box, the
critical issue is always how the kit fits together. I decided to
examine the fit of major components, and to check some possible trouble
Parts breakdown is conventional - fuselage halves plus a full-span
lower wing and half-span upper wing halves. The plastic is quite soft
and easy to work with. The fuselage and wing parts were removed from the
sprues and I swiped the mating surfaces with a coarse sanding stick. All
of these parts have raised ejector pin marks that should be removed
before fitting parts.
The fuselage halves aligned perfectly without gaps. I taped the
fuselage together in preparation for more test-fitting.
I thinned the trailing edges of the wings with the blade of a hobby
knife. At this point I dry-fitted the bottom wing piece into the lower
fuselage cavity. A small lump of excess plastic at the trailing edge of
the wing root on the starboard fuselage interfered slightly with the fit
of the wing. I removed this imperfection with a sharp hobby knife and
dry-fitted the wing again. The fit was magnificent, as can be seen in
the photograph below:
One area that sometimes causes headaches in limited-run kits is the
installation of resin wheel wells. This kit is no exception. The detail
in the wheel well is very nice, but the stout casting block must be
entirely removed. Even this will not be quite enough to permit the upper
wing to fit - the inside of the upper wing will need thinning too.
Finally, the solid resin at the leading edge of the wheel well should
also be removed as it will interfere with the fit. None of this is
particularly difficult, and it a very worthwhile investment in time to
ensure a good fitting model.
Finally, I test-fitted the upper wings. I sanded any excess plastic
from the section of the upper wing that mates with the fuselage. The
match between the wing and the fuselage on the port side was almost
perfect after I slightly sanded the back edge of the upper wing. A few
seconds' sanding also achieved a good fit on the starboard side. Please
note that the photo below shows the model without any glue applied.
The only additional work I plan to do is to deepen and
drill-out the cowl gun troughs.
This is not the first 1/48 scale Re.2005, but it is
certainly the best.
Falcon released a nice vacform Sagittario in the
late 1980s, followed by a pretty rough limited-run injection version.
Neither of these kits included decals. Flying Machine's kit looks as
accurate as Falcon's release, but it is much better detailed and will
certainly be easier to build.
I am very impressed with this model. It looks great in
the box and construction is proving trouble-free so far.
My only reservation is that this is the fourth
1/48 scale Reggiane fighter variant to be released in less than ten
months. Will the model buying public will be "Reggian-ied out" by
I certainly hope not, as the Re.2005 is such an
attractive aircraft and Flying Machines has delivered a very nice,
Any modeller with moderate experience should have no
trouble with this kit.
Thanks to Flying Machines
for the review sample.
Flying Machines' Re.2005 is available online from Pacific Coast Models
and other hobby retailers.
Review and Images Copyright © 2002 by Brett
Page Created 01 May, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003
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