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J-20 / Heja 1 - Re 2000 Export Birds (SH48208) 1:48 Special Hobby


Julien
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J-20 / Heja 1 - Re 2000 Export Birds (SH48208)

1:48 Special Hobby

 

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The Re 2000 designed by Reggiane in the late 1930s was an all metal low wing monoplane fighter.  It is said the designers took inspiration from the P-35. This was their first aircraft to feature an all metal stressed skin construction, previous aircraft being of mixed metal/wood construction. However like many aircraft of the period the control surfaces would remain fabric covered. The aircraft would also feature a fully retractable undercarriage. An early major problem was the lack of reliable engines, this would plague the aircraft in use as well. Armament was only two 12.7mm machine guns in upper fuselage. Wing guns were looked at but never adopted.   The large sliding canopy offered excellent near all round visibility something lacking in other aircraft of the time.  With a top speed of 330mph the aircraft was able to hold its own or better the C.200 and Bf 109E. 

 

Surprisingly the Regiia Aeronautica cancelled its pre-production order and rejected the aircraft so it was promoted overseas. In face the British Govt were interested in purchasing it , initially directly, and then via the companies Portuguese subsidiary. Efforts on this came to a halt when Italy entered WWII. in the end 80% of production would go to Sweden with 60 aircraft, and Hungary with  70 aircraft. The remainder would serve with the Italian Air Force over the Med as escort and attack aircraft.  12 Re 2000A long range aircraft were built with an increased fuel capacity and a small number were rebuilt as catapult launched aircraft for the Italian Navy.  The Swede's purchased the aircraft as an emergency measure resulting from the out break of WWII., thy however found as the Italians did that the reliability of these aircraft was not good and all but one were scrapped after the war ended. In Hungary the Germans were initially reluctant to supply their ally with aircraft in case they were used against Romania. As well as buying the 70 aircraft they acquired license production rights for another approximate 170 aircraft. 

 

 

The Kit

This is a new tool kit from Special Hobby this year (with the wing sprue having its origins in the Classic Airframes kit of the past.  As a new tool kit the quality is good with nice recessed panel lines, good detail and good clear parts. There are 4 sprues of grey plastic and the clear sprue.

 

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Construction first begins in the cockpit which builds up to a complete module that slots into the fuselage when built up. The rear frame has the seat and its supports added before being joined to the floor. At the front the bulkhead there is built up with the instrument panel being added at the top, and the rudder pedal at the bottom. This ten attached to the floor. The two side panels have various details added and then they attach to make a complete module. Into this a fire extinguisher and the control column are placed.  Following this the retractable tail wheel and its housing are completed  These two sub assemblies can now be placed into the fuselage and it can be buttoned up. 

 

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Work now switches to the wings. There is a one part lower and left/right uppers. Attachment points for the main gear are added into the lower wing, these can then be assembled and added to the fuselage. The main gear units and their covers can then be built up and added in. The engine with its double bank to cylinders can be assembled and added to the front of the model. The 3 part cowling is then made up and added along with the intake and exhaust parts. 

 

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To finish off at the rear the tail planes are added. and at the front the prop is built up and added. The pilots head rest is assembled and added along with the canopies. Lastly the nav lights and pitot probe are added on.

 

Markings

The glossy decal sheet is printed in house and looks sharp and in register. There are marking for two Swedish and two Hungarian aircraft.. 

 

White 45 - Italian Camo with white nose and fuselage bands. F10 Air Wing 1944, Swedish Air Force.

White 53 - Italian Camo with white fuselage band. F10 Air Wing, Swedish Air Force

V.421 - Italian Camo with Red/White/Green tail markings , Yellow wingtips and fuselage band, Hungarian Air Force,

V.452 - Overall dark green over blue grey, Red/White/Green tail markings , Yellow wingtips and fuselage band, Hungarian Air Force,

 

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Conclusion

It is good to see a new kit of this maybe lesser known fighter out there. Recommended. 

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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