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Reggiane Re.2005 Sagittario (SH48206) 1:48


Mike
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Reggiane Re.2005 Sagittario (SH48206)

The Ultimate Italian WWII Fighter

1:48 Special Hobby

 

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Although the Sagittario follows on from the Re.2000 in terms of numbering, it was a wholly different project that began with a clean sheet of paper to incorporate the German Mercedes Benz DB605 engine that was either crated in from Germany, or built under license by FIAT.  It was a complex design that was exceptionally manoeuvrable, fast and agile in battle, although it was comparatively short on ammunition.  Its gestation was surprisingly short given the brand-new design, but damage from a few heavy landings slowed down its entry into production, with an initial order of 750 airframes that was unlikely to be achievable.  It saw service in the last days of Mussolini’s administration, and a number were taken by the Germans and used in defence of Berlin, where it gave a good account of itself and earned the respect of those opposing it, who considered it to be a highly competent fighter.

 

In earlier Axis service it was compared to the G.55 as a fighter, and although it was excellent, it was extremely expensive and difficult to produce in large numbers, so the G.55 was given priority.  The Luftwaffe were so impressed with the type that they requested and received an example that was to be assessed and converted to suit their tastes with the name Re.2005LW.  A further development with a more powerful DB603 engine was prototyped under the designation Re.2006, but never saw service, and some more fanciful designs such as a twin fuselage development stayed on the drawing board.  Another stalled development was the Re.2005R, which used a technological dead-end engine technology called the Motorjet, but it drank fuel at such an accelerated rate that it was considered impractical.

 

 

The Kit

This is a re-release of Special Hobby’s 2020 new tool of this elegant Italian aircraft.  It arrives in a sensible-sized top-opening box, and inside are four sprues of grey styrene, a small sprue of clear parts in its own Ziploc bag, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet with spot colour throughout and colour profiles in the rear pages, plus an advert on the back page for some of the aftermarket that CMK have produced, and few of their other WWII Italian fighter kits.  It’s a well-detailed model and must have sold well if they’re re-releasing it so quickly after the initial release.

 

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Construction begins with the cockpit, starting with the instrument panel, which glues to the horse-shoe shaped frame and has a decal to depict the dials and other details.  The floor has the rudder pedals, control column and seat base added, then the sidewalls are detailed with more parts and fixed in place.  The seat of the Re.2005 was made of 8mm tempered steel that wrapped around the pilot, and this is moulded in two parts with a separate seat cushion in the base.  The rear bulkhead has the head armour installed as it is joined with the cockpit floor behind the seat, and the instrument panel is joined by a pair of boxes just behind, with the majority of the interior painted green.  The tail wheel bay is required before the fuselage can be closed up, and it is assembled from three sections with the strut placed inside along with the wheel that is trapped in place by the separate yoke part.  The fuselage halves have a rib removed from inside before the cockpit is glued into the starboard side along with the tail wheel bay, then the fuselage is closed up, the cannon troughs are inserted into the gap in the nose, the single-part elevators slipped into slots in the tail, and the two-part intake filter trunking is located within the shield-shaped panel line on the port side, just behind the exhaust slot.  Those are next, with the surround wrapped around the stacks, while three little fairing ‘bumps’ are placed within their own marks on the top cowling in front of the cockpit, which is great because it keeps them out of harm’s way while you deal with the fuselage seams.  The single-part canopy is glued down, and if you’re particularly brave or foolhardy and cut the windscreen free, the canopy hinges to the right.  The nose of the beast is very Bf.109-like because of the engine within, and so is the prop, although it is built by an Italian company, Piaggio.  The rear boss receives three individual keyed blades, over which the front boss fits, then the front and back spinner parts are glued over it and the short stub axle on the back of the spinner inserts into the hole in the fuselage front.

 

Preparing the wings involves making up the main gear bays, starting with the heavily corrugated roof of the bay, which has sides and ribs added to the grooves, followed by the gear leg and machine gun barrel before the front wall is fitted to hold them in place.  Three retraction jacks are installed within the bay, and a scrap diagram shows their location with each part coloured differently to aid placement.  With the bays completed, they are fixed into the full-width lower wing, which is closed over with the two upper wing skins, after which the fuselage is mated with the wings with barrel stubs and optional pair of pitot probes, one of which is left off for some markings options, leaving you to fill the hole in the starboard wing.  The Sagittario had a large ventral radiator bath mounted under the belly, which is made up from a three-part bath, front and rear strakes, and the single U-shaped aerodynamic fairing that encloses it.

 

The main gear is finished off with a pair of wheels that are smooth treaded and unweighted, but adding weighting is simply a matter of sanding a flat onto each one.  Each gear bay has three doors, two being captive to the strut, while the third is hinged at the outer edge of the gear bay.  Now for some paint.

 

 

Markings

There are four decal options on the sheet, and all four have the same basic green over blue-grey underside, differing only in their markings and operators.  From the box you can build one of the following:

 

  • MM.0923xx, 362-8, 362a Squadriglia, 22o Gruppo, 42o Stormo Intercettori, Littoria, June 1943
  • MM.092351, 362-2, 362a Squadriglia, 22o Gruppo, 42o Stormo Intercettori, Capua, Summer 1943
  • MM.092352, Red 4, Reparto Aereo Collegamenti, Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, Milan-Bresso, March 1944
  • MM.096109, Converted to German standards at the factory.  Issues to pilots of II./JG77 at Lonate Pozzolo, October 1943

 

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The decals are printed in Czechia with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.

 

 

Conclusion

A nice rendition of an elegant aircraft that saw limited service in various hands.  Nice detail out of the box, and a ready supply of aftermarket from CMK if you wanted to take the detail a little further.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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3 hours ago, dromia said:

Are you reviews based on building the kit or just interpreting from the trees, transfers and the instructions?

These are inbox reviews, not build reviews. 

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