Hasegawa 1/32 Fi 156C Storch 'Gran Sasso' Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2010||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||Fi 156C Storch||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||08206||Primary Media||Styrene, white metal|
|Pros||Easy build, nice details, includes new white metal tail wheel||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$59.95|
The Fieseler Storch was developed as a Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) aircraft that could operate in very restricted spaces. The aircraft was developed as a metal-framed, fabric-covered aircraft that employed leading edge slats and nearly full-span flaps (even the ailerons drooped when the flaps were down) to get the most lift at very slow airspeeds.
The aircraft was powered by a 240 horsepower Argus inverted V-8 engine. With that much power on a light airframe and big wings, the Storch could take off in under 100 feet with no winds!
Over 2,500 Storches were built, the Fi 156C-1 was a staff transport, the Fi 156C-2 served as a short-range reconnaissance aircraft, and the Fi 156D was the ambulance variant.
The Fi 156 Storch was most famous for its Grand Sasso mountaintop landing and take-off near the hotel that Italian dictator Benito Moussolini was being held on September 12, 1943.
The Fi 156 Storch kit has been released a number of times from Hasegawa, it is the only kit of this subject to be produced in 1/32 scale and, despite the age of the kit, still features some great details. Note that there was a Tristar 1/35 scale Storch released that did offer some nice detail options, Tristar has evidently ceased production for the time being.
Molded in light gray styrene, the kit captures the look of the interior tubular framework quite nicely. The interior detailing does provide the seats, stick, throttle, instrument panel, trim wheel, rudder pedals, and self-defense rear machine gun. There are no seatbelts nor harnesses provided, and since the interior will be visible inside that huge greenhouse of a cockpit transparency, you might want to add some additional wiring and detailing to the interior.
The Argus engine is very nicely detailed, and since you can display the aircraft without the cowling side panels, you might consider adding ignition wiring as the only real details missing off of this beauty.
The tailplanes and elevators are molded as one piece, though it is typical to see the elevators full up if the seatbelts are used as a gust lock to protect the fight controls from the wind while parked, or full down when the aircraft is on the ground immediately before or after flight. You might consider separating the elevators and positioning them according to your 'scenario'. Don't forget to reposition the flight control stick accordingly!
The flaps and slats are molded separately, but Hasegawa didn't provide the option to drop the flaps. With a little re-work of the kit hinges, you should be able to drop the flaps.
Each release comes with a set of pre-shaped brass rods to reinforce the styrene gear struts. This release also provides a new white metal tail wheel in place of the standard tail skid.
Since the Storch operated year-round,some releases of this kit include a set of skis to replace the main wheels. This isn't one of those releases.
Markings are provided for one example:
- Fi 156C, SJ+LL, Rescue Operation of Mussolini, Italy, 12 Sep 1943
Hasegawa had evidently released the Grand Sasso markings in a previous release, but identified the aircraft registration as SU+LL. This release corrects the aircraft registration and also shows that this example flew without the side engine cowling panels installed.
This is a nice kit despite its age. The detailing on the exterior is very nice and the interior is reasonable. Those with AMS will want to add more detailing to the engine and cockpit, and even Eduard has a nice photo-etch detail set for the kit.