Italeri 1/48 G.91R Gina Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2006||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Kit Number||2645||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice looking kit, HUGE decal sheet||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$36.00|
The Fiat/Aeritalia G.91 was a design resulting from a NATO requirement for a light strike fighter with reconnaissance capabilities. At the time, Fiat was building F-86 Sabres under license for the Italian Air Force and the design of the G.91 incorporated many features learned from their Sabre experience. In fact, the aircraft was nicknamed the 'mini-Sabre' and it was a solid performing aircraft.
The G.91R was the strike/reconnaissance version that was powered by a single engine and armed with two or four cannons, depending on its sub-variant. The G.91T was the two-seat trainer version of the Gina. Finally, the G.91Y was a follow-on version powered by TWO J85 afterburning engines.
Versions of the G.91 were operated by the Luftwaffe, Portuguese Air Force as well as the Italian Air Force. While some folks won't remember the aircraft itself, they might recognize the spectacular Tiger Meet paint scheme carried by a Portuguese Gina for many years. The aircraft was also operated by the Italian Air Force demonstration team "Frecce Tricolore".
Here is an ESCI re-issue that I am very happy to see - the venerable G.91R in 1/48 scale styrene. Despite its age, the molds are in very good condition.
Molded in light gray styrene, the Italeri re-release is presented on two parts trees, plus a small tree containing the clear windscreen and canopies. As with most of the molds from this kit's era, the panel lines and details were raised.
The cockpit of this kit is rather simple, consisting of a floor with integral rear bulkhead, a basic four-piece ejection seat, control stick, and an instrument panel. Details on the instrument panel and side consoles are provided by decals. The cockpit floor also doubles as the upper portion of the intake trunk.
The wings are simple top/bottom halves with the flaps and ailerons molded in place. Slightly thick wing fences are also provided.
The nose gear looks pretty good in this kit, but the main landing gear struts are supposed to represent trailing link types similar to the design later used on the F/A-18 Hornet. A little attention with some files and a good reference will help to bring the molded-on details on these struts more into reality.
The ventral speed brakes are positionable and are similar in layout to the F-5 or F-80.
Depending on the version of the Gina you're building, you select the appropriate gun access panels representing single or twin cannon installations on each side of the nose.
The kit provides two canopies - streamlined or blown - depending on the version you're representing.
External stores provided include external fuel tanks for the inboard pylons and bombs or rocket pods for the outboards.
This kit comes with a large decal sheet with markings for six aircraft:
- G.91R-3, 30+61, WaSLW 50, Luftwaffe, 1962
- G.91R-3, 33+08, KG 43, Luftwaffe, 1975
- G.91R-1, 2-38, 103 Gruppo/2 Stormo, Italian AF, 1973
- G.91R-1, 2-12, 14 Gruppo/2 Stormo, Italian AF, 1991
- G.91R-4, 5430, EdA 702, Portuguese AF, 1968
- G.91R-3, 5444, Escuadra 301, Portuguese AF, 1981
I built two of the Ginas from ESCI releases and these were very nice straight out of the box. Since there wasn't much information available on the aircraft back then, these were built according to the instructions just for fun. You can see in the images that one was a Frecce Tricolore Gina while the other was a Luftwaffe G.91R-3. I am looking forward to taking another shot at this nice kit and using some references and some aftermarket details to bring the kit up to date.
My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!