Classic Airframes 1/48 RE.2001 Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||May 2006||Manufacturer||Classic Airframes|
|Kit Number||420||Primary Media||Styrene, Resin|
|Pros||Nice detailing, especially with the resin castings||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
The Reggiane RE 2001 evolved from the underpowered RE 2000 prototype that never entered production. The designers went back to the drawing board and altered the airframe to accept the Daimler Benz DB601 engine (which also powered the Messerschmitt Bf109 series).
The Regia Aeronautica was more receptive to the RE 2001 but withheld production until a number of other changes were incorporated. By the time the fighter entered operational service in late 1941, the manufacturer was having difficulties obtaining DB601s, as the allocation being sent to Italy were being installed in the Macchi Mc.202. Only 237 RE 2001s were produced and most of these were pressed into fighter-bomber duties.
Here is a Classic Airframes release that marked a change for the better. This was their first kit produced from metal molds and the resulting difference is immediately clear! All of the styrene parts are smooth/shiny and the details crisp.
The kit is comprised of 30 medium gray injection molded styrene parts, 19 resin details, three sets of navigation light lenses (molded in transparent red, green & clear!), and four vacuformed canopies.
The styrene molding is very crisp and clear in detail with no sink marks and no ejector pin marks in visible places. There is only a hint of flash on a few parts. The wings and tails all have thin and sharp trailing edges! This is another benefit of this type of injection molding.
The cockpit tub is comprised of eight resin parts, with the whole assembly dropping into the fuselage. The DB601's distinctive exhaust stacks are also represented in resin.
While the wings are a typical two top halves over a one-piece bottom half, the wheel wells are resin. The landing gear is similar in design and function to the Curtiss P-40, retracting aft with the wheel rotating flat inside the wing.
Construction appears to be extremely straightforward with the potential for some nice super-detailing.
Markings are provided for two examples:
- 362 Squadron/22 Group based in Sicily in 1942
- 358 Sqn/2 Stormo as flown by Sergeant Major Giovanni Dringoli
Classic Airframes provided yet another kit of a subject that had not previously been produced in 1/48 scale styrene. This kit looks like it will be a simple build with no obvious problems. What's more, this kit marked the beginning of a trend for subsequent Classic Airframes kits to use these better molding processes. Each release just gets better.
You've got to get one of these kits. Even if you're not usually interested in WW2 Italian AF subjects, this kit will build up into a great contrast to the usual array of Mustangs and Messerschmitts.
My sincere thanks to Classic Airframes for this review sample!