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Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Kit

Dora Wings 1/72 Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Kit First Look

By David L. Veres

Date of Review May 2019 Manufacturer Dora Wings
Subject Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72015 Primary Media Styrene, Resin, Photo-Etch
Pros Nice detailing Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $79.95

First Look

Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Kit
Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Kit
Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Kit
Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Kit
Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Kit
Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Kit
Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Kit
Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Kit
Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Kit
Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Kit
Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Kit
Savoia-Marchetti S.55 'Record Flight' Kit

Savoia-Marchetti’s S.55 remains a potent icon of 1930s Fascist Italian aviation power and prowess.

Flights of the twin-hulled design prowled Depression-era skies – reaping speed, altitude, payload, and range records in their wakes. Military variants followed, further feeding a myth of Regia Aeronautica invincibility.

Unfortunately, for decades, only two manufacturers issued injection-molded kits of this stunning seaplane.

In the late 1950s, ITC produced a basic box-scale version – now available from Glencoe models – of “the first plane to fly [the] Atlantic in mass formation”. And in the early 1970s, Delta 2 offered a now-rare, 1:72-scale kit commemorating Italian Air Marshall Italo Balbo’s 1933 formation flight of 24 aircraft to the United States.

Now Dora Wings redresses our paucity of plastic S.55s with a stunningly detailed, 1:72-scale “Record Flight” model – first in a series of planned S.55 variants, as optional parts clearly suggest.

The cleanly molded effort features 186 components on 12 trees in gray and clear styrene. Additional “aftermarket-quality” photoetch, resin, and clear-film details augment kit plastic. Vinyl masks accompany the mix. And colorful decals and thorough assembly instructions complete contents.

How about that microscopic metal windscreen framing?

Strikingly subtle raised scribing characterizes styrene pieces. Dora Wings’ ribbed effect convincingly replicates fabric-covered surfaces. But beware of occasional sink-marks – and sporadic hints of flash.

Most importantly: carefully study – and follow – assembly instructions!

To pack over 200 items into a compact 12” x 8” x 2” (deep) [305 mm x 203 mm x 51 mm (deep)] box, Dora Wings employs relatively complicated engineering to achieve its amazing level of detail.

Wings, for instance, comprise eight parts – including internal spars. But the powerplant pylon consumes at least 15 details. Engines themselves add about 30 more. And both hulls require over 30 parts each.

At least, I think: I got different totals each time I counted components!

Dora Wings’s colorful, 16-page instructions include a capsule history, parts maps, 33-step assembly sequence, isometric rigging views, and three-page color & markings guide for three subjects:

  • S.55 “Jahú”, Brazilian “Reverse” Trans-Atlantic Flight, April 1927
  • S.55 “Santa Maria”, Trans-Atlantic Flight, February 1927
  • S.55 “Santa Maria II”, replacement for destroyed “Santa Maria”, May 1927

Decals for all three sport crisp printing and superb color registration.

Build yourself a plastic pioneer. Dora Wings kits get better with each release. And I eagerly await their pending 1:48 Bloch MB.151/152/155 and Seversky P-35 kits.

With thanks to Dora Wings for this review sample!

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