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Cicogna Kit

Italeri 1/72 BR 20 Cicogna Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2005 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject Fiat BR 20 Cicogna Scale 1/72
Kit Number 01143 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely detailed, interesting decal options Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $28.50

First Look

Cicogna Kit
Cicogna Kit
Cicogna Kit
Cicogna Kit
Cicogna Kit

The Fiat BR 20 was developed in 1936 as a medium bomber for the Regia Aeronautica. The aircraft gained combat experience in the Spanish Civil War, equipping both sides. Unfortunately, the aircraft was vulnerable to the Russian-supplied I-16 fighters prompting revisions to the aircraft's design to improve visibility and defensive armament. The BR 20M and BR 20bis incorporated these improvements.

When Italy entered World War 2, nearly 600 BR 20s were combat ready and participated in the attacks on Malta. These aircraft faced stiff opposition against RAF Hurricanes, and eventually were withdrawn from that assault. Nevertheless, the BR 20 would support combat operations in Greece, Libya, Yugoslavia and even the Russian front. Interestingly enough, 85 BR 20s were supplied to the Japanese and were even assigned the Allied code name of 'Ruth'.

Here is another re-release from Italeri. The 1/72 BR 20 kit is presented on three parts trees of light gray styrene plus a single tree of clear parts. The panel lines and rivet detailing are raised

The kit features a simple cockpit interior with three crew figures. Interior bulkheads separate the cockpit from the rear crew compartment. A fourth crew figure is also provided for the bombardier position in the lower nose.

The kit has movable upper turret and ventral gun positions. The kit also provides two different nose options, the early BR 20 or the BR 20M versions.

Another nice touch is the flight controls, the elevators, rudders and ailerons are all separate parts so they can be positioned as you'd like.

While the kit features some nice detail throughout the kit, it doesn't appear to be a difficult kit to build. As with any model, patience, dry-fitting and tweaking each part as required will usually pay dividends.

Markings are provided for five examples:

  • BR 20M, 3-8 Regia Aeronautica, Belgium 1941
  • BR 20, 23-14, Italian Volunteer Air Force, Spain, 1938
  • BR 20M, Luftwaffe, Northern Italy, 1938
  • BR 20, 2nd Chutai, 98th Sentai, Japanese Army Aviation, China, China 1939
  • BR.20, 12th Sentai, Japanese Army Aviation, China, 1939

The color schemes provide a nice variety of options in this one release.

This kit is nicely done and will make a nice addition to your scale flightline.

My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!