Italeri 1/72 SM.82 Canguro Kit First Look
|Date of Review||June 2009||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Kit Number||1273||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice rendition of this aircraft||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$67.00|
The SM.82 was developed by Savoia Marchetti from their SM.75 Marsupiale design, scaled up into a heavy multi-role aircraft that could operate as a bomber as well as an airlifter/cargo aircraft. As with its predecessors, the SM.82 was a tri-motor design that accommodated a trio of Alfa Romeo 950 horsepower radial engines.
The interior layout of the SM.82 was novel for the time as it was a double-decker interior with seating for troops on both decks. The large bomb bay could loft an 8000 pound bomb load, and several modified versions could airlift dismantled fighters and even fuel into the theater of operations.
During the early stages of World War Two, the SM.82 supported combat operations in North Africa carrying troops and supplies (including aircraft) from Italy. As the war progressed, the SM.82's superior airlift capabilities were quickly offset by its low airspeed and numerous examples were shot down by RAF Beaufighters. Despite heavy losses, by the time Italy signed the armistice in 1943, the Luftwaffe commandeered 200 SM.82s for transport duties to supplement several hundred more already in service with the Luftwaffe. Even though the Ju 52 was recognized as a mainstay airlifter for Germany, the greater capacity of the SM.82 was put to good use through the end of the war.
Here is Italeri's re-release of their SM.82 kit in 1/72nd scale. This is actually the first time I've seen this kit up close and I am pleasantly surprised. While I'm no expert in the SM.82, it has a nicely detailed interior as well as the its exterior.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on four parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. The detailing is finely scribed as this kit is a recent tooling, first released in late 2007. In the first release (kit 1270) the kit included one of PRM reference booklets, in this release the booklet is gone but there are new markings and what appears to be a new dorsal turret option.
Assembly of the kit starts with the interior and the flight deck is quite nicely detailed. Control yokes, central throttle quadrant, rudder pedals, armored pilots seats, radio operator's station with a wireless set and seat, plus structural details rendered on the interior surfaces of the fuselage halves. With some painting and highlighting, the interior is going to look quite nice. While you'll see these details through the cockpit transparencies, seeing the details on the upper passenger/troop deck will be difficult through the tiny windows that are used on the upper and lower decks. The main cabin doors (paratroop doors) can be posed open so you can see the lower deck and the steps up to the upper deck. Optional waist guns can be installed in these open doors.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Detailed flight deck
- Nice main cabin details
- Optional waist guns
- Positionable flight deck overhead escape hatch
- Positionable/optional main cabin doors
- Positionable landing flaps
- Positionable rudder
- Positionable bomb bay doors (no details provided for inside the bomb bay in this release)
- Two types of dorsal turret provided
- Weighted tires provided
Markings are included for four examples:
- SM.82, 1Z+BX, 13/KGr zbv 1, Heraklion (Crete), 1942
- SM.82, F, III/KGbV 1 Catania (Southern Italy), 1943
- SM.82, - , 2./Flieger Transport Gruppe 110, Orio al Serio (Northern Italy), 1944
- SM.82, I-16, Gruppo Trasporti Regia Aeronautica Cobelligerante Lecce (Southern Italy), 1944
Italeri has developed a nice kit here and while the PRM edition is still available in some online shops, this release provides some interesting options and markings. If you want a nice airlifter to add to your scale flightline, this is a good choice. If you only build bombers, this is still a good choice. A double decker heavy hauler!
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!