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Starfighter Kit

Italeri 1/72 SM.82 Marsupiale Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2017 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject SM.82 Marsupiale Scale 1/72
Kit Number 1389 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Only kit of this subject Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $59.95

First Look

Starfighter Kit
Starfighter Kit
Starfighter Kit
Starfighter Kit

During the 1930s, Savoia-Marchetti was developing a variety of aircraft based upon a low-wing tri-motor layout. Some of these notable designs include the SM.75 passenger aircraft, SM.79 medium bomber, and the SM.82 heavy transport/heavy bomber. The SM.82 was essentially a super-sized SM.75 that could carry up to 8,820 pounds of bombs in the bomber configuration, 50 people or a significant cargo load in the airlift configuration. Special variants of SM.82 were developed to allow the carriage of a dismantled CR.32 or CR.42 fighter, armored cars or light tanks, or 3000 liters of fuel into combat zones. While the SM.82 did briefly see combat as a bomber, it was vulnerable to fighter attacks.

As a transport aircraft, the SM.82 was unmatched in the axis air forces. Slightly smaller than the Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor, the SM.82 had a greater payload and could operate out of minimal airfields like the axis' other airlifter, the Junkers Ju 52. In fact, the Germans eventually took over the Savioia-Marchetti plant and dispatched nearly 300 aircraft into Luftwaffe service with these aircraft taking care of the heavy airlift on the eastern front as well as around northern Germany. Even after the war, around 30 SM.82s remained in service with the Italian Air Force well into the 1960s.

Italeri reissued their SM.82 kit which I don't believe has been available in the last eight years. 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 relatively recent tooling, first released in late 2007.

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, 608-2, 149 Grupo Trasporti, 608 Squadriglia, 1940
  • SM.82, 603-11, 44 Stormo Trasporti, 603 Squadriglia, 1942
  • SM.82, 601-12, 45 Stormo, 147 Grupo, 601 Squadriglia, 1942
  • SM.82, Z5+B, IV./KGzbV 1, Luftwaffe, 1942

While Italeri hasn't updated this kit with details in the bomb bay, the instructions provide good guidance for the detail differences between the Italian and German service examples.

To date, this kit remains the only injection-molded tooling of the SM.82 in any scale so it is easy to state that this is the best kit of the SM.82 in any scale. Given the variety of SM.79 kits that have been produced (or at least attempted), it is interesting that this subject hasn't been picked up by other manufacturers. Kudos to Italeri for keeping this kit periodically on the market.

My sincere thanks to Italeri USA for this review sample!