RS Models 1/72 Bloch MB-155 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||March 2017||Manufacturer||RS Models|
|Kit Number||92199||Primary Media||Styrene, Resin|
|Pros||Nice details||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (Euro)||18.00€|
An aerodynamically refined, linear development of Bloch MB-151/152 fighters, the MB-155 entered full production just before France collapsed in June 1940.
But less than three dozen of the rugged warriors saw operational Armée de l'Aire, Vichy and German service.
RS Models' 1/72-scale kit features 67 cleanly molded components distributed among four trees. Four more resin details, decals and a six-panel instruction sheet complete contents.
But you only use about 50 of those plastic parts. And just 13 of those directly apply to the MB-155.
That's because RS includes components (sans canopies) from its previous MB-151/152 kits. I confirmed that by comparing contents from a buddy's MB-151 kit to my sample. (Thanks, Dave!)
Considering that MB-155's evolved from MB-151/152s, replicating components from earlier releases makes perfect sense.
The flash-free parts sport finely recessed scribing. The commendably detailed cockpit sports excellent floor, sidewall and instrument panel details. Wheel wells include components to box-in the openings. And all interior subassemblies include painting notes.
Engineering appears excellent. The rear portion of RS's single, crystal-clear MB-155 canopy, for instance, includes the small aft windows with the upper fuselage decking – vastly simplifying assembly. Other manufacturers clumsily supply those little triangular apertures as extensions of the Bloch's sliding canopy portion – or as separate components.
The colorful, precisely printed transfers include markings for five subjects:
- Armée de l'Aire MB-155 No.705, 4e Escadrille of GC II/8, June 1940
- Armée de l'Aire MB-155 No.707, 4e Escadrille of GC II/8, June 1940
- Vichy MB-155, 1e Escadrille of GC I/8, June 1942
- Vichy MB-155 No.707, 1e Escadrille of GC I/8, June 1942
- German Luftwaffe MB-155, JG 103, 1943
RS beautifully illustrates all on its full-color, box-top camouflage & markings guide.
Three schemes stand out. Both Vichy French examples wear especially brilliant livery – standard four-color French warpaint with red/yellow "livrée d'esclave" bands. And the single Nazi machine sports RLM 74/75/76 warpaint – with yellow RLM 23 or 27 empennage and horizontals.
Assembly instructions blend new drawings with modified panels from earlier RS Bloch fighter kits. That's why some details resemble MB-151/152s – not MB-155s. And additional plan and profile views would help modelers precisely locate key components. Where exactly, for instance, do those ventral wing canon bulges go?
But I quibble. RS's kit reflects excellent "limited-run" injection-molded tooling technology. It clearly and comfortably supplants all previous 1/72-scale MB-155 models.
With thanks to RS Models for this review sample.