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Tristar 1/35 Fi 156A-0/C-1 Storch Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2008 Manufacturer Tristar
Subject Fi 156A-0/C-1 Storch Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35034 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely detailed kit, first of this subject in this scale, pre-finished window frames as an option Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $58.95

First Look


The Fieseler Storch was developed as a Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) aircraft that could operate in very restricted spaces. The aircraft was developed as a metal-framed, fabric-covered aircraft that employed leading edge slats and nearly full-span flaps (even the ailerons drooped when the flaps were down) to get the most lift at very slow airspeeds. The aircraft was powered by a 240 horsepower Argus inverted V-8 engine. With that much power on a light airframe and big wings, the Storch could take off in under 100 feet with no winds!

Over 2,500 Storches were built, the Fi 156C-1 was a staff transport, the Fi 156C-2 served as a short-range reconnaissance aircraft, and the Fi 156D was the ambulance variant.

The Fi 156 Storch was most famous for its Grand Sasso mountaintop landing and take-off near the hotel that Italian dictator Benito Moussolini was being held on September 12, 1943.

Tristar has been turning out some stunning 1/35 scale armor subjects and they've brought that level of engineering and detail into this release - the first Storch in 1/35 scale. Hasegawa has the Storch in 1/32 scale (look here), but you'll find that this kit is definitely more detailed and offers more details. Interestingly enough, Tamiya released their 1/48 scale Storch at about the same time as this kit (look here).

Molded in desert yellow styrene, the kit is presented on seven parts trees, plus two sets of clear parts. There are no photo-etched parts included, so this will be an easy build, though some experience is recommended due to the large number of small parts.

Like the Hasegawa kit, this release captures the look of the interior tubular framework quite nicely. The interior detailing does provide the seats, stick, throttle, instrument panel, trim wheel, and rudder pedals. There are no seatbelts nor harnesses provided, and since the interior will be visible inside that huge greenhouse of a cockpit transparency, you might want to add some additional wiring and detailing to the interior.

The Argus engine is very nicely detailed, and since you can display the aircraft without the cowling side panels, you might consider adding ignition wiring as the only real details missing off of this beauty.

The main landing gear struts are injection molded, but if you look carefully, you'll see that steel wire is molded as part of the strut to ensure the strength to handle the weight of the kit and the natural handling of the model.

Unlike the Hasegawa kit, all of the flight control surfaces are molded separately, so you can position flaps, slats, ailerons, elevators and rudder and you'd like.

This is the first kit of the Storch to provide two sets of main landing gear struts - one 'weighted' - the appearance with the weight of the aircraft sitting on the ground, and the other 'unweighted' as it would appear in flight. Nice touch!

As I mentioned above, this kit provides TWO different sets of clears, but if you look carefully, one set is completely clear, the other has the framework pre-colored in RLM 66. Interesting! Both sets in this kit are configured without the rear machine gun blister, though you'll see that blister on both sets of clears. This indicates that we'll be seeing one or more additional variants of the Storch coming in the future.

The cabin door is molded separately so you can pose the door open or closed.

Two different overhead transparencies are also provided - one with and one without the rear machine gun blister.

Markings are provided for five examples:

  • Fi 156, ST-112, Finnish Air Force, 1940
  • Fi 156, 46-1, Legion Condor, Spanish Civil War
  • Fi 156, 20+Z23, Luftwaffe, Polish Invasion, 1939
  • Fi 156, RR+KM, Luftwaffe, Eastern Front
  • Fi 156, Italian AF, Libya, 1942

This kit has lots of potential and from what I've seen here, Tristar intends to release one or more additional variants of this beauty. The pre-colored window framing is a nice option. I would expect that it won't take Eduard very long to produce one or more detail sets to add those additional little details like color placards and seat belts, plus a nice set of window masks to make the painting of this kit even easier.