Italian Falcon: 1/48th Classic Airframes Re.2001 Falco II
This was the first 1/48 scale injection kit of the Reggiane Re.2001, and although it is a limited run, multi media kit with no locating tabs or alignment features, it is not overly complex and can be built into a very nice model of a WWII era Italian aircraft not often seen in collections.
Notable Kit Features:
Finely engraved surface details
Highly detailed full resin cockpit with gunsight
Resin intake details, exhausts and wheel wells
Two vacuum-formed canopies provided (always nice to have a spare, just in case.)
Red/green & clear navigation lights included
I came across this kit at a hobby show sale for $15 and couldn't resist. The previous owner warned me it was a limited run kit (which was nice, however I knew what I was getting into). This is one of Classic Airframes kits released after they cut their teeth on a few early examples, so it gains from its predecessors. I had very few WWII Italian aircraft at that point so it would round out my collection a bit. Now I just needed time and patience.
As with most limited run kits there will be much pre-construction preparation of plastic parts (From careful tree cutting, mating surface grooming, multiple test fits and adjustments)
Instructions are a bit vague (break out the reference materials)
Resin parts require razor saw separation of delicate parts from the lugs
Most resin parts require sanding down to install (Remember to wear a quality dust mask and hold off on any drinks and snacks at the workbench, as the resin dust is hazardous to your health!)
Cockpit floor was too wide for fuselage - Narrowed to fit
Resin main gear wells require sanding down upper surfaces to fit into wings
Exhaust openings in fuselage needed expanding to allow fitting of resin exhausts - also check for amount of protrusion as this is not set by mating parts
Upper engine deck part will require work to get a good fit (filler and sanding)
Lower oil cooler as well as wing radiators also require some filing work to get a good resin parts fit
Wing to fuselage join requires some time plus filler and sanding to achieve a good smooth fit
No alignment for separate propeller blades on spinner (so watch your pitch)
The wheel well bottoms could use some additional detail, with some styrene strips, as they are pretty bare
Main landing gear is under detailed and strut retractors were oddly not provided (if you got this far, they are easily crafted with styrene rod or pins, however you will need some reference for how they should be fitted)
The canopy had an odd yellowish tint to it (which I am not sure was present on the aircraft?)
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Drilled out the fuselage gun ports (but missed the wing gun positions!)
Added the gear retractors (as these parts are not provided in the kit)
Once assembled, I focused on the paint job which was to be in the markings of Tenente Agostino Celentano while with 150a Squadriglia, 2 Gruppo Autonomo, San Pietro di Caltagirone, around May 1942. The near-white tail band, rudder cross and nose were spray painted and masked off first. Then the lower Aircraft Gray (I used FS 36307) was sprayed with a few tonal variations as was the same for the upper Italian Olive Green surfaces (I used FS34052). Keep in mind the control surfaces would have been fabric covered, which tended to fade a bit faster. I later added some additional weathering effects to the upper surfaces using a fine brush to get a bit more contrast. For the most part the kit decals were used (which were nice) except I swapped out the aircraft number with some spares. Final fiddly parts were added on including the provided coloured navigation lights and there you have it.
The After-Build Report:
Modeler makers with a decent amount of experience will find this 1/48th Classic Airframes Re.2001 Falco kit a good introduction to short-run multi-media builds. A bit of extra effort is required, however nothing an experienced model maker couldn't handle (Whether you want to handle the extra effort is up to you...) In the end you will have yourself a good looking Italian fighter, that looks the part (Unlike Italeri's Re.2002 Ariete which had a armful of shape issues). Keep in mind the newer (2020) Sword kit may be a better (and more available) option for your Falco II build.
Completed build #203 - May 2017 using the 1/48th scale Classic Airframes #420 kit.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers