The Battering Ram: 1/48th Italeri Re.2002 Ariete
This new tool release by Italeri in 2009 of a Re.2002 Ariete seemed a nice addition for those model makers looking for a new type in their 1/48th scale collection. The kit came with a 47 page coloured print booklet with all kinds of reference materials... which may justify the higher than average kit cost, combined with the fact that it was a type not really offered before. However as you go to build the kit, things spin out of control...
Notable Kit Features:
A wonderful colour picture and line drawing booklet is included with the kit, covering about every aspect of the airframe
Molded details in cockpit with side walls and seatbelt features
Recessed panel lines and rivets
Decal instruments provided
Low parts count
I didn't have many Italian aircraft in my collection so when I saw this kit priced very inexpensively at a model show I figured, why not give it a go... well, there is a good answer to that question ;)
Admittedly I should know better by now, but every once in a while I try another Italeri kit. In my defence, it was a type not typically produced by injection mold companies (hey, something new in the collection - great) and an Italian fighter at that... so what better company to produce it? As well as being a 2009 release (maybe Italeri has improved..?) After looking through the enclosed booklet I thought, let's get to the bench and get this one going. Unfortunately it appears that whomever designed the aircraft kit molds did not utilize this beautiful reference booklet, at all... No really, not at all.
The pilot seat in the reference material has a prominent indent for the parachute pack, however the kit seat does not have this feature
The kit riveting appears overdone in my opinion (in the reference photos they are barely noticeable)
The instructions will have you cut out two panels in the fuselage for empty storage bays? (I didn't go there as it seemed unnecessary work on this kit)
The cowl parts are not a good fit and the machine gun ports are poorly done
The Intake above the cowl is not the correct shape (lacks height compared to photos) and is not a good fit
The prop spinner appears to be undersized, incorrectly shaped or both
The rear canopy fairing is way off what it should be (the side scoops should be much broader and run the length of the fairing... did the mold makers look at this aircraft fairing? or even their own reference material?)
Tail wheel fit requires some test fitting and trimming of parts
Wheel wells are separately molded parts but oddly short and lack detail
Leading edge of wings and chord appears to be far too thick
There is a small panel to cut out in both top wing halves that is to be fitted with a replacement panel (I didn't go there as this kit seemed a lost cause at this point)
The main flaps require you to cut off a corner on each and fit a center section (make sure you have these parts lined up as there is no locator pins)
I believe the white cross decal for the tail is too short in height (I painted the cross on my model as well as the tail band)
Kit Additions / Modifications:
After doing the initial recon on this kit and determining that most of the shortcoming were too much to overcome or not worth the effort, I decided an Out-of-Box build would suit this Italeri Re.2002
Focusing on the paint job I got prepared to finish this aircraft in the Axis markings of Regia Aeronautica 249Ma Squadriglia, 102 Gruppo Reggio Emilia Italy February 1943. The lower Aircraft Gray (FS 36307) was sprayed with a few tonal variations as was the upper Italian Olive Green (FS34052). I later added some additional weathering effects to the upper surfaces using a fine brush to get a bit more contrast. Kit decals were used (which were decent) except the white tail band and fin cross were painted on and then the cross center emblem decal applied.
The After-Build Report:
As you may have gathered I do not recommend this kit (Unless you REALLY want a Re.2002 in your collection and are willing to do a lot of extra work... or not do the work, and just say you have a Re.2002 like I do). It is a shame, as Italeri could have produced a much better Re.2002 (it appears they had the required reference material, so it is a bit mind boggling how this kit is such a major muck up). I am not typically a rivet counter and have an Acceptable Error Rate with kit manufactures but this one just seemed to be TRYING to depart from the knowns. Luckily I bought this kit at less than half-price and kept my sense of humour during the build (I actually found it laughable how much Italeri got wrong). I know Italeri does make a few nice kits (very few) but look at it compared to the actual aircraft - this is not one of them.
Completed build #204 - May 2017 using the 1/48th scale Italeri #2670 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