Warrior Models 1/48 Breda Ba.65A80






See Review


John Lester


Resin multimedia. Not for the faint of heart


What can I say about the Br 65 that hasn't already been said a million times? Everything, apparently. Talk about ambitious - it was designed in 1935 to be a multi-mission aircraft: interceptor, fighter, light bomber and attack (ground support) aircraft. The initial production order for 81 aircraft was placed in 1936, all being powered by the same French Gnome-Rhone K-14 radial as had powered the prototype.

Single-seaters, they sported two 12.7 and two 7.7mm machine guns in the wings and were capable of carrying up to 100kg of bombs (though 300 kg was the norm). Thirteen were sent to Spain for operational testing in the Civil War. A combination of poor pilot training and the demands of a modern airframe convinced the Italian air force that the plane was only suitable for ground attack, and that with escort.

Follow-on batches went straight to the assault stormi for service. Most of these had uprated Fiat engines. Many were two seaters, with a position added behind the pilot for an observer/rear gunner armed with a flexible 7.7mm mg. Many of these received improved Gnome-Rhone K-14 engines with increased power. Several were exported to Chile and Peru, and a batch with a Breda-designed turret went to Iraq in 1938. These last were used briefly against the British during the 1941 insurrection.

Surviving Italian aircraft were used in North Africa during the early parts of the war. Despite a low serviceability rate due to harsh desert conditions, they managed to put up a decent record. However, they  did not survive long; the last aircraft were lost during the British Cyrenaica offensive in February, 1941.


Poland's Warrior Models is apparently one man in his garage making resin kits of my favorite kind of airplane: interesting and obscure. In addition the the Ba 65, he's made a Ba 88 (look that up) and Blackburn Skua, and is working on a Blackburn Roc. From what I see in this box, the quality is pretty good.

You get enough resin, white metal, wire and vacuform bits to make either a two seat or single seat aircraft - but only one powered by the early K-14 or Fiat engine (the later K-14R required a different arrangement of bumps on the cowling to fair over the rocker arms of the engine). The resin is nicely cast, with no pitting or bubbles to mar the surfaces, though some areas on the kit I bought are very, very thin. Surface detailing is finely engraved, and does not show any of the "free-hand" panel lines one often sees on kits like this. The major parts (fuselage halves, horizontal stabs, and four wing halves) are free of flash and warping. Many of the details, such as guns, sidewalls and landing gear struts are white metal. These are very nicely done, again with no major visible defects. Wire is provided for various other detailing areas, such as the push rods on the engine. All the really small bits come in separate bags, each of which has a card with parts numbers marked on it. Looking at the instructions (such as they are, it appears that these will replicate a very busy front office quite nicely.

The instructions are very basic and printed in Italian. The assembly guide consists of an exploded drawing on one side, with little inset drawings showing what the cockpit and engine area should look like. Parts are all numbered and their positions plainly marked on the inset drawings. One gets one sheet for the single seater and one for the two-seater, with marking info on the other side, and a short history too. (At least, I  assume it's a history - it's in Italian as well). Fortunately, my local hobby shop has one of the Italian monographs on the Ba 65, so I will at least have some reference when I build this one.

Decals and marking info are provided for two aircraft, a "sand and spinach" camouflaged single seater based at Sorman in 1940, and a two-place olive machine assigned to 98a Squadriglia, 7? Gruppo in 1938. Paint call outs are provided - again in Italian - but FS numbers are provided for most colors. Both are Italian air force machines, with the faces symbols in side the roundel, but there are also Spanish Civil war meatballs and codes included on the sheet. The decals, printed by Sky Model of Italy, are sharp and clear and perfectly registered.


Yes, I am a glutton for punishment. Thanks for asking. I have no doubt I have the skills necessary to make a nice-looking model of a unique subject from this kit, but it will take some effort. If you have an interest in the obscure, or in Italian aircraft, and you are not fazed by doing more than clipping parts from a tree and gluing them together, this is a good kit to pick up. Heaven knows we won't see one from Accurate Tamigawa in our lifetimes. I would not recommend this as the first resin kit you build, however - somehow, I think it would make most folks swear off building and take up knitting.

For all who have asked about this kit, it is available from Pacific Coast Models, one of our advertisers. Simply click on the link.

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