KIT:

MassiModel 1/48 Fiat RS.14

KIT #

MM 001

PRICE:

$160.00

DECALS:

Three aircraft

REVIEW &
PHOTOS :

John Lester

NOTES:

Kit is resin with vacufrom canopies

HISTORY



The RS.14 (Ricognizione Stiavelli)  was a long-range maritime reconnaissance floatplane bomber which first flew in 1939.  Inside the almost perfectly streamlined fuselage were two pilots, a radio operator and an
observer/bomb-aimer.  Two 840hp Fiat A.74 radials powered the aircraft to a maximum speed of 240 mph  at 13,000ft, and enabled it to carry up to 800 lbs of various anti-submarine bombs in a long ventral gondola.

CMASA built 186 series aircraft between May 1941 and September 1942.  These were operated by a  number of strategic maritime reconnaissance squadrons based around the Italian coats and on Sicily and Sardinia.  There they performed useful anti-submarine and convoy escort work.  The small number of survivors after the September 1943 armistice with the Allies were used for similar duties with the Co- Belligerent Air Force.  Those that remained after the war were used for a time as liason aircraft, carrying a maximum of four passengers.

The basic design was modified as a land plane for use as a ground-attack machine.  Armed with a 37mm  cannon and four  12.7mm MGs, it would have been formidable in that role.  Though a prototype was built  and tested, no series production of this variant was undertaken.

THE KIT


This kit is everything I look for in a model:  obscure subject, preferably a floatplane,  and 1/48 scale. Thanks to the lay-away plan offered by Pacific Coast Models, I was able to afford it.

The first thing I was struck with when opening the box after it finally arrived: dang, thatís some SMELLY  resin!  Even after sitting on a shelf for four months before coming to me it had lost none of potency.  I believe I could leave the top open and keep the bugs out of the basement forever Ö. but what that would do to my lungs is not something I want to think about.

Donning a respirator (Iím not kidding at all), I started unwrapping bits from the bubble wrap packaging.  Regardless of what it smells like, the resin is very smooth and parts were very well cast.  Pour stubs are large, but not overly so, and I donít expect much trouble removing them.  Detail parts are finely cast and plentiful.  Surface detail consists of nicely engraved panel lines and hinge lines.  The fabric control surfaces are nicely restrained.  The engines are especially nice looking, needing only wire harnesses for that ďhit with a shrink rayĒ look.

The wings are molded as one piece with two large pegs a piece to connect them to the fuselage. Iíll probably bore out a tunnel in each for a steel rod to connect them through the fuselage because they are rather heavy.  The only other trouble area I see with construction involves the clear parts.  The large glazed nose and pilots windscreen are molded so that the clear bits must be cut out and fit inside a resin framing. That will be a cast iron bitch to do with all the nose pieces.  I am especially concerned with how to glue them in place, since I really donít want them popping out later and the bond has to be strong enough to take masking and some handling.  Epoxy glue with epoxy putty as a gap filler is probably how Iíll handle this.

Decals are provided for three variants, or so say the instructions.  Only one aircraft is shown in the  documentation.  There are enough numbers for the serials that one could conceivably do any series aircraft, though of course youíll need reference for the other markings.  Printed by Cartograf, the decals are perfectly registered and should be easy to work with.

Instructions are fairly useful, and consist of a series of exploded diagrams showing where bits go. I already know Iíll deviate from them Ė they indicate gluing the fuselage halves together, then adding the glazing.  I think itíll be much easier to paint the fuselage in and out, glue the windows in place, finish the interior and then glue the halves together.

 

CONCLUSIONS


All-in-all itís a nice kit of my kind of subject.  Is it worth the hefty chunk of change though?  Thereís certainly enough resin in the box to justify the price, plus good decals and decent instructions.  Whether thatís sufficient for you to fork over $160 is your call.  Were it not for the windows, Iíd say this could be a good kit for someone comfortable working with injection kits to try out resin; because of the windows, however, Iíd recommend this to folks who have some experience in difficult builds.
 

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