KIT: Matchbox 1/72 Fiat G.91Y
KIT #: PK-34
PRICE: Out of Production
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Victor Scheuerman
NOTES: Want a G.91Y in injected plastic? This 1979 kit is it.


While one would think that the Fiat G-91Y was just an upgraded twin-engined version of the previous G-91R, it was in fact a new aircraft with virtually no commonality with the latter other then general configuration. 

 First of the two prototypes was flown in December 1966 and these were followed by 20 pre-series aircraft. Eventually, the Aeronautica Militare Italiano (Italian Air Force) acquired an additional 45 production examples and these would equip two gruppi (squadrons). Like the 91R, the Y was a light-weight in that it could only carry 4000 pounds of ordinance in addition to the two 30 mm Aden cannons.

 However, unlike the R, the Y was only to service with Italy and was replaced by the Aeritalia/Aeromacchi/EMBRAER AMX in the 1990s.    


This kit comes in two colours of plastic and has both engraved (not too deep and mainly control surfaces hinge lines) and fine raised panel lines. Matchbox actually supplied a usable cockpit that has one large piece that comprises the floor/aft bulkhead/seat vertical section and side consoles, while the instrument panel is a separate item. With this in place with the nicely sculptured pilot, it would look rather full under the clear one-piece canopy.

 Additional nice details about this kit are all gear bays are framed in; the gear legs are robust enough to support the kit and look good and include separate side retraction arms for the main legs. Somewhat surprising, all the gear doors feature interior detail and other then the small secondary nose door are thin enough as offered. Matchbox supplied stores for the two wing pylons and these comprise bombs, Matra rocket pods or drop tanks.

 The instruction sheet offers well-drawn guides with Matchbox standard detail painting guide offered at the end. This sheet also shows the entire standard national and stencil locations on full four views; nice indeed. Two G-91s are offered and both have the dark green and dark grey disruptive pattern on the upper surfaces and painted aluminum on the bottom, squadron emblems on the vertical tail and white fuselage codes.  First option is a tiger-mouthed Fiat from the 32nd Squadron, 13th FBG, 1978. The second option has a red lightning bolt on the forward fuselage and belongs to the 8th Squadron, 101st FBG circa 1976. Both options are illustrated in full colour on the bottom of the box.


If you get the impression that I like this kit then go to the front of the class. With some card detail added to the cockpit, replacing the molded on cannon barrels with brass tubing and covering the intake with a protective cover would have this kit looking decent indeed.   


The Complete Book of Fighters, William Green, Gordon Swanborough, Salamander Books

The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes, Bill Gunston, PROSPERO BOOKS

Victor Scheuerman

June 2007

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