Spin Models 1/48 Ansaldo SVA.5




$25.50 + $10.00 s&h (price may be in Euros)


See review


Candice Uhlir


Resin kit


I have only built one resin kit before - the Copper State Models Pfalz Dr.I - and, while I enjoyed it, it did pose a little more work than the run of the mill injection molded kit. In a resin kit the parts don't quite fit right, I would have to use more "green stuff" than usual, and I had to use CA as my primary glue. And the last one I had to scratchbuild a cockpit for. This is a lot of work! So it was with some hesitation that I started to build the Spin 1/48 Ansaldo.

WellYYsurprise, surprise, surprise! Spin Models, a limited-run company from the Czech Republic, has turned out a resin kit that is a pretty accurate representation of the Ansaldo SVA-5 - and I didn't have to scratchbuild anything. This kit is as close to a "slammer" as I have ever done. You can build it right out of the box and get a great looking model of a famous Italian WW1 trainer and light bomber. The only aftermarket items I added were some additional decals.


In 1915 and 1916, the Italian aircraft industry was primarily producing aircraft of foreign design under license for the Italian air force. Out of 1637 aircraft produced in this period by the Italians, only 168 were of Italian design. The rest were Nieuports, Spads and the like. To free themselves of their dependence on foreign technology two Italian officers, Savoia and Verduzio designed the SV fighter. When Ansaldo agreed to manufacture the design the aircraft was designated SVA for Savoia, Verduzio, and Ansaldo.

The completed aircraft had excellent performance, but was rejected by the top Italian fighter pilots because the machine guns were mounted beyond the pilot's reach where he could not clear a jam. Also, the visibility so necessary for a fighter was lacking due to the high engine cowling. However, the aircraft was an excellent trainer and had a long combat flight range that made it an excellent platform for bomber and recon missions.

The most famous use of this aircraft was the Vienna raid of June 1918. This raid was planned as far back as 1915, but the Italians lacked aircraft of sufficient range to carry it out. 87 Squadriglia, "La Serenissima," carried out the raid; leaflets were dropped over Vienna urging the population to revolt. The 87th's pilots were primarily from Venice. Given the Italian flair for artistry, their aircraft were emblazoned with bold representation of the ancient flag of the Lion of Venice, the flag of the old Venetian Republic.

Like the British Avro 504 trainer, the Ansaldo saw service well into the 1930's as a military trainer and civil aircraft.


The kit is resin and the parts come with little if any flash. What flash there is comes free by simply wiping it with your finger. Photo-etch parts are provided for strut bracing and cockpit detail. Decals for 3 aircraft are provided, including most of those required for the 87 Squadriglia Vienna raiders. What wasn't provided was available from SuperScale or Americal/Gryphon.


Not much to say here because the kit goes together so darn well. The top wing is a single piece, the lower wings come in a port and starboard half that just fit into the fuselage with a little rifler file work on the provided openings. Spin provides six pieces of resin short rod for the engine exhaust piping. I threw these away because I like to bore open my exhaust ports for a more realistic look. I replaced the Spin rod for 1/16th inch plastic rod.

For a biplane model the wing alignment is very easy. The struts are laid out in Warren-Truss "V's" length-wise along the wings, which allow accurate placement. (This strut arrangement would later be used in Italian fighters designed by Cesare Rosatelli, then a young engineer working at Ansaldo). Rigging is minimal. I rigged mine with .006" stiff wire.


Most of the markings for the 87th are provided. However, you have to give the Italians credit for having artistic flair ! The fuselage plywood skin was stained to look like rich mahogany. To get this effect I used some SuperScale dark wood 1/48 decal. With Microsol and the grain aligned along the length of the fuselage the seams just vanish. The fuselage looks like a single piece of very rich wood, just like the originals.

The other cool part of this aircraft is the camouflage on the top wing and elevators. It is a green "spottle" on doped linen type of application. My first inclination was to airbrush the effect, but it looked too subtle to get to look good. Well, my fellow modelers came to the rescue via the Internet. Many thanks to Alberto Casirati for the information that Americal/Gryphon makes an Austrian camo decal called "Summer Leaf". In 1/48 it looks like that splottle is a little sparse, but he suggested I use 1/72 decal instead. All I can say is WOW! It looks great. As testimony to that people have asked me how I painted the cammo so well. If you use Testor's Model Master "Sand" for your doped linen color, the underlying doped linen in the decal is just about a perfect match.


Spin Models has become my champion for resin kits. Great fit, detail, the whole nine yards. I know people who have done some of their other offerings and have heard only praise for the wonderful quality of their kits. I don't think anybody will be disappointed going with Spin.

Thanks to Lubos Vinar of the VAMP Mail Order Service in the Czech Republic for providing this review kit. All Spin models, as well as many other Eastern European World War I models, can be ordered from VAMP at: <http://w3.inshop.cz/vamp/inshop/shop.asp>

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