Kit: Fiat G.55

Scale: 1/50

Kit Number: 116

Manufacturer: SMER

Price: $5.00

Media: Injected plastic

Decals : Two schemes; both RSI in 74/75/76

Accuracy: ??

Overall: see review

Comments: Hands up all of you out there who have built older SMER kits. I can see there are not too many. I have built a few in the past and they are all that one expects from old Eastern European kits of the 70's. A decent basic outline with little real detail other than rivets, no cockpit interior other than a pilot, crude landing gear and open wheelwells. These kits are just perfect for making a stand model and that is what I did with the G.55. First I sanded off all the panel lines and rivets. Then I cemented the gear wells in place and puttied over the whole thing. Next I got some screening and blanked off the underfuselage radiator. I then drilled out the gun holes and put in some tubing to represent the guns. I built a pitot tube from brass tubing and hollowed out the supercharger intake. Then the canopy was painted blue from the inside and attached to the fuselage. It was then masked off and the entire aircraft was painted in 74/74/76 with white fuselage bands and propeller spinner while the underside fo the nose was painted yellow. After all had dried, I actually used the thin and slightly opaque kit decals.

After the kit was finished, a small hole was drilled in the bottom where the attachment to the stand was made. The stand is made of cherry and clear varnished. On the stand the aircraft and unit were placed using dry transfers. Finally the stand was clear coated and when dry the aircraft attached. Since the only attachment is a relatively thin piece of wire, it is important that the center of gravity be found.

The overall result is quite pleasing and it is a bit of a change from normal. No extra expense with aftermarket parts. No fussing with extra detailing. A nice relaxing change of pace. Frankly, there are a number of kits on the market for which making a stand model is their only hope. Try it on one you think is a hopeless case.

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