Supermodel 1/72 Reggiane Re.2002 'Ariete'

KIT #

10-004

PRICE:

@$6.00

DECALS:

Three aircraft

REVIEWER:

Scott Van Aken

NOTES:

HISTORY

The Reggiane Re.2002 Ariete was an Italian fighter-bomber developed during World War II. The aircraft was a further development of the Re.2000, with some of the modifications that already had been introduced in the Re.2001. In September 1941, the Italian Air Force ordered 200 aircraft, delivery of which began in March 1942. The aircraft equipped the 5 Stormo and 50 Stormo, although the engine problems hadn't been fully solved. The first batch of 100 aircraft were delivered by July 1943, but only part of the second batch was delivered before the armistice with the Allies.

The squadrons equipped with Re.2002s saw a great deal of action with the Allied landings in Sicily although they also suffered many losses. During the first four days, when the Italian Air Force tried to attack allied ships, 14 aircraft were destroyed by British Spitfire Mk Vs. Allied bombing raids and strafing of airfields destroyed many aircraft on the ground. Due to the lack of fuel, the Re.2002s were only used sporadically, often equipped with three 250 kg or 100 kg bombs.

Some of the last skirmishes took place on September 3, 1943, when the British 8th Army landed at Calabria. Fifteen Re.2002s from 5 Stormo attacked the landing force. Three pilots were killed, among them was Giuseppe Cenni, the commander of the unit.

The Germans had shown interest in buying 300 Re.2002s before the Armistice. They planned to use the German produced BMW 801 radial engine in order to eliminate the deficiencies with the Piaggio engine. However, Reggiane could not satisfy the demand, and none were delivered. However, some 40 "factory-fresh" Re.2002s along with 20 aircraft requisitioned from operational stocks were taken over by the Germans after the Italian armistice, and used against the French resistance.

THE KIT

Many years ago, there was a company called Supermodel. They produced a line of Italian aircraft in 1/72 that were considered to be top quality stuff in their days. They produced mostly later war aircraft from Fiat, Reggiane, and Macchi along with some rather large aircraft like the SM.81 and the Bv-138. I believe that the CANT Z.501 was theirs as well. Eventually, they were bought by Italeri and their line added to Italeri's catalogue. While I've never bought a Supermodel kit in an Italeri box, I understand that they pretty well left things as they were. These kits all had nicely raised panel line detail and had a fairly well done fabric representation on the control surfaces.

The 2002 is very similar to their 2000 kit aside from the different engine cowling, engine and associated bits. The interior is basic to the max with but a seat and pilot with no other 'unneeded' bits like control stick, instrument panel, etc. The seat fit into a slot in the bottom of the fuselage and the pilot then went into that seat. The fuselage halves have no forward cowling molded on so that the mold can be used for both types.

One builds the two main cowling halves and installs those to the fuselage. Next the engine, which is two cylinder rows, is then attached to the one piece forward cowling and inserted into the waiting aft cowling pieces. The engine is fairly nicely done with molded on pushrod detail. Atop the cowling is a long carb intake scoop.

Landing gear consists of a leg with retraction strut, single wheel with separate outer hub, and two gear doors. Most of the well is not boxed in. The wing itself is quite strait with a single lower section with the upper sections including both upper and lower wing tips. It is what goes under the wing that is different. The 2002 was basically a dive bomber so there is a long fairing with the bomb crutch fit into it. On this crutch is a rather large bomb.

I should add that there are two one-piece canopy sections provided and one will have to use the proper one for the markings option that you are going to use. Also included is a display stand, something that is exceedingly rare in modern kits.

Instructions are nicely done for the day offering no interior colors, though it does provide generic names for everything else. There are three markings options, none of which are identified. One is a standard Re.2002 with no unit markings in dark green over grey with a white fuselage band as it would have been before the armistice. Another is a similarly painted plane with Co-belligerant AF roundels and a large badge on the fin. No fuselage band on this. The third is one taken over by the Luftwaffe with the underside in a light blue with a yellow band on the rear fuselage. Again, no unit markings. The decals are fairly well done, though due to their age, I'm not sure how viable they might still be.

CONCLUSIONS

Aside from the recently released (as in two years ago) and more detailed Sword kit of this airplane, this is probably the easiest to locate. Don't be put off by its age as, aside from the lack of cockpit, it really is a nice kit. I've built several Supermodel kits and have been pleased with every one. If one just keeps in mind that this is a mold from the late 1960s or early 1970s, one will have no issues with it. A plus side to a simple kit like this is that you won't be driven round the bend with teensy, fiddly bits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reggiane_Re.2002

July 2014

Thanks to me for grabbing this one from the sales table.

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