SEM Model 1/72 SIAI-Marchetti SM-1019

KIT #: 72006
PRICE: $69.00 from www.coopersmodels.com
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Resin kit with photo etch and vacuform parts

HISTORY

The SIAI-Marchetti SM.1019 was an Italian STOL liaison monoplane built by SIAI-Marchetti for the Italian Army and based on the O-1 Bird Dog.

To meet an Italian Army requirement for a short take-off liaison aircraft, SIAI-Marchetti modified the design of the Cessna 305A/O-1 Bird Dog with a new turboprop engine and a revised tail unit. The prototype first flew on 24 May 1969 powered by a 317hp (236kW) Allison 250-B15C turboprop engine. It was evaluated against the Aermacchi AM.3 and was successful and won a production order for 80 aircraft. As a note, the AM.3 was chosen by the South African Air Force and called the Bosbock. The SM.1019 only served with the Italian Army.

THE KIT

SEM Models packages the kit in a very sturdy box with most of the bits in smaller bags. The kit also comes with a dust mask and a pair of latex gloves, very handy for working with resin and super glue. The parts are very well molded and I saw no air bubbles or voids on any parts, just a couple of bits of 'fluff' on a few surfaces (easily sanded off).

The kit comes with a pair of color photo etch instrument panels and the main gear legs are double thick photo etch pieces. These should hold up quite well. There is a vacuformed windscreen and rear window with all the other windows coming on a sheet of pre-cut acetate. The parts have already been cut away from the large sprues so there are only the sprue gate stubs to clean up prior to construction.

The interior is quite basic offering a pair of seats and a rear instrument panel. There are no rudder pedals or control sticks so you will need to make those or glean them from the spares box. The right fuselage side has separate doors so if you want those open, you'll need to spruce up the cockpit. You'll also want to round up some seat belts. Other bits in resin are a pair of tail wheels, two exhaust stubs, the main wheels, prop, upper wing radio antennas, and the wing struts. The wing is a single casting. The horizontal stabilizer has the fin fit into a slot before attaching it to the fuselage. There are separate elevators.

Instructions come on a CD which offers a number of nice illustrations from the tech manual as well as a step by step construction process with very nicely done photos. This is in .pdf format and also includes some photos of the real plane, most of which show it hanging from the ceiling. Fortunately finding photos on the net should not be an issue. Markings are provided for two planes. There is no information provided on interior colors, but it looks from the photos to be either green chromate or perhaps that lighter green we all use on WWII Italian planes.

CONCLUSIONS

While not exactly a civil aircraft, it is a light plane and we so infrequently get to see kits of planes like this. Just looking at the bits, it seems that it would not be all that difficult to build. Probably the most challenging would be all those flat acetate windows. It would have also been nice to have gotten a second set of vac bits in case one set was damaged by the builder. Regardless, the model, which will measure about 4 inches when done, won't take up a lot of shelf space and will be something outside the norm.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIAI-Marchetti_SM.1019

September 2014

Thanks to www.coopersmodels.com for the preview kit. Get this one today at the link.

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