AZ Model 1/72 Breda Ba-27
|REVIEWER:||Carmel J. Attard|
|NOTES:||Short run, multi media kit.|
Originally the Ba-27 was an Italian fighter that was designed by the end of 1932. Has close resemblance to the Boeing P-26 from which the design was inspired. Serial production was based on the last i.e. the third prototype that was an all-metal machine. The kit depicts one of the 11 produced and delivered to China back in 1935 out of the original order of 18 of the type. They were used against the Japanese in 1937 under 29th Squadron General Y.M. Chang.
The Italian Air Force never used the type after all. The prototype MM218 was exhibited in Norway but no buying agreement emerged. The prototype was finally incorporated in 86th Squadrigilia, 5 Sturmo of Italian Air Force in 1936. The Ba-27 was powered by a 700hp Alfa Romeo Marcurius VI radial engine giving a maximum speed of 380 Km/Hr; a ceiling of 29,000ft and the armament consisted of 2 x Breda Sofat 12.7mm or 2 x Madsen 7.65 machine guns.
This short run multi media kit is injection molded in gray plastic having Legato connection as the logo is printed on decals and resin parts. A 4-page, A5 size instruction booklet show brief history, plan view of kit parts, resin and brass etch items. Box art is quite impressive depicting a Ba-27 intercepting two Japanese medium bombers while on their way on a mission. At the back of box there is color side and plan views for the two decal options, one being an overall dark green H30, and the other is dark green upper and light blue H89 under surfaces. The Chinese insignia remains standard for both options and only the white numbers on fuselage sides differ in size and number.
Kit has few parts. The wings has slightly raised ribs and fine scribed panel lines. Bit complicated is the structure of cockpit interior detail in brass etches, with resin column and seat and much of the work is hardly visible once the fuselage is closed. Being a short run type all the joint lines are butt ones which include the wings, tail planes and wheel spats. However their position is marked on the plastic. The gun sight needs to be added. A folded piece of transparent plastic sheet will form the canopy that also contains a slot for the gun sight place.
As mentioned earlier, much of the detail work in cockpit remains hidden but seat and brass etch straps are included. I added a crew figure, which continues to hide interior detail. One can treat the detail brass etch frame interior as a sub assembly. This whole bit fits at the forward part of cockpit but which is obscured/hidden after all the work. Having completed that this assembly is little bigger than the space in the cockpit if fitted to the upper of inside of cockpit and it will crush when the fuselage halves are closed together, so one needs to establish the best level that can fit and at the same time this has to be as far upwards as possible since it holds the instrument panel. By trial and error one will fit a sprue piece spacer on which the brass etch frame can rest. It is best to fit cockpit floor by itself and the assembly will be at a lower level.
Having tackled the cockpit and painted it the rest is straightforward. I did however went the extra way and incorporated few tabs for self aligning the fuselage halves in view of absence of locating guide pins. I also noticed that one fuselage half was slightly deeper than the other. I added a pin dowel with corresponding holes at all the wings and spats joint locations. This helped me place exactly the items at their place before glue and super glue in case of spats could be applied.
The instructions suggest stretch sprue for the struts and rigging which are attached to the wings upper and lower surfaces. I used instead fishing line of same thickness for the cross bracing wire, and metal strings for the outer ones. The leading edge ‘U’ shaped aerial on starboard wing comes in brass etch. This was reinforced with a small piece of wire. Instructions showed this item upside down whereas both views on cover and back of box show it correctly. The gun sight was made from a small piece of metal tube.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
My choice fell on Breda 27 allocated to central China territory 1937 of China Air Force. This had an overall green finish which conforming to the box art painting appeared more on the olive green shade. The cowling ring front had a bronze rim. The interior was cockpit green and seat was light gray. The crew figure that I added had a Khaki-flying suit. Propeller was all metal finish. The radial engine is silver with black central piece and wiring. Exhaust pipes were copper finish.
The decals printed by Aviaprint behaved well though appeared on the thin side. Prolong keeping in water tended to make them brittle so ensure that decal is allowed the minimum time to dilute.
This was an interesting addition to any collection. The completed model showed how closely related the design of the aircraft was to the P-26 Pea Shooter, when both types were placed side by side.
Carmel J. Attard
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