|KIT:||Special Hobby 1/72 Re.2000 export version|
|PRICE:||$25.50 MSRP (19.25 at Roll Models)|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run with resin, photo etch and vacuformed parts|
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, it was pretty well a given that the fighter of the future was to be a monoplane with retracting landing gear. Reggiane also realized this and when they developed their new fighter, it had all the makings of a modern aircraft. This all metal aircraft was also quite strong with five wing spars providing exceptional stiffness, as was required as much of the fuel was carried in the wings. So much did this new fighter impress others that both Sweden and Hungary ordered what was for the time, a substantial number with the Swedes buying 60 and the Hungarians 70 of the type.
It was powered by a 14 cylinder Piaggio P.XI RC 40D and armed with two SAFAT 12.5mm guns. Not quite the cannon that were needed, but still much better than the woefully inadequate 7.7mm guns that were in most Italian fighters. In fact, the Italians only ordered 25 of them, preferring the coming in-line Re.2001 and radial Re.2002.
The Swedes used put theirs to good use in maintaining their neutrality from roaming Allied and German aircraft. The Hungarians used theirs for home defense and against the Soviets where they were able to handle the older Russian aircraft, but were outclassed by later types like the Yak-7/9 and La-5.
All in all the Reggiane 2000 was a good looking aircraft and one has no trouble spotting the family resemblance in later aircraft as the wings and tail planes carried over to these later types.
I've not been keeping track of the MPM family of short run kits so am not sure if an Italian version of this has been done or not. Previously only Italierie/Supermodel bothered with any of these early Reggiane fighters and while those older kits are not bad, they are older kits.
The Special Hobby boxing is as typical as you can get for the genre. You have two small sprues that contains the majority of the airframe parts with resin being used for all the interior bits, the engine, and other smaller bits and pieces. The engine is one of these deals where you have a separate crankcase housing and individual cylinders. These are rather generic in their shape and the cylinder heads are pretty well hidden by the cowling. If you want pushrods, you'll have to add those as they are not included. Resin is also provided for wheel wells and for various intakes and scoops.
The photo etch fret is pretty comprehensive with instrument panels, knobs and buttons, seat belts and armor plating as well as the seat frame and a few other pits provided. Two nicely done vacuform canopies complete the ensemble. There are no optional bits as with fewer than 200 examples built, you don't have a lot of room for variants. There is an acetate sheet for the instrument dials.
Instructions are nicely done and should provide all the information needed to properly complete what is really not a complex kit. An alignment diagram is given for a few areas so you won't mess things up too badly. This kit continues the use of just Gunze numbers for the paint with no idea of what the shade really is. In my opinion, not a good move and I highly recommend to MPM that they get off their butts and provide generic names at least for those of us who like using other paints. They are doing modelers no favors. Markings are given for four similarly painted aircraft. Three of them have the later war insignia as shown on the box art, while one is in the delivery scheme and before Hungary got involved in the Axis. Decals are very well printed and should provide no surprises for those who have done these short run kits.
I may be preaching to the choir on this, but to me, it is the short run kit market that has kept things interesting. You want Corsairs and Me-109s and Spitfires, then you can find them all over the place. For the more interesting types, it is MPM and their buddies who come to your rescue.
My thanks to Roll Models for providing the review kit.
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