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When I saw this kit advertised on HyperScale some
time ago, my heart started to beat faster. "Wow! What a beast" I
thought, and, as a matter of fact what a beast it was!
We are certainly living a golden age in modeling,
but are we really aware of that? The 1/72nd Super model of the "Alcione"
was not really good but it had the merit to exist in a real no man's
land of Italian aircrafts. Sure, things have improved a lot and the
subject is now much less obscure than it was, but yet, there was an
empty hole to fill. Then came "Alpha Flight"!
Let's speak plain English: the model is an
expensive, multi-media resin kit, have to order it in the US from
Pacific Coast Models, references are scarce on the subject as there is
no surviving sampler of the wooden bomber, but there it is....
When I decided to have a go at this kit, I chose to
be very pragmatic. Which is to say that I got in touch with Simone
Semeraro, the young and talented designer of the kit, sending him pics
during the assembly process in order to prevent misunderstandings, and
him, in return correcting my mistakes the same way. What a great way to
work!! I even went for a visit to Porto-gruaro to meet my now Italian
The concept of the hollow resin is a good one which
allows representation of the internal structure and minimises total
On the other hand, all parts are quite flexible
which makes assembly a bit tricky. The worst part of the kit is the
white metal parts which are unusable and which require replacement. The
engines were made from the Piaggio engine of the Reggiane-2000 from
Classic Airframe used as a master and duplicated in resin. The Scotti
12,7 machine gun was scratch-built as were the Breda-Safat 7,5mm from
the waist gun positions. Last but not the least the propellers were made
from a spare P-38 one from Hasegawa, but to make matters nore
complicated, the port side one is turning in the opposite
direction! So two masters were made to have different resin props.
A lot of putty and sanding were ahead but the
project was really an exciting one and slowly but surely the "beast"
Some work has to be done on the undercarriage
retraction arms, evergreen, plastic card and patience were the winners,
to replace the white metal parts from the kit.
Attaching the long green house to the fuselage was
difficult but using the two canopies given with the kit, one was used as
a dummy one and the second one was kept in reserve for the end of the
assembly( all clear parts were dipped in Future and put aside). That was
a clever move I must say as when I removed the protecting tape the clear
part was not clear anymore!
I had to fight hundred of tiny bubbles each time my
sanding went along and I fought those with super glue and resin powder
from left over resin trees. It works really fine.
Then I assembled the undercarriage and wheels and
when everything was set I was not satisfied with the stance of the
plane. So I checked with pictures of the real plane and compared them
with the model. Sure, I had to shorten the main undercarriage legs as
they were too long of 3mm. A very easy task when everything is glued in
place with cyano!
I was ready for painting.
The model was painted with the Testor Aztek
The CANT scheme is quite unique and as such is not
an easy task for the airbrusher. The underside is Griggio mimetico,
that's for the easy part. Now, all upper surfaces are painted in Giallo
mimetico n°3. Mr Kit is giving a good one of that shade but I use my own
mixture of 50% RLM 79 and 50% of white from gunze+20%of future. Do not
forget to mask the line of separation between the two colors.
Then you have to decide how you are going to
reproduce that son-of-a-gun Picasso style of camouflage! Well this is
what I did:
Taking a good picture of the plane showing as much
camouflage as possible, I select one part of the picture, hiding the
rest and I reproduce the mottling free hand. It took me 4 days to
complete the paint job, and it has been a very tiring process because
when you are finished with the Verde mimetico 3, you have to do it again
with the marrone, and then you have to touch up where needed with any of
the three colors. To soft all edges a very dilluted spray of Giallo
mimetico is sprayed on the whole model. Of course you have cleaverly
sprayed a large decal sheet to have the material needed for the long
Only one scheme is available in the kit so I used
that one, a plane from the 193 a squadrglia, 30e stormo.
This model received the silver medal at the last Mondial de la Miniature
in Paris last June, and there will be a complete article in the August
issue of Replic.
Building the CANT was a real challenge for me, but
painting it.... I let you guess.
Now what about that SM-84 from Alitaliane?
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Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2004 by Jean Barby
Page Created 26 September, 2004
29 September, 2004
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