- Kit: Special Hobby SH72079 1:72
- Wikipedia: Reggiane Re.2000
- Specifics: 1° Squadriglia FF.NN., Aviazione Ausiliaria per la Regia Marina, 1942
I received this kit as a trade for a Revell Mosquito in 1:48 (along with an Hasegawa P-51C Mustang) at the June IPMS Seattle meeting, because I wanted to go exclusively 1:72 for my aircraft builds. It is definitely a short run kit, with some fitting issues, but the resin parts are great and the finished model looks good, so yeah, I liked it 🙂
As usual on Special Hobby kits, the cockpit is made of resin and PE parts.
Assembling the side walls and giving them a first coat of RAF interior green and wash (not 100% accurate, I know) was simple enough, after my experience with the Bf 109 resin cockpit.
Assembling the seat was a bit more interesting… the seat support is PE and needs to be properly folded and glued to the actual seat, but the fit was not perfect, so that needed a bit of sanding and fiddling…
The instrument panel was quickly dealt with by applying a coat of flat black, the instruments’ film and the PE.
The panel also holds the pedals, that were not applied properly (totally my fault, but the instructions didn’t help). They should have been inserted between the panel resin back and the film. I fixed it by folding up the supports, until the pedals were at the same height of the overall front panel.
The seat lies on a tubular structure that needs to be built up in the back of the cockpit. Here’s the result, after a coat of Vallejo RAF Interior Green and Citadel Agrax Earthshade wash (still wet in the photo).
The most tedious task in building the cockpit was the seat harness. This is made by six separate PE bits, that need to be inserted one into the other and accurately folded. I am not sure it’s the best way to render the harness, and it caused a lot of lost hours, but in the end I managed to get something vaguely resembling what should have been the desired effect. Here’s a group photo of all the pieces before assembling:
Putting it all together, of course, it’s not the hard part. The hard part is fitting it in the fuselage.
That was the case for the Bf 109 and it was (albeit less so) the case for the Re.2000. The sides had to lean into the cockpit itself more than I suppose they were meant to and there was – again – copious sanding.
Next, it was the engine’s turn. Apart from having to assemble all seven pistons separately, it was a breeze to put together.
A basecoat of black and some silver drybrushing was good enough for the engine.
Then I painted the engine’s cowling interior in black and proceeded to assemble the fuselage.
Here are all the parts that will comprise the fuselage:
As usual – in my experience with resin cockpits – there was a lot of sanding going on to fit it, but eventually it did (fit). The next step was to put together the wings with the internal landing gear detail:
Then it was a matter of putting the main sections together and fill up all the gaps. I used Mr. Dissolved Putty (a major time saver) and some masking tape just around the areas to be sanded so I could avoid removing surface details in the vicinity.
After a glamour shot of the instrument panel…
… I primed the whole thing in Tamiya Gray Surface Primer and sprayed the rear fuselage white band.
I also had to put together the structure behind the pilot’s head from a piece of PE and some resin (for the cushion)
After adding some additional resin bits, it was time to paint the underside in Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 2 (Tamiya AS-5) and mask everything that will not get the camo treatment:
I started with a basecoat of dark yellow (Tamiya TS-3)…
That was… unsatisfactory. I am still just not that good with an airbrush. I think I’ve found out why, but I’ll have to find out in a future build.
Anyways, I decided that it was time to take a look at a different scheme, specifically the one used by the Re.2000 used by the Regia Marina, where they sat on a catapult in the back of large ships and finished their mission on land, as they had no way to go back to their launcher.
So, dark green (Tamiya AS-24) overall. Not completely awful.
The next step was to put on the canopy. This was the first time I had to deal with a vacuformed canopy and it was definitely not that easy to work with. First of all, I gave the whole sheet of vacuformed plastic a nice bath in Future, just to protect it and make it shinier. Then the hard part started: separating the canopy from the sheet. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of this ordeal, but I wanted the canopy in the open position – so you could see the fancy cockpit interior; to do that, I had to cut the canopy in three parts and then score them away from the sheet. Not as easy as they say, and I was afraid to have my knife slip and ruin the part. Luckily, it didn’t happen and I proceeded in using The Detailer to mask away the clear parts of the canopy.
Once assembled, it looked like this:
I know, next time I’ll assemble it before painting the whole aircraft. I’m still learning here! 🙂
Detailing and finishing
After this, it was a matter of putting together everything else, coating the aircraft in Testor Glosscote, applying the decals…
…assembling the landing gear, the antenna mast and the rigging. For this last part, I wanted to push myself a bit, so I drilled a 0.5mm hole in the rudder and used some copper wire to fashion a “hook” for the antenna rigging. It is not easy to see in these pics, but it’s there. The rigging, by the way, was done with the excellent EZ-line.
A cover of Citadel Purity Seal matte varnish finished the model quite nicely.
So this was the third model in my Regia Aeronautica Project and I’m now working on the fourth, alongside with a new secret project.
I think the builds are improving, as I make fewer and fewer mistakes and gaining confidence in my abilities (and recognize when it’s the time to spray the hell out of a model because the previous paint job was awful 🙂 )