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In-Box Review
148
Reggiane Re 2002
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

Italeri looked guaranteed to please fans of Italian WW2 aircraft with the release of a new-mould mainstream kit of the Re 2002 produced to the latest standards. With the inclusion of a reference book too, it all promised to add up to a very exciting package.

The kit arrives in a very distinctive end-opening box. One end forms a flap with colour profiles of the featured decal options, and it pulls out to reveal a frameable version of the boxtop painting. Very innovative. Inside, the sprues are bagged for protection and there's the promised reference booklet. The kit comprises:

75 x pale grey styrene parts
3 x clear styrene parts
Decals for 6 x colour schemes
44-page reference book

After the initial excitement of the novel packaging, examining the actual kit parts brings you back down to earth rather quickly. Although the parts are quite cleanly moulded with little sign of flash or sink marks, the overall impression is one of heaviness. The surface finish comprises quite nicely engraved panel lines, but these are accompanied by colossal embossed rivets, especially on the wings and tail, and a very exaggerated fabric effect on the control surfaces. Jean-Luc Formery has further spotted that the rivet pattens on the wings aren't symmetrical. There's some slight scarring at the starboard wing root and moulding is a bit soft in places, leading to some rounded edges on some joints.

A quick test fit of the main parts shows there shouldn't be too many real problems, but confirms the general clumsiness throughout. The wings are very thick towards the tips compared with reference photos and the roots don't quite match up. Construction is a little unusual in that fuselage and wing access panels aren't even marked on the exterior, instead, the areas are thinned on the inner surface, the idea being to open up them up and install panels. Quite how well these will fit remains to be seen. The kit features separate elevators and landing flaps. The fuselage headrest/spine is a separate part and fits neatly enough, but its shape and the position of the rear-view indentations looks a bit suspect.

A few details
After the disappointing exterior finish, the cockpit doesn't seem too bad, with an 8-part assembly featuring some detail on the floor and sidewalls, an instrument panel complete with individual decals for the dials, and a pilot's seat that features a moulded-on harness. True, the harness is softly detailed and experienced modellers will prefer to replace it, but at least Italeri have included one. Unfortunately, the seat doesn't have the "hunch-back" look of the original, lacking the bulge to accommodate the pilot's parachute pack.

The 5-part engine is a bit heavily done with exaggerated cooling fins on the cylinders, while the main gear legs are rather like tree-trunks compared with photos of the originals. The wheels are weighted.

The designers have included 3 alternative stores options - a drop tank, or a bomb mounted on a standard rack or dive-bombing swing crutch. As elsewhere, the detail is quite heavy, the arming propeller on the bomb being no more than a blob.

The canopy is crystal clear and nice and thin with neatly defined framing.

Overall, the kit looks set to build pretty quickly and simply but, without quite a lot of work detailing and refining the basic parts, could end up being rather toy-like.

The booklet is a very neat inclusion. Along with some walkaround photos of preserved airframes under restoration, it is copiously illustrated with line-drawings from the original aircraft parts manual. I'm sure the intention was to provide an all-in-one package to allow you to superdetail the model should you wish too, but ironically it only underlines just how basic the kit is in some departments.

The instructions are illustrated with what appear to be photos of the actual kit parts, rather in the style of some early 1950s models. The exploded views are simple to follow and work well in a manner that is both modern and somehow "retro" at the same time. Colours are keyed to most details and these are for Model Master enamels.

Decals are included for no less than 6 colour schemes:

1: "239-4", 5 Stormo, flown by Major Giuseppe Cenni, Regia Aeronautica, Foggia, Italy 1943
2: "239-2", 5 Stormo, 239 Ma. Squadriglia, 102 Gruppo Reggio Emilia, Regia Aeronautica, Italy 1944
3: "Red 9", 5 Stormo, 208 Ma. Squadriglia, 101 Gruppo Isola capo Rizzuto, Regia Aeronautica, Crutone, Italy 1944
4: "Red 9", 5 Stormo, 239 Ma. Squadriglia, 102 Gruppo Palata, Aeronautica Cobelligerante Italiana, Campobasso, Italy 1944
5: DV BI "Red 5", Geschwader Bongart, Luftwaffe, Bourges, France 1944
6: Unknown Luftwaffe unit, Pavullo nel Frignano, Bologna, Italy 1944

The decals are printed in perfect register with a very flat finish. The Co-belligerent roundels are spoiled because the green centres are printed slightly too small and reveal a red centre underneath.

Conclusion
Italeri's Re 2002 is quite an ambitious package, but I'm afraid I can't help feeling disappointed by the clumsy and simplified detail. Despite the neat reference booklet, the kit feels overpriced for such a basic and quite crudely detailed model. Eduard are planning a detail set that should be available around September and the kit could certainly benefit from the extra refinement. Meanwhile, the kit is also due to appear under the Tamiya banner, which seems a bit surprising, because it's certainly not up their standard.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
SUMMARY
Highs: Easy assembly. Excellent reference booklet. Decals for 6 colour schemes.
Lows: Crude, heavy detail. Decals for one option marred by misprinting.
Verdict: Italeri's Re 2002 seems overpriced for such a basic kit.
Percentage Rating
65%
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 2670
  Suggested Retail: 24.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: May 25, 2009
  NATIONALITY: Italy
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 79.70%

About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)
FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2019 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

I read the review but after looking at the sprue pictures (and knowing what other quarter inch offerings there are for this plane), I'm not nearly so off put as might be expected. I'm in the middle of a bunch of limited run kits which really are _crude_. I'd like very much to add this bird to my squadron of Italian planes. The price does seem a smidge steep for a single engine kit without any multimedia goodies but 65% seems like giving it a failing grade. If someone knows of a better Re. 2002 in 1/48 I'm all for it, otherwise I'll keep my eyes peeled for this one on special somewhere. Cheers, Fred
MAY 25, 2009 - 09:18 AM
Many thanks, Rowan I know you do not give such "harsh" critique lightly. I have also written some rather bad reviews because I was pretty pi..ed by one or another "feature" of a kit .. but knowing the much praised CA Reggiane crap ... well, I digress. I will have a look myself .... all the best Steffen
MAY 25, 2009 - 09:31 AM
Hi Fred I meant it as a low pass - a "could do a lot better" grade - so you could maybe bump it up to 70% if that fits in with your exam systems better. I definitely intend to build the kit one day, because it's an aircraft I've always wanted, but it'll need a lot of refinement - just comparing the wings with the photos in the reference booklet, it looks like they'll need thinning by about half out towards the tips. All the best Rowan
MAY 25, 2009 - 07:24 PM
Hi all, First of all, I want to say that Rowan hit the nail on the head when he said the kit looks "toy-like". Here are some more pictures to add fuel to the debat... The engine cowling doesn't fit very well. If you push it in place, there will be a noticable gap. The gun openings? Well, I don't know if we can say "openings" at all. This area will require a lot more work than simply apply the two decals provided in the kit as a "last chance" measure. I have also noticed that the rivet lines just above the ailerons aren't symetric. I suppose the left wing is correct. The CAD develloper was probably tired when doing the second wing's rivet lines... The wings, as pointed out by Rowan, are way too thick when compared to the real thing. On the model they look like inflatable balloon wings in case of an emergency sea landing! The fuselage headrest/spine looks a bit suspect too. I have to build the kit, I will build it, but I'm sure it will represent a LOT of work to achieve something presentable. I too was so looking forward to this release by Italeri but I'm very disappointed. I hope the Arado Ar 196 and the Mc.200 won't be done by the same designer team... Jean-Luc
MAY 27, 2009 - 02:52 AM
Hi Jean-Luc Well, I must say it looks really bad .. the wings are probably not fixable .. and the hump looks as if it has to be build in the fuselage (looks as if it stands a few mm high) .. besides the possible shape issue of the "dent" the fit issue is not that suprising though ... thanks for the addition .. still I will get my example and I will see what I can make of it ... i do not think the CA is an alternative, but that is just my opinion. Like you I hope the will not scew the Arado. I have heard the project leader is a woman (no valuation, just info) .. I hope the best as woman pay a lot attention to details all the best Steffen
MAY 27, 2009 - 03:18 AM
Hi Jean-Luc Wow! I was wondering if I'd been a little harsh, but that really reinforces my impressions! I was so busy reeling in horror from the rivets that I didn't notice that they aren't symmetrical on the wings! I'll edit my review text to include your points. All the best Rowan
MAY 27, 2009 - 08:24 AM
Interesting review, Rowan. I was looking forward to this and considered buying it for the Italian campaign coming up. Now I will leave it in the store especially bacause of the heavy wings. I just hope the Arado 196 is better. I really like the look of this aircraft and was considering to buy it for the seaplane campaign. Thanks for a good review and the honest judgement on this one.
MAY 29, 2009 - 01:33 AM
Ouch! 65% looks generous to me, LOL!
MAY 29, 2009 - 03:17 AM
Sorry for bringing up this topic again ... .. now I have my kit. Having it reviewed, I must say, that I still do not see it as bad as Rowan does. Maybe it is a bit of expectations (in my book Italeri is not one of the prime manufacturers and even Big T and company have their share of faults and mistakes). Still the wing and the hump are annoying and will put off people as will the huge price tag which is not justified (just below 30 € from the German distributor/ importer). Having said that I also got the Hasegawa Fw 190 F-8 and the LE Tiffy for review and these have a hefty 43,49 Euro price tag on their box! .. seems the hobby will die faster than I thought. I could not afford these kits! just my 2 ct all the best Steffen
JUN 20, 2009 - 04:34 AM
   

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