Supermodel of Italy was once about the only source of injection molded kits for Regia Aeronautica subjects. Their Cant, Fiat, Macchi, Reggiane and Savoia-Marchettis models filled a void of WW2 aviation with exceptional models in the 1970s. After US and many European manufacturers supplanted exciting box art for ho-hum photos of the built-up box contents, Supermodel continued with cool in-action scenes. They fit well, had good detail and molding, were not festooned with rivets, and offered multiple decals options. I built two Fiat G.55s and a RE 2000 Falco I and now, almost three decades later, have commenced expanding my Supermodel collection.
The Cantiere Navali Triestino Z. 1007 Alcione (Kingfisher) family started in 1937 with 560 built, sharing Italy’s main bomber fleet with mainly Savoia-Marchettis and their developments. Built entirely of wood, they followed Italy’s design of hunchback trimotor bombers. Some were mounted on floats for water operations. Powered with three 1,000 hp Piaggio P.XI R2C.40 radial engines, the design had a competitive performance and packed a maximum bomb load of 2,646 lbs of bombs or two 17.7-inch torpedoes. The Z.1007bis boasted a maximum speed of 283 mph around 15,100 ft, a range of 1,242 miles and a maximum ceiling of 27,630 ft. The five-man crew consisted of a pilot, a co-pilot, a radio operator/gunner, a tail gunner and one gunner for both of the beam guns. Protective armament were two Breda-SAFAT 12.7mm machine guns in ventral and top turrets, and a 7.7mm machine gun in each beam position. First deployed against Britain in 1940, thence throughout the Mediterranean and in Russia, the originally single-tailed design was extensively redesigned following combat experience. Despite this, the Kingfisher proved to be a clay pigeon against modern defenses. Alcione’s final configuration (Z. 1007 bis) had twin fins and rudders.
One hundred nine light gray and clear parts make build this kit (excluding the two-piece stand.) Crisply molded for the most part, the surface is smooth and I haven’t noticed sink holes, but there is a small amount of flash; ejector marks are where you can’t see them unless you want to seriously open and display the fuselage. Raised panel lines mar the surface, normally this authenticity does not bother me for airframes of an era of assembly with round rivets, but this is a wooden airplane, right? I doubt it was nailed together with round headed nails… The fabric control surfaces are simulated with big raised lines I assume are stitch lines. That big fuselage door and gunner’s windows afford one the chance to detail the waist area. The bomb bay doors can be cut open for a chance to fill a featureless gapping maw. Four basic figures represent the Alcione’s crew of five, occupying a sparely detailed interior. Plenty of ‘greenhouse’ canopy to show off this cockpit area -consider honing your scratch building skills! Twelve bombs of three different sizes can be hung in an bomb bay and under the wings. The trio of Piaggio radial engines should fill the inside the single-piece cowls nicely. The good looking multi-strutted and braced landing gear is the only detail for the wheel wells.
My old decals are yellowed. They can probably be sun bleached clear if I want to, but why bother? There are too many good after-market products out there. And notice where the ink bled through the decal paper?
How to paint this big bird I have yet to decide. I have not found a reference for the two-tail with any cool Regia Aeronautica desert schemes, which is what I want.
Overall, this is a basic 1970s era model with all that implies. It helps fill the void of lesser-known Regia Aeronautica subjects and provides the opportunity for a conversation piece in your collection.
Highs: Interesting Regia Aeronautica subject, reasonable molding.Lows: Almost no detail. Raised panel lines. Dubious decals.Verdict: Regia Aeronautica fans need one of these widely used predators to supplement their Macchis, Fiats and Savoia-Marchettis. It should build into a pleasing display model out of the box, and can be detailed up for the cockpit.
About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art.
My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling!
My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...