German with an Italian accent...
The planes designed by Italy between the World Wars were elegant, colorful-- and by the time the Second World War started, obsolescent and slow. The open cockpit era was surpassed in the first months of the Second World War, and Italy's more modern designs like the Macchi 205 Veltro were either complex to make, came too late to make a significant impact on the Regia Aeronautica's performance or both. The German Bf109 was easier to build, and so 109s began showing up in Italian service. Now Stormo has released a line of decal sets of markings for Messerschmitts in Italian service. This build represents the aircraft of Capitano Mario Bellagambi from the 364th Squadriglia, 150o Gruppo flying out of Sciacca in July 1943. The aircraft was a G-6/R6/Trop (with the distinctive longer dust filter), and was shipped with standard Luftwaffe camouflage and national markings (RLM 74, 75 on top with RLM 02 and 70 mottle) over RLM 76 undersides (also yellow oil cooler and nose underside). The German Balkenkreuz and swastikas were then oversprayed by the Italians with Grigio Azzurro Chiaro (FS 36307). According to the documentation supplied by Stormo, Captain Bellagambi had 14 kills confirmed.
For the build, I used the problematical Hasegawa 1/32nd scale G-6 kit, along with Eduard's PE interior set. I corrected the oil cooler, spinner, and battery box with Eagle Parts resin replacements. The Trop air intake is from Quick Boost along with the exhausts and joystick. The prop blades were from Craig Chidley (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). I believe the weighted wheels were True Details, but I'm not sure any longer; the wheel wells are definitely from Aires. The underwing brass MG151 20mm cannons and and the nose-mounted MG131 brass barrels are from RB Models. Finally, and most spectacularly, the superb seat belts are from Radu Brinzan.
I made only minor modifications to the kit, including "dropping" the tail to reflect the reality of 109 control hydraulics.
Thanks to Stormo for the review sample of decals used in this feature.
Copyright ©2018 by Bill Cross. Images and/or videos also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of Armorama, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2011-07-16 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 6215