Special Hobby 1/48 Nardi FN 305




$20 (including its portion of air shipment from OZ)


four options


Scott Van Aken


Short run with resin, etched metal and vac bits


The Nardi F.N. 305 was designed in 1939 as a two place trainer, sports, and touring aircraft. Thanks to its retractable landing gear, it was considered by traditionalists to be a 'dangerous' aircraft. It also included such features as flaps and a fully enclosed cockpit, things that were not the norm in Italian light aircraft of the time. However, times were changing and the FN 305 incorporated all of the things found on modern military aircraft. This made it a perfect trainer for the R.A. and so the type was extensively used by that service. Prior to the start of hostilities, 36 were produced for the French Air Force. Some of these were later used by the Luftwaffe. A small number were built as single seaters by Piaggio.



To my knowledge, this is the first time this aircraft has been kitted in 1/48. It was done a few months ago in 1/72 so now both major scales have access to a very nice, and equally little-known Italian trainer. It reverts back a bit by offering vacuformed canopies instead of the injected ones, but many prefer vac canopies. There is a small etched fret that includes some interior bits like instrument panels and knobs as well as control actuators for the rudder and flaps. Mud scrapers (which go behind the wheels to keep mud from building up) are also part of the etched fret. Resin bits include seats and an engine front.

The injected parts are well done, but I think the fabric effect on the control surfaces may be a bit overdone. No flash or sink areas and the usual ejector towers are there and easy to remove. Frankly, there really isn't much to this kit and that is quite normal for a trainer. It does include a one-piece prop, for which I'm grateful as I really don't like short run separate blade/hub props.

Instructions are well done, as is typical of the MPM group. In a step backwards, only Humbrol numbers are given for paint references for any part of the kit other than the camouflage scheme. From what I can see, it appears that the interior is supposed to be done in light grey. Now I know that the usual color for Italian interiors is a light green, but perhaps since this is a light aircraft, the grey was the usual color. I just don't know. Markings are provided for four aircraft. Two are in overall aluminum paint. The first of these is a French aircraft from 1940 with no unit markings of any kind. The second similarly painted plane is an early Italian version of 23 gruppo. It has the tricolor rudder markings with the white cross. The next two are in a camouflaged scheme of Sand with Dark Green mottles and a light grey underside. Both of these have large white trainer bands on the wings and fuselage. First of the camo planes is the box art aircraft with the tri-color rudder. The other has the later white cross tail marking. It has some brown added into the mottle. Decals are very well produced and appear quite thin. They are made by a company called Dead Design!


Special Hobby has done it again with another interesting and generally unknown aircraft. I'm sure it will find some of the more eclectic builders' favor and I know that it is going on my workbench at the earliest opportunity!

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