Special Hobby 1/72 Re.2003 '1. Prototipo'

KIT #: 72135
PRICE: $15.00 on sale from GreatModels
DECALS: Twoptions
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run with photo etch and resin parts


The Reggiane Re.2003 was a development from the Reggiane Re.2002 fighter bomber that first flew on 29 June 1941. It was designed to replace the outdated IMAM Ro.37 used a the time. Unlike the Reggaine Re.2002, it had room for a second crewman who sat behind the pilot. It was equipped with onboard camera equipment. The Fiat A.74 RC.38 engine was intended to be used originally, but the Piaggio P. XI RC 40 Bis was chosen instead. Only one was ever produced, and production for a second started, but never finished. (According to the kit instructions, the second aircraft flew on 13 September 1942 and was eventually taken over by the Luftwaffe in 1944 who had planned to have Caproni build the plane. Ed) The Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force) made an order of 200, but cancelled the order as Allied bombing raids made the Air Force's focus switch to fighter aircraft.


What Special Hobby has done is to take their standard Re.2002 kit and provide the additional pieces needed to do the Re.2003. Basically, this means a new pair of resin fuselage halves, an additional seat and interior section, and a pair of new vacuformed canopies. Now this does mean that there are parts not required. For instance, in the resin bits, the interior sidewall pieces are redundant as the new resin fuselage halves have all that detail already molded in place. It also means that the single seat plastic fuselage halves are no longer needed. However, the sprue with those parts are included as one still needs the engine mounting ring that is on that sprue. Much easier to include the unneeded bits than to cut them off.

Anyway, this is a typical short run kit with a considerable number of resin parts. This includes an engine that has a block and all the cylinders separate. All of the interior bits are also resin which includes the floor, seat and so on. Resin is used for the exhaust, instrument panel, various intake scoops, bulkheads, wheel wells and a number of other small parts. The photo etch fret is specifically for this aircraft with harnesses, seat frames, instrument panels rudder pedals and some other small parts. There are two acetate sheets, one for the instruments and another for the small side windows in the lower fuselage. Frankly, one can duplicate these windows with white glue or Krystal Kleer, but they are there if you prefer.

The actual plastic parts are pretty well limited to major airframe bits. WIngs, prop, gear doors, gear legs, wheels, and horizontal stab comprise most of what is on the injected sprues. The level of detail is quite good as one would expect from MPM. There are ejector towers inside the big bits, but those are a snap to clean up. All of this is topped by a pair of nicely molded clear vacuformed canopies.

Kit instructions are pretty straight forward with well done drawings and color info from the Gunze range. This kit is a bit more complex than some other Special Hobby offerings so it is a good idea to pay attention to the instructions and take one's time. The small decal sheet is well done and should work great. The lone option is the prototype in dark green over light grey with the upper camouflage wrapping under the leading edges. There is the usual large white fuselage band that will need to be painted on.

I knew nothing about this particular aircraft, but it looks to be a rather interesting one and something a bit off the norm. I'm sure it will be a pleasant build and provide a very nice model when done.



You can find this as well as many other fine kits and accessories at GreatModels

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly , please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Previews Index Page