SEM Models IMAM Ro.63. This was originally prepared as part of a SAMI review article.
Their second release is the IMAM Ro.63. This was a short-lived Italian WWII STOL design that saw very limited use. This is in not doubt due to the Storch having established itself in Regia Aeronautica service at the time. I know of one other 1/72 resin IMAM Ro.63 kit from a few years back, but it is no longer available. The SEM Models IMAM Ro.63 is very similar in appearance. The parts cast in a hard, dense grey resin with both the wing and the fuselage cast as a single piece. Almost unbelievably, the wing has it’s pouring block on the trailing edge which leaves a very nasty clean up job. The fabric effect is rather crude too. I would purposely remove all fabric detail while dealing with the thick trading edge and indicate fabric detail as rib tapes instead. This works just as well in my view. I passed my comments about the wing to SEM Models and they hope to re-do the wing master. The fabric effect on the fuselage is better but can still do with a little clean up, as well as the seam left after removing the pouring block. The cockpit walls are extremely thick, which makes the canopy frames way over scale. It should be thinned down to a more scale like appearance, but not so much that it can’t support the wing. Cockpit detail is rather basic but useful references are supplied in the CD to help scratch build detail this area. Some work is needed to blend in the rear of the wing to the top of the fuselage. This includes restoring the fabric effect, which is not an easy task. The very thin vac-form canopy is very difficult to trim but it is secure once glued in place. The side windows are pre-stamped out of plastic sheet and are a good fit. The undercarriage strut is cast in white metal and is more than adequate to support the model, which is surprisingly large in 1/72. One definite improvement to make is to replace the rather thick wing support struts with appropriate strut material and to scratch build the prominent hinges for the wing aileron and flaps as the kit parts are not really suitable. The camouflage depicted on this model deviates somewhat from the kit instructions as it is based on a photo I found via the internet. I used Vallejo acrylics for the mottled scheme. As the kit decals did not come with white backed fasces, spares were used. In summary, this is a potentially easy build made rather more difficult than necessary by having to deal with the crudely moulded wing and the excessively thin vac form canopy. It is hoped that SEM Models will modify the master and use thicker sheet stock for the canopy. If they do, it it will definitely make it a worthwhile purchase.
SEM Models 1/72 C.N.A. PM-1. This was originally written as part of a SAMI review article.
The third kit in their range is the petite CNA PM.1. Originally designed by Milanese aircraft design students around 1938, it was resurrected after WWII by Macchi and given the designation MB.308. The main visual difference between the two was the tricycle undercarriage and larger tail fin of the Macchi. Italiankits had a 1/72 resin MB.308 kit in their catalogue. This 1/72 CNA PM.1 kit is delicately moulded in pale cream resin, with both the wing and fuselage moulded as a single part. The pouring block has been placed on the leading edge of the wing, which makes it an easy clean up. However the aerofoil section is a bit odd, with a thick blunt leading edge and uneven lower surface. The fuselage is nicely moulded, but the cockpit detail a bit basic. The vac form canopy is moulded out of thick sheet stock which makes it easy to work with. Assembly is very straightforward but some effort was required to restore the aerofoil section to the wing. The actual colour scheme is a bit vague, with some sources indicating either ivory or white finish. I chose silver after studying period photos suggests this is also valid. The decals need careful trimming as the sheet has an overall varnish. This is easily SEM Models best & easiest model to build so far, despite the problems noted.