Reggiane

The Officine Meccaniche Italiane S.A., based in Reggio Emilia, was contracted to build Caproni bombers between 1915-1918. They resumed aircraft production in 1937, working on two variants of the Piaggio P.32 (P.32bis and Ca.405). In the same year, ing. Longhi and ing. Alessio started work on the RE.2000, which shares some features of the Seversky Sev-7. All subsequent Reggianes demonstrted a gradual evolutionary process of the same design that culminated in the sublime RE.2005 considered by many as the supreme Italian fighter aircraft of WWII. It is interesting to compare this to Republics final evolution from the same source... the mighty P-47.

RE.2000. A sound aircraft that lost out to the G.50 and C.200 in selection trails. Most were exported to Sweden, but a few were held back when the Air Ministry realised they had a shortage of aircraft in its inventory. This aircraft is well served in 1/72. The elderly inaccurate Supermodel kit, which has since resurfaced as a ‘re-tooled’ Italeri kit, is best ignored. Special Hobby  released a wide range of types, including the  Serie 1, Heja 1 & Serie III. All are based in the same tooling and are as good as we can expect in this scale, with an incredible level of cockpit detail that even surpasses some 1/48 models. The top image is one of the kits I built for a SAMI review. Excellent quality models in 1/48 were the Italian Classic resin and Classic Airframe kits, even though they will be hard to source. There is a very useful Aviolibri guide (IBN Editore No.6) on how to get the most out of the RE.2000, written by Maurizio de Terlizzi. Special Hobby have since issused a revised and updated version of the Classic Airframe kit with an all new fuselage.

RE.2001. Alitaliane produced a range of 1/72 scale resin kits of indifferent quality, including the Delta engined variant (as seen in the third image). They all seem to be based on the elderly Supermodel 1/72 kit and are OOP. All too briefly, the RE.2001 appeared in 1/48th thanks to E.P. Originals high quality resin kit that was well worth it's high purchase price. Classic Airframe also produced a very nice 1/48th scale multi-media kit which sold out very quickly. Supply is very limited in all scales for this aircraft, although Sword do a very good looking 1/72 kit, including the Caccia Notturna version. Ali d'Italia printed a very good reference book for this aircraft.

RE.2002. Just like the RE.2001, this aircraft is rare in kit form. The E.P. Originals 1/48 resin kit was, at one time, the only decent model available but has been OOP for some time now. It can be seen in the fourth image. The Supermodels RE.2002 1/72 kit shows its age and although Alitaliane produced a 1/48 resin kit of RE.2002, it disappeared all too quickly. Italeri have since released a 1/48th scale kit but, despite including a useful reference booklet, the model appears to have major problems with cowling, spinner and spine shape errors. Quickboost produced a corrected spine and Vector Resin have also released various correction sets. Sword have produced a good looking injection moulded 1/72 kit as part of its Reggiane range and have added the late 'ultimo' variant where the engine mount was lowered and the cowling profile changed to give the pilot an improved view.

RE.2003. The RE.2003 was intended for the reconnaissance role. Two prototypes were built, both based on an RE.2000 that were fitted out with a tandem cockpit and glazing. The second protype was also fitted with an RE.2002 engine and cowl which altered its appeareance some what. RS Models produced a very disappointing 1/72 resin kit and is OOP, so will not be missed. Both Special Hobby and AZ Models released better multimedia kit. The AZ Models kit has delicate, restrained panel detail although the SH kit has superior cockpit detail. Of the two, I'd favour the AZ Models kit.

RE.2004. The RE.2004 was an unfinished RE.2001 prototype powered by a 24 cylinder Zeta X engine. It was abandoned in favour of the RE.2005. Was once available as an Italian WIngs 1/72 resin kit.

RE.2005. A very popular subject for both kit maker and modeller alike. A very fast machine which had that perfect blend of grace and power. Pavla released an accurate 1/72 injection multi-media kit, although most of the resin parts, especially the wheel wells, were a poor fit. It is shown in the fifth image on the right. Cunarmodel, Dujin and LF Models have also produced 1/72 resin kits of variable quality. Both RS Models & Sword have released much improved 1/72 injection moulded kits. A number of years ago  Falcon produced a 1/48 vac-form kit which they subsequently re-released as a limited run, low-pressure injection kit. It required some modelling skill to overcome the crude moulding technology and rather hard plastic. It is shown in the sixth image down. The  image below that shows Flying Machines 1/48 multi media injection kit, using resin detail parts. It is accurate and highly but both Sword and Special Hobby have since released all new 1/48 kits since. Out of the three, the Special Hobby kit displays more finesse. Another great choice is the Pacific Coast Models 1/32 injection moulded kit, with resin and photo etch detail parts. I had a small part to play in this kit, being responsible for the decal sheet artwork and it builds into a lovely model.

RE.2006. A popular ‘what-if’ subject even though it did exist. It was a highly secret project where a RE.2005 was taken from the production line and re-designed to fit around the very powerful DB 603 engine. It was scrapped before it ever got a chance to fly. Available in 1/72 from RS Models as a limited run injection kit. I used a 1/48 Falcon kit as a basis for an RE.2006 conversion project, as shown in the last image.