Schneider Trophy

Italy won the Schneider Trophy in 1920 and 1921 before the Regia Aeronautica was formed. Though not as successful as they had hoped, the Italians proved worthy competitors throughout the Schneider Trophy series. They were let down by either unreliability or insufficient development time, so much so that their only other victory was in 1926 with the M.39 flown by Mario de Bernardi. After failing to attend a race in time, the mighty MC.72, with its contra rotating props, went on to establish the World Speed Record for floatplanes that still stands to this day, reaching 440.68 mph in 1934. Happily, most of the Schneider machines have been preserved for prosperity at the Vigna di Valle museum near Rome, including the MC.72.

Macchi M.33, M.39, M.52, M.67, MC.72. This aircraft series has been a very popular choice for kit companies, especially in resin.

Marsh Models have produced 1/32 M.39 and M.52 kits in their Aerotech range with the M.67 penned as a future release. They are expensive but very good quality kits. Now OOP, Brach Models produced highly detailed 1/32 models of the M.33 and MC.72. To accompany the MC.72, they released its 24-cylinder FIAT AS.6 engine in a separate boxing, which had two 12-cylinder AS.6 engines (fitted end to end) and an engine cradle. Despite the high level of detail there was not enough space in the kit to install it. Ask me how I know. The kit has proved to be a tough build but it still looks good.

The NOIX Models "Men and Machine Club" series were the best of them all, producing a series of very high grade 1/48 resin kits of nearly all of the above. Unfortunately, getting any of their kits will be very difficult now as all production has stopped, which is a great pity. I have seen insane prices for them on Ebay. The 1/48 Vintage Models MC.72 was also very good, so much so, it could well have been a clone of the NOIX model.

SBS Models produced a very high quality MC.72 1/72 resin kit and is well worth considering even though it is a bit pricey.

Other kits, now thought to be OOP include a range of 1/72 resin kits by Alitaliane and Vintage Models.

Injection moulded kits are limited to just the 1/72 Delta2 & 1/48 SMER  MC.72. Both are very poor and not worth building.

Fiat C.29. This sole FIAT Schneider entry was available in 1/48 resin by NOIX.

"Savoia S.21." Fine Models has produced both 1/72 and 1/48th scale injection moulded models of the aircraft that had a starring role in Miyazaki’s 'Porco Rosso' anime. Clearly inspired by the Macchi M.33 (see the NOIX Models M.33 boxart to the right) the models quality is of a very high order, with terrific levels of internal detail. Various versions of the model were released to cover the various upgrades made to the aircraft during the movie.

Savoia S.65. One-off prototype built in 1929 with a unique tandem push-pull engine layout, with the cockpit nestled in-between. The stabiliser was supported by twin booms, with a single rudder in the middle. The pilot dal Molin was killed in this aircraft during a speed attempt on Lake Garda in 1930. Karaya have released a very nicely moulded resin 1/72 resin kit of this extraordinary looking aircraft, although the strut assembly is rather fragile. Marsh Models have released a 1/32 scale resin kit as part of their ongoing Schneider aircraft series.