Classic Airframes 1/48 Reggiane RE2000 Falco
The Reggiane RE2000 Falco was the first design of this new new subsidiary of Caproni and was intended for use in the Italian Air Force (Regia Aeronautica). The designers were strongly influenced by the Seversky P-35. The Falco first flew in May 1939, but ironically it was never ordered by the Regia Aeronautica.
The Falco was a good performing aircraft and orders were received from Sweden and Hungary. The Swedish examples were designated as J20s and served into 1946. The Hungarians obtained a manufacturing license for their examples, designated as 'Hejja' (Hawk). These aircraft served on the Russian front.
The Falco eventually entered service with the Regia Aeronautica as war needs forced the service to conscript some of the export aircraft orders. Powered by a 1000 hp air-cooled engine, this aircraft would be transformed into the RE2001 with the replacement of the engine with an in-line, liquid-cooled DB601 engine (in the early examples).
Classic Airframes previously released the RE2001 a few months ago in 1/48 scale. This example, the earlier RE2000 Falco, expands upon the Regia Aeronautica subject area that has been basically ignored by the mainstream model manufacturers. You'll be seeing several more Regia Aeronautica subjects in the coming months, including the Savoia Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero! Stay tuned!
As with the Classic Airframes RE2001 kit (reviewed in the November 2001 edition of Internet Modeler), this kit is a multimedia masterpiece of injection-molded styrene, resin, and vacuformed parts. There are two trees of medium gray styrene parts that comprise the airframe and major details. These parts feature finely engraved details.
The cockpit interior, engine, and other details are represented in finely cast and detailed resin parts. The canopy is provided as a crystal clear vacuform part.
One interesting facet of this kit is its ability to portray either a Series 1 version with a fully enclosed glass canopy, or a Series 3 machine with a razorback rear fairing (like the razorback P-47D) aft of the cockpit. This fairing is also provided as a resin part, should you choose the later series.
Construction appears to be very straightforward with no apparent challenges in the instructions.
RE2000 Series 1, 74 Sqn, 23 Gruppo, 3 Stormo, Cosimo, 1941
RE2000 Series 3, 377 Sqn, Boccadifalco, 1942
Hejja, Hungarian Air Force, Russian Front, 1941
J20, Swedish Air Force, 1945