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Friday, February 7, 2014

RS Models Ambrosini SAI-207

I am a fan of Italian aircraft design, though I haven't completed very many models of them. I may be a bit intimated by the complex green/brown/dark yellow camo schemes that many of them carry, especially with my airbrushing limitations. But I decided that in 2014 I was going to get at least a few of them completed.

And the first one to come along is the Ambrosini SAI-207. Developed from the racer SAI-7, the fighter was small and fast, but not sound structurally. It was also badly underpowered. Still, it managed to make it out to three squadrons before the armistice in 1943. There were no foreign sales. The design continued to be refined in the SAI-403 Dardo.

RS Models makes the kit of the SAI-207 in short-run injected plastic, including (hooray!) an injected canopy. I admit to leaving most of the photoetch bits out of the cockpit, given the somewhat thick canopy, since little can be seen. The fit was decent though not exceptional; a bit of filler was needed on the fuselage seam and the wing/fuselage joint. Be careful with the prop, especially while separating it from the sprue - it is very thin and delicate. Beyond that, all the work is fairly straightforward. Decals came from the kit, and you can characterize them the same as I did the prop: thin and delicate. But in decals that's a good thing!

Luckily the SAI-107 never seems to have been painted in the tricolor camo, only the dark olive green uppers and grey lower surfaces. I originally used one of the White Ensign Models paints for the green, but contrary to the paint tin's lid, it turned out to be a lighter green than I was looking for. I believe it is actually one of the camo greens. I did use WEM for the lower grey, and it worked perfectly. Upon reflection I used the Xtracolour version of the RAF's olive drab, which I think came out just fine. I hope this will become the first of many Italian aircraft to find their way through the 72 Land production line this year.

This is completed aircraft #438 (#2 of the year), completed in February of 2014.

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