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Fieseler Fi 156 C Storch

Tamiya, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Tamiya Kit No. 61100 - Fieseler Fi 156 C Storch
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 152 parts in grey plastic; two parts in grey and clear; eight clear parts; eight poly caps; steel landing gear and spar; photo-etched fret; self-adhesive masking sheet; six figures made up of 25 grey parts; fuel drums, jerry cans, packs and a bucket (an additional 46 parts).
Price: 5200
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Highly detailed; convincing surface textures including fabric and stitching; separate flaps, ailerons, leading edge slats and entry door; interesting options for different versions (skis, drop tank etc) ; full Argus engine detail; clever engineering (e.g. steel wing spar, integrated clear and grey fuselage); appropriate use of multi-media; six figures included; self-adhesive canopy masks supplied; excellent instructions and support material;
Disadvantages:  
Recommendation: Highly Recommended.

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


Tamiya's 1/48 scale Fieseler Fi 156 C Storch will be available online from Squadron.com

 

FirstLook

 

Whether it is by accident or design, a number of Tamiya's most significant kits have been released at the very end of the year.

In 1998, the 1/35 scale Dragon Wagon tank transporter was unveiled. This model changed our expectations about the size and detail of military vehicle kits. The end of 1999 was the turn of Axis military fans with the 1/35 scale Tamiya FAMO. In December 2000, Tamiya topped its own effort by adding the Sd.Ah.116 tank trailer to the FAMO prime mover.

Christmas 2007 saw me once again listening for the courier van in the driveway, awaiting Tamiya's latest kit. I was not disappointed.

Tamiya's 100th kit in their 1/48 Scale Aircraft Series is a Fieseler Fi 156 C Storch.

The Fieseler Storch may seem to be an unusual choice for this important milestone. We already have a decent (albeit very old and currently unavailable) 1/48 scale Storch from ESCI. Also, transport and communication aircraft often do not have the consumer appeal of fighters.

However, any doubts about the subject choice evaporated as soon as I opened the box.

Tamiya has packed their milestone 100th release inside a glossy black cardboard sleeve embossed with gold lettering. A conventional top-opening box slides out, exposing attractive cover art of a desert Storch circling a German column of vehicles. The artwork is presented in portrait format . Perhaps this unusual orientation is a hint that this kit is just a bit different to those that have gone before it. The box is surprisingly heavy considering the size of the aircraft.

Opening the box reveals the first surprise. The fuselage halves are moulded in both clear and grey plastic. The clear plastic has been bonded to the grey styrene as part of the manufacturing process. This will eliminate the risk of smearing glue over the edges of the prominent canopy, and will guarantee perfect alignment in this vital area.

Multi-media parts are packed separate from the general contents. A small photo-etched fret supplies armour plate, the pilot's seat mount and a side panel mounted on the cockpit frame. A steel wing spar plus a wire landing gear strut are also included.

In total, the kit itself comprises 152 parts in grey plastic; two parts in grey and clear; eight clear parts; eight tiny poly caps; the steel landing gear and spar plus the photo-etched fret. A self-adhesive masking sheet is supplied for the large glasshouse canopy. In addition, there are six figures made up from 25 grey parts; and some diorama accessories in the form of fuel drums, jerry cans, packs and a bucket. This accessory sprue contains an extra 46 parts.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Surface texturing is superb. Fabric rendition is subtle and very convincing, and the metal reinforcing plates at the wing roots are an appropriate contrast. The bottom of the fuselage is finished with exquisitely moulded stitching. 

The level of detail is equally good. A full Argus engine is supplied in 19 pieces. All four engine cowls are separate, so the modeller may choose to display part or all of this engine.

The cockpit of the real aircraft was quite basic, but all the features are present here including the internal framing, oil tank, bulkheads and other structural components. A lovely MG 15 machine gun and spare ammunition containers are also present.

The wings feature separate flaps, ailerons and leading edge slats. The ailerons and flaps may be posed up or down according to the modeller's choice with the aid of different mounts for the dropped or neutral positions.

The main entry door is separate, and may be glued open or closed.

Other options include a fuselage mounted fuel tank and skis.

The model may be built as an Fi 156 C-3, C-3/trop, C-5 or C-7 variant. All the parts are supplied to model any of these variations, including top canopy with or without armament.

 

 

The kit engineering is noteworthy. Any model with a glasshouse canopy and high mounted wings presents a challenge in establishing a robust join between the clear parts and the wings. Tamiya has risen to this challenge by providing a wide steel spar that will mount the wings securely to the clear canopy without obscuring the prominent cockpit interior.

 

 

Another innovation is the stout steel wire main landing gear part. In fact, this part acts as both landing gear legs and a brace for the top of the cockpit. The undercarriage fairings simply slide over the wire legs, and the remaining landing gear parts are glued to the plastic fairing. Very clever stuff.

The inclusion of masks is very welcome, especially considering the prominence of the big glasshouse canopy. Similar to masks provided Tamiya's 1/48 scale Fw 190 A-8/R2, the self-adhesive sheet is printed with labelled masking shapes, which the modeller cuts out and applies to the model.

 

 

Markings are supplied for five varied aircraft:

  • Fi 156 C-3/trop used by Field Marshall Erwin Rommel during 1942. This is finished in RLM 79 Sandy Yellow with a Light Blue squiggle.

  • another Fi 156 C-3/trop used by Field Marshall Erwin Rommel during 1942. This is finished in RLM 79  Yellow with RLM 78 Light Blue lower surfaces.

  • Fi 156 C-3 used in the Gran Sasso raid on 12 September 1943 to free Mussolini.

  • Fi 156 C-7, unit unknown. Both these aircraft are finished in standard RLM 70, 71, 65.

  • Fi 156 C-5 fitted with skis and an auxiliary tank, Eastern Front 1942, with a brushed coat of winter whitewash over its standard finish.

Decals are printed in perfect register.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The six figures comprise one seated pilot and passenger, two standing figures of Rommel (one in greatcoat, one in Afrika Corps uniform), and two additional standing figures. One appears to be a Luftwaffe officer, and the second is an NCO in Afrika Corps uniform.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Tamiya's 1/48 scale Fi 156 Storch is beautifully detailed, convincingly textured, makes excellent use of multi-media parts and features innovative kit engineering. The inclusion of six figures plus the diorama accessories is a nice bonus.

This is a worthy celebration of Tamiya's 100th kit in their 1/48 Scale Aircraft Series, and a potent reminder that Tamiya is still very much at the forefront of the plastic model aeroplane market.

Highly Recommended.

Sample purchased by HyperScale


Text and Images Copyright 2007 by Brett Green
Page Created 28 December, 2007
Last updated 31 December, 2007

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