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Reggiane Re.2001

by Brett Green


Reggiane Re.2001


Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Re.2001 is available online at Squadron




During 1940, the airframe of the lacklustre and unreliable Reggiane Re.2000 was adapted to the Daimler-Benz DB 601. The resulting design was more streamlined than the original radial-engine Re.2000, and the German in-line powerplant improved performance dramatically. This new combination was officially designated the Reggiane Re.2001. 



Following numerous design changes and production difficulties, the Reggiane Re.2001 entered service in September 1941. The Re.2001 proved that it was a match for its main adversary, the Spitfire Mk. V, over the skies of Malta and on bomber escort missions during 1942. The Re.2001 continued to see active service with diminishing effectiveness until the armistice in September 1943; and limited action beyond this date with the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force.



Classic Airframes’ Re.2001 In The Box


Classic Airframes 1/48 scale Re.2001 is packed in their familiar black-trimmed box adorned with attractive art by Don Greer. The parts count is surprisingly small – 32 styrene pieces on two sprues, 18 crisply cast resin parts, 9 clear parts (only 3 are used), a vacform canopy and a spare. 

The first impression upon opening the box is the high quality of the plastic mouldings.  

The plastic is finished in a shade of “Tamiya Grey” and features very crisp, very fine surface detail. Panel lines, vents and grilles are all convincingly rendered, and fabric surfaces are subtly realistic. There are no sink marks or other imperfections on the outside of the plastic, but the larger parts suffer from prominently raised ejector pin “buttons” that will need to be removed before assembly. 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The plastic is quite shiny and resembles the material currently favoured by the mainstream manufacturers, although Classic Airframes’ plastic is a little softer. 

Resin parts are supplied for the cockpit, the exhausts, intake, radiators and small scoops. These are also very well done. The cockpit is adequately busy although more detail might be added if desired. The seat features a cast-on cushion, a harness plus rear rails. 

This multi-media model is rounded out by the inclusion of three tiny sprues of coloured navigation lights. One sprue is translucent green, one is translucent red and one is clear.





Any model requires careful preparation. Classic Airframes’ Re.2001 is no exception.  

The high-quality mouldings do not alter the cottage-industry origins of the kit design. From previous experience, I knew that extra care would be required with the fit of the cockpit, the wing to fuselage join and alignment, and with the cleanup and/or fabrication of minor details.



I commenced with the wings. The trailing edges of the wings looked quite thin, but I decided to sand them a little thinner. Classic Airframes supply round resin wheel-well inserts. These feature prominent casting plugs on top of the wheel well.  Fortunately, the resin is quite soft and easy to sand. I used a coarse, damp sanding stick to reduce the waste, but the rear of the well still fouled against the top wing even after a large pile of resin muck had accumulated. I sanded the back of the resin circles at an angle until I could almost see daylight through the roof of the wheel well. This was sufficient to clear the top wing. I glued the top wing halves to the full-span lower wing.  

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Resin wheel inserts in place after sanding

The mess resulting from sanding one wheel well insert!

The interior of the two radiator housings were painted, and the resin radiators received a coat of silver and a generous wash of thinned black oil paint. The radiators were too tall for their housings so I took the easy route and sanded the resin to fit. These were super-glued into their housings and added to the lower wing.



The resin cockpit components look good in their sealed plastic bag, but they look even better after a coat of paint and an oil wash.

I tried to match the suggested cockpit interior colour, FS 34558, with a mix of Gunze H312 and Tamiya XF-57 Buff. The resulting colour actually looks like a pale shade of RAF Interior Grey Green. After a wash of thinned black oil paint, I picked out details with Tamiya acrylics. I did suffer from a case of brain fade and painted the instrument panel Interior Green when the instructions (and reference photos) clearly call for the panel to be black.

The kit instructions imply that the cockpit should be assembled prior to installation in the fuselage. One word of advice – DON’T!

If the cockpit is assembled as logic would suggest, with the cockpit floor trapped between the sidewalls, the whole assembly will be several millimetres too wide to fit in the fuselage. I also found that the sidewalls as supplied would be located a few millimetres too far forward, hiding the instrument panel way behind the coaming. 

I followed this sequence:

1.      The waste on the rear bulkhead was sanded until it was very thin.

2.      The fuselage halves were taped together.

3.      The armoured rear bulkhead was dry-fitted. Note that the top of this part rests in front of the rear fuselage upper deck. In the absence of locating pins on the fuselage interior, this dry-fitted bulkhead acts as a point of reference for the other cockpit components.

4.      The fuselage sidewalls were removed from their casting blocks. I also scored along the bottom horizontal line on each of the sidewalls and removed the material below this line.

5.      I dry-fitted the fuselage sidewalls. Note that the right-angled cutout in the front of the sidewalls is where the instrument panel will be located. It looked to me that the panel would be located too far forward so I made a vertical cut at the rear of the sidewalls to remove around two millimetres of resin.

6.      With the rear bulkhead still dry-fitted, I glued the shortened sidewalls to the fuselage interior using super-glue.

7.      The instrument panel was dry-fitted inside the taped fuselage. I found I could easily manipulate the panel with a pair of tweezers. The panel only needed a light sanding around the upper contours to achieve a perfect fit.

8.      The seat and control column were glued to the cockpit floor. I mounted my seat well forward on the small moulded blocks. Even so, the seat barely cleared the rear bulkhead.

9.      The cockpit floor was inserted in the taped fuselage halves for test-fitting. The floor should sit in front of the rear bulkhead; and align with the bottom of the resin sidewalls.

10.  The tape was removed and dry-fitted cockpit components stowed for later assembly.



The fuselage needed a little more preparation before assembly. The inlet for the oil cooler was partly flashed-over, so I cut it open with a sharp hobby knife. The oil cooler bath is supplied in resin. I painted the part and glued it to one fuselage half.  

The exhaust stacks are also resin parts. The locating slots in the fuselage sides were too short and fractionally too narrow. I used a knife to lengthen the slots and a sanding stick to correct the height. The resin parts were a tight, gap-free fit. I flowed super-glue around the back of the exhausts to ensure a permanent bond.  



I ran a sanding stick around the joining surfaces of the fuselage halves with special attention to the trailing edges of the rudder.  

The fuselage halves were now taped together. Care is required for perfect alignment – there are no locating pins on this kit. When I was happy with the alignment of the fuselage halves, I applied Tamiya’s Super Thin Liquid Cement to the joins with the tiny brush provided. 

When the fuselage had set, I removed the tape and slid the resin rear bulkhead into place behind the sidewalls. I ran a bead of super glue down each side of the back of the bulkhead through the bottom fuselage opening. Next came the instrument panel. Using tweezers, I carefully manoeuvred the panel into place on top of the notches in the fuselage sidewalls. Once again a bead of super glue was applied to the back of the panel to secure it permanently. A few spots of super glue were applied to the bottom edge of each sidewall and the cockpit floor was also secured in place.  

I did not add the resin gunsight at this stage, as I was concerned that it would interfere with the alignment of the panel or be knocked off during later handing. 



The forward upper cowl is supplied as an insert. This part features nice deep gun troughs, but no holes for the gun muzzles. I drilled holes behind the troughs using a twist drill, and inserted fine brass tube to represent the muzzles of the 7.7 mm guns. At first, the cowl part seemed too wide for the fuselage, but after some minor trimming and juggling it actually fitted very well.


Sub-Assemblies and Details 

The horizontal tail surfaces are a simple butt-fit against the fuselage side. I wanted to reinforce this join so I drilled holes in the fuselage tailplane roots and the mating surfaces of the tailplanes. A short spar of brass rod with a few dabs of superglue was inserted. I secured the bond further by flowing Tamiya Super Thin Liquid Glue into the join lines. 

The wing and fuselage assemblies were test-fitted. I noted a step between rear of the lower wing and the fuselage. I trimmed the wing root and the problem disappeared. Dry-fitting suggested that the upper wing root join would be very good, but that there would be a slight gap at the front and rear of the bottom of the wing. 

I glued the wing to the fuselage. The wing root join was almost perfect, but the lower wing needed filling and smoothing with a little Tamiya Putty and Mr Surfacer. I rescribed the panel lines on the lower rear fuselage at this point. 

I also added a few lines of Mr Surfacer to seams on the upper fuselage. 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Excellent fit between upper wing and fuselage at wing root

Slight gaps on lower fuselage at front and rear wing joins

Gaps filled with Tamiya Putty, sanded and panel lines restored


The spinner was glued to the backplate with the addition of a short length of Contrail plastic tube behind the hole in the spinner boss. This tube was necessary to blank off the hole from broad daylight. 

Minor details such as the scoops, bomb rack and navigation lights were now secured. I also added a pitot tube. Some photos show a strange bulbous shape towards the end of the Re.2001’s pitot tube. I used a filament from a big industrial light bulb to represent this peculiar shape. 

The undercarriage legs are oversimplified as supplied. I therefore detailed the gear legs with lead foil and fusewire. The three gear covers for each side were thinned down before securing them to the gear legs using superglue.

I drilled a shallow hole in the upper wing using a 2mm twist drill. The location of this hole is indicated by an indentation on the inside surface of the upper wing. The new hole was deep enough to accept the locating pin of the gear legs. The completed undercarriage legs were secured with a combination of liquid cement and super glue.

Drag struts are not supplied so I cut four length of 1mm diameter Contrail plastic rod for the job. The picture above shows the struts located too low down the gear legs. I corrected the position of the struts at a later stage.

The kit wheels looked okay, but I decided to use the True Details resin wheels for Macchi C.202/205 (Stock No. 48031). I bought these wheels in 1995 – I knew they would come in handy sometime!



Painting and Markings


Diversity of colour schemes is not the strong suit of the Reggiane Re.2001. On the other hand, if you appreciate green and grey, you will love this aircraft!  

I decided to add a dash of colour by finishing my bird as the aircraft on the cover of the Squadron book, “Reggiane Fighters In Action”. This Re.2001 has a yellow nose and spinner. 

The vacform canopy was packed with Blu-Tak and masked with tiny strips of Tamiya masking tape. The Blu-Tak preserves the shape of the canopy while it is being masked, and also eases the task of slicing the part away from its backing sheet. The masked canopy was shot with a coat of interior green followed by my equivalent of Verde Olivia Scuro.  

Force of habit led me to pre-shade the panel lines in black despite the dark upper surface colour. I also sprayed the wingwalk area black, then masked the walkways before proceeding. Next, the fuselage band and cross of the “House of Savoy” were roughly sprayed onto the fuselage and rudder. I also sprayed the nose and spinner using Tamiya XF-3 Flat Yellow with a tiny spot of red. When dry, these markings were carefully masked off. I also masked the tips of the navigation lights using Blu-Tak. 

Gunze Acrylics were used for the main camouflage colours. I used H308 Gray FS 36375 for the lower surfaces, and H420 RLM 80 Olive Green for the uppers.  

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Black pre-shading plus white and yellow markings ready for masking...

Basic camouflage colours applied. A coat of Testors Metalizer Sealer has been applied. Ready for decals...

Decals and black oil wash completed. Waiting for weathering...

Almost finished! Walkway chipping and exhaust stains are complete. A coat of Gunze Flat Clear has been applied.


When the camouflage paint was dry, I prepared the model for the decals.  

In his recent article on building Classic Airframes’ Re.2001 on Modeling Madness, Lynn Ritger suggests the use of Testors Metalizer Sealer as a prep coat for decals. I tried this on my own Re.2001 and was delighted with the results. Metalizer Sealer provides a hard, smooth finish and dries in minutes. 

Decals were a combination of kit markings (national markings, the fasces, stencils and the chick kicking up dust on the rudder) and decals from Sky Models “Caccia Reggiane” sheet (Squadriglia and individual aircraft numbers). The kit decals are especially worthy of mention for their thinness, opacity and cooperative nature. The Sky Decals were also a pleasure to work with, but the red individual aircraft number “6” was a somewhat translucent.



Weathering and Final Assembly


I applied a thin black oil wash to the upper surfaces of the model. The Metalizer Sealer took the wash very well.  

Some wear and tear was added either side of the wing walkways using tiny spots of Tamiya Chrome Silver applied with a 10/0 brush. The exhaust stain comprised a sooty brown-black mix with a blob of Tamiya Flat base, followed by a thin streak of chalky grey over the top. 



This stain was also heavily applied to the lower mid-fuselage behind the engine.  

A coat of Gunze Flat Clear was sprayed over the entire airframe and the final components were added: 


·        The gunsight was glued in place and an acetate lens added

·        The vacform windscreen was secured with White Glue (which also acted as filler)

·        The folding canopy was sliced in two and rejoined at the hinge line using 1mm plastic rod. This new assembly was then glued to the cockpit opening

·        The tailwheel and mainwheels were glued into place

·        A spot of Future was applied to the tips of the navigation lights, furnishing an appropriate lustre that was missing earlier

·        The tail navigation light was glued in place

·        Smoke-coloured nylon mending thread was used for aerial rigging





I thoroughly enjoyed building Classic Airframes’ Reggiane Re.2001. 

The new metal moulds result in a quality of plastic that, until recently, could only be expected from a mainstream Japanese manufacturer. The surface detail and texture of the styrene really is first-rate. 

However, quality of plastic alone does not define a “mainstream” kit.  



In common with Classic Airframes’ earlier releases, this kit does not have locating pins and the modeller needs to fabricate some minor details to complete the kit. Be prepared to expend a little extra effort in preparation and test fitting too – especially for the cockpit and wing-to-fuselage join. This preparation will be rewarded with a highly detailed and attractive model. 

Classic Airframes’ 1/48 scale Re.2001 is an ideal candidate for the modeller who wants to test out his skills on something slightly more challenging than a Tamiya single-engine fighter kit.



Additional Images


Click the thumbnail to view the larger image on this page.

Thanks to Jules Bringuier of Classic Airframes for the sample kit.

Text, Images and Model Copyright © 2001 by Brett Green
Page Created 01 October, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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