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Nardi F.N. 305



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: SH48019 - Nardi F.N. 305
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 31 parts in grey styrene, 2 parts in vac-form canopies, 3 pieces in cream colored resin, 15 etched metal piece and printed film for the instrument panels. Markings for two aircraft.
Price: USD$26.96 on line from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook - In Box
Advantages: A unique offering of a relatively little known aircraft.
Disadvantages: Slightly blue tint to the clear parts.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman

Special Hobby's 1/48 scale Nardi F.N. 305
may be ordered online from Squadron 




Who said model companies don’t pay attention to modelers’ lists of aircraft?

There is no question about it. The Nardi F. N. 305 must be on more modelers' lists of aircraft that they know virtually nothing about, or the list of aircraft that no modeler would ever expect to be produced in 1/48 scale (or any scale for that matter). 

Well the people at Special Hobby listened, paid attention and responded with a new limited run model of this two-place trainer.  Truth be told, after doing some research it appears that there have been quite a few models, in both 1/72 and 1/48, of the Nardi 305.  It has been issued in 1/72 by Legato, Azur, and Djinn and in 1/48 by Italian Kits and LF Models. 

The Nardi, one of Italy’s first aircraft with retractable landing gear, was the product of two enterprising, young aircraft designers.  The prototype was produced in 1929 by Società Nardi (Fratelli Nardi). But, it was not until 1937 that the Regia Aeronautica accepted the Nardi’s design as a basic trainer.  However, most were produced by Piaggio, as the Nardi’s production facility was inadequate. 

Over 400 Nardis were built and were used by the RA, and also sold to France, Hungary, Chile and Rumania (Rumanian Aircraft Industries “IAR” built another 124 under license.).  The Luftwaffe acquired its Nardis from the French.  It also appears that the Nardi came in a few styles: a single seat model and an open canopy model and, apparently, there were two styles of fuselage, one with a narrower spine.





To be quite honest, the Special Hobby Nardi 305 is a very basic kit of a very basic aircraft. This is not really a criticism, as the few pictures I’ve seen of the Nardi show a cockpit that is nothing more than a seat, instrument panel and stick, and such is the cockpit of this kit.  There is virtually no detail on the sidewalls or floor.  The seats, molded in cream colored resin, have the lap and shoulder belts molded on.  But, they do not look like the typical “bondage” style seat belts that we have come to expect in Italian aircraft, such as used in the the Macchi.  Because of lack of information, I cannot say if they are correct or not. 


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The engraved panel lines are cleanly done.  But, there are also raised lines.  These are on the control surfaces and presumably represent the seams in the fabric. 

It is hard to tell from the few pictures I have seen, but a modeler may want to slightly extent the exhausts, on the underside of the cowl, by making small stubs out of fine tube or rod stock. Also, it appears that some Nardis, such as those used by the Chilean Air force, did not have the vents on the sides of the cowl.

As in Special Hobby’s Macchi 200 1 Serie, the clear vac-f1ormed canopy has a distinct blue tint to it. This is a relatively new issue in Special Hobby kits.  It could be merely a bad batch of clear stock.


The markings are a bit of a disappointment, as far as I’m concerned anyway, as they are a bit dull.  It is a shame that Special Hobby did not offer the markings for the Nardi 305 two-seater that took part in the 4th International Littorio Air Rally of 1939.  There is a picture of this aircraft in Wings of Italy (OOP), it is all red with the green, white and red vertical stripes on the fin and rudder and a black lightening bolt down the side wit the number “33”.



The markings that are included with the kit are for two aircraft, both of which are in Dark Green on the upper surfaces with Light Gray under surfaces. 

  1. Luftwaffe Pilot Training School FFS(A) 14, Klagenfurt, 1944. 

  2. Hungarian Air Force Pilot Training School, Regvi Szombathely, 1942 – The Hungarian tri-color of red white and green is to be painted on the fin and rudder and on the tail planes. 

One note on painting - it is most likely that Nardi painted the wheel struts red.  This could have been done to make the lowered gear more visible, as viewed from the ground.  The instructions do indicate that they should be painted this color.

As for the specific color of various parts, the only model paint referenced is Gunze, and then only by number.  To help with your build, here are the paint call-outs for Gunze: 

  • H8 – Silver

  • H12 – Flat Black

  • H13 – Red

  • H17 – Cocoa Brown

  • H28 – Metal Black

  • H33 – Russet

  • H77 – Tire Black

  • H79 – Sandy Yellow

  • H312 – Green (FS 34227)





For anyone wanting to do a limited run kit, this may be the ultimate “starter” kit. No giant resin pour stubs to fight, a little bit of etched metal and mostly injection plastic.

Is this kit accurate? I have no idea on the dimensions, but it does look very much like the Nardis in the few pictures I have seen.  If nothing else, this kit looks like a nice little bit of diversion from one’s regular diet of Spitfires, 109s and P-51s. 

Web sites: 







Thanks to MPM / Special Hobby for the review sample.

MPM kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers worldwide

Review and Images Copyright © 2004 by Steven Eisenman
Page Created 28 April, 2005
Last updated 27 April, 2005

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