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I.M.A.M. Ro.43
Italian Naval Reconnaissance Biplane


Octopus (Pavla)

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 72053 -  IMAM Ro.43
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 54 parts in light grey injection moulded plastic on two sprues, 36 resin parts on thirteen pour blocks, 4 vacuum formed clear parts [no spares] and a 12 page instruction booklet with history, parts plan, build diagrams and paint/decal drawings plus decals for three aircraft.
Price: USD$29.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: A rare and interesting subject, very detailed throughout, beaching trolley supplied; excellent decals
Disadvantages: Mixed media means not for beginners
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by Glen Porter

Octopus/Pavla's Ro.43 is available online from Squadron.com



A few months ago, I reviewed another Octopus model, the Ro.44 which was a float-plane fighter development of this aircraft, the Ro.43. Not a fighter but a two seat reconnaissance biplane, it was carried on cruisers and above of the Italian Navy, first boarding in 1937. When Italy entered the war, there were about 105 in service but this figure had dwindled to 28 by the Armistice.

The plastic sprues cover the usual items, fuselage, main planes, tail planes, optional fin and rudder, floats, cowling and other small parts. The resin parts cover engine, exhausts, instrument panels, seat head rests, rear machine gun and mount and some struts.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

In common with the Ro44 but unlike most other biplanes, the upper wing mounts directly to the fuselage and therefore shouldn't be a problem, however, the floats, both main and outer wing, are strut mounted and could cause some alignment hassles. While the main float struts are plastic, the outer wing float struts are resin potentially presenting more challenges.

Judging from the box-top artwork, there is some rigging but no rigging diagram is given. Therefore, if you like to rig your models you will nead an outside reference of some kind

The decal, by Etech, are beautifully printed and cover three aircraft, one from the cruiser Montecuccoli in silver, spring 1938, one from the battleship Vittorio Veneto, also in silver, summer 1941 and one from the cruiser Eugenio di Saoia in sky grey upper and sky blue lower surfaces in 1942.

The twelve page instruction booklet has nineteen clear build diagrams and six pages of paint/decal drawings for the three aircraft.

This kit should build into a very interesting model and Octopus [Pavla] should be thanked, along with some other Eastern European manufacturers, for giving us kits of some of the rarer aircraft.

Recommended for the experienced modeller.

Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample

Review and Images Copyright 2005 by Glen Porter
Page Created 07 September, 2005
Last updated 06 September, 2005

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