Originally built for SAMI and appeared in the October 2005 issue.
Minimalist packaging has always been a Broplans trademark. It does not mean it's a minimalist kit, though. This is a enterprising choice from a company who have given us all kinds of esoteric aircraft in the past. Not sure if it's my imagination, but the sheet stock used on this kit seem slightly thicker than before. This can only be a good thing, as some Broplan kits have suffered as a result of using too thin a sheet. Although it does have that hand-made feel about it, even down to the fair amount of flash on the injection moulded parts, overall impressions are not bad at all. I would hazard a guess that Broplan have used the Ali d'Italia Z.1007 book as a reference, as it does follow the plans to quite a degree. One feature of this aircraft, in modelling terms, is the lack of complex panel lines due to its wooden construction. Broplan have used this to their advantage, as their panel work has not always been the best. There is only one set of vacform clear parts and the decal sheet is, frankly, rather poor.
The first rather onerous task is to remove all the vac form parts from their respective sheets. This requires patience and plenty of sanding to get nice even joints to all parts and to get as thin as trailing edge as possible on the wings, stabilisers and rudders. All the injection moulded parts require a fair amount of clean up too. The propellers faired rather badly in this respect and I had to source a set of spares. The fuselage needed a variety of openings made in them, such as the small rear fuselage windows, main canopy, tailwheel and cutout for the wing spar. The amount of internal detail is passable, so there is plenty of opportunity to add extra detail if required. By attaching alternating short lengths of strips along the edge of each half the fuselage closes up quite neatly, the join treated with Mr Surfacer 500 to get it nice and smooth. The spar is passed through the fuselage and the wings atttached. Milliput is used to create the wing fillet detail missed by Broplan. The wings have small cut outs made in the wheel well area, to exposing the wing spar. This done before the nacelles are attached. The undercarriage units are cleverly designed to be glued onto the exposed spar. The stabilsers are attached to the tail fin, with a touch more filler to get a neat join. This leaves just the cowlings and canopy to sort out. The canopy is carefully and patiently trimmed to fit and carefully masked with Tamiya tape, all the time being mindful of the fact that there is no spare! The vac form engine cowlings were found to be much too small in diameter. As there were bulges on top of these parts, I added a 4 mm section to the base of the nose cowling and 3mm sections to the wing cowls. This enabled a reasonably good fit around the injection moulded front radiator parts. However, the single exhaust outlet stub on the cowls do not line up with those on the nacelles. The only solution would be to remove them and scratch build new detail. Other items such the generator, canopy, machine guns and propellors were painted ready to be added after the scheme was finished. One detail missed by Broplan (and not featured on this model) are what are assumed to be fuel vents on the top wings, located just inside the wing fasces.
Most Asso engined Z.1007's had the early style three-colour banded scheme, which had quite a soft demarcation line. I used colors from PolyScale range of Italian acrylics for this model. Reference photos show that the canopy framework was aluminium, so it was painted off the model, contrary to normal practise. Decals were not too good and needed a further coat of varnish to avoid breaking up when dipped in water. I resorted to spares mostly, using just the code letters from the sheet. The Z.1007 and fasce symbols were illegible so were not used, despite having no spares to use.
Despite a few problems along the way, I still found this an enjoyable model to put together. It perfectly captures the lines of this aircraft and it's quite fun to identify the changes made to this aircraft when developed into the more familiar 'bis' variant, such as the more powerful Piaggio radials and the relocation of the bombardiers window from the starboard wing root to the more conventional lower fuselage position. In fact, with the problems known with the elderly Supermodel Z.1007 kits, this Broplan model can be considered the most accurate Z.1007 in 1/72. Only vac form modellers are likely to get a good result with it though.