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Alpha Flight 1/48 scale Cant. Z. 1007bis "Alcione" night bomber

Kit: No. AF48012
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: Alpha Flight, available from Pacific Coast Models Inc., 707-538-4850,
Price: $189.95
Comments: Multimedia, 287 parts (126 resin, 31 white metal, 108 photoetched metal, 16 vacuum-formed plastic, 6 acetate), decals
Pros: Interesting subject, lots of internal detail, looks good when finished, extra set of vacuum-formed canopies
Cons: Fit problems, tricky assemblies, bubbles in resin parts, one marking choice
The Cant. Z. 1005bis was one of several tri-motor bombers Italy flew during World War II. Although it took a back seat to the famous SM. 79, the Z. 1005 served until the end of the war. Alpha Flight's new 1/48 scale resin kit of the Cant. Z. 1005 is the first in this scale. This kit is the twin-tailed night bomber version, and day bomber (No. AF48011, and single-tailed (AF48010) versions are also available.

The major components are neatly hollow- cast in gray resin and look similar to injection-molded plastic parts. The fuselage interior's structural members are represented. The detail parts are a combination of resin, white metal, and photoetched brass. A full crew compartment is featured.

I started by installing the interior parts. The cockpit and crew areas are well detailed, and printed acetate gauges fit behind the photoetched instrument panels. Guns, ammo boxes, and ammo feeds are provided along with radio gear.

After installing the interior, I brought the fuselage halves together with super glue. The fuselage is molded in four parts, which makes for additional joints to fill and sand. I superglued strips of plastic inside these seams to aid alignment and reinforce the joints. I used gap-filling super glue for assembly and to fill seams.

With most resin kits, it's a good idea to spray several coats of primer to expose air bubbles and surface blemishes. I repeated the prime/sand process several times and still ended up with bubbles. The problem is the more you sand, the more bubbles you open on the surface.

When I attached the fuselage/wing belly (part No. 9) to the main fuselage, I found it was too long. I trimmed it at both ends, but then discovered that the crew compartment floor (19) prevented the belly from fitting properly. I resolved this by rounding off the edges of the crew floor.

The canopies and gun turret are provided as neatly molded vacuum-formed parts. An extra set is provided, just in case. Take note when assembling and installing the individual propeller blades; two props turn clockwise and one counter-clockwise.

The wings went together fairly well, but the three prominent leading-edge intakes were tricky. Take care in cutting out the flash and cleaning up the openings in the wings for them. The wing flaps are molded separately, and linkage parts are provided to allow you to pose them in the lowered position. The white-metal landing gear fit into the gear bays and are strong enough to hold the weight of the completed model.

I used a spray-can version of Gunze's Mr. Surfacer 1000 as the final primer. Several tiny air bubbles showed along the top of the rear fuselage, but by that point, I didn't want to fill and sand any further. I painted my model with Gunze Sangyo and Polly Scale acrylics. The decals provide markings for only one aircraft. They were a bit thick and have a milky glue, but after a couple of applications of decal solvent, they went down OK.

I completed my kit in 36 hours, much of that filling and sanding seams and those pesky air holes in the resin parts. Still, the completed model looks impressive. You should have experience with resin kits before taking on this project.

- Jim Zeske


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