CIAO BELLA! TRUMPETERS ROMA IN 1:350
The Roma…… Aaah……..
The last italian Battleship and one of the most beautiful battleships ever built….
Actually her history was a tragic one. She was launched one day before Italy's entry into the war and by the time she was commissioned in june 1942 the fuel situation and the strategic situation forced her spend most of her time at anchor.
When underway to Malta to surrender after the italian armistice, she was sunk on 9 september 1943 by two german Fritz X radio guided bombs.
The first bomb went through the ship an exploded underneath it, damaged the keel, caused major flooding and slowed her down to 10 knots. The second bomb hit in the forward magazine which exploded and blew the main turret no 2 overboard.
She sank rapidly, breaking in two in the process and taking 1,352 of her crew of 1,948 with her, including admiral Carlo Bergamini.
The kit is standard Trumpeter quality. Good but not exceptional.
The build started with the usual purgatory of joining the upper and lower hull parts together, and then trying to conceal the joint. The fit leaves a lot to be wished for...
The position of the auxiliary rudders was false, so I moved them to their correct positions.
Apart from that, the kit went together quite well.
The foredecks of italian ships were painted in red and white stripes. Knowing from experience how hard it is to mask those stripes straight over a surface studded with ventilators and hatches, I cut them away and drilled a hole to mark the location of each one of them.
Cutting the ventilators away also allowed me to improve their looks. They should look like mushrooms and not like upturned buckets. I glued a "foot" of plastic rod to each ventilator. All in all I made 104 ventilators.
The PE parts that come with the kit are good but insufficient.
The PE sets available on the aftermarket were more expensive than the kit itself, which put me off so much that I decided to go for it old school and then use PE from my spares box. I did, however, buy turned barrels from Master Models.
The main challenge of the paint job was to paint the red and white recognition stripes on the foredeck. I did it in several steps, spraying thin half transparent layers on top of one another, starting with brown and ending with dirty white.
To make the display a bit more interesting and to hint at the fact that she spent most of her time at anchor, I glued the port anchor to the base plate and then led the chain through the eyelet to the capstan. I also "moored" one of the ships boats alongside her on the starboard side.
When I finished her in July last year, it was the first time in four years that I finished a battleship. Then I took her to Telford, where she won a Gold medal.
For german speaking readers, there is an extensive article in two parts about the build in the recent April and May issues of Modellfan. It's the first time that I've written and published in german and quite an occasion for me.
Furthermore I think that waterline joints should be prohibited.