I thought I’d long finished this series; making every single Frecce Tricolori plane – something I did after having already completed the Patrouille de France. I opted for the Italeri boxset (which is a combination of an Academy F-86, Revell G-91, and Italeri/Supermodels MB-339) originally however knew at some point I’d need to do the M-345.
The M-345, or S-211 it derives from, never had much love. Planet Models made a resin 1/72 S-211 and I think that was it. I was not confident with resin back then having never made one; it felt out of reach.
So I was so happy when I stumbled onto the KP Models M-345 which came up on Scalemates new model radar. I had to have it.
It ended up being a royal palava for me to get the kit. I pre-ordered on Hannats, but it didn’t arrive when I thought and so I found it in stock on a European distributor…and it’s been sat in customs for nearly 5 weeks now. Fabulous. So, off I went to eModels (not a quick trip) to grab one of the only ones they had!
Having secured the item I was excited to see what was inside…so…what was there?
The sprues are really pretty lovely and laid out in a somewhat logical way. The detail / recesses are well done – to me at least; not too deep but enough that brush painters need not fear overwhelming the panel lines.
The clear part was immaculate, I was honestly absolutely shocked by it’s clarity. It is by far and away one of the most pristine canopy/clear parts I’ve ever seen.
Now I’m not doing the schemes in the b ox – I already knew I was doing Frecce Tricolori markings – but the decals seem of an acceptable standard. The instructions are also quite clear showing you which parts you need and which are for the S211/S-311 (presumably). There are some steps that aren’t super duper clear; pay attention modeller!
The construction is very much similar to the Alpha Jet – surprising absolutely no-one. Bar the tail (which had overfilled plastic) I didn’t find it hard to get the pieces to align or fit together properly. Despite no alignment pins this is an easy build. Yes, not for a noobs first kit perhaps but maybe their third or fourth. Definitely a good gateway to smaller/limited run companies and kits.
The paints I used were all Revell; Lufthansa blue, Fiery Red, White, Emerald Green. The cockpit was Light Grey and Olive Green and tar black (I just prefer it to flat black). I should’ve also made a baby blue but we’ll get onto that…oh and Silver – there’s silver throughout!
Now this paint scheme…yes I did it wrong. Firstly I changed the shape of the white on the wings because apparently in some sort of paint-psychosis I swear I sore artwork of it with curved pure white surfaces…but everything I see now is straight with blue and silver. It is, however, far too late for me to change this. There’s also a flat yellow line on the sides of the fuselage that I felt I wouldn’t be able to fit on effectively so made the artistic choice to leave it off.
I’m an average model maker; I make mistakes.
Buy Or Fly?
Overall however I have to praise this kit. The undercarriage – something of a fear of mine on the Alpha Jet – is similar but works. KP pulled off some sort of which craft and made this model just work. Honestly, if you get the chance to get this kit get it. The 4 boxings have different decals and I recommend the S-211 in other services and M-345 especially. So many countries are gunning for this little jet trainer…that the possibilities are immense.