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Tristar 1/35 scale Fieseler Fi 156A-0/C-1

Kit: No. 35034
Scale: 1/35
Manufacturer: Tristar, from Model Rectifier Corp., 732-225-2100,
Price: $59
Comments: Injection-molded, 156 parts (2 vinyl), decals
Pros: Good subject; first time in 1/35 scale
Cons: Complex molding of canopy
Issue Published: July 2008
The Fieseler Storch (Stork), famous German light plane of World War II, specialized in short takeoff and landing (STOL) and was often photographed while serving as a transport for high-ranking officers.

There have been other large-scale models of the Storch available, but Tristar's new kit is the first in 1/35 scale.
Well-molded in a hard, dark yellow plastic, the kit represents the initial unarmed light transport and liaison sub-type. Extra canopy parts hint of an armed version to come.

The kit includes a complete Argus engine, compressed and extended landing gear, vinyl tires, and another set of prepainted canopy parts. The interior features optional parts for the seats.

The engine, a multi-part affair with separate components for the engine block, cylinder heads, manifold, and exhaust, is attached to engine bearers which are part of the fuselage halves. Separate cowling panels allow display of the engine.

The rudder and tailplanes are hinged and movable. Be careful, though - the pivots are molded on the parts and are quite fragile.

After installing the main canopy, I ran into problems with the undercut panels (parts G2 and G5), which required trimming and sanding. I had tried attaching them to the main canopy before attaching the assembly to the fuselage, but this approach also prevented a good fit. So, I glued the canopy to the fuselage with two-part epoxy to ensure sufficient strength to hold those huge wings.

The wing assemblies are dominated by the detail of prominent flaps and ailerons, with prominent hinges delicately presented.

The wings attached easily to the fuselage via well-engineered tabs. With the large underwing struts in place, there was more than enough strength to support the wings. (I worried for nothing!)

I painted my Storch with Tamiya and Hobby Color acrylic paints. I found the specified Luftwaffe color, RLM 71 dark green, didn't match the pre-painted canopy. If I could do it again, I would mask the canopy glass and repaint its framing to match.

An extensive decal sheet by Cartograf covers five aircraft. The decals went down well on a gloss undercoat with some decal solution.

My primary reference, William Green's Warplanes of the Third Reich (Galahad), bears out the completed model.

While the kit's engineering will not present a problem to most builders, all the struts and canopy glazing make painting a challenge. Still, I completed my Fieseler in a quick 15 hours. It's an impressive model - even larger than I anticipated - and one I would highly recommend to Luftwaffe modelers.

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