|This aircraft appeared in 1934 and was a reconnaissance aircraft. For many years the Ro.37 served as the standard equipment in RA observation units and during WWII and in particular on the African front, the Ro.37 was used in other roles including tactical support and fighter duty. The biplane had a composite structure of wood and metal. It was a two seater armed with one or two fixed forward machine guns and a third machine gun located in a movable mount in the rear cockpit. Two different engines were used in the production models, the 550hp FIAT A.30 RA 12-cyclinder V engine in the first version and a 560 hp Piaggio P.IX radial in the Ro.37bis. The aeroplane first saw operational duty in the Spanish Civil War and during WWII the Ro.37 saw duty on nearly all fronts except Russia and the English Channel. The aircraft was considered rugged and adored by its crews.
Classic Airframes (CA) once again provides the modeler with a good quality injection molded kit of a lesser known aircraft used by the RA. The Ro.37bis can also be constructed although boxed differently. As models, the Ro37 bis and the Ro37 share the same structure. In reality however you have to fix the inline engine nose to the fuselage by cutting excess plastic from the radial engine version. I used a strong tape, Dymo type, to serve as a guide for the saw. As often happens in that kind of operation, you will have to deal with the alignement of both parts. Mine left me with a step. I solved the problem with a strip of plasticard and allot of putty. With the help of a plan I scribed a missing panel, some blisters and ventral louvres out of evergreen rods or stripes. A must do task is to drill the exhausts but its a bit tricky. First use a needle to make a pre-hole, this, in turn, will help the precision of the drilling. Another helpful trick when it comes to the wing struts is to drill a hole at the end of the strut to glue a small piece of plastic rod. This will help you signficantly when you fix the upper-wing to the struts as the upper wings have pre drilled holes for that purpose, of course you will have to shave the existing ones before this.
In regard to markings, the model was finsihed in a slight variation of the C10 camo scheme consisting of Verde Mimetico 3 or 53192 (policiclica) on Giallo Mimetico 3 with blotches of Marrone Mimetico 53192. The undersides were finsihed in Grigio Mimteico while the interior was finished in a light shade of gray similar to US Navy FS. 16440. This camo scheme is rather complex and time consuming but it is a real killer! The plane depicted is from the 39 Sq. in Montenegro 1941 and wears a yellow cowling band as per regulations stipulated for RA aircraft in early 1941. There's also a picture of the plane in flight in the old Intergest reference on the Balkans and fronte Orientale airwar, page 62. This particular Ro. 37 was piloted by the magg. llo Raffi, s. tenente Faresi being the observer. The plane does not carry the wheel spats on the picture but as I had removed those on the bis version, I decided against it. I used my usual home made paints: GM3 for yellow camo using the Model Master line, Verde Mimetico 3 from Gunze H-302 and the Marrone Mimetico 53192 from the Mr Kit paint line; Grigio Mimetico (undersides) is my usual mixture of Neutral grey+30% of white.
Strongly recommended to all RA bona fides!
Aircraft: Meridionali Ro. 37
Manufacturer: S.A. Industrie Meccaniche & Aeronautiche Meridionali (I.M.A.M)
Engine: FIAT A.30 RA, 12-cylinder V, liquid-cooled, 550hp
Wingspan: 36 ft 4 in (11.08m)
Length: 28 ft 3 in (8.62 m)
Height: 9 ft 9 in (2.95 m)
Weight: 5,269 lb (2,390 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 202 mph (325 km/h)
Ceiling: 22,000 ft (6,700 m)
Range: 726 miles (1,168 km)
Armament: 2-3 machine guns
|Classic Airframes 1/48 IMAM Ro. 37
RA Recce Aircraft
by Jean Barby
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