A while ago I bought the IBN publication on the Reggiane RE.2006, subtitled "Una storia vera" (A True Story). It is probably one of the few aircraft books that does not contain a single photograph of the aircraft it covers, but it is still an interesting read. Together with a nicely drawn, albeit conjectural, side profile seen in the Ali d'Italia RE.2005 (#16) reference book, I though it may be possible to take my ageing Falcon 1.48 RE.2005, which I had built a few years ago and use it as a basis for an RE. 2006 conversion. Although originally a vacu-formed kit, this one was the rather primitive injection moulded version and the very hard semi-translucent plastic made it rather a challenging build. It 's still a good model, but the Flying Machines RE.2005 is a better choice these days.

Together with both the Fiat G.56 and the Macchi C.206, the RE.2006 was a highly secret project. They were all modified versions of the Type 5 fighters, designed to be fitted with the DB.603 engine. Although the Macchi never got past the design stage (confirmed in the RE.2006 book), both the G.56 and RE.2006 did get built, although the RE.2006 never flew. With cramped working conditions and a furtive construction to keep the Germans unaware of its whereabouts, it was a miracle the plane got built at all. With the Allied advancing well into Italy at the time, it was decided to hand it over to them, but it unfortunately it was broken up without ever getting a chance to fly.

The biggest change from the original RE.2005 was the lengthened fuselage (by nearly 1metre). This was to maintain center of gravity. The Fiat G.56 was similarly modified, but probably by not as much! The empennages were thought to be unchanged, apart from the rudder. Discovery of original plans suggested it would have been slightly enlarged to cope with the extra length of the airframe (I chose not do this slight tweak). The undercarriage was also made much stronger, a known problem with the RE.2005 and, as it happens, is the only part of the airframe that still exists to this day. It can be found at the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnica in Milan.

After careful study of the Ali d'Italia profile, as well as the information given in the IBN dossier, I felt confident that the Falcon model could be converted to look something like an RE.2006. First off, the decals and paint were removed from the kit, as well as the undercarriage, carb intake, prop etc. Then it was time to bring out the razor saw and start dismembering the fuselage! Using panel lines as a guide, I carefully separated the upper and lower cowlings, the tail section and the fuselage gun compartment from the main fuselage. The remaining rear and cockpit fuselage section was split from the wing assembly by repeatedly scribing along the top wing fillet panel line until it had broken through. A saw cut was made across the base
of the fuselage to complete the process.

I clean forgot to take any in-progress shots, but hopefully the diagram should describe how the aircraft was split apart.

I used several plies of thick plasticard to extend the length of the fuselage. With the cowlings pretty much in the same position as the RE.2005, a 3mm mm insert was added between the upper and lower cowlings to deepen it's cross section, a 2.5mm plug was added between the front of the cowling and the VDM spinner (an alternative part in the Falcon kit). The gun compartment was applied to the back of the deepened cowling and had a 3mm insert put underneath it. Another 12.5mm plug was added between the gun compartment and the cockpit/rear fuselage section, which in turn had another 5mm plug added between it and the largely unchanged tail section, thus increasing the length of the fuselage by a full 19.5mm! The last gap left to fill was between the cockpit/rear fuselage section and the wing. This was done by using more strips of plasticard, the cockpit side-walls as acting as support. Milliput was used to increase the cross section of the rear fuselage. Needless to say, several filling and sanding sessions were necessary before a smooth looking fuselage was achieved.

All the other bits and bobs were then re-assembled, not forgetting to include the splitter plate in the combined radiator and oil cooler fairing.

As no photographs exist of the RE.2006, a reasonable assumption would be to colour it the same way as the RE.2005 prototype, which was grey overall, with ready camouflaged control surfaces. However, eye witness accounts proved it had a yellow-ish colour, but still with the ready camouflaged control surfaces. The yellow is likely to be a zinc chromate yellow, so I used Humbrol 81.

It is possible to use alternative "what-if" schemes. Had history taken a different course, it may well have sported German markings, just like the G.56. Alternatively, it could have seen service as part of the Co-Belligerante. For historical accuracy though, your only choice is this yellow scheme.

Any one who fancies a go at this type of conversion will probably find it fun, as absolute accuracy is not critical. I certainly enjoyed it and the added bonus was the simple colour scheme showing the clean lines of this lost Reggiane masterpiece to good effect.

Technical Data:
Caproni-Reggiane Re. 2006
Manufacturer:  Officine Meccaniche 'Reggiane' S.p.A. (Caproni)
Year: 1944
Engine: Daimler Benz DB 603A, 12-cylinder V, liquid cooled, 1,750hp
Wingspan: 36 ft 1 in (11.00 m)
31 ft 8 in (9.73 m)
10 ft 4 in (3.15 m)
8,000lb+ (4,000kg+)
Maximum Speed:
450+ mph (750+ km/h)
40,000 ft+ (8,000 m+)
800 miles+ (1,250 km+)
2 x 12.7 mm SAFAT  machine guns ; 3 x 20mm cannons
Crew: 1

Additional Images
Falcon 1/48 Caproni-Reggiane Re.2006
by Chris Busbridge
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