Special Hobby 1/48 Breda Ba.65 A80
Ground Attack Aircraft
by Jean Barby

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The Breda 65 was derived from the Breda 64 in the early 1930s. It was the only Italian ground attack aircraft that saw active service in this role. The plane was used in the Spanish Civil where it demostrated its good qualities of speed and fire power. After service in the Spanish Civil War, the Breda 65 equipped a number of different units and in June 1940, when Italy entered the war there were 154 aircraft. During WW II the Breda 65 saw service almost exclusively on the African front.

Despite overwhelming Allied air superiority, the Ba.65 put in a good showing helping to stem the Allied advance in early 1941. The Ba.65 was an all-metal low-wing monoplane and was powered by two different engines, the 1,030 hp Fiat A.80 RC 41 (Ba.65 A.80) and the 1,000 hp Gnome-Rhone K.14 (Ba.65 K.14). Two models were built, one a single-seater and the other a two seater. The two-seater model carried a machine gun in the rear cockpit. The plane was also exported to Iraq, Chile and Portugal.


We modelers, bonafide of those unknown Italian birds, should be very thankful to Sh for taking the risk of producing model of such rarities such th Ro57 and the Breda 65; We all know they are niether Spitfires and Mustangs, but they are a very important part of a story we try to duplicate in plastic. It is indeed very interesting to note that despite their cheq origin the models compare very positively against such bigger productions made in Italy, for example the horrible Reggiane 2002. The model goes together pretty well and any average modeler can find himself with a good rendition of a A80 Breda in the end. Nevertheless a couple of things are to be rectified, most of the mistakes being due to the fact that SH has confused both versions of the plane the K14 one and the A80.

- The line of flaps is shorter on the A80, so a new separation must be scribbed before the undercarriage blister, and , of course the lines behind, close to the fuselage must be filled and sand smooth.
- A landing light must be scribbed under the right wing.
- the exterior wheel hubs are incorrect and they recquire rays which I duplicate with strech sprue hold in place with liquid glue.
- One must shorten the length of the U/C legs by 5mm as they are way too long. I did my surgery at the oleo level, but adding some steel wire to the end of the leg will certainly help them to stay in place latter on.
- the movable canopy part is too heavy to be let open, I did vac form mine.
- The breda from the kit are poor and they were replaced using the great Karayas tubes , the difference is obvious.

I have included pics of the WIP during the assembling , they speak a thousand words.

When the plane of the 159 Squadriglia 50 Stormo Assalto arrived in Lybia, they wore the continental camo of Verde Mimetico 3 with blotches of Giallo Mimetico 3 and Bruno Mimetico. They were oversprayed with Giallo Mimetico 4 and this is exactly what I did. After a spray of future the decals were put in place and worked great. When everything was dry I did paint the anti skid panel on the left wing, first delimiting the surface with Tamiya tape, then a light spray of Surfacer 500, using then stripes of 0,5mm tape I made a new contour then a shade of dark gray was sprayed. The result is stunning!

Well once again you have a visual reference with the photos of WIP, wish you a great build of a very unusual subject. Best regards, jean.

PS Grazie Mille to Rick for his ever judicious help and advices.

Technical Specifications

Aircraft: Breda Ba.65 A80
Manufacturer: Societa Italiana Ernesto Breda
Type: Fighter Bomber
Year: 1935
Engine: Fiat A.80 RC 41, 18-cylinder radial, air-cooled, 1,030 hp
Wingspan: 39 ft 8 in (12.10 m)
Length: 31 ft 6 in (9.60 m)
Height: 10 ft 6 in (3.20 m)
Weight: 7,695 lb (3,490 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 267 mph (430 km/h)
Ceiling: 27,230 ft (8,300 m)
Range: 342 miles (550 km)
Armament: 4 machine guns; 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) of bombs
Crew: 1

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January 2011
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