SEM Model 1/72 I.M.A.M. Ro.58
Long Range Heavy Fighter
by Jean Barby

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Powered by two 1,175 h.p, Daimler-Benz DB 601A-1 twelve-cylinder inverted vee engines, the sole Ro 58 was tested at Guidonia in early 1943 as a prototype two-seat long-range heavy fighter, corresponding to the German Zerstӧrer (Destroyer) class, exemplified by the Messerschmitt Bf 110. Maneuverabilty of the Ro 58 poved to be excellent for a twin-engined fighter, and quantity production was planned using the FIAT R.A.1050 R.C.58 Tifone engine, the license-built version of the Daimler-Benz unit. These plans were upset by the end of the war. The Ro 58 was an all-metal low-wing monoplane with twin fins and rudders. Armament consisted of five (5) forward-firing Mauser 20mm MG 151/20 cannons, two of these in a forward firing ventral bulge which could be removed and replaced by a bomb rack, and one 12.7-mm Breda-SAFAT defensive machine gun in the rear cockpit. Empty and loaded weights were 9,590 lb. and 13,448 lb. Given the planes performance and heavy-armament, it would have proven effective against bomber formations flying at night and ground targets.

Performance included a maximum speed of 376 m.p.h. at 17,060 ft., a cruising speed of 314 m.p.h., a service ceiling of 31,170 ft., and a range of 932 miles. Time to reach 19,680 ft was 9 min. Dimensions were: span 43 ft. 11 1/2 in., length 32 ft. 5 3/4 in., height 11 ft. 1 7/8 in., and a wing area of 282 sq. ft.


Building the Ro.58 is everything you might except from a cottage industry product: faithful dimension, a seldom seen model, something not to be on the catalogue from the major firms. On the other hand there is a lot to do by yourself as the fit is not Tamiya’s one, and many products like two component putty will have to be used to deal with the heavy trenches, mainly on the fuselage line, wing /fuselage etc. One must be very careful when it will be time to sand, as resin is not plastic! I did follow the instructions which are very clear and a real pleasure as the only doc in my possession was the old Caccia Assalto Dimension Cielo Vol 3, where the same pictures than in the instruction are to be find, but with a better definition. I used them as a guide. In this book there is a plan, the same one as in the leaflet, which shows some missing detail on the model! Elevators, ailerons and slats. Not knowing the precision of this plan, I did the elevators.

I glued each wing to each half fuselage to get the proper diehederal, better do dry fit first as when it is glued, it is! The tail unit gave me some headaches as it was twisted (did not noticed it) and in the end one of the rudder could not be aligned properly. Using the clear canopies, in the closed position is another great moment of loneliness, and it could save your day if you chose to let it open. As I wrote before I used a ton of putty, so I did allot of sanding so did a lot of bubbles came up to say hello. Mr Surfacer 500 was very helpful there. Check also that the slots for the engine exhausts are clean, otherwise those won’t fit. The landing gear doors must be thinned to an acceptable level to look realistic in this scale.

When the model was ready, I sprayed Mr Surfacer 1200 thinned with Mr Color thinner to spot any default and to prepare the resin for the paint. Verde Oliva Scurro was RLM70 + 20% RLM71 Gunze range, underside was Grigio Azurro Chiaro (H-324). Be informed that you will have to detour the decals as they are on the same film. So now we have a Ro.58 available, all the Regia Aeronautica fans will be delighted. Bravo Fabrizio.

Technical Data

Aircraft: Meridionali Ro 58
Manufacturer: S.A. Industrie Meccaniche & Aeronautica Meridionali (I.M.A.M.)
Type: Fighter
Year: 1943
Engine: Two FIAT R.A.1050 R.C.58 Tifone, 12-cylinder vee, liquid-cooled, 1,175 hp each
Wingspan: 43 ft 111/2 in (13.40 m)
Length: 32 ft 53/4 in (9.90 m)
Height: 11 ft 17/8 in (3.52 m)
Weight: 13,448 lb (6100 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 376 mph (605 km/h)
Ceiling: 31,170 ft (9500 m)
Range: 932 miles (1500 km)
Armament: 5 x 20mm MG 151/20 canons
Crew: 2

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September, 2017
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