Fieseler Fi 156C Storch 'Gran Sasso'
History: The Fieseler Fi 156 is a fabric and steel tube constructed 3 place liaison aircraft. It is noted for its short takeoff and landing characteristics used by all the German forces. It’s primarily used by German upper echelon personnel including Hitler himself. It also played a major role in a daring rescue of the imprisoned Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.First produced in 1939 the type remained in production throughout WWII. The total production was around 1549 aircraft. During the winter months, it was fitted with skis. It was also produced after the war by France and Czechoslovakia.
It had a crew of 2/3; empty weight 930 kg; maximum speed 175 km/h; minimum speed 51 km/h and a range 385 km. Power was provided by an Argus AS-10C inverted V8, (air-cooled) with 240-hp; takeoff distance 26 meters (no wind).
Kit: The kit is made up of injection molded gray plastic parts. The parts were well detailed and in excellent condition.
Construction: Started with detailing the cockpit and I added detailed seats, wing structure, control stick, and instrument panel. The cockpit assemblies were then added to the fuselage halves, completing the fuselage assembly. Next, I assembled the engine and its component. I experienced a little problem with the forward portion, namely, the magnetos. Location and fit were an issue, as the plans were not clear to me in this area. While adding the upper and lower cowl, I experienced a fit issue with the engine, namely the magnetos. Again, my solution was filing the outer edges of both magnetos and thinning the inner portion of the nose cowl. I also added one side cowl door, and left the other side open to view the engine detail. Also, both cowls did not fit well and I needed to add filler on the side of the added cowl.
I then proceeded to complete the wings. No problems were encountered in this area, as noted in the photo. I pre-painted the fuselage and wings separately due to the complex shape of the canopy. Masking was much easier without wings, as was adding decals, gloss and Dullcote.
Finishing: The paint used is Model Masters enamel and acrylics. The paint went on well and I left it to dry a few days. I then sprayed with Testor’s gloss prior to decaling and Dullcoted after decaling. Decals went on easily, except for one area. The decal rolled under itself, and I could not get it straight. I had to paint over the imperfect areas.
The paint scheme and decals used was the aircraft needed for the rescue operation of Benito Mussolini. The machine gun was not a part of this build. There were two figures also supplied (a pilot and ranking officer). The map and envelope was not part of the kit. I added them for authenticity.
Impressions: The kit was a pleasure to build. I had to improvise on the forward portion of the cowl and engine areas. I recommend the kit to a more experienced modeler, mainly because of the complex canopy and fragile landing gear. Note: I used stiff wire (not supplied) for the main strut.
I wish to thank the members of IPMS for allowing me to build and review this model. I would also like to convey my thanks to Hasegawa for supplying this kit