Tuesday, August 9

Review: The updated M.T.M. Barchino with crew in 35th scale from Italeri

Italeri has released this one before - their 35th scale M.T.M. Barchino with crew is with Clayton, who is already building the kit. He has stopped to review it, and to compare it to the previous release to see any changes in part one of his story, today in the news...

M.T.M. Barchino with crew
From Italeri
Kit No #5623
1/35th scale
Contains 2 Crew Figures
- Photo-etched Fret
- Coloured Instructions Sheet
Model Dim. 19,1 cm
Product Link on the Italeri Website
The Subject: The M.T.M. Barchino
Following its operational successes during WW1, the Italian “Regia Marina” continued with further post- war developments into various underwater and surface assault vehicles. The Motoscafo da Turismo Modificato (M.T.M.) for example, was designed to ensure a covert and rapid approach to targets with a low risk of detection from enemy forces. The explosive motorboat MT (Motoscafo da Turismo) also known as Barchino (Italian for "little boat"),  was developed by the Italian Royal Navy, which was based on its predecessors, the prototype boat MA (Motoscafo d'Assalto) and the MAT (Motoscafo Avio Trasportato), which was an airborne prototype.
How the boat worked...
Closing in on the target, the pilot then adjusted the rudder to maintain direction and propelled the fast small boat on a collision course to the target.
The pilot, positioned at the stern, jumped from the craft at a safe distance before the collision. The high explosive charge positioned in the bow of the Barchino detonated upon impact against the target. The most successful deployment of the ‘Barchino’ by the  Italian Regio Marina was the assault led by Luigi Faggioni on the Royal Navy heavy cruiser HMS York at Suda Bay, Crete in 1941.

An example in a great photo here: captured by USS GLEAVES (DD-423) off San Remo, Italy, 2 October 1944. The boat at Isle St. Marguerite, France, where it was towed for further study of its explosive mechanisms, about 3 October 1944. Personnel on dock are from U.S. Navy Bomb Disposal Unit.

The Kit:
I’ve had this kit, well at least the initial boxing of it, in my stash for a long time. It was always something I’d wanted to build but would always get dragged away from it in favour of the latest shiny thing. But that was all about to change.
The Modelling News first published the story of the re-release of this kit back in Feburay, 2022, and now 6 months on the actual kit has landed in my hands. Initially, it is apparent that box art has been upgraded and the style of the box differs from the earlier release I have in my stash. Very similar, but a little different. Hardly a reason to now run out and buy the kit I know…but I’m just pointing out there has been some minor changes.

Upon opening the box, most of the parts look to be reasonably similar, if not the same.
The decal sheet includes the title for the stand should you chose to display it that way as well as the numbering for the floatation device and boat hull and the faces for the dials on the instrument panel.
The colour choices shown by Italeri

The "new" photo etch?
I’d initially thought the etch set was identical however one of the lifting brackets looks to be slightly modified and the numbering of the parts has been adjusted, but really, for the sake of the argument it’s safe to say the new fret is just the old fret re-numbered. 
One thing that bothers me a little is the flat wing nuts. They will be a bit of a feature on the top deck, so the fact they are essentially two-dimensional concerns me a little. They are tiny though, so they may look OK once attached to the model. Granted, the parts would probably be too small to successfully mould in styrene.

Note the old fret is on the left and the new on the right.
The Plastic:
The plastic parts for the boat are all housed on the one sprue. Detail is a little modest, however, the subject itself is modest by nature and relatively simple. In saying that, there looks to be a few details missing on the top deck, so I will have to do a little more research on this one for the construction phase. More to follow once the build starts.
The crew:
The figures are a nice addition to the kit and are actually useable. Acceptable for a modern release. The kit includes two figures – One standing with his hand on his hip and the other in a crouching position driving the boat. The figure in the crouched, driving position looks to be an addition to this re-release boxing. The pilot figure is essentially the same as the old one however it looks to have had an upgrade to the mould as the features are a little cleaner and more defined. It is quite a nice figure. The pose is natural and relaxed.
Here is a comparison of the old figure versus the new version.
The crouching figure comes with an option for the head. As you can see the sculpting of the facial features is a real step up for Italeri and once painted should present nicely.

Conclusion
I’m glad to see this little kit somewhat upgraded and re-released. It is a great entry level taste of a maritime subject. The simplicity of the build makes it accessible to modellers of all skill levels and is the perfect subject for those wanting to test themselves with some resin work or a sculpted waterscape diorama.

I have started to notice a few missing details around the model after comparing it with references images I have found. I will however try to outline some of my findings in the second part of the story in my build.

I am looking forward to getting some of the pieces together on this one. The build review is coming soon!

Clayton Ockerby

Thanks to Italeri for sending this kit to Clayton to build for you. The link to this kit on Italeri's website is here...
You can see more of Clayton's work on his Facebook page - Workbench Hobbies