Regia Nave Fiume 
by Ralf Roggeveen 

1/400 Regia Nave Fiume (Tauro Model)

Italian engineering whether it be aircraft, cars, coffee percolators or ships, is always the most beautiful looking. The Zara Class heavy cruisers of the 1930s were no exception, and all four - Zara, Fiume, Pola and Gorizia - can be built in 1/400th scale from Tauro kits. There were minor variations between the four sisters; this is Fiume assembled more or less ‘out of the box’ with the addition of White Ensign railings and ladders plus HP Models’ flags. Many plastic rods were also replaced with metal, notably the columns supporting the complicated citadel. That was by far the most difficult part of the model, taking as long to construct as the whole of the rest of it. Decals were trouble free. It all fitted together reasonably well, though I took artistic license with arranging the ship's boats and discarded the crude gangways and davits provided (parts 62 and 59) to preserve her sleek lines. Nor did they include any life rafts which in my case had to filched from an old Airfix Ark Royal, though you may be lucky enough have something similar in your spares box. This model was fun to make but required some patience and a lot of very careful layout testing before actual gluing. A pity it’s not in 1/350th to go with the Trumpeter Roma, but great that an Italian kit manufacturer has come out with these elegant cruisers in reasonably priced plastic.

Ralf Roggeveen

Gallery updated 2013