Sunday, January 9, 2011


The World War II era MAS - from the Italian ‘Motoscafo Armato Silurante’ (literally, motorboat armed with torpedoes) - is becoming widely available in stores now.

MAS boats were used by Italy’s navy, the Regia Marina, and this very substantial 55 cm (21.6 in) long model is well up to the usual Italeri standard: packed with detail, a neat set of well-printed decals, and a biggish metal-etch fret for super-detail parts. The hull is a one-piece component, always a relief in marine kits, as any trace of warping can make assembly a pain. 

The crew
The real thing typically had anything up to a 10-man crew, so what do they look like in this kit? Well, there aren’t any, and it seems to be standard procedure for Italeri to offer humanoids separately. In fact, so far as ships go, it’s not a bad idea, as many marine modellers prefer to show off just the boat, and nothing but the boat.

However, in SMN’s view, the Italeri Crew and Accessories pack really makes the difference, adding a sense of scale, drama and life to this already excellent kit. You don’t get any below-decks crew - there are just six chaps included in the box - but they are nicely sculpted. You could always add another box-full of sailors, though we doubt the MAS needs two captains!
MAS boat in service
The MAS had a displacement of up to 30 tonnes, depending on the model, and could reach up to 45 knots (52 mph) with power coming from Isotta Fraschini engines. Armament was a pair of 450 mm (18 in) anti-ship torpedoes, with a deck-mounted machine gun for anti-aircraft protection and surface fire. In 1940 there were 48 MAS 500-class units in service.

The Italeri MAS boat is available here.

The pictures show:
1-4 Italeri MAS boat.
5  Crew and accessories pack.
6  MAS in action, finished in WWII ‘disruptive’ camouflage markings.

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