Special Hobby 1/48 IMAM Ro.44
Seaplane Fighter
by Jean Barby

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A further development of the Ro.43 and by extension the land based Ro.37, an attractive single-seat seaplane fighter that saw limited activity, almost exclusively with 161a Sq. at Lero (Rhodes), the only fighter-floatplane unit left operational by June 1940. Except for the two forward-firing 7.7mm Breda-SAFATs and the modification to a single-seat fighter through the omission of the observers cockpit and canopy and the long faired head-rest, the plane was identical to the Ro.43. The Ro.44 was a composite-structure biplane. It was powered by a 700 hp Piaggio P.XR radial engine and its performance did not differ much from the Ro.43, although its maneuverability was greatly enhanced, primarily a result of a reduction in weight. An initial order was placed for 51 machines although this was cut down to 35 reflecting the obsolescence of the maritime-fighter role by mid-1941. The plane was scrambled several times in abortive missions to intercept land based bombers (Blenheims and Wellingtons) and reconnaissance machines although the plane was used more effectively in strafing attacks on shipping and harbours during the Greek campaign and prior to the German attack on Crete at Milos as well as reconnaissance missions.


Like the Special Hobby Ro.43, the Ro.44 is not for rookies and will fight you all the way! I had to use every trick I know to achieve this result. Fixing the main float to the plane’s body was painful as the two front arms are too short and I had to scratchbuild mine. Fixing the engine correctly is also fairly difficult not to mention the rigging which I did with fishing line heated to tension once in place. I used Ali D'Italia #12 IMAM Ro.43/44 to reproduce as many details as I could, being very careful because all the silver deco has no mercy. The decals went very well, and it is a very decent representation of this Italian floatplane. ALCLAD White Aluminum was used to paint the model.

Technical Data

Technical Data
Aircraft: Meridionali Ro 44
Manufacturer: S.A. Industrie Meccaniche & Aerondutiche Meridionali (I.M.A.M.)
Type: Fighter
Year: 1936
Engine: Piaggio P.XR, 9-cylinder radial, air-cooled, 700 hp
Wingspan: 37 ft 11 1/2 in (11.57 m)
Length: 31 ft 10 1/2 in (9.72 m)
Height: 11ft 6 1/8 in (3.51 m)
Weight: 4,898 lb (2,226 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 193 mph (311 km/h)
Ceiling: 22,965 ft (7,000 m)
Range: 745 miles (1,199 km)
Armament: 2 machine guns
Crew: 2

Additional Images

STORMO! Products

Ali D'Italia #12 Imam Ro.43/44

ALCLAD METALIZERS - White Aluminum 1 Fl. Oz. - ALC106
Special Hobby - IMAM Romeo Ro.44 - 1/48 - SO48140

Czech Master - ROMEO RO.43/44 BEACHING TROLLEY - 1/48  - CZ4329

January, 2018
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