The Regia Marina’s Zara class of heavy cruisers were a handsome class of ships. Trumpeter has released a 1:350 scale kit of Zara, with kits of Gorizia and Fiume
planned. Prior to that, a kit of the
Pola was available under the Banner and Trumpeter brand and is now sold under the Hobby Boss label. To help modelers build the kit
of their choice,
Regia Marina has recently released a decal sheet designed to be used on any of these kits.

The majority of the markings on the decal sheet are for the IMAM RO.43 biplanes that were used as reconnaissance aircraft on the ships. The decals for the airplanes
include the red and white stripes for the upper wings and red, white and green stripes for the tail. These are most welcome as they will eliminate the need to paint them.
There is also an alternate white cross decal that is applied over the tail decals for correct markings as of 1941. The other decals include the wing roundels, smaller
roundels and identification markings for the fuselage. Decals are provided for the latter to cover prewar/early war and later war markings and are comprised of the ship’
s name and a single-digit number or a white band and three-digit number.
The only decals that are actually for the ships are the mottos that appeared on both sides of either the number 3 or 4 turret aft, depending on the ship. You also get the
Regia Marina flag in two sizes, the naval jack and the two-star admiral rank flag, which comes on a small separate piece of sheet. The latter signifies if an Ammiraglio
di Divisione (Rear Admiral) was on board if flying from the fore mast or an Ammiraglio di Squadra if hung from the main mast. The decals are beautifully printed,
with crisp color registration. The one caveat is that the decals are not die-cut but rather as one large sheet, so you will have to cut them out individually.

A two-side instruction sheet is included which has a number-keyed image of the decal sheet on the top half of the first page. The sheet provides placement and even
painting guides for the RO.43 biplanes specific to the time period and ship they were on. The instructions also indicate which motto was used for which ship and on
which turret number they were on. Finally, the positions of the flags are provided with small photographs which in some cases are too dark to make out.
This decal sheet from Regia Marina is a must for anyone wishing to build a model of a Zara class ship as it covers quite a bit and it is highly recommended. My
thanks to
Regia Marina for providing the review sample.
Felix Bustelo
New York