Morane-Saulnier MS 225 C1
Sabrekits 1/72, Ref. SBK7007
The French Armée de l’Air modernisation programme in the early 1930s gave birth to a robust parasol wing fighter, the MS-225, first flown in 1932. The plane featured superior flight characteristics and agility, structural strength as well as simple maintenance and excellent reliability. By 1933 the Armée de l’Air acquired 67 of these planes. Intended only as a stop-gap fighter,further production was not planned. 12 Moranes were supplied to the French Aéronavale and seven planes were sold to China in September 1933.
Sabrekits are a recent outfit offering a number of interesting re-boxed items from a number of companies, and this MS.225 is following the trend, being the old 1968 ‘Série Musée’ Heller kit with brand new decals. The kit was first re-boxed by Smer back in the 1980s. The Heller kit is actually pretty good given its age, but could benefit from a bit of work in the cockpit area and maybe on the engine ; the ailerons ‘lines’ are missing on the underside of the wings, but that is also easily fixed.
The new decal sheet is very nice-looking indeed. Four liveries are offered, including the demonstrator used by Morane’s chief test pilot, Michel Detroyat, one aircraft from the Etampes aerobatic team (the weapons must be deleted on those two, a thing not mentionned in the instructions sheet), an Aéronavale aircraft and last but not least, a Chinese machine.
Although the Heller (and Smer) kits are still easy to find on the second-hand market, the Sabrekit offering has the edge with its still very reasonable price and brand new decal sheet. But it is still a limited release edition, so do not wait too long before getting yours !
Review and pictures by Daniel Clamot.