Ansaldo I.S.V.A. Big ''A''
by: Dani Fabris
A single-seat float fighter version of the S.V.A., the I.S.V.A. (the "I" prefix indicating Idro or water) was built at La Spezia in 1918. Power was provided by a 205hp SPA 6A engine and armament consisted of two synchronised 7.7mm Vickers machine guns. A total of 50 I.S.V.A. fighters was manufactured and these aircraft were used both for the defence of naval bases and coastal reconnaissance.
For this build I used an old 1/48th Smer kit of the Ansaldo S.V.A. 5 . The kit has a price of less than $10 and is a solid base kit. The hull has the correct dimensions but it takes a lot of work to bring the best out of it.
The propeller in the kit is the wrong shape and direction of rotation. I made a new propeller from styrene. For the exhaust pipe I used a 1mm medical needle.
The cockpit is also very basic, but it was no problem to scratch build a lot of the details, as there are plenty of good references, in the way of images of original S.v.a from museums. A minor problem was to find reference of instrument panel.
The fit of the lower wings on the kit is very poor, so I cut the wings in half, and mounted locating tabs. I lost a lot of time getting the fit right, but it worked in the end.
The upper wing also has some errors, so I made a new wings joints out of styrene and a 1'3mm medical needle.
I re-did the ribbing on the wings. I made wing struts out of copper wires, rigging cables from 0.16 mm fishing nylon and a 0.30 mm medical needle.
The tail of the plane was also re-built from an expired credit card.
No one has produced a kit with floats, but fortunately, in these days and help of the Internet I found a drawings of the floats. I made the floats from brass, turned on a lathe, and added a supporting structure of the copper wire.
The build blog of this kit can be found here