The Fieseler Fi-156 Storch, (English: Stork) is a light observation- and liason plane developed by the German Gerhard Fieseler Werke (GFW) in Kassel and was best known for the Stork and the V-1 flying bomb. Development on the Storch started in 1935 after a request from the Reichs Luft Ministerium (RLM). The Storch itself was probably most famous for its use by Rommel and it’s use during Operation Eiche, the liberation of Mussolini from his captives in Gran Sasso.
Thanks to its excellent Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) performance the Storch could land almost everywhere. which made it perfect for Op. Eiche. Some notable features of the Storch are folding wings, so it could be loaded onto a trailer or railway car for easy transportation or when in a pinch it could be towed this way And thanks to it’s extremely low landing speed it would often appear to ‘hover’ or even fly backwards in heavy winds.
The kit comes in a nicely printed box and inside it we find a bag of sprues, two decal sheets and a very nicely printed full-color instruction sheet. But it is a bit weird: on one side we find the instructions for the Storch, on the other side is an instruction sheet for a F-16. Two completely different animals, and it was a bit weird when I found out. Maybe it’s an error, maybe it’s to save costs, who knows? But the instructions are nice and clear and show all of the painting options you have in quite good detail, which is nice.
Because this was a rather simple, light and small aircraft there aren’t a lot of parts, four sprues and barely 50 parts confirm this. The parts look well molded with some nice details. Sadly they didn’t include a sowing mac.. I mean engine so if you want to build a maintenance diorama out of it you have to go the aftermarket (if any) or the scratchbuilding route. But the feature that earned this little aircraft it’s name, namely the relatively large wings and the long gear legs. They look the part, and just as I was writing this review a picture of a real life Storch popped up on my Twitter feed. And they match perfectly.
Decals and color scheme
This aircraft saw service among a lot of different airforces, and this is reflected in this kit with a lot of different marking options. The relatively large decal sheets (yes, this kit has two sheets) features decals for German, Spanish, Finnish, Polish, Italian and Bulgarian options. The decals are nicely printed, but the smaller sheet differs slightly in color but there is no noticeable difference in decal quality.
In color options you have over two pages full of options from different air forces: Luftwaffe, Swiss, Spanish, Bulgarian, Czech, RAF, USAF, Finland, Italy and Yugoslavia and most are quite interesting. Did you know for example that the Finnish Air Force flew a Storch in North-Africa back in 1943? According to Mister Craft they did.
This is a tiny aircraft, but the lack of a decent looking cockpit is a bit of a letdown due to the greenhouse-like canopy of this aircraft. But it makes this a rather good kit for beginners. But people who have a hard time deciding what color scheme they should use should stay far away from this kit. You just have way too many options.
Vehicle: Fieseler Fi-156 C-1 ‘Storch’
Manufacturer: Mister Craft
Number of parts: 50+
Number of sprues: 4