|Alongside the SIAI-Marchetti SM.79 and the Fiat BR.20, the CANT Z.1007 was one of the standard Italian bombers of the Second World War. It was fast and well armed, it had a good operational range and could carry a satisfactory bomb load and was used on all fronts. The CANT Z.1007 was designed by Filippo Zappata and the prototype appeared in the spring of 1937. A first batch of 34 airplanes were built and then an improved and more powerful version came out, this was the CANT Z.1007 bis, the largest production model. The 1,000 hp Piaggio P.XI RC RC 40 radial engine made it possible for the aeroplane to show all that it was capable of. With a fully loaded weight of almost 30,000 pounds (13,607 kg) it could reach an altitude of over 13,000 ft (3,962 m) in just over nine minutes. A total of 560 CANT.1007s were built. The final production model was the 1007ter which appeared in 1943. This third model was superior to its predecessor. It was powered by three 1,174 hp Piaggio P.XIX and had a top speed of 300mph (482 km/h) and a ceiling of about 33,000 ft (10,000 m).
Aircraft: CANT Z.1007bis
Manufacturer: Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico
Engine: Three Piaggio P.XI RC 40, 14-cyclinder radial, air-cooled, 1,000hp
Wingspan: 81 ft 4 in (24.80 m)
Length: 61 ft (18.59 m)
Height: 17 ft 1 in (5.22 m)
Weight: 38,200 lb (17,327 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 283 mph (456 km/h) at 15,100 ft (4,600 m)
Ceiling: 26,500 ft (8,100 m)
Range: 1,243 miles (2000 km)
Armament: 4 MGs; 2,430 lb (1,100 kg) of bombs
|Alpha Flight 1/48 CANT Z.1007 bis
by Jean Barby
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|When I saw this kit advertised some time ago, my heart started to beat faster. "Wow! What a beast" I thought, and, as a matter of fact what a beast it was!
We're certainly living in the golden age of modeling, but are we really aware of this fact? The 1/72nd Supermodel "Alcione" was not all that good but it had the distinction of being the only example of this aircraft in any scale. Sure, things have improved a lot and the subject is now much less obscure than it was, but yet, there was an empty hole to fill. Then came "Alpha Flight"!
Let's speak plain English: the model is an expensive, multi-media resin kit. References are scarce on the subject since there's no surviving example of this bomber, but there it is ...
When I decided to have a go at this kit, I chose to be very pragmatic. Which is to say that I got in touch with Simone Semeraro, the young and talented designer of the kit, sending him pics during the assembly process in order to prevent any misunderstandings, and him, in return correcting my mistakes the same way. What a great way to work!! I even went for a visit to Porto-gruaro to meet my now Italian friend.
The concept of the hollow resin is a good one which allows representation of the internal structure and that minimizes total weight.
On the other hand, all parts are quite flexible which makes assembly a bit tricky. The worst part of the kit is the white metal parts which are unusable and which require replacement. The engines were made from the Piaggio engine of the Reggiane 2000 from Classic Airframes, used as the master and duplicated in resin. The Scotti 12,7 machine gun was scratch-built as were the Breda-Safat 7,5mm from the waist gun positions. Last but not least the propellers were made from spares of a P-38 Hasegawa kit, but to make matters more complicated, the port side prop turn in the opposite direction! So two masters were constructed to get the two different props.
A lot of putty and sanding were needed but the project was really an exciting one and slowly but surely the "beast" took shape.
Some work needs to be done on the undercarriage retraction arms, evergreen, plastic card and patience were the winners, to replace the white metal parts from the kit.
Attaching the long "green-house" canopy to the fuselage was difficult but using the two canopies given with the kit, one was used as a dummy and the second one was kept in reserve for the end of the assembly process (all clear parts were dipped in Future and set aside). That was a clever move I must say because when I removed the protecting tape the clear part was not clear any longer!
I had to fight hundreds of tiny bubbles each time, however my sanding proceeded and I fought the bubbles with super glue and resin powder from left over resin trees. It works well.
Then I assembled the undercarriage and wheels and when everything was set I was not satisfied with the stance of the plane. So I checked actual photographs of the plane and compared them to the model. Sure, I had to shorten the main undercarriage legs as they were too long 3mm. A very easy task when everything is glued in place with cyno!
Now I was ready for painting.
|The model was painted using a Testor's Aztek airbrush. The CANT scheme is quite unique and as such is not an easy task for the airbrusher. The underside is Grigio mimetico, that's for the easy part. Now, all upper surfaces are painted in Giallo mimetico n°3. Mr Kit is closest to the real shade but I used my own mix of 50% RLM 79 and 50% white gunze + 20%of future. Do not forget to mask the line of separation between the two colors.
Then you need to decide how to reproduce that son-of-a-gun Picasso style camouflage! Well this is what I did:
Using an actual photo of the plane, showing as much camouflage as possible, I selected one part of the picture, hiding the rest and I reproduced the mottle free hand. It took me 4 days to complete the paint job and it was a very tiring process because when you're finished with the Verde Mimetico 3, you have to do it again with Marrone, and then you have to touch up where needed with any of the three colors. To soften the edges, a very dilluted overspray of Giallo Mimetico was sprayed over the entire model. Of course you have to cleverly spray a large decal sheet to have the material needed for the long canopy frames!
Only one scheme is available in the kit, a plane from 193a Sq., 30a Stormo. This model received the silver medal at the last Mondial de la Miniature in Paris.
Building the CANT was a real challenge for me, but painting it.... I'll let you guess.
Now how about the SM-84 from Alitaliane ...
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