There were about 30 of these aeroplanes in service with the Regia Aeronautica at the time of the 1943 armistice. There were 150 in the fighter units of the ANR after that date, and they remained in service until the end of hostilities in 1945. This was the operational career of the Fiat G.55, one of the finest Italian combat aeroplanes of the war. The aeroplane was the result of the last desperate production effort of the Italian aviation industry during the war.  It was powerful, fast, and sturdy, an unbeatable interceptor at high altitude. In dog fights carried out in the north during the last year of the war, the G.55 was pitted against the best British and American aeroplanes of the time, such as Spitfires, Mustangs, Thunderbolts, and Lightnings, and proved to be no easy adversary.
Technical Data:
Aircraft:
Fiat G.55 Serie I
Manufacturer:
Fiat S.A.
Type:
Fighter
Year:
1943
Engine:
Daimler Benz 605A, 12-cylinder V, liquid-cooled, 1,475hp
Wingspan:
38 ft 10 1/2 in (11.85 m)
Length:
30 ft 9 in (9.37 m)
Height:
12 ft 4 in (3.77 m)
Weight: 
8,200 lb (3,720 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed:
385 mph (620 km/h) at 24,300 ft (7,400 m)
Ceiling:
41,700 ft (12,700 m)
Range:
1,025 miles (1,650 km)
Armament:
2 x 12.7mm (0.5 in) SAFAT machine guns, 3 x 20 mm cannons
Crew: 1
Special Hobby 1/72 FIAT G.55 Serie I
Italian Ace Ugo Drago
by Boris S. Vyrypaev
Click the STORMO! Eagle to return to the Gallery
Construction
Having assembled  this model I completed my minimal target of constructing the entire Serie 5 Fighters.

This is the Special Hobby kit – its classical czekish cast molding model with vacuum canopy and minimal number of foto-etched parts and a ood set of resin elements. The plastic is soft. There were no problems with painting scheme selection- such camouflage practically not seen anywhere.

The splinter-pattern camouflage made of combination of following colors: Verde Mimetico 1, Giallo Mimetico 3 and Marrone Mimetico 2, lower surface – Grigio Mimetico with white vertical strip on the rear-fuselage.

The squadron emblem (Gigi Tre Osei) is located on the engine cowling on both sides.  This plane (alas, but there is no photos) belonged to Ugo Drago, 4th Sq. commander whose account there are eleven downed planes (among them there are four Thunderbolts and two Mustangs).

First of all I assembled the cockpit. The inner surface of the fuselage sides and wings upper surface in order to be able to mount parts. The cockpit was easy to assemble, its possible to observe it via the thin canopy.  I added the gunsight. The interior is finished in Tamiya XF-21:2 + XF-5:1.

The rivets were deepened on the cowling and I drilled-out the gun ports. All edges were smoothed. Glued resin inlets and understood that the fairings are required so I glued plates made of foil. I made guns of needles and on wings. Aeronavigation lights on wings and tail transparent feeds. The radiator or more properly it’s aft part was made in a wrong way so I was obliged to redesign it according to photos and made of foil, the shutter and it’s control mechanism and lateral plate inside the radiator- all can be viewed nicely. I cut our all rudders and ports on the wing lower surface. The venturi tube, some hatches and tail whell compartment doors are made of it also.  Wheels - rubber ones from kipage  aftermarket firm (They are absent in firm calalog but for me they manufactured it on special order). Pitot tube- needle and 0,4mm Modelpoint tube.

Painting began with preshading(Tamiya XF-1). The Yellow undercowling was complete using Tamiya XF-3.  Lower surface –Tamiya XF-2 + XF-66. Tamiya.  Upper surface color- was mixed of Tamiya paints. Every color was airbrushed twice using a lighter shade of the base color to model wearthering effects. Italy has a lot of sun so the painting on aircraft burned to some extent.  Postshading was achieved by a very dilute Tamiya ?-19. The model was covered in Future, then the decals were applied and once again a second coat of Future applied. Paint chipping was achieved using metallic paints. Finish coverage – ?-22  with ?-21 filler. Residue is made of soot. Oil and gasoline smudge ?-19 Smoke. Antennae is made of  monofibre thread.

References
1. Ali d'Italia 010 - Fiat G 55;
2. Camouflage and Markings of the ANR 1943-45;
3. Hikoki Courage. Alone The_Italian Air Force 1940-43;
4. Fuerza Aerea Argentina No. 0.  Fiat G55;
5. Ali Squadron Signal 604.  Regia Aeronautica, vol.2, 1943-45;
6. Walk Arround Fiat-G55, aviation museum near Roma;
7. WW2 fighter aviation of Italy. “Tornado”, Russia, 1997;
8. Aviacollection 2006-12. Painting and markings of italian air force planes 1922-1945;
9. AviaMaster No. 4, 1998;
10. www.stormomagazine.com (I recommend this site for fans of italian aviation).
11. www.warbirds.ru/keywords/asy_italii_ (about italian ace Ugo Drago).
March 2012
STORMO! © 2012

Ali D'Italia Books
Special Hobby 1/48 FIAT G.55
Special Hobby 1/48 FIAT G.55
Aviolibri IBN Editore - Maurizio Di Terlizzi Books
Special Hobby 1/48 FIAT G.55