Classic Airframes 1/48 FIAT CR.32
Italian Chirri - Part I Cockpit Assembly
by Davide Splendore
Click the STORMO! Eagle to return to the Gallery
The FIAT CR.32 occupies a special place among the immortals in aviation history.  It was one of the last combat biplanes ever built and when it appeared in 1933, the plane designed by Celestino Rosatelli was an immediate success because of its performance.  The plane was used in the Spanish Civil War achieving incredible results and would inspire technicians and military men to concentrate on the biplane formula for several more years to come, despite advances made in monoplane design. The aircraft was developed in four variants, the bis, ter and quater reaching a grand total of 1,212 aircraft manufactured.  Aside from large orders placed by the Regia Aeronautica, many foreign customers lined-up to buy the aircraft and would eventually see service in Austria, Spain, Hungary, China, Venezula, Paraguay as well as Germany.
Technical Data
Aircraft:
Fiat CR.32
Manufacturer: FIAT S.A.
Type:
Fighter
Year: 1935
Engine: FIAT A.30 RA, 12-cyclinder V, liquid-cooled, 600hp
Wingspan: 31 ft 2 in (9.50 m))
Length: 24 ft 5 in (7.45 m)
Height: 8 ft 8 in (2.63 m)
Weight: 4,080 lb (1,850 kg)
Maximum Speed:
233 mph at 19,685 ft (375 km/h at 3,000 m)
Ceiling:
28,900 ft (8,800 m)
Range:
460 miles (760 km)
Armament:
2 x 12.7mm SAFAT machine guns
Crew:
1

February, 2008
STORMO! 2008
To Obtain these Products Click the Images Below
Wings, Painting and Decals in PART II...
THE KIT
This kit comes finished in soft grey plastic, the surface details are good and the reproduction of the wing fabric is excellent. Some flashing is present on parts which is easily eliminated. The kit is not a classic Tamiya or Hasegawa, and the location of certain joints and connections must be carefully researched for exactness, however the shapes and the dimensions of the kit are excellent. The kit also comes supplied with superbly finished resin parts to replace the nose and tailplanes. In my box unfortunately the outtsanding cooling fins on the nose radiator were damaged which Classic Airframes promptly sent a replacement.
The kit also comes furnished with photo etched parts that improve the detail of the cockpit which is already very well detailed, however the dash board photo etch is over sized and is diffcuilt to position.  The decals are excellent as expectcd from this kit manufacturer

CONSTRUCTION
The kit was essentially constructed out of box since the accessories provided were already sufficiently detailed to construct an accurate replica of this famous fighter.  Some modifcations were made however.

The first thing to do was cut out the nose so that the resin replacement could be fit as well as the rudder and elevators.  As it can be seen,  the dimensions and the shapes of the kit match the drawings of Angelo Brioschi accurately. 

  
Construction commenced with the cockpit, adding various details such as tubes and wiring to enhance the exactness of the model.  
These parts were painted a light gray and a wash was applied.  Raised detail were dry-brushed and higlighted with a light shade of gray.
To complete the assmebly of the cockpit it was necessary to thin the side walls to get a tight fit (leave about 1/10 mm).
The addtion of the photo etch parts added a real sense of detail to the cockpit.  The paints used here were all Vallejo and applied by hand.
The dashboard is far too wide in to fit into the fuselage, therefore it was necessary to fold it rather than cut it and ruin the detail.
Once the cockpit was complete, the fusleage was then closed.  It was necessary to remove injection marks and correct the fuselage halves without having to add stucco to obtain a good fit.  Finally panel lines passing beneath the fuselage undersides were rescribed using a utility knife and adhesive tape to guide the incision.