|Classic Airframes 1/48 FIAT CR.32
Chirri - Icon of the Spanish Civil War - Part II
by John Valo
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|The performance and combat record of the Fiat CR.32 in Spain established its designer Celestino Rosatelli among a select group of designers of war winning machines. The combat record of the Fiat CR.32 in the Spanish Civil War was remarkable; of the 1,947 aircraft received by the Republicans, 1,520 would fall in combat to Nationalist pilots. To the Italian air component 943 victories would be credited and about 60 percent of these were achieved by fighter units equipped with the Fiat CR.32. Only 86 aircraft of all types were lost by the Italians in the Spain, a 10:1+ kill ratio.
In Classic Airframes Spanish Civil War Fiat CR.32 Part I, I covered the construction of a mottle scheme CR.32 used by the 'Cucaracha' squadron and made a comparison of parts of the early release of the kit to its modern equivalent. In Part II, I cover a Fiat CR.32 finished in the banded camouflage scheme and illustrate the construction of the cockpit interior.
In this kit, the cockpit details have been revised to a mix of resin and pre-painted photoetch parts. The photoetched parts add a lot of detail to the well-cast resin parts. I found I needed to thin the resin walls as well as the fuselage halves to get the assembled parts to fit properly. Most of the cockpit won't be seen through the tiny cockpit opening, although what you can see is impressive. The cockpit was finished in a light grey.
As in Part I, White Ensign Models ColourCoats were used for Giallo Mimetico 2, Marrone Mimetico 2 and Verde Mimetico 2 for upper surfaces and Grigio Mimetico for the undersides. The ColourCoats spray easily and cover smoothly.
For assembly, I added tiny wire pins to the four inboard interplane struts, which fit into holes drilled in the upper and lower wings. By holding the upper wing vertically perpendicular to the fuselage, it is easy to glue the four pinned struts to the lower wing, using the holes drilled in the underside of the upper wing as guides to where the struts should align. After letting this set up firmly, I was able to support the upper wing on these four struts, then align the upper wing and glue the struts without the whole assembly collapsing, but the wire pins had just enough give to help with the alignment. Once these struts had set up, adding the remaining interplane and cabane struts was just a matter of carefully positioning and gluing them into place.
The revisions made to this new release are well done, especially the beautifully cast nose part and the addition of pre-painted photoetch parts. The finished model is very convincing and an attractive addition to any collection. Highly Recommended.
Aircraft: Fiat CR.32
Manufacturer: FIAT S.A.
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 machine guns
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