Italeri 1/72 FIAT CR.42 - Falco
Aegean Hawk
by Aleksandar Andric
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Designed as an interim fighter until the Italian monoplane fighters were available in sufficient numbers, the Fiat CR.42 was a modern biplane fighter that served the Regia Aeronautica in a multitude of roles including fighter, ground attack and night fighter duties.  The Fiat CR.42 was also used by several foreign air forces who put the plane to good use and production was even resumed by the Germans in 1944.

Construction:
Italeri's recent kit is a new-tool model, which has many plus sides:
- reasonable price
- nicely printed decals
- very useful reference booklet
- large number of options

Although it's the best CR.42 kit in 72nd, there are a few minor issues namely:
- Propeler is faced the wrong direction (just move the axis on the opposite side)!!!
- Decal instrument panel and seatbelts (I hate this the most in modelling)
- Rib and panel lines on the wings too heavy
- Thick trailing edge (although not as serious as in short-run kits)

Starting with the interior, I noticed it is exceptionally detailed for a 1/72 scale kit. The framework looked nice, but when painted, I decided it woud be better to see through it, so I sanded it from the
back until only the framework was left. Then some structure made from sheet styrene was added to the fuselage sides. I also added instrument bezels made out of fine wire. The process is simple: wrap it around a toothpick or something else depending its radius, cut through wit a hobby knife, and voila - many perfect circles!  Etched seat belts were "borrowed" from AML' G.50 (i'll find a replacement later for it).
Technical Data:
Aircraft:
Fiat CR.42
Manufacturer: FIAT S.A.
Type:
Fighter
Year: 1939
Engine: FIAT A.74 RC 38, 14-cyclinder radial, air-cooled, 870hp
Wingspan:
31 ft 10 in (9.70 m)
Length:
27 ft 3 in (8.30 m)
Height:
10 ft 10 in (3.30 m)
Weight:
5,060 lb (2,295 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed:
273 mph (440 km/h) at 19,685 ft (6,000 m)
Ceiling:
34,450 ft (10,500 m)
Range:
490 miles (785 km)
Armament:
2 x 12.7mm SAFAT machine guns; 2  x 220.5 lb (100 kg) bombs
Crew:
1

Additional Images
:

October, 2010
STORMO! 2010
Exaggerated ribs were fixed with a few light passes with a '1000' sanding paper. The engine was also modified. Actuator rods were removed and new ones were added along with some pipelines. Wheels were cut from one side, so I could just slide them in at the end (I figured this would be easier than assembling them inside the "trousers" and masking them). When it comes to rigging biplanes, it is always good to plan in advance and drill tiny holes for the wires. On CR.42, these holes were located in the struts themselves. Rigging was done with 0.08mm fishing line. Cowling strap cables were made of wire, those panels were deepened quite a bit. Rudder and aileron cables were also added; and navigation lights made with a drop of white wood glue (it dries
clearly), wing colored lights made using the same method, except I mixed some acrylic paint with the glue. The tiny gunsight was also scratchbuilt, and a vac canopy was also "borrowed" from AML' G.50 Freccia.
The plane depicted had auminum painted undersurfaces, so this color was airbrushed over gloss black primer (contrary to my practice of spraying NMF paints at the end). As far the camouflage of 162a sq. planes is concerned, there were many discussions (I started one at the Stormo forum). Leading experts suggest that a light green overspray was done on the island of Rhodes over a standard pre-1942 scheme of Giallo Mimetico 3 (Camouflage yellow) with Verde Mimetico (Mimetic
green) and Marrone Mimetico (Mimetic maroon) blotches. As it was probbably done on the island, I decided to finish it in standard scheme (before the overpainting). A machine at Vigna di Valle was
beautifully restored in this manner, so I used it as main reference.

Colors used were my own mixes, mostly from Molak and Humbrol paints. The mottles should be even smaller, but this is all I could do with my current airbrush (Revell MasterclassPro with medium nozzle.

Conclusion: a simple, but well detailed kit; which can be taken a step further for excellent results!

References:
-
Stormo! color guide http://www.stormomagazine.com/RegiaAeronauticaColorsinWWII_3a.htm
- Ali D'Italia #1 - Fiat CR.42 Falco
- Ali e Colori #1 Fiat CR.42