In this article I describe the cockpit and engine assembly of the Classic Airframes 1/48 Fiat CR.42 AS Kit No. 496.  As described in a previous article the Classic Airframes CR.42 AS comes with photoetched parts for the engine ignition harness/push rods, cockpit frame, seat belts, instrument panels, gun sights and additional cockpit and surface detail.  Resin parts are provided for the reduction gearbox/cylinder block, engine cylinders, the cockpit seat, cockpit floor, control stick, oxygen bottles and the pneumatic air supply bottle behind the cockpit frame.  Construction of the cockpit was straight forward.  The cockpit resin floor needs to be sanded slightly along the edges to get a good fit between the fuselage halves and I added a thin strip of styrene to brace the instrument panels and gun sight, the only adjustments I made during assembly.  A nice touch is the pre-painted photo-etched instrument panels with superb detail.  The cockpit frame is very easy to assemble and bends itself nicely between the fuselage halves when dry fitting - as can be seen from the photos.  The cockpit interior was painted 'grigio azzuro chiaro' for grigio anti-corrosion typical of Fiat interior colors (refer to the note by Riccardo Trotta in the STORMO! ColorGuide). Notable are the kit provided photo-etched throttles located to the left of the cockpit seat as well as the pre-painted photo-etched cockpit harness and seat belts.The engine comes all in resin with 15 cylinders (1 spare). The reduction gearbox and cylinder block are molded as a single piece.  I pre-painted the cylinders and then sawed off each cylinder from its sprue.  Assembly of the engine was quick and straight forward.  As can be seen from the photos both the completed engine and cockpit are stunning and this is where I think CA leaves the competition behind. I think this cockpit is likely the best from any major kit manufacturer Ive seen yet all this OOB.
Classic Airframes 1/48 Fiat CR.42 AS
Cockpit and Engine Assembly
by Vince Tassone
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