|Italeri 1/48 FIAT CR.42LW
by William Landelle
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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.
From october 1943 Luftwaffe establish harassment groups : the «Nachtschlachtgruppe (NSGr) ». These groups was provided with standards foreign plane, pending news JU 87 delivery.
First, Luftwaffe pilots coming from eastern front test Caproni Ca.314 at Campoformido-Udine but these planes are not suited to harassement mission. Luftwaffe finally order 200 FIAT CR 42 to Italy.
These aircraft are called Fiat CR 42 LW, LW for Luftwaffe.
They are designed t to serves as a night fighter and ground attack.
Fiat CR 42 LW are produced by the Fiat factory in Turin requisitioned by German after the Armistice of september 1943 between Italians and the Allied.
After the bomb raids on the Turin Fiat factory by the Allies only 112 of these Falco were delivered to the Luftwaffe. NSGr 9 counted 47 Falco in his squad into 2 staffel remained in service until June 1944.
The unit was based in northern Italy and fight at Anzio, at Monte Cassino, in Alps.
FIAT CR,42 LW are equipped according to the Luftwaffe's specifications:
• exhaust with flame damper,
• armored bulkhead for the pilot seat,
• german radio,
• ultra-violet instrument lighting,
• air intake with dust filter,
• shortcut wheele fairing, Weapons
• two 12,7mm machine gun Breda Safat or 13 mm MG 131
• two ETC50 kg electrical german bomb rack, a single one under each wing ,
• for two German SC 50 bombs
Camouflage and Markings
Planes are delivered from the factory with the « a ramarro » camouflage D1A of the Reggia appliqued in the Fiat factory at this time (verde oliva scuro 2 and nocciola chiaro 4 bloches, underwing grigio azzuro chiaro 1). Pictures take after the Fiat factories were bombed seem that national marking (balkencreuz et svastika ) was painted on the assembly line.
Accordance with the directives of Luftwaffe, the Nachtschlachtgruppe (NSGr) planes receive a night camo based on RLM74/75/76 probably applied on field by german mechanics.
The model is based on an aircraft of Nachtschlachtgruppe 9 (NSGr.9) code number E8 and belonging to 2 Staffel (black letter K and red spiner). The red J is the aircraft number 10 of Staffel. The original picture was taken at the Fiat factory ground after the Allied air raid by 150 B 24 of 15th Air Force on april 25th 1944 supported by P 47 of 325 th FG. Number 35 paint on fuselage is probably hand painted by a mechanic for a workshop registration for the repair. Other plane photographied at this place after this raid had same marking.
Aircraft: Fiat CR.42
Manufacturer: FIAT S.A.
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
STORMO! © 2013
This model was built from the Italeri kit n° 2640 C.R. 42 LW.
I had to do some scratch buiding for the bomb rack ETC 50 VIIIb and the air intake wihch are not exact in the Italeri's kit.
I used the SKYdecal sheet for CR 42, there are no swatiska in the Italeri decal sheet and Eduard photo etched parts for seatbelts.
For this model I read specialy the book on the history of this unit based on Allied Intelligence Recording, Luftwaffe recording and testimony of NSGr9 veterans writen by Nick Beale « Ghost bombers – The Moonlight war of NSG 9 ».