Inbox Review: Classic Airframes 1/48 FIAT CR.42 AS
by Vince Tassone
The kit is well boxed and contains a brief and interesting history of the aircraft, characteristic of all Classic Airframes kits.  Although generally similar to the Classic Airframes CR.42 CN, the CR.42 AS (tropicalized, A.S. = Africa Settentrionale, Northern Africa) differs in the resin exhaust pipes, the under wing lamps and the top wing mounted generator (not included in this kit) as well as the sand-filter carburetor intake used on CR.42s at the beginning of 1941 for operations in North Africa.  The kit is molded in soft gray plastic and the recessed panel lines are well proportioned with no signs of injector marks, mistakes or depressions in any of  the moldings.  The resin parts come in two separate bags.  The first bag contains resin parts for the reduction gearbox-cylinder block, engine cylinders and the cockpit seat, cockpit floor, control stick and oxygen bottles.  The second bag contains the AS carburetor intake, two bombs and alternative flame damping exhaust pipes for the Luftwaffe plane.
The decals are manufactured by Microscale and markings for four planes are provided, two Regia Aeronautica, one Luftwaffe and one Italian post-war machine. Of note, the markings for the two Regia Aeronautica machines correspond to the Tavola X camouflage schemes, which stipulate the use of Nocciola Chiaro FS. 30219 base color with Verde Oliva Scuro FS.34052 for the smoke rings and Grigio Azzuro Chiaro FS.36307 for the undersides and the reverse of this scheme for the 15o Stormo d’Assalto machine.  The pins connecting the individual parts to the sprue trees are small so cutting away parts from the sprues is an easy affair with no possibility of damaging the parts.  Some flash can be seen around the pins however its minimal and there is no flashing present on any of the parts.  I compared the upper and lower wings to the reference Ali D'Italia #1 CR.42 (1995) and the wings were unbelievably accurate, no errors.  Same applies to the fuselage halves, this kit is super-accurate.
Kit Specs:
Catolgue No.:
Model: Fiat CR.42 AS
Classic Airframes
List Price: $40.00 US
Subject Type:
Fighter Bomber
Year (kit):
Plastic Parts:
Resin Parts:
Clear Parts: 1
2 PE Sheets
Target Audience:
Medium Skilled - Skilled
Microscale, markings for 4 aircraft
New Tooling
Panel Lines:
Weighted Tires: Yes

Box Art:
Quality of Recessed Panel Lines:
Quality of Plastic: 5
Quality of Resin Parts:
Quality of Photoetched Parts:
* * * * *
Brief History (Instructions):
Suggested Color/Camo Accuracy:
Overall Detail:
Overall Accuracy:
Bang-for-your-buck: 5

I've always felt that Classic Airframes manufacture some of the highest quality kits available and their most recent releases don't disappoint.  In this preview I examine the new Classic Airframes FIAT CR.42 AS kit no. 496.
The photetched parts are magnificent and come as two sheets with an engine ignition harness, cockpit frame, seat belts, instrument panels, gun sights, additional cockpit details as well as wing flap horns and cable attachments for the upper wing.  A photograph of an assembled cockpit is provided and the instructions are clear. The canopy is thin, clear and injected molded. It'll be interesting to do a side-by-side comparison of this kit with the recent Italeri offering however Classic Airframes have outdid themselves with this kit and have given nothing away. What can emerge from this kit is a master piece with exceptional detail.

For the modeling enthusiast all this comes reasonably priced and if you take into consideration the high-quality resin and photoetched parts that can sometimes be quite expensive and equal to the price of the kit itself, you have a kit that is more-bang-for-the buck and therefore the Classic Airframes CR.42 AS is Highly Recommended!

click the images to view aircraft markings
I'd like to thank Jules Bringuier who has just been wonderful and to Classic Airframes for graciously providing a sample of this most beautiful kit.

I can hardly wait to get started so I'm off to build a Falco ... and see you again for the conclusion of the final build.

Ciao for now.