Chrozny Modelbud 1/72 CANT Z.504
Naval Fighter
by Richard Mendes

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The CANT Z.504 was a single-engine, two-seat biplane flying boat built in 1935 as a naval fighter. Considerably smaller than the Z.501, it was quite similar in general appearance despite the biplane configuration and radial engine. The pilot sat just forward of the shoulder-mounted lower wing, with an observer's position behind. The Z.504 carried two 7.7mm machine guns, one mounted inside the port side hull nose and the other near the mid-hull on a Scarff-ring-mount, operated by the observer. The Z.504 was to have been a catapult-launched from ships, but was not adopted by the Regia Marina.

The Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico ("CANT") Z.504 was a "canoe" wood hull tractor-engine biplane-seaplane stressed for shipboard catapult launching based on the 1927 CANT 25M (later CANT 25AR catapult launched with folding wings) "canoe pusher" designed by Raffaele Conflenti (1889-1946). The Z.504 was designed by Filippo Zappata (1894-1994) in response to a 1933 Regia Marina specification for a new marine reconnaissance aircraft, further development of the Z.504 was abandoned after the Industrie Meccaniche e Aeronautiche Meridionali ("IMAM") Ro.43 multi-pylon suspended over hull mixed construction biplane seaplane was selected.

On September 1, 1934 the sole Z.504 powered by a Piaggio P. IX R.C. 40 (licensed Gnome et Rhône 9K) radial first flew piloted by Mario Stoppani (1895-1959) subsequently exceeding competition specifications against the Aeronautica Macchi C.76, CMASA MF.10, Società Rinaldo Piaggio P.18 and P.20 whilst at the Vigna di Valle Naval Aircraft Experimental Center but nevertheless beaten by the "much more modern" Ro. 43. Following flight trials the Z.504 was flown to Portorose (Portorož, Slovenia then part of Italy) where presumably it was employed as a seaplane trainer and liaison aircraft before passing into history sadly unnoticed.

CANT 25M c.1927-30

Z.504 two-seat catapult biplane (MM.2406)


The 2005-vintage Choroszy Modelbud Z.504 resin kit is the only 1/72 scale model kit of the CANT Z.504. Well casted with good detail despite limited surviving information to produce molds with few issues were encountered building the kit other than mounting Pontoons on the lower main wings which was problematic.

Working from internet photos and kit assembly instructions Testors Flat Aluminum enamel paint was sprayed over all areas to the fuselage hull and pontoon waterlines, Flat Olive Green enamel below them. Testors "utility" Bronze, Rust et. al. flat enamels were employed for detail painting including the Tri-Color Olive Green, White, Red rudder in combination with model kit House of Savoy crests and fuselage fasci decals, Testors Model Master 2087 RLM 65 Propeller Blades, 2105 Dark Blue Gray Engine Crankcase Housing. No semi-gloss clear lacquer seal was sprayed on to avoid the model appearing toy-like.

All spray work was accomplished with Testors Aztek A320 Single & A470 Double Action airbrushes, 9304CX 0.30, 9305CX 0.40, 9306CX 0.50 mm spray nozzles. Large-area spraying was accomplished with 0.50 & 0.40 mm nozzles.

Technical Data

Aircraft: CANT Z.504
Manufacturer: Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico
Type: Fighter
Year: 1935
Engine: One Piaggio P.IX RC40 nine-cylinder radial 610 hp (449 kW )
Wingspan: 39 ft 5 in (12.00 m)
Length: 32 ft 2 in (9.81 m)
Weight: 3,411 lb (1,547 kg) (Empty)
Maximum Speed: 186 mph (300 km/h)
Armament: 2 machine guns
Crew: 2

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November, 2018
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