I suppose that most of the people surfing Stormo have a certain knowledge of this atypical fighter of the Regia Aeronautica.  Even with lesser performance than its Italian stable mates, it was a "first" in many regards, including retractable undercarriage, enclosed canopy  (on the Serie I). Flying Machines provides the modeler with a new range of G.50, advantageously replacing the not so good Hasegawa/Secter kit.  It includes typical short-run molding, plus great resin parts and photoetch for the long neglected Italian seat belts.  I invite you to follow the step by step the assembly of this model with photos to illustrate what I did to obtain a better replica than one built from out-of-the-box.

The Interior Cockpit
What is provided in the kit is very much all right if you leave the side doors closed. In our case the doors will be open. I have made good use of some left over parts from Italian Classic G.50 I built some years ago. Most of the pneumatic bottles are from the spare box or are made from scratch; the trim wheel should not be attached to the left side console but should stand along side the seat. I could have painted all this Griggio Azzuro Chiaro, but because it was an early bird I did use the classical Verde Anti Corrosione.  A wash of raw umber diluted with turpentine gave some depth of field to the details.  I strongly suggest to glue the G.50 tail to each half fuselage half before assembling; it'll save you a lot of sweat!
Technical Data:
Fiat G.50
Fiat S.A.
Fiat A.74 RC 38, 14-cyclinder radial, air-cooled, 870hp
36 ft (10.98 m)
25 ft 7 in (7.80 m)
9 ft 8 1/2 in (2.95 m)
5,280 lb (2,395 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed:
294 mph (473 km/h) at 19,685 ft (6,000 m)
35,200 ft (10,700 m)
420 miles (675 km)
2 x 12.7mm (0.5 in) SAFAT machine guns
Flying Machines 1/48 Fiat G.50 Serie II Freccia
Balkan Arrow
by Jean Barby
Click the STORMO! Eagle to return to the Gallery
The Engine
An exquisite piece of resin allows you to duplicate the Fiat A74 engine.  Oil lines and pushrods are respectivly electric wires and plastic rods. I painted the gear box in neutral grey before assembling the cylinders, those were also treated that way before cutting them from the sprue.
You have to adjust the resin wheel bay to the wings and take great care of the joint.  A lot of cyano and putty were used for that. I decided to lower the wing flaps.  After removing the kit parts I did a lot of sanding and cuttingt with an X-acto blade to the wing edges, in order to make them as thin as possible. The flaps themselves come from the Italian Classic set but are designed for the Hasegawa kit, and are too short.  Some plastic card and a ruler is all that you need for that operation. The tail was also glued in place and sanded smooth.

The cowling is a one piece of resin, pretty delicate and beautifuly cast. The first problem was with the engine. It fits OK to the cowling but the part to be fixed on the fuselage is too short. In turn the propeller will be in contact with the cowling when put in place. I overcame this by placing the engine in the right position, then, using small squares of plastic, fixed it forever inside the cowling. That was the first step.  The second problem is with the sit of the cowling/engine  ensemble.  When put in place as the instructions suggest, it sit too far back, hiding the side louvres of the fuselage when those louvres should be plenty visible. The solution is to build a "lip" with plasticard and epoxy putty to give support to the cowling.  Proceed with this method and patience! The result speaks for itself!
Lead wire is used to simulate the break line. Legs are too short and need some extra length to reach the underwing station. Always drill a hole and insert some metal wire to reinforce those always fragile parts. The tail wheel broke two times despite this trick!
Painting the Model
Before starting the painting process, I must write some explanations. Those planes from the 354 Squadriglia arrived in Tirana during the Albanian campaign with the typical three tone camo from Fiat. Giallo Mimetico 3 with Verde mimetico 2 and Marrone Mimetico, and Griggio Mimetico undersides. In the field however and to blend into the surrounding mountainuous environment, these planes were overpainted with a random spray of green.  And this is exactly what I did. During this exercise I ran into a lot of trouble  with my airbrushes and I felt sometimes like throwing the "Freccia" against the wall for a last flight!  After a full night of sleep I went back in a better mood and I am quite satisfied with the result.
The final pictures were taken outside with heavy storms in the sky.  Mud was simulated with MIG pigments and turpentine using the pictures of the old immagini book as a reference.  No upper wings fasces on the 354 Sq. planes!
Final details were added after weathering and they concern the propeller and hub (scratch), the flaps, actuators (plasticard), pitot tubes and navigation lights (copper tube cut to length, a thin transparent sprue is glued inside, then a lighter brought to contact, and there you are!) Exhausts were drilled in plastic tubes of the right diameter and painted rust.   The Breda Safat are from Karaya Cal50 tubes, with copper wire for the muzzle.

January, 2008
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