Inbox Review: Classic Airframes 1/48 Fiat CR.32 (Foreign Service)
by Dan Salamone
Box Art:
5 (very fine gates for limited run)
Quality of Recessed Panel Lines:
5 (includes some very nice hinge lines on cowl)
Quality of Plastic:
Quality of Resin Parts:
5 (slight damage to cooling fins in transit)
Quality of Photoetched Parts:
Brief History (Instructions):
5 (in register, large and colorful sheet)
Suggested Color/Camo Accuracy:
Overall Detail:
5 (great use of resin and photo etch)
Overall Accuracy:
4.5 (new resin cowl is vastly superior to original kit)
Bang-for-your-buck: 5
Kit Specs:
Catolgue No.: 4106
Model: Fiat CR.32 (Foreign Service)
Manufacturer: Classic Airframes
List Price: $39.95 (US)
Subject Type: Fighter
Year (kit): 2005
Scale: 1/48
Plastic Parts: 40 parts (some to be replaced by resin, or new tool parts)
Resin Parts: 21 parts
Clear Parts: 1 injection molded canopy
Photoetched/Accessories: 12 color, 26 standard
Target Audience: Medium Skilled - Skilled
Decals: Microscale, 5 options
Tooling: Hybrid, old tool for wings, all else new tool
Panel Lines: Recessed
Weighted Tires: No
Using Ali D’Italia #4 on the CR.32 as my main reference, I have compared the main kit parts to the line drawings found in this book. The kit parts compare favorably with the plans in this reference, with two small exceptions. First, the new resin tailplanes and elevators (separate parts) are slightly shorter in span than the drawings. Second, the new resin engine cowl is slightly longer than the drawings (and the injection molded fuselage is slightly shorter). The discrepancy in both cases is a scale three inches….and in the case of the cowl and fuselage combination, the two parts together equal the length of the drawings in Ali D’Italia. As of writing, this is the worst thing I can say about this new kit in the box…somehow I don’t think I will lose any sleep tonight either. Using the same book, and a few other references, the overall shape of the parts capture the appearance of the real aircraft in this modelers’ eyes.

As for detail, the new tool injection molded parts show very nice detail as far as panel lines, and the fabric effect on the fuselage is perfect to my tastes. The “old” wing parts also have subdued fabric effect, and once under primer and paint should look very realistic. To top it all off, the new resin rudder, tailplanes and elevators also show this subtle fabric detail, a great job of meshing old and new parts. The new fuselage has fine access panel detail, as well as the cockpit coaming which is better represented on this new release.

The kit instructions will have you remove the injection molded rudder and replace it with the new resin part. This resin rudder has the small fairing on top as seen on the Bis and other versions, the rudder as molded to the fuselage is appropriate for aircraft seen with the smooth, rounded off rudder type. The new resin tailplanes do have locator pins unlike the original plastic parts.

In my mind the aspect of this new kit that really sets it apart from the original is the engine cowl. The fidelity of detail is amazing, including the cooling fins, vents, and gun blast tubes. In addition, the part includes the exhaust vents that were missing from the top surface of the cowl in the original release. The accuracy of the outline also matches well to the Ali D’Italia drawings, from both a frontal view as well as from the vertical plane.

One other nice touch is the inclusion of the lower wing guns of the “bis” version. There are four resin parts, two of which are the gun barrels. The fairings are very thin and match the detail as seen on pages 14 and 15 of the Ali D’ Italia book.

To complete this very attractive offering is the large and colorful decal sheet that contains five C&M options. Two are overall silver dope/natural aluminum (and actually the same aircraft at different points in time), Luftwaffe and Austrian. The two Hungarian options are the most colorful, especially V.157 of 2/3 Wespe Squadron. Finally there is a Chinese Fiat, and though it is in overall “olive drab” the inclusion of the colorful Chinese roundels is attractive. Please note that to model this aircraft you’ll need to shave off the cooling fins found on the forward portion of the cowl.

As far as I can tell, from the parts in this kit you can model the following versions: Preserie-China, Ter, Bis, Quarter, and because of the separate wheels and spats, Scuola. With the use of the CMK resin detail set for the original Classic Airframes CR.32 you can also model the Africa Settentrionale version with fuselage mounted bombs and supplemental chin radiator. That said, this last version may well be covered in a future release of this series…one can only hope.

To summarize, this new release from Classic Airframes is a definite step up from the initial release of the CR.32. The molding of the plastic parts is much more refined, the addition of highly detailed and useful resin and photo etch parts means the kit will be well detailed out of the box. The choices on the decal sheet cover a wide array of colorful, and sometimes obscure Fiats that should please any modeler. This model comes highly recommended for anybody interested in the type.

Thanks to Classic Airframes for the review sample. Thanks also to Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman for providing images of the box art, PE set markings and decals.
The subject for this inbox review is the just released Classic Airframes Fiat CR.32 (foreign service), kit #4106. This kit will be the first in a series of newly tooled kits of this subject matter, and much like the recent new series of CR.42 Falcos, this new release supplants the original release.

Lets start with the main differences between the new kit and the older release. This kit has a new tool injection molded fuselage, separate wheels and spats, wing struts and prop/spinner. In addition there is a variety of resin parts, including cockpit parts, and an all new resin engine cowl section that encompasses the entire engine region of the real aircraft. There is also the option of installing the lower wing gun bulges as seen on the Bis version. More on this later…… There are two small photo etch frets, one in color (instrument panel and seat harness included), and the windshield included in this kit is injection molded, rather than the twin vacuform windscreens in the original.

The feature that the two releases share are the wing, tailplane and wheel parts. However, the only parts to be used from this sprue are the upper and lower wings as the new tailplanes are molded in resin.
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