Fiat BR-20 box art 9-5

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Fiat BR-20 box art 9-5

Post by Spruester » Thu Mar 28, 2024 1:15 pm

Hello I was directed to this very nice forum. I'm searching for a photo of a Fiat BR-20 9-5 9th Squadron, 25th Group the plane on the box art of the Special hobby kit in this article. Any information is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

https://www.hyperscale.com/2010/reviews ... in%20areas.

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Re: Fiat BR-20 box art 9-5

Post by Editor » Thu Mar 28, 2024 4:43 pm

Welcome to Stormo and thank you for your post.

There are two photos (below) of this plane with and without the white band and both with the Savoy cross. The first photo (ADI #23) without the white band was taken sometime between the start of the war and before the end of 1940. The second photo (Courage Alone) was taken February 1941 (Courage Alone says June 1940, but this is incorrect since the white band was not in effect at this time and the plane would have been carrying the tri-colors on the rudders). ADI #23 also provides a profile of this plane (below 3rd image) in the late-Serie Mimetica colors. I also posted the ADI #23 profile of 23-21 (4th image) of the Aviazione Legionaria in Spain in the early-Serie Mimetica colors.









The first thing to note in the first photo-caption is MM.21247. This plane was a Serie III machine and was built between May 1937 - January 1938 so it probably looked like 23-21 above (w/ early-Serie Mimetica colors; field applied to the first three a/c in Spain):

Giallo Mimetico 1, Verde Mimetico 1 and Marrone Mimetico 1

The Special Hobby instructions say: Giallo Mimetico 2, Verde Oliva Scuro 2 and Marrone Mimetico 2. The obvious problem here is that Verde Oliva Scuro 2 didn't appear in official communications until mid-1941 and wasn't seen/documented on RA planes until the end of 1941. On later aircraft (e.g., G.50, CR.42) FIAT began using Giallo Mimetico 3, Verde Mimetico 3 and Marrone Mimetico 2, the late-Serie Mimetica (darker) colors around 1940 so I'm not sure where Special Hobby got their color suggestions from other than the colors were guessed at?

Also there are no known instances where paints were mixed (Serie Mimetica + Tavola X) and obviously VOS2 didn't exist when the plane was manufactured and still didn't appear when the photo with the white band was taken. btw the Classic Airframes kit shares the same color problems wrt GAC1 (at least this color) - I didn't check any of the Classic Airframes profiles in the review because I don't have the instructions for this kit. Another thing to note is the serial number "MM.2124" given in the instructions, obviously incorrect but also repeated for subject C – missing the last digit clearly, possibly on both since the Serie III batch spanned MM.21241-21288 with MM.21241 & 21242 = BR.20A.

I should point out that by autumn 1940 the BR.20 was phased out from frontline service, replaced by the BR.20M. Some BR.20s were overhauled and brought to BR.20M standard (where the late Serie Mimetica colors may have been introduced, although the second photo of 9-5 still shows a BR.20) while the others were used in secondary roles such as reconnaissance, liaison and (mostly) training. However if you examine closely the camo around the unit badge of 9-5, splotches of Verde mimetico in the two photos of 9-5 appear to match which suggests the early-Serie Mimetica colors were still present when the plane was photographed in Feb 1941 - not surprising because it’s still a BR.20. The second photo (in flight) was probably taken with (stacked?) filters that darkened the green in the orthochromatic film that was used at the time and note the sandy-yellow base in the same photo, its almost white.

Some of these issues should have been pointed out or discussed in the review but as a rule don't rely solely on reviews (of any subject), check the comments of modelers who have built the kit (there are many good ones on this site) + related forum discussions.

One final note, spend some time looking through Stefano's VITO charts (on this site) and search "Fiat Br.20" and "Br.20" to get the VITO chart equivalents for this plane e.g., Bruno mimetico (as suggested by the VITO charts) is quiet a bit darker than the CMPR Verde. And one more final note, often this plane BR.20/M is (wrongly) portrayed as being easily lit on fire, however this reputation stems from Japanese use of this plane who removed the self-sealing tanks and replaced them with larger metal vat-like fuel cells for extended range that as you might imagine easily ignited, even from a single well-placed shot - this was a common problem with almost all Japanese aircraft.

I hope this helps.

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Best To Y'All On The Special Hobby FIAT BR.20 Build...

Post by RetiredInKalifornia » Thu Mar 28, 2024 8:41 pm

...Sample photos of my Italeri 1/72nd Builds:

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Two late-issue Italaerei models were destroyed when accidentally dumped whole open bottle of liquid styrene glue on table it wicked up by unassembled painted parts c.2007 :shock: :oops: Replacement Italeri kits had near inch-long longer flight deck part than the Italaerei ones me thinks to provide a spot for the dorsal turret gunner figure to stand on, off hand can't remember if either kit had any figures! The Cicogna was a favorite of mine despite its obsolescence a handfull surviving into early post-war period as transports & trainers.

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Re: Fiat BR-20 box art 9-5

Post by Spruester » Fri Mar 29, 2024 10:55 am

Thank you for the fast and thorough reply. I didn't realize the instruction colors are incorrect, thanks for that. What are your thoughts for the lower surface color? Many thanks.

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Re: Fiat BR-20 box art 9-5

Post by Editor » Fri Mar 29, 2024 5:54 pm

The lower surface colors are tricky because aluminum often renders as a white-tint in black and white photos. Below are three photos of aluminum BR.20s. Focus on the area around the retractable ventral gun; its a dull-white and compare these photos to the second photo in my original reply. Undersurfaces of RA aircraft up to about 1940 were either silver dope for fabric covered aircraft (e.g. CR.42), left unpainted in metal aircraft (BR.20) or painted Grigio-Mimetico. I should have mentioned BR.20s were also painted in 2-tone schemes (as Richard illustrated above) which were almost always a darker-tone (dense mottles of Verde) and the C3 scheme (see Richard's first model above) which used a Verde Mimetico 53192 base w/ splotches of Verde Mimetico 2-3.






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Woulda...Couda...

Post by RetiredInKalifornia » Fri Mar 29, 2024 6:36 pm

...Shoulda painted a "Mimetico" Cicogna model with metal, presumed Alluminio overpainted, undersides Vince, didn't appreciate till now some weren't repainted GM or GAC1. Offhand can't remember if I'd ever built any large camouflaged Regia Aeronautica Italiana model sporting Alluminio undersides, did build number of fighters as such.

Schema C3 BTW was one of my favorites on as many model builds possible photo documented having employed it far back as 1966. Very soon after buying Profile 64 Aeronautica Macchi C.200 that year most crudely convered an AIRLINES FROG C.202 into a C.200 with AIRLINES FROG B-25 Mitchell model engine parts it being one of my early Binks Wren single-action airbrushing disasters with Pactra enamels, this before the Revell C.200 came on the market some months later.

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Re: Fiat BR-20 box art 9-5

Post by Editor » Fri Mar 29, 2024 7:21 pm

It takes years studying this topic to appreciate the complexity of it. GAC1 was only applied to very late production Serie BR.20M, there were no BR.20s with GAC1 undersides. I believe all the CR.42s in the BoB had silver-dope undersides. Fiat likely used-up whatever silver dope it had stock piled before using anything else but keep in mind silver dope doubled as a paint-primer (for fabric), there's a chance that no CR.42s (or few) were painted w/ Grigio Mimetico undersurfaces. Here's Harvey's I-Shiki BR.20 (Ruth) with unpainted lower surfaces (I don't think you've seen this build before):

https://stormomagazine.com/ModelArticle ... HL_1a.html

I'm leaning toward the view that the early-Serie Mimetica colors (Giallo Mimetico 1) were strictly applied to SCW machines, continental planes always appear darker (Giallo Mimetic 3 + the greens).

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Hmmm...

Post by RetiredInKalifornia » Fri Mar 29, 2024 9:24 pm

...Critically looking again at period B/W & Color photos can now accept Alluminio undersides on most "Mimetico" FIAT CR.42s considering as well good number were built pre-war presumably before it became important to overpaint with neutral sky colors for making them harder to spot whenever turning away from the sun. FIAT G.50s also me thinks had Alluminio undersides, did build one Airfix model sporting the color, some Macchi C.200s me thinks also sported Alluminio undersides. If in fact more "Mimetiico" Regia Aeronautica Italiania aircraft than I'd realized sported Alluminio undersides then good number of my model builds are in serious error! I don't have them anymore to physically remind me, photos of them yes but don't want to electronically erase them IF indeed am wrong!

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Re: Fiat BR-20 box art 9-5

Post by Editor » Sat Mar 30, 2024 9:07 am

Its hard to tell the difference between the two. The 1937 directive states Grigio Mimetico undersurfaces but crash reports (e.g. BoB) indicate silver/aluminum undersurfaces even on new planes as late as 1940/41. G.50 undersurfaces were also left unpainted (see below: FIAT G.50bis/AS Serie V, MM.5947 352-3, 352a Sq., 20o Gruppo, 51o Stormo) and this seems to have been an attribute of Fiat products (and also SIAI e.g. S.79). In some b&w photos (e.g. Re.2000 aboard the RM Miraglia, shiny metal undersurfaces and paint demarcation lines are visible) the metal undersurfaces can be seen and in color photos also (the opposite - GM). An area worth researching to place bookmarks around who did what and when - fascinating stuff for the RA aficionado (as Jean would say) :esmile: .

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Yeppers...

Post by RetiredInKalifornia » Sat Mar 30, 2024 11:41 am

...Trapezoidal bare metal patch on forward rudder certainly adds cred to bare or Alluminio-painted undersides on FIAT G.50s! This still capture from a 14 year old English-language montage YouTube video of wartime Italian fighters clearly shows color contrasts of an early production canopied Macchi C.200's starboard main landing gear outer & inner covers, former presumably bare metal or Alluminio, latter presumably Verde Anticorrosione (VA):

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The engine cowling & carburetor intake appears to be solid green though whilst viewing the video note they're wrap-around mottle camouflaged ala the fuselage. Also note the wheel yoke color is darker than the wheel hub suggesting it also might had been VA-painted or another metallic color. Most unfortunately my 1/72nd canopied C.200 kit builds done over decade ago sport GM undersides, now wished I'd "done the homework" whilst building them :cry:

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And In Closing, For Now...

Post by RetiredInKalifornia » Sat Mar 30, 2024 12:57 pm

Long-time up YouTube Istituto Luce documentary video of FIAT A-74 engine & G.50 factory production of late serie Freccias presumably in Tavola X colors. Though a highly staged production one must admire the craftsmanship of Italian laborers skilled & otherwise under trying wartime conditions, one reason I'd for 60 years now have admired Italian aircraft designs. Imperial Japan also rates in my book having years past build number of wartime Army & Navy aircraft models, operational Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryū & Kyūshū J7W Shinden prototypes in particular.

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Re: Fiat BR-20 box art 9-5

Post by Editor » Sat Mar 30, 2024 1:21 pm

Here are some color photos of the C.200 (below). btw the patch on the G.50 leading edge fin is white (part of a painted over CMASA Savoy cross), and likely a CMASA built machine although its MM (? - not clearly visible but identified as MM.5947) says its an Aeritalia machine.

In the photos below the first one is a SAI-Ambrosini-built C.200 in the Spring 1943, note the lower surface paint. Also note the fuselage and front yellow cowling; the yellow cowling is notably darker than the rest of the plane - GM3 (?) while Macchi used GM4 - possible mixing of parts. Note the sand filter carb + oil rad. The second photo is well known, taken in Russia; C.200s with C8 camo, note the color of the landing gear doors and prop blades - this is probably what Grigio Mimetico looked like (blue-gray). And the third one, an overhaul in the open, note the wing-undersides GAC1 with Verde anticorrosion wheel wells - an example of GAC1 although the photo appears saturated and from far away could be mistaken as metal.

There are photos of C.200 Serie I/II that seem to suggest unpainted lower surfaces (e.g. a line up C.200s at Treviso) although by 1941 C.200s were definitely painted. The C.200 isn't a plane normally associated with unpainted lower surfaces, although this doesn't mean the planes weren't, just more evidence is needed to verify this.

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Ooopsie!

Post by RetiredInKalifornia » Sat Mar 30, 2024 4:29 pm

Editor wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2024 1:21 pm
Here are some color photos of the C.200 (below). btw the patch on the G.50 forward rudder is white (part of a painted over CMASA Savoy cross), and likely a CMASA built machine although its MM (? - not clearly visible but identified as MM.5947) says its an Aeritalia machine.
Darn Vince! Didn't catch that till y'all pointed that out! So much for my below-novice photo interpretation skills :oops: Is what looks like chipped camo farther down the rudder possibly bare metal?

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Re: Fiat BR-20 box art 9-5

Post by Editor » Sat Mar 30, 2024 4:36 pm

The rudder is from an Aeritalia machine and ground grew painted over the rest of the cross on the fin. If you look closely verde overlaps some of the white. I should also mention, if the Fiat G.50 MM is correct then the opposite is true i.e., the fin is from a CMASA machine.

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Oh Yes, Thanks For Pointing That Out!

Post by RetiredInKalifornia » Sat Mar 30, 2024 5:02 pm

Editor wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2024 4:36 pm
The rudder is from an Aeritalia machine and ground grew painted over the rest of the cross. If you look closely verde overlaps some of the white.
Middle C.200 photo cowing green mottle appears different as well. I didn't build any Italian model subjects with replacement parts painted in different camo patterns, should had done one "just to say" :wink:

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