Retired In Kalifornia's Piaggio P.32 Model Builds

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RetiredInKalifornia
Generale di Divisone Aerea
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Retired In Kalifornia's Piaggio P.32 Model Builds

Post by RetiredInKalifornia » Mon Oct 23, 2023 7:52 am

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The Piaggio P.32 designed in 1934 first flew in 1936 at the hands of Giovanni Pegna powered by 825 hp Isotta Fraschini Asso XI R.C. 12-cylinder V-inline liquid-cooled engines. Modern for its day it later was redesignated by Piaggio as the P.32 I, 12 aircraft built (13 including the prototype, option for 5 more not picked up) delivering them to 37 Gruppo, 18 Stormo Bombardamento, in 1937. Underpowered because of high wing loading well as being generally unreliable operationally several were lost in crashes.

To improve aircraft performance Piaggio fitted 1,006 hp 14-cylander two-row Piaggio P.XI R.C.40 radials as the P.32 II, 12 aircraft built & believed delivered to 18 Stormo very early in 1938. The more powerful radials gave better rate of climb but increased weight meant no improvement in maximum speed, range dropping from 1,210 to 1,060 miles because of higher fuel consumption. Still underpowered & generally unreliable they along with surviving P.32 I’s withdrawn from service in April 1938 & reassigned as aircrew trainers those surviving withdrawn & scrapped sometime during 1939.

In addition to these aircraft the Piaggio P.32 Bis was a redesigned version, empty weight reduced from 14,010 to 12,566 lbs by slightly reducing overall size increasing top speed to 235 mph & ceiling to 20,669 ft with Isotta Fraschini Asso XI R.C.’s, 261 mph & 26,247 ft ceiling with Piaggio P.Xs R.C.40s. The prototype presumed fitted with Asso engines crashed on February 28 1938 killing the test pilot leading Piaggio to cancel further development.

In 1937 Società de Agostini e Caproni (also referred to as Società Caproni e Comitti) designed the Ca.405 Procellaria with Piaggio P.32 wings & new fuselage for the Istres-Damascus-Paris Air Race though not completed in time. Two were built one each Asso & P.XI’s their ultimate fates remain unknown.
Mystery Behind The LF Models Piaggio P.32 Model Kits - Original Productions Or No - Kit Builds

Wholly unaware of commercially produced scale models of the Piaggio P.32 and/or variants prior to 1996 that year KPL Models in business since at least 1979 & presumably of USA origin documented by Scalemates to have produced 44 other 1/72nd resin scale model kits of several nationalities, including the Italian Breda 88, Caproni CA.331 B, Caproni Vizzola F6M, FIAT Cansa (CANSA alternatively) FC.20, CR.20, CR.25 bis, CANT Z.1018, IMAM Ro.57, Reggiane 2005, SAI.207 & 403, Savoia-Marchetti SM.89, SM.91 & SM.92 released their Piaggio P.32 (i.e. P.32 I) kit molds of which & those of aforementioned Italian modeling subjects presumably rented or sold to Czechoslovakian et.al. national scale model makers possibly before or for sure after dissolution of the Warsaw Pact on July 1, 1991.

Wholly unaware as well of KPL’s existence prior to 2006 when I’d commenced Internet searching for & collecting Italian subject scale model kits for building sometime in 2011 or 2012 I’d stumbled upon the 2009-vintage 1/72nd Scale (supposed) new tooled LF Models Kit No.7284 Piaggio P.32 I & Kit No.7285 P.32 II with new parts (i.e. Piaggio P.XI radial engines, cowlings, et.al. parts). Having collected & built a few KPL Model resin models it’s logical - to me at least - the LF Models Piaggio P.32’s models either are from KPL molds or if not based on them only way my knowing are KPL & LF Models resin castings side-by-side to make mold design engineering comparisons but regardless I’d mail-ordered both kits from LF Models sometime during those years storing them away till could get around assembling them sometime in the future.

Mid-spring into June 2015 had built both LF Models Piaggio P.32 model kits. Molded in dense resin sprue ends of casted parts had to be deeply knife scored first then broken off, cast edges filed with metalworking files, coarse shape-sanded afterwards with commercial sanding papers, Testors Hobby Sanding Films employed for fine smoothing. Amongst the heaviest resin models I’d ever built cast parts bears prepping for assembly though “cooperative” whilst going so, decent alignments with fuselage main wing parts in particular making for very solid joins with cyanoacrylate glues, good quality castings not requiring much in way of putty filling & sanding over join gaps.

Unable at the time to find anything up on the Internet in way of camouflage paint schemes for the Piaggio P.32 followed the kit’s model painting instructions approximating CMPR Schema A1A Schema tipico a bande 1937 as seen on Savoia-Marchetti S.81s but employing Schema A1B Mimetico colors as seen on FIAT CR.32s in 1936 for spray painting model parts. Thanks to good castings no priming painting was necessary before spraying on Humbrol enamels, considering how difficult it was prepping cast parts for assembly painting them afterwards went of extremely well, going extremely well also was cutting, edge sanding & aligning clear vacuformed styrene cockpit canopy et.al. parts for gluing on the fuselage & masking with Scotch Magic Mending Tape for spray painting afterwards. Model kit decals were good quality holding up well till giving the P.32 models away on June 16, 2021.


Photographs Taken July 23, 2017

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Photos Taken June 2, 2021

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