Fiat CR.42 “Falco”

Details

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Again a kit acquired at the Skyway Model Shop, second hand but complete. This Italeri release has a beautiful photographic reference manual in it, with dozens of detailed photos and reference schemes for nine aircrafts.

Also, it’s a biplane. I literally don’t remember when it was last time I build a biplane. Must have been in the 70s.

This kit  has a fairly detailed  interior that was a breeze to  put  together:

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Painted:

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And assembled:

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I then positioned the cockpit in the fuselage halves and proceeded to glue it together:

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After the fuselage started to take shape, it was time to put together the various sub-assemblies: landing gears and engines, basically. This is a fairly simple model, but I  want to push myself a little in the finishing section.

So here is the engine, first all  its parts:

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Then the cowling painted medium yellow:

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The first assembly:

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And the final engine block with the propeller:

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With the engine assembly  done, I  turned my attention to painting the  fuselage, landing gear, struts  and wings.

I  recently found that  Tamiya produces a series of spray cans with classic aircraft colors (the AS series). I purchased cans of TS-3 (Dark yellow, very close to Nocciola Chiaro 4 for Regia Aeronautica overall surfaces), AS-5 (Light blue, very close  to RLM76 and the same as Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 2), and AS-24 (Dark green Luftwaffe, RLM75). In the tradition of Tamiya primers and sprays, they are just awesome.

I quickly  sprayed white on the rear part  of the  fuselage, masked it to represent the white band, sprayed light blue on the undersurfaces, masked that and finally painted dark yellow the rest of the kit.

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At this point the project stalled.

I know I wanted to reproduce a specific camouflage pattern, but I also knew that my airbrush skills were  just not up  to par to do that.

This is my target:

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And this is a sample of my airbrush skills:

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Clearly not compatible.

So I went  into a fact finding mission on the internets and gathered all  sorts  of useful, interesting and – in the end – completely contradictory advice.

So trial and errors was the strategy I had to use. Mostly on the errors side, I have to admit.

In the end, I found that a combination of Iwata Neo CN, compressor pressure of ~20psi, 10 drops of Vallejo Model Air paint, and 2 drops of Vallejo reducer (62.066) worked for me. Basically start spraying away from the model (to avoid the initial splash) and then just go to town constantly moving with epileptic hand jerkings

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Not entirely awful. Did this  with dark green and dark brown provided a result that was quite close to what I wanted to achieve in the first place.

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After removing all the masking tapes and cover the kit with Testors Glasscote, I got to a place that makes me somehow proud.

These are all the sub-assemblies ready to be put together and finished.

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The decals included in the Italeri kit are great. They went up easily on the glossy surface of the wings and the fuselage and they didn’t need a lot of Micro Set to conform to the surfaces.

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The next step was to put together the two wings. Fiddly business.

I started laying down all the struts in the exact configuration as they were supposed to be on the finished aircraft, then put a drop of Model Master Liquid Cement in each of the upper wing lower holes. I waited a bit for the glue to set and then put the lower wing (with the fuselage attached on top of the awaiting struts.

Carefully flipped the whole thing over and let it set.

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I walked out of the room quietly, flipped the lights off and let it sleep for the night.

The next day, I checked the situation and was pleasantly surprised that the whole thing set down properly aligned.

So, off to the landing gear. Again, not super easy to put together, but – after the wing struts – this was a walk in the park.

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A bit of paint touch up here and there, added the propeller and the model was ready for the final matte coat.

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The model is so finished, except for rigging. I have tried to use EZ-line on other models, for the antenna on the Macchi C.205 and the Messerschmitt Bf109G-6, and it worked fine, but I need to step up my game for rigging between struts. I’m letting the model stand like this for a couple of days and I’ll try again…

To close, here’s a group photo of my Regia Aeronautica Project so far:

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