Germany, USSR, USA, Japan, and Great Britain. These are the nations most people think of immediately when asked about aircraft in WW2. Despite being one of the ‘key nations’ involved, no-one ever really talks about Italy’s contributions to aviation at that time.
Italy was in a really bizarre place. Trapped in an aged mindset, they refused enclosed cockpits when they initially arrived. They had an odd romanticism with the initial eras of flying when compared to any other country. This led to Italy having a unique (read: massively outdated) airforce for much of the war. It’s funny to think that had Italy pushed for aerial innovation the war could have been quite different.
Previously we’ve talked about the SM79 and why it means so much to me. I had built both this and a MC200 (which sadly I never properly photographed properly or reviewed) …the unique vintage flair of Italian aviation just does it for me.
The Fiat CR42 was one of the best biplane fighters ever produced. It was sold to the nations of Belgium, Sweden, Spain, and Italy – with the Regia Aeronautica. The aircraft we are looking at today was one that took part in the Battle of Britain (which most people forget Italy were even involved in, but I digress).
The kit was made by Italeri and unlike usual I have very few photos of the kit. Due to a hard drive failure I lost half the footage and all build pictures – so for once I’ll give you my thoughts on the kit and let you watch the video. Normally I’d do a much more detailed write up, but it’s hard without showing you the pics!
Construction is genuinely a joy. I was worried that it would be fiddley or hard, but it was actually really easy and fun. I really found it straight forward and the instructions by Italaeri are hands down some of the easiest instructions to read and follow. The views are simple to follow and well laid out, and no steps had too many parts (something other manufacturers do).
The cockpit itself is one of the nicest I’ve seen. With decals almost making up for no etch parts. It looks fantastic. This is a large biplane but it radiates 30’s class.
The colours used for the painting were a base ayer of Revell Aqua Color 88 Ocker (Ochre Brown). I tried to follow the patterns of the aircraft for the Battle of Briatina camo and used 361 Olivgrun (Olive Green) and 82 Dark Earth. After this I di a light wash of 88 Ocker (Ochre) again. This helps unify the colours – but in hindsight I wish I had done it more. This was sealed by a satin varnish.
The final touches are pretty much just the decals. These are easy to use, fairly malleable, and well pigmented. I was pleased with how easy they were to use and how great they look on the model.
Buy or Fly?
I fully believe that this model should be bought on site. It’s such a charismatic aircraft and an easy build. It cost me about €14 and I don’t regret the amount I spent. It was so insanely fun to build such a handsome little devil.