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Classic Airframes new 1/48 scale
Fiat CR.42 Falco

by Phil Hale

Fiat CR.42 Falco


Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Fiat CR 42 kits may be ordered online from Squadron



For a detailed examination of the kit contents, see Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman's in-box review here on HyperScale.

Iím back with another new release from Classic Airframes. One has to say that Jules has certainly been busy this year with several new and exciting releases. Let me put your fears aside, this is a totally new tooled CR 42.

The surface detail is outstanding with finely engraved panel lines and excellent texture for the fabric surfaces. The kit contains the usual excellent decal sheet with 5 colorful schemes including the prototype. Wanting to be a little different, I chose the Foligno Fighter School scheme.

More about that later.





The cockpit is made up of resin and photo-etched parts. The resin is first rate and the photo-etch is from Eduard. Some of the photo-etched parts are from Eduardís pre-painted line including seat belts and instrument panels. The green seems a little too dark to me but then again Iím not an expert on Italian machines. There are plenty of details to create an outstanding cockpit straight from the box but there is still room for all you super detailers to work your magic.

The windscreen is injection molded and with a little polishing or a bath in Future makes it crystal clear.

The engine is mostly resin and is beautiful. A photo-etched ring and push rods finishes the engine. All of the cylinders are separate pieces and fit into holes in the crankcase. I used the Ali D-Italia book as a reference and highly recommend it. The engine is good out of the box but once again there is room to detail. It fits into the two piece cowling perfectly. Donít forget to trim the ejector pins as they will interfere with the proper placement of the engine. Sometimes with resin engines, you may have to sand down the tops of the cylinder heads to make it fit but this is not necessary with this kit. You will need to sand the seams on the cowling carefully as not to lose any of the teardrop fairings. No replacements are given in the kit. Back to the cockpit. The cockpit can be assembled and then fit to one side of the fuselage. You may want to test fit this area to ensure a perfect fit. I had to lightly sand the right side of the cockpit floor to get a perfect fit. Donít forget to clip off or dremel the ejector pins. They donít interfere with the fit of the cockpit but the one closest to the tail will keep the fuselage from fitting. As I said before the cockpit detailing is excellent especially the seat belts. They even include the chain assembly. I had to scratch build the rudder bar as I lost the photo-etched piece in the carpet. I figure Iíll find it when Iím bare-footed and it slices my big toe off. Photo-etch is a love-hate relationship.


Assembly is fairly straight forward. I needed a little filler at the wing/ fuselage seam. You need to test fit this area as I had to sand the mating surface on the fuselage to make the lower one piece wing fit better. It still required a little filler and sanding to achieve a good joint. The rear stabilizers are butt joints and this does not present any major problems. The upper wing is one piece and solid. I cleaned the mold lines off and it was ready to paint. Clean up of the struts takes a little time. They are very fragile and need to be treated with care. The CR 42 has very little rigging because of the struts. Each wing has four main struts that form a ďvĒ shape and then two sets of fuselage struts. This is the only problem area on this model. The struts need to be painted the underside color and I chose to paint before installing them. I glued the fuselage struts to the fuselage before painting and while trying to attach the upper wing, I realized that they were too long. I had to trim them to get the proper height of the wing from the top of the fuselage. I trimmed over a sixteenth of an inch off of each strut. Here again a good set of plans will be invaluable. I would recommend filling in the locator holes on the wings and making new ones. Make use of the plans in the Ali DíItalia book and they will help to locate the positions for the struts. There is no easy way to attach these struts but with patience and time you can get them to fit good. Donít forget to rig the outboard struts. The inboard fuselage struts have been reversed on the instruction sheet. The instructions would have you place them on the fuselage in an inverted ďvĒ but they should form a ďvĒ with the single attachment point at the bottom of the ďvĒ. See page 8 of the Ali Dí Italia book for the proper placement. There is a great photo at the top right. It shows a CR 42 during construction and shows the strut placement.

Youíll also need to make the machine gun blast tubes and place them in the upper forward fuselage. There are vents on either side of the cowling in the forward lower wing fairing. Youíll need to make these yourself. They are an odd oval shape. Take care adding the photo-etched exterior details as they are fragile but they really enhance the appearance of the model. Since I picked the trainer version, I had to cut the wheel spats off the landing gear legs and use the optional exposed gear forks. There are beautiful photo-etched oleo scissors provided and it is a shame not to use them.



Painting and Markings


I chose the Foligno fighter School scheme because of the large white bands on the wings and fuselage. The Ali DíItalia book shows the fuselage and wing bands but I could not find any info about the underside. I could not tell if the bands extend to the underside of the upper wing or if they were on the lower side of the lower wing.



The painting guide shows them too far inboard and too wide. I refer to the Ali DíItalia book again for the proper placement. From what few pictures I could find, it seems as though the inboard edge of stripe is aligned with the inboard edge of the aileron and extend outboard towards the wing tip. All this is just nit picking and it may be that they were all sizes and locations. If you have any info concerning this, please let me know.





I am not going to even attempt to claim that I know very much about Italian aircraft. I love Macchi 200ís, 202ís, 205ís and such but I have to have advice when I building them. My attempt here is only to show you that with a little more effort and patience, these kits can be built into an attractive display.

Are they perfect? No, but they can be turned into a masterpiece if you desire.

I like a little challenge in my life and I like knowing that Iíve built something that not everybody else has built. Take a chance and if you like Italian aircraft get a few of these. Youíll enjoy the results.

Special thanks to Jules Bringuier and Bob Asbury for the Itatlian advice and thanks to Walt Holmes for the photo advice.

Dr. Phil

Thanks to Classic Airframes for the sample


Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images: 

Italian Aces of World War 2
Aircraft of the Aces 34
Author: Giorgio Apostolo
Illustrator: Richard Caruana
US Price: $19.95
UK Price: £12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 November 25, 2000
Details: 96 pages; ISBN: 1841760781
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Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2004 by Phil Hale
Page Created 13 December, 2004
Last Updated 13 December, 2004

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