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Several civil machines existed of the otherwise somewhat bellicose Caproni Ca.310 Libeccio in the late 30's. They participated in competitions and long distance raids. Of them, the most colorful was I-ENEI, that sported two different decorations. This colorful machine attracted my attention and as I was searching for a suitable kit I found the lovely Azur rendition. I bought the issue that even has a civil Norwegian registration, thus including the parts needed for the making of the civil machines (mainly a fuselage plug for where the dorsal turret was). When the kit arrived, I was pleasantly surprised with the contents, which include the said decals plus resin and photo-etched parts. The molds are very nice and with very good detail. More will be told as the build advances. An image of I-ENEI can be foud in the Gallica archives:

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k6553461s/f31.item.r="type 310"libeccio

Contents:

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IMG_9563 (1280x960)

 

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Parts are separated and given a cursory cleanup. Kids, don't do this at home:

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The resin bits are very easily separated from their casting blocks, the casting are really good:

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I stress the easiness of separating the parts from their bases, provided you know what you are doing and are using the right tools and are careful. No broken parts, no bubbles, no stubborn, extra large, extra heavy casting block. Nicely done, Azur (with Czech associates):

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The snowy bits, not necessary for this version, are gladly stored:

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Some of the bellicose bits are cast aside:

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The fuselage plug for the civil version. As you can see, it doesn't have the stringers' relief as the rest of the back. We'll see if this matches reality:

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Again, very nice surface detail:

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I am so far very happy with what I purchased.

Edited by Moa
Correct mistake
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Hi Chris: of course they are! shame on me! thanks for the correction.

 

I take the opportunity to note that I-ENEI will require the modification of the nose, to represent the "solid" one, blending into a roundish shape the small faceted widows at the tip, but other registrations, like I-LUAL, I-META, I-MOTO, I-ORSA, I-LUPA, I-ABMI (and the kit's LN-DAK) can keep the faceted note as comes in the kit, no need to modify. BUT many of them had a shield in front of the engine that regulated the passage of air, visible in photos.

The Golden Years registers mention many more civil Ca.310, but I did not find photos of them.

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The fuselage sides interior has nice detail:

IMG_9748 (1280x960)

 

The door is there and could be cut open, but was inside the civil raid versions? Only Gina Lollobrigida or Sofia Loren may know:

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You need six of those trumpeted engine air intakes, but you only get three with the resins. On the other hand, you need one machine gun, and you get three. Were the resins cast in the U.S.?:

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Normal plan, small things make bigger to help the modeler:

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 Very small parts depicted with small drawings, to help the pharmaceutical industry:

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 There is a photo of an interior of a civil machine, most likely intended for Ala Littoria. Not sure if it was ever delivered, but shows very nice seats, trays, a mini-bar and the three windows seen on the clear sprues, so it's good to have them, may be one day I'll make another civil version.
The raid version I am intending had none of those:

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The cockpit of the civil version was simpler compared to the bellicose version, which is fortunate, since I don't want to spend what remains of my eyesight dealing with it:

IMG_9756 (1280x960)

 

Edited by Moa
Correct mistake
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Luck favors the... ones that don't count on it an research the heck of it.

I found that four people where in I-ENEI, so first a light grey is given to the interior (to be able to proceed with P.E. detail):

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And then the two other seats are scratched:

IMG_9798 (1280x960)

 

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The civil version -as per the one photo that was shown to me- had two different types of control wheel. Fortunately, the kit has a circular part for the bellicose version that can be trimmed to exactly match the photo (to the left here):

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The slightly modified interior is completed:

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 Fuselage halves are glued together. The fit is excellent:

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Wing and stab halves are inspected, cleared of minor little imperfections, and glued together. Once again, excellent fit (do not forget to insert the wheel well ceilings -handed, by the way- before closing the wing):

IMG_9823 (1280x960)

 

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Whilst the transparencies are given the acrylic bath, the messiness starts with the putty and the sanding.

As I deal with this long, boring, time-consuming and deeply unappealing stage, I commissioned the necessary decals for the version I want.

Now I have two other models posted here (Boeing 247 and Miles Aerovan) in the painting stage and also waiting for the decals, besides this one that still needs quite an amount of work.

Fortunately a quick trial of the transparencies revealed a near-perfect canopy fit and a promising one on the clear nose that will need only a slight sanding of the fuselage (which is a bit bigger) to meet the clear part:

IMG_9968 (1280x960)

 

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The engines and cowls now:

The fit in general is good, but the exhausts took some fiddling:

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Notice that the kit provides only 3 small "trumpets", making the mistake of having forgotten that there are two engines (this was corrected on later re-issues). But even if the instructions call for three trumpets per engine, photos I found show only two, one on each side:

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To provide a comfortable fit, I had to thin with a drum the interior of the cowl, more precisely the aft part (the two parts that are glued together, not the front):

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The fit of the rear of the engine mount on the nacelle is very good:

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Make sure you completely understand how all these parts go together before assembling them. The instructions are not crystal-clear on this matter.

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Thanks, Gaz.

I like the sort of conditional clause "thus far" ;-)

We modelers soon learn that nothing is well done until it is done ;-)

Duty calls, so these three in-progress builds (Boeing 247, Miles Aerovan and Caproni Ca.310) will be in hiatus for a little while.

Ciao

 

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  • 1 month later...

After a brief hiatus -that most likely will repeat due to house remodeling- I was able to squeeze some little work on the model.

The clear nose surface is sanded smooth -since this civil version I am representing had a metal nose, not a glassed one- and then glued to the fuselage. The nose is sightly smaller than the fuselage, so you may add a former there or sand the fuselage down a bit. The canopy is glued in place. Its fit is near perfect, but needs to be squeezed laterally just a bit. Aftermarket masks have been purchased:

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The nose is blended with the fuselage front, masks are applied:

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The landing gear is installed in place, since the area where the legs go (nacelles and bellow tail) is painted in metallic colors too in this civil version. There is no diagram in the kit's box or instructions showing a front view to get the LG legs front position.  They don't drop vertically nor are they perpendicular to the dihedral plane (on factory drawings). They splay out apart just a smidgen from the vertical.

The kit doesn't have or shows provision for the installation of the tailwheel fork. I added a couple pieces of plastic to provide support. It puzzles me that some details are so well engineered and others are not.

The tailwheel is a fork with pips for the wheels hub, but the tailwheel doesn't have dimples, so I drilled the wheel axle through, for the pips to lock in:

IMG_1456 (1280x960)

 

Edited by Moa
to correct typos
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Some photo-etched parts that go on the landing gear (scissors and mudguard with braces) are glued in place. The mudguards are supposed to have compound curvature. Yeah, Azur, sure, you try that on a rigid PE part.

There are also (of course flat) P.E. counterweights for the three tail control surfaces. They were replaced with fine piano wire inserted into drilled locations. The one on the rudder has a small triangular reinforcement as per photos:

IMG_1495 (1280x960)

 

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It's always good to check photos of the original...where you may find out that the landing gear legs had no scissors, so those were removed:

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Given the complexity of the decoration on this civil version, after some head-scratching it was obvious that the simple approach of airbrushing a color, masking, and applying the other color, wouldn't work. It will have to be a 3-stage endeavor. First the fuselage side trim, karmans and tailwheel area needed to be painted and masked:

IMG_1769 (1280x960)

 

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