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Giorgio N

Fiat/CMASA G.50B

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I know, when I first expressed interest in this Group Build I had a different Fiat trainer in mind, that was the G.91T. Later I started thinking about a lesser known aircraft from the same company, the G.59. Then yesterday I noticed in the stash an even earleri example from Fiat, the G.50B. It was a matter of minutes, I grabbed the box, opened it and decided to build this one ! I may still build one of the other two, at least if this build is quick enough.

The G.50B was of course the two-seat variant of Fiat's G.50 fighter. This was designed by the same Gabrielli but was actually not built by Fiat but by CMASA. This company was initially established as a shipyard but during WW1 they realised that there was a good need for flying boats and they started building types under license. After WW1 the company made very good money by building a large number of Dornier's J Wal, as Dornier could not build these in Germany due to the Versailles Treaty. The Wal production ended in 1932 and in 1934 the company was bought by Fiat, eager to expand their production capabilities. It was as part of the Fiat empire that CMASA ended up building a large number of G.50s and all the two-seaters.

Around 100 G.50B were built and these were used both by schools and by units converting to monoplanes from older biplanes like the CR.32 and 42. After the armistice a small number remained in service with the ANR in the North, wearing Luftwaffe crosses, and one remained in the South. This aircraft was used for a few years after the war, wearing the postwar roundels over an overall aluminum finish.

 

 Said about the real aircraft, let's see the kit... AML a few years ago issued a series of G.50s, covering all important variants. Actually AML did two slightly different series of moulds, and the two-seater comes from the later improved series. I bought this with another 5 from a fellow modeller and this is the first I'm building

 

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The terms "Biposto bicomando" mean two-seater dual controls". This refers to the fact that this was the two-seater used for training while another variant had been proposed that retained the two-seater configuration only had controls in one of the cockpits as was meant for observation and recce purposes. This variant did not raise interest and was shelved.

 

Inside the sturdy carboard box we find two sprues in dark green plastic

 

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I believe that all AML G-50 kits from the later series had identical sprues, with the differences between variants covered by resin parts and different canopies. The sprues show the different tail and fuselage of the Bis and the cockpit area of the single seaters...

This is a short-run kit, so we can't expect the finesse of a Japanese mainstream offering. The parts are however quite nicely moulded, surface detail is not bad and even the smaller parts look useable. The trailing edges of the wings are moulded as part of the upper wing halves, so avoiding the overly thick edges typical of many short run kits. If I have to criticise a part that would be the engine, doesn't look that good but at least the spinner used on the G-50B will hide it somewhat,.

 

As said above other parts are supplied in resin. The small bag also contains a very small PE fret (not visible in the picture), with some parts so small that I have doubts about my ability to use them....

Canopies are vacformed, AML offers two sets that is a nice thing.

 

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Decals are given for the prototype, the machine on the box art (from a fighter school but detached to a fighter unit for conversion duties) and a German marked machine. The latter is in green over light grey while the other two are in one of those typical Italian mottled schemes...

Italian WW2 trainers had wide white bands around the fuselage and wings, and these sure add some colour to the scheme. For this reason I'm tempted by one of these aircraft, but the only postwar G.50B in overall aluminum is also tempting.

 

 

 

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an interesting kit/ build for sure!

 

Definitely one I do not know anything about yet :)

 

I would like to see the postwar aluminium maschine  as well if I am asked!;)

Edited by exdraken

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Another interesting choice and in your informative style Giorgio :speak_cool:

If you are taking votes then I'm with Werner in going for the post-war silver scheme.

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This looks like a very interesting, but also very challenging build.

 

Cheers, Peter

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Hi Giorgio 

 

Great choice and not an aircraft I was familiar with, have you had a chance to make a start yet ?

 

cheers Pat

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On 2/19/2019 at 11:33 AM, exdraken said:

an interesting kit/ build for sure!

 

Definitely one I do not know anything about yet :)

 

I would like to see the postwar aluminium maschine  as well if I am asked!;)

 

On 2/19/2019 at 9:42 PM, Col. said:

Another interesting choice and in your informative style Giorgio :speak_cool:

If you are taking votes then I'm with Werner in going for the post-war silver scheme.

 

Thanks, glad this can be of interest !

I'm not so sure about the aluminum finish now, the first assembly steps showed that the model may not be the most suited to this. I feel that the wartime scheme would be better at hiding all the surface flaws... 😁

 

 

On 2/22/2019 at 12:02 PM, Basilisk said:

This looks like a very interesting, but also very challenging build.

 

Cheers, Peter

 

I fear so, a first dryfit showed that I'll have to work a lot to get a half decent result...

 

23 hours ago, JOCKNEY said:

Hi Giorgio 

 

Great choice and not an aircraft I was familiar with, have you had a chance to make a start yet ?

 

cheers Pat

 

I actually have ! I cut the first parts over the weekend and while the paint was drying on the Sabre I'm building for another GB I made a good start.

Let's see the cockpit first... AML offers a combination of plastic, resin and photoetch parts for this area. Some of the parts are very tiny and the carpet monster swallowed a couple, including one of the throttle control boxes, that I had to replace with plasticard. I've yet to glue the seats in place and this is what I got:

 

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Not shown in the picture is the work I later did on the fuselage sides to allow the cockpit floor to fit withing the fuselage halves,,, I removed quite a lot of plastic from both fuselage halves under the level of the lowest stringer. Dryfitting the parts showed that now I can try to glue the fuselage together but there will be some other things to do before that moment.

 

The wings are much simpler, just 3 parts, a bottom with two top halves. Before gluing them together I had to remove a number of ejection towers from the inner sides and I also had to remove quite some plastic in the wheel well area to allow the top halves to close on the bottom part. Better remove plastic from all parts, as the wheel well gets almost paper thin well before the parts can fit...

After gluing the parts together some sanding was required to get a decent result at the top and the leading edge

 

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Filler was however very much needed on the lower surfaces..

 

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Some panel lines had to be rescribed, the plastic is not bad but being moulded in dark green it's not easy to see the damaged panel lines. In any case I managed to have something I could live with.

Dryfitting the fuselage halves with the wings showed that my problems have only just started....

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I like what you done so far. This PE stuff can be real fiddly, but you manage well. Looking forward to see further progress.

Cheers, Peter

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Hi Giorgio

 

Thanks very much for the update.

 

Really great work, and thank goodness you dry fitted everything first.

 

cheers Pat

 

 

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This is also a new one for me Giorgio.  I'm looking forward to seeing it all built up!

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Thanks guys glad you like it.

Some progress: the cockpit parts have been painted, that resulted in a decent result

 

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Unfortunately while painting I lost the trim wheel, I'll have to replace this with some scratchbuilt part.

Overall colour of the cockpit is grey, as used on Fiat aircraft of the era. The grey I used is maybe lighter than should be but this will help making the cockpit more visible in what is a small model. The seats are in a dull aluminum, typical of WW2 Italian aircraft.

 

With the fuselage inner sides painted I could glue the halves together...

 

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Not too bad considering the short run nature of the kit ! However things change a bit when some other parts are added, like the rear cockpit cover and the canopy

 

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The fuselage top is a bit too wide for both the canopy and the rear cover, I'll have to do something... problem is that I don't know what ! Guess that the easier solution will be to sand the rdges of the fuselage but I don't like this as would change the section. It would be better to clamp the fuselage when gluing the rear part to close it at the top, but I don't think this will work, I'd need a glue capable of keeping the plastic together very strongly and this plastic doesn't seem to like being deformed too much.

A few words on the canopy: AML offers two vacformed canopies, cutting this wasn't too difficult but I've yet to properly finish some areas. I believe there's a problem though: the rear window should be at a different angle compared to the middle window but the fuselage profile does not allow this. I may have to modify the fuselage and canopy profiles, very annoying.

 

Another fit problem is at the wing roots... these are often a problem with aircraft kits in general but I've rarely seen something like this:

 

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The gap does not worry me, what is worrying is the difference in height between the wing top surface and the root moulded on the fuselage, there's more than 1 mm ! Don't know, maybe I made a mistake when fitting the wing, maybe the root is simply moulded too deep. I'll have to do something and the easiest solution is of course to remove material from the wing root, feasible but a pain in a certain part of the body.

One other detail may be noticed: I've rescribed some of the panel lines on the fuselage. These had been obliterated while sanding to get the fuselage halves mating edges flush. the AML plastic takes rescribing pretty well fortunately. I'm using a new tool for rescribing, a steel tool that I found in the beauty accessories section of a supermarket... no idea what it's supposed to be for but works very well as a modeller's tool 😁

 

With all the sanding needed on this model it's now clear that a silver painted machine is totally out of the question. Silver finishes are best applied to nice smooth surfaces and this model may never have one... not that the Italian mottle schemes are easy, but maybe such a scheme will hide the surface flaws better... in any case, for those who wanted a silver postwar aircraft I'm planning something related that may be of interest...

 

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Ouch. You're braver than many for continuing with this one Giorgio!

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Thanks Col, this kit is indeed not for the faint hearted...

Yesterday I managed to check the kit against a scale drawing from the Ali d'Italia book, that confirms how the kit is generally correct but also that the canopy as I cut it is a bit too tall. I then realised that I had cut a bit lower than I should have done, something that was sorted easily enough. Now however I have a windscreen that sits too proud of the fiuselage... I feel that this area must be reworked a bit to achieve a proper fit of the clear part

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It took me ten days since my latest post in this thread to have something more to show, and what I'll be showing may not look as much work but I can guarantee you that it was. It was very hard work.

I said before that the gaps around the rear top cover would have been a problem and they were indeed hard to sort. In the end I resorted to gluing plasticard strips and sand a lot. It took me some time but in the end I got a decent result. After the usual prime/fill/sand/prime routine I had something I was happy enough with. Then it was time to glue the cockpit in place...

I thought I had prepared the cockpit floor properly but guess I hadn't. The AML instructions are also not clear and I believe that they would like the modeller to place the cockpit a bit too low in the fuselage. In the end I had to remove material from the sides of the cockpit floor and also from the lower end of the fuselage inner sidewalls. It took me a full day to sort this, but in the end I could glue the cockpit in place, together with the previously prepared instrument panels. I also added a strip of square section plastic rod on the sills to have something to place the canopy against and I was quite proud when I took these pictures...

 

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The cockpit looked pretty good, complete with the typical G.50 two-section instrument panel

 

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Things looked even better when I tried a dry-fit of the wing and canopy

 

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Looking good, right ? Then something happened... I found references !

Yes, I found a great build from an Italian modeller who had reworked a 1/48 kit, build that showed some diagrams of the real aircraft. At that point I realised that I had to do something to the cockpit as AML didn't supply everything correctly. Both front and rear cockpit have semicircular structures at the sill level that are totally missing from the kit. The funny thing is that I knew that these were present in single seaters and yet I didn't bother to check for the two-seater. Oh well...

It was too late to modify the front seat position but at least I could modify the rear seat area so I cut some plasticard to shape, removed the cockpit and part of the strips on the sills, added the new part and glued everything back in place, including the panel sections in what is now the correct configuration. The cockpit now looks like this

 

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The front seat should have a similar structure but let's say it's hidden under the front coaming...

The upper section of the instrument panel is on top of the cover, the lower section is on the bottom. May sound strange but that's how this was in the real G.50.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great effort. finding references can be a bit of a course :wall: But your implementation of the information looks great.

 

Cheers, Peter

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At least you found the fresh information now rather than after the canopy was in place Giorgio.

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Sorry for the prolonged absence folks ! I'm now back after being forced away from the modelling bench for a while, and I've got some progress to show !

With the fuselage more or less complete, it's time to glue the wing in place. Not too shabby...

 

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However there was one problem: the wing-fuselage fairing at the trailing edge was a disaster

 

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The problem here comes from the fact that wing and fuselage parts don't match well, on my next AML kit I'll rework these areas before assembling the model, unfortunately here I had to do something different.

Filler can't work here, the surface is small and filler would not retain a sharp edge. So I cut a bit of the wing root on the fuselage, inseted a plasticard rectangle and then added volume using resin. I used the same resin I use for casting parts, work pretty well as a filler, is harder and can be sanded very smooth. After a low of work I managed to sort both wings. While at it I also used the same resin to fill some other areas, then sprayed a first coat of primer on the wings to check where I'll have to sand the excess resin... that is in quite a few areas

 

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After some vigorous sanding, all the various resin bumps have been flattened and the wing-fuselage joint is finally acceptable. It's now time to start adding more parts, like the tailplanes. Here's a couple of in-progress pictures

 

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The view from the bottom shows that there's some gap... really by now it's clear that this is one of those kits where parts fit where they touch, fortunately though it's nothing that can prevent the model from being completed.

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Good luck with this one Giorgio Thanks for the historical background  

Martin H

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Smart work on the wing to fuselage join Giorgio :thumbsup:

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