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PeterB

Fiat G 50 Freccia***FINISHED***

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Posted (edited)

So this will hopefully be my second entry in this GB

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Being lazy the following is largely a copy of what I said in my MC 200 entry so if you have read that you may wish to skip this with the possible exception of the 2nd paragraph!

 

As a teenager in the 1960's it took a while before I became aquainted with Italian aircraft from WWII. In fact I think it is true to say I had no knowledge at all until I started buying the fighter volumes 1-4 from William Green's series "Warplanes" published by Macdonalds starting in 1963 with Vol 3 Japan and Russia. Coincidentally I saw and bought the Frog MC 202 Folgore the same year, closely followed by Revell's Fiat CR 42 in 1965.  The MC 200 from Revell and the Fiat G 50 from Airfix arrived I think in 1967, and I still have both somewhere in my roof space.

 

This particular kit is a more recent boxing from around 1990 bought a few years back and I will build it over the next few weeks. It is as I recall a nice little kit though I seem to remember the fit of the wings was somewhat poor and I am not entirely convinced by the totally flat fuselage underside. The cockpit is non - existent as usual with kits of this age, but as with the MC 200 there is only a tiny opening so it will not be visible. I will box in the wheel wells and might do a modest amount on the cockpit but otherwise it will be OOB, and a fairly quick build. I do have some resin wheels and will spend a bit of time on the exterior finish which was  pretty rushed on my original build. I now have access to rather more info so it should look a bit better. 

 

Like the Japanese, the Italians in the 1930's were used to light open cockpit biplanes such as the Fiat CR32 and were reluctant to move to closed cockpit monoplanes with reduced manoeuvrability. Add to that the problems the Italian Aero Engine industry had producing high powered engines (usually radials) and at the start of the war the Italian Airforce was still basically equipped with CR42 biplanes together with a few of the earlier CR 32, though the MC 200 and G 50 were steadily taking their place. With speeds in the region of 300 mph and light armament of only 2 Mg in the cowling, they were already obsolescent and only their manoeuvrability kept them just about viable. Later, both types would benefit from imported/licence built German inline engines which made them far more of a threat. Italian aircraft and pilots have received a bad press or been ignored but in truth they were generally as brave and skillfull as any allied pilots, let down by a underdeveloped aircraft industry and poor political management.

 

Not sure exactly when I will start this but I should be able to slot it in whilst waiting for glue/paint/decals to dry on some of my other builds.

 

More as and when.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB

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The second of a nice little italian pair peter, lovley, have fun

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Fascinating stuff Peter, I never knew all that. Thanks for the info and good luck with the kit.

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Peter, the flat fuselage underside is actually a feature of the real aircraft and comes from a little known quirk in this aircraft design: the G.50 had originally been designed with room for a bomb carrier under the fuselage and this required a flat surface. When the Air Force issued an RFP for a new monoplane fighter, Fiat reworked that design to fit the new requirement. The bomb carrier and other features disappeared but to avoid excessive modifications the flat lower fuselage remained in place. The G.50 actually could not meet the performance requested in the RFP but it was ready before all others competitors and the air force was pretty much forced to accept it. The facts that Fiat was a traditional supplier of fighters to the air force and that Fiat's owner had been a very early financial supporter of the fascist party may have had some importance in the decision....

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The flat bottom and sides did allow the wings to meet the fuselage at an optimum angle for low drag without having to design complicated fillets - and possibly getting them wrong.

 

In my personal history, the Fiat was the first Airfix small WW2 aircraft that I didn't buy as soon as it came out.  I eventually succumbed some years later, but then delayed making it in the hope of finding a slightly larger engine cowling.  When that failed to appear I gave in and made it anyway.

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Good to see you’ve taken to these GB’s like bread to butter Pete. The G.50 is not one I’ve previously built so will be watching to see what it’s all about. 
Cheers and best of luck.. Dave 

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Well, my FJ-4B Fury is nearly finished and my Manchester is in a "fill and sand" phase so I thought I would make a start on this. The kit is old and crude, and as you would expect from Airfix at the time, the cockpit just consists of a seat mounted on pegs, and a pilot.

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However as you can see the cockpit opening is tiny and with the seat in very little will be visible.

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I might add a simple IP and box the wheel wells in  but otherwise it will be pretty much out to the box. It was bought second hand and was loose in the box so one of the guns is missing and one of the two pitot tubes has suffered a short shot, but I was going to replace them anyway. The only other bit missing is one of the main gear bracing struts and that is easy enough to replace. To make up for the shortages, the clear sprue has no less than four identical windscreens on it - bet that did not please the accountants! I may use some resin wheels to replace the kit ones which are moulded in halves and maybe a little too big - there is no real detail anyway and if I was following the "build it as you did when a kid only a bit better" formula, I would not bother.

 

The Italians seemed to use a colour know to modellers as Bright Interior Green, and IMS Stockolm say that it can be made by mixing 10xHu 101 ( a bright green) with 6x Hu 150 ( duller green), 4 x Hu34 white and 3 x Hu33 black. The black and white suggest a grey tint, and pics show a colour a bit brighter green than the normal RAF Grey/Green cockpit colour. I  may just add a little bright green to the RAF colour - near enough I guess, unless I want to break out the correct enamel paints.  The build should be a matter of days, the painting will take somewhat longer I suspect.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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So, after being distracted by a couple of other builds, I have painted the interior and the seat frame in my take of Italian interior bright green and installed a somewhat extremely crude IP. I have no idea what colour the seat cushions were so I have gone with red/brown.

 

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As I mentioned earlier very little can be seen once the fuselage is glued together but at least I know it is there.

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Once I have cleaned it up I will glue on the wings - I seem to remember the early Airfix kits with one piece lower wings - Zero, Hurricane IV etc - tended to have fit problems but at least now I have pictures/plans showing the correct dihedral. Like the Macchi to follow, the fuselage was short and quite fat, but at least the Macchi did not have a flat bottom. Before putting the wings on I will drill out the holes for the guns, and have a shot at drilling out the exhausts at the same time.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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Great stuff Pete

When i built this kit many years ago I was never quite happy with the engine cowling to fuselage alignment, it just didnt look right.

Look forward to seeing your next instalment. 

cheers Pat 

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Know what you mean Pat,

 

The engine thrust line is such that the fuselage is a little tail high - not perhaps as bad as the old Whitley. Not as obvious with an inline engine I suppose but with the radial it does look a bit strange. The Macchi is the same.

 

Pete

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Posted (edited)

As expected the wing was a problem. First there is the usual difficulty with the rear wing to fuselage joint, which often ends up as a pronouinced "step". I addressed this by thinning down the wing and deepening the cut out in the fuselage and it is not too bad though will need some work. The main problem was that the wing stubs on the fuselage stick out too far. The inner wing actually has a slight anhedral whilst the outer part of the wing has a few degrees of dihedral - not quite a Gull wing..

DSC03004-crop

Airfix have captured this but unmodified, the fit is so tight that it distorts the wing and forces the outer wing down - I don't think I realised the problem on the first one I built and always thought it looked wrong. So I eased the joint with a file and taped up the wings whilst they dried. Seems to have worked well enough. Bit of rubbing down then I will add the stabs and prime it - the engine cowling will go on later. 

 

I have been looking into the markings and colour scheme - Airfix say it is a G50-bis from the 51st Stormo,  21st Gruppo, in 1941. Actually the decs make it serial MM6155 which was indeed a G50-bis AS - the AS indicating modified for use in Northern Africa by fitting a tropical air filter which seems to be the version provided in the kit. The markings 352-1 make it machine 1 in the 325nd Squadriglia which was indeed in Libya in late 1941 according to my various Italian books though the paint scheme seems not quite correct. Airfix say a base of Hu72 Khaki Drill with patches of Hu30 Dark Green over Hu 64 Light Grey and a yellow cowling. Close but my books suggest a base of Giallo Mimetico 3 with a mottle of Verde Mimetico 2 and Marrone Mimetico 2 with Grigio Mimetico 2  unders. The mottle could be in a number of forms ranging from small spots to large blotches  and also streaks. I may go for the streaks. Many years ago I bought what I thought was a complete set of Italian AF colours from what was then the White Ensign Colourcoats range. Later I found that I had bought Grigio Azzuro Scuro (Dark) instead of ditto Chiaro (light) and I cannot find my Marrone Mim 2 anywhere so will have to improvise. I discussed the Italian paints and colour scheme in more detail in my Macchi MC202 Folgore build in the Frog GB so I won't repeat myself here.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB

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Posted (edited)

No problem with the paint - I have all the colours except the red/brown and I have a substitute which is close enough. I think that I will perhaps wait until the MC 200 is at the same stage and paint them simultaneously, depending on which colour scheme I use for that - research is currently ongoing. The G 50 is in "desert" colours whilst the kit scheme for the MC 200 is more metropolitan Italy with a green base and sand and red brown mottle - sort of reverse of the MC 202 I built last year and the G 50. Must dig out the AM sheet I have for the Saetta and see if anything takes my fancy. The idea was that these relatively quick builds would fill in time whilst I was waiting for glue or paint to dry on some of my more complicated builds in other GB but as the poet Burns rightly said -"the best laid plans o' mice and men of gang awry" or something similar. Once I start something I have difficulty stopping!

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB

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16 hours ago, PeterB said:

-"the best laid plans o' mice and men of gang awry" or something similar.

....gang aft agley, Pete, if you fancy a tongue twister! This is a great subject - funny colour of plastic you've got there, though. I laid my hands on a bagged version in the old sky blue plastic. No choice of windshields in mine - just one loose in the bag, and it was tiny! I seem to remember the pilot was a tight fit to get in once the fuselage was together, As @JOCKNEY says, the angle of the cowling is a bit off-putting - I thought it was a bad fit and 'straightened up' as much as I could. You learn something every time one of these kits comes out to play. All the best for your build. Mike.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Mike,

 

I think my original was also blue plastic but this is a sort of mushroom grey - not far off the Hu64 they advise for the undersurfaces I guess. It is also a very hard plastic which makes cleaning it up a bit more of a chore, but the fit is not too bad. The wheels legs are rather thin and probable brittle so I will put them on late in the build. I am not bothering detailing the wheel wells - bit much for my hands and eyes in this scale I fear.

 

A few years back I bought a set of Sky decals for the MC 200 and ditto the SM 79 - they offer 36 schemes for the Saetta including these.

skydec

They specify Bruno Mimetico for one of the mottle colours, which Jamie does not have in his Colourcoats range - IPMS Stockholm say Hu 118 US Tan is a fair match. They are also using Giallo Mimetico 4 which is browner and more sandy than the rather yellow GM 3 suggested for the Fiat G 50 in my books - must check what they say about the MC 200. The one on the bottom left is similar to the scheme I used on my MC 202 Folgore last year except I used different shades - the Italian Air Force seem to have gone to a lighter underside grey - Grigio Azzuaro Chiaro from about 1942 onwards, together with a darker chestnut coloured Nocciola Chiaro base. I am spoilt for choice so I may start painting the G50 before the Saetta, whilst I make my mind up. Don't know if the decs are still available but they are very good. Later, checked and nobody seems to be selling them theses days so a good job I bought them when I did!

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB

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As I have a number of Italian aircraft i wish to build and a big part of them looking so special is the camouflage I am really looking forward to seeing how this should be done.

My own attempts to date have sadly left a bit to be desired.  The most ambitious was a 3 colour camo on an Ho229, which if im honest im still not happy with.

Still hopefully it will be better next time, or the next, or the......

 

cheers Pat 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Pat,

 

I am flattered but more probably it may prove to be a demonstration of how is should NOT be done unless I am fairly lucky. The only good thing about Italian mottles compared with the German variety is that they seem to be more "distinct" and so need a bit less "blending in" than for example the ones on my Frog Me 410 last year - remember this?

DSC01458

By comparison this was easy!

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We will see. Incidentally this MC 202 Folgore shows the darker "Chestnut" or perhaps "Hazelnut" brown and the lighter grey adopted from 1942 onwards AFAIK - basically a normal MC 200 with the radial engine replaced with a licence built DB inline. Probably should not have had the "smoke ring" pattern but I rather fancied it. The units "Prancing Horse" insignia was the same one that inspired Enzo Ferrari as I explained at the time.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, JOCKNEY said:

As I have a number of Italian aircraft i wish to build and a big part of them looking so special is the camouflage I am really looking forward to seeing how this should be done.

 

Hi Pat,

 

As a matter of interest what aircraft are we talking about? I have a number of books, mostly in Italian unsurprisingly, which cover some pretty good schemes. I seem to remember there are quite a fair number of Scots with Italian heritage, though perhaps mainly in the Glasgow area? Perhaps you could find somebody to translate them unless you read Italian yourself - I struggle because I only learnt Latin and that nearly 60 years ago, it helps a bit but not with technical terms which are a far too modern! The others are mostly Polish and I am hopeless at that.

 

Incidentally, in my pic of the Sky Model decals instructions, the one on the top left is most interesting and there were quite a few of the 36 in their options using that scheme - tiny brown splodges with a sand outline on a green background. I certainly won't be attempting that one as it will be a real pain these days with my arthritic hands. The one middle right with the larger patches is more to my liking. I think the trick will be to paint it green then add sand blotches, finishing off by painting in the brown over the middle of the yellow, which is pretty much what I did with my old Saetta.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB

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Lovely job. 

I got one of these in glorious Airfix baby blue and a Wildcat from a shop called The Rubber Shop in Aberdeen around 1972. 

John 

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15 minutes ago, John said:

called The Rubber Shop in Aberdeen around 1972. 

Hello then, it must be amazing what you find in those establishments,  😁

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I thought I had done quite well with the wing to fuselage joint at the back and everything seemed fine after filling and rubbing down, but when I gave it a spray of primer I noticed a problem. The rear fuleage underside is flat as mentioned previously, and the primer revealed that the bottom "sagged" along the seam. So after 4 lots of extra filling and sanding it is finally smooth.

DSC03019-crop

I said this plastic was hard - boy was that was an understatement! If this is what my early kits were like I can understand why some of the joints were not very good. I have boxed in the wheel wells and now need to decide what colour to paint them. Some of the kits shown in the links Giorgio sent show the same green and the cockpit, whislt the walkround pic he sent shows a bluish grey, not quite the same as the undersides though that could be the lighting.

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Looks like the joint at the upper nose may need a little more work as well but getting in between the gun bulges is a bit tricky. Hopefully the camo pattern will break up that seam anyway, unlike underneath. So it is nearly painting time! As I am using enamels it will be slower than normal.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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Looking very good indeed Pete.

Sounds like that wing to fuselage joint was a real pain but you have beaten it into shape very nicely.

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