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Hope for paint mules: 1/72 Martin Maryland 167F and Fiat CR.25


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Good afternoon and a Happy Easter everyone

 

Before Covid 'lockdown one' I was visiting a modelling friend who gave me some of his rejects as paint mules (models to try out different paints and varnishes on). However, I am a bit of a sucker for a challenge and wondered if these two part-completed and rejected models could be brought back to life. With only a part set of decals found for the Fiat, and with no instructions for either kit - and a large number of parts missing I set to work.  First stop was research - an area of modelling I enjoy very much.

 

Fiat CR.25

 

In my research I came across the Special Hobby instructions for the CR.25. The SH 72089 kit allows you to build the same aircraft (MM 3651) in one of the three paint schemes it bore serving as the wartime transport for the Italian military attache to Berlin.

 

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I wanted to try a mottle scheme so elected for Scheme B. The aircraft was painted in this camouflage scheme in June 1941 but the registration ‘I-ACIF’ was not added until it visited the Eastern Front in October 1942.  In March 1943 it received its last change of paint scheme.

 

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I had several bits to modify, scratch-build and rob from the spares box but I think I achieved my aim with varying degrees of success.

 

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The painting was huge fun - especially the mottle. I added a filter (or glaze as a figure painter would say) to produce a more sandy-yellow hue to the camouflage. As the registration decals were missing, probably my biggest challenge was painting the registration letters.

 

Martin Maryland 167F

 

I found the paint scheme for this aircraft in a Polish (?) publication entitled ‘Martin 167 Maryland’ (Monografie Lotnicze 96) which can be easily downloaded from the internet. Although the text is in Polish the photographs and drawings are captioned in both Polish and English; it is an excellent reference for Maryland builders.

 

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So many parts were missing from the kit that I bought the Eastern Express kit and used it and its decals, and some Falcon vacform canopies to finish the model.

Marylands in French service - whether Vichy or Free French - came in a great variety of colour and marking schemes; choice and decals are perhaps the biggest dilemmas.

 

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I chose a machine of the Free French and decided to have a go at spraying the Free French markings (I had tried spraying markings on a 1/72 Hind build but without success). This time they appeared to work better using a reverse masking technique; however, while not perfect they are good enough for wartime TLAR (“That looks about right”). 

 

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Weathering I know is a hugely debatable subject with modellers. The French aircraft depicted in my references - serving mainly in North Africa and the Mediterranean - looked really battered. Hence I had a bit of a field day!

 

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Anyway, here they are - the Fiat CR.25 and the Martin Maryland 167F 

 

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You may be wondering what happened to the Eastern Express Maryland I bought for spares?  Well, I planned to make it into a 24 Squadron, SAAF aircraft operating in the desert. Unfortunately, I made a complete mess of it and it has become…a paint mule!!

 

Thanks for stopping by

 

Mike

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Great build! I specific love the Fiat: a model which you don't see very often, and despite you didn't have the decals and some parts were missing you achieved a great, realistic model. Kudos! 

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A great looking pair. The Fiat is a superb bit of modelling, that camo is brilliant. The Maryland is just as good for other reasons, the replication of its skanky finish if wonderfully well done, skanky in the extreme. 👍

Steve.

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21 hours ago, Blackmike said:

Unfortunately, I made a complete mess of it and it has become…a paint mule!!

😂 that sounds like me! ;)

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