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ICM Fiat CR.42 CN from 377 squadriliga

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Well, there's the nice ICM kit in my stash. Then there's me looking for a new, but small project.

But of course there has to be a small challenge (building the Falco shouldn't be one B)) - an all black finish.


The Fiat I plan to build is 377-4 with its unique markings - a black cat sitting on a crescent moon:


and some scribbling on the engine cowling:



This translates roughly to: "I can no longer sleep at night" - isn't that a perfect match for our nocturnal acivities?

More on the project inventory and the first pictures from plastic will follow tomorrow.




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1 hour ago, Stefano said:

Nice choice Joachim!

The pet depicted in the 377 Squadriglia Autonoma is rather an armed owl.


Your translation is correct.


Happy modelling!



Thanks for the clarification Stefano!
An owl makes kind of more sense, even though I'd liked a black kitty :D

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Making a start

As I stated above, I'll use the beautiful ICM kit and to spice it up a little, there's a Yahu instrument panel in there as well.

Not that it's necessary since ICM includes individual decals for all instruments (my favourite way to do an IP), but there are some projects in my sleeve, where a Yahu panel will be a must.



And the IP up close:



I must say that it looks the part. A lot better than any eduard PE. The dials are sharp and glossy while the panel itself is satin, which is far as I understand correct for an italian plane.

The Quinta set may be a tad better, but is around twice the price. Well, it includes seatbelts but more on that in another post.


For obvious - seatbelt - reasons, the real start was the engine.

ICM includes a good Fiat A-74. Or a good enough for a closed cowling representation.

Here's some pictures of the real beast grabbed from an italian blog:





and most helpful for me a drawing:



What I did so far:



Adding the fuel lines (at least I guess they are) and drilling holes for said lines on the front row cylinders as well as drilling the openings for the spark plug wires for the visible ones on both rows.

Not visible in the photo, but I enlarged the holes for the exhausts on the cylinder heads as well to improve the fit and reduce fiddliness for the installation.

As I'm typing these lines, the base coat on the engine is already drying.


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In order to stay in the flow, here's what has been done.

A black base coat was sprayed on the engine parts.

That's the first time for me tu use the Tamiya lacquer and oh my gosh - it sprays amazing and lays down so thin and smooth.

Much better than the acrylic versions (even with levelling thinenr) and a huuuge step from the Alclad gloss base.



Right after a decent drying time overnight, the push rods and the intake manifold recieved a coat of Alclad Duraluminium:



The unforgiving macro shot shows the burrs on the end of the push rods that need to be removed (grrrrrr).

The cylinders and the crank case are up next for their black and grey.

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2 hours ago, MikeMaben said:

Hi Joachim, here's a pic of the bottom of the A-74 ...




...might help.

Indeed, it does!

Thanks a lot Mike - that's the first clear picture of the lower portion that I've seen.

Now I know what goes where and that I actually missed one pipe.

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Time for some paint

The interior colors of italian WW2 planes seem to be a minefield (did I hear late war RLM colors?:D).

According to STORMO until 1942 all interiors were painted in a green anti corrosion paint which could vary from green to something like the RAF interior grey green.

Later on airplanes were supposed to be painted in Grigio Azzurro Chiaro, which is a light grey with a slight green and blue hue.

ICM calls for Tamiya XF-66 for all interiors and for the crankcase. That's more of a neutral grey and seems way too dark.

So, someone had bought a bottle of MRP Grigio Azurro (for an italian Bf 109G-6) and that's of use now.

Here's the painted engine:



The cylinders appear quite black, even though I used a 2:1 mixture of Tamiya Nato black and gloss black.

Everything was sealed with a coat of MRP gloss and is now ready for a decal and some dirt/grime.

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Crank up the engines

Finishing the engine was quite straightforward, so I didn't take photos during the progress.

One litle trick:
installing the fuel lines before glueing the push rods saves a lot of fiddly work. Ask me how I know :rolleyes:



And a dry fit with the cowling to check what will be visible in the end:



Allthough one could build the cowling panels open, I plan not do so since you would have to get rid of the seams on the cylinders and add a ton of details behind the rear row.


Next up:

the cockpit and the dreaded seatbelts.

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Thanks mates, even though motivation was pretty low (contrary to the temperatures outside).

I'll give an update, where I'm at right now:

The instrument panel(s) will be stripped from their surface detail for the PE parts:



and here's the reason for not super detailing anything inside the cockpit:



The opening (minus the cutout for the windshield) is really small and it's basically a black hole.

One thing the ICM kits all lack are seatbelts. Usually there's a decent replacement - note to myself: try the new airscale seatbelts on my next build - not so much for the italian subjects.

They are really unique with a seatpadding connected to the belts and some chains to attach everything to the seat.
Here are two shots from a swedish Falco from the IPMS website:





The aftermarket offers PE belts (yuck)


and the 3D printed ones from Quinta which are included in their cockpit set (too expensive for my taste)



My plan so far is to cut demo parts from paper to check the fit and then do the real ones from lead foil.

Maybe I'll add some PVA glue to the padding to gain some thickness while still keeping it flexible enough.

The chains and buckles should be doable from bent wire.

Well, I've never scratch build seatbelts before but there's a first time for everthing, right?


Any advice and input is highly welcome!

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