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Fiat CR.42 Falco
1/48 scale Preview




S u m m a r y

Item No. 2640
Contents and Media: about 75 parts in injected grey styrene; 1 clear part; markings for three aircrafts.
Scale 1/48
Price: TBA
Review Type: Preview
Advantages: Interesting and long-awaited subject, high dimensional accuracy, good details.
Disadvantages: Well, I’d rather build it before I speak!
Recommendation: Recommended to anyone who likes WWII Italian subjects in 1/48 scale.


Previewed by Alessandro Nati Fornetti

Italeri's 1/48 scale Fiat CR.42 will be available online from Squadron.com




The FIAT C.R.42 symbolizes the early years of the Regia Aeronautica in WWII perhaps better than any other plane. Outdated by the time of its first flight, it nevertheless held its own against newer monoplanes, took part in the Battle of Britain, and soldiered on until the Armistice in 1943.

Even after that, production continued for the Luftwaffe, and the last Falcos served in Italy’s post-war Aeronautica Militare. Apart from the German use, the C.R.42 also enjoyed some export success.

Total production numbered around 1,700.





Given its popularity amongst modellers, I wonder why we have had to wait until now to get a mainstream 1/48 CR.42 kit from a major manufacturer. Anyway, the History of Modelling is full of such mysteries, and I am sure no one has run out of boxes to build while waiting for the Falco!

On a recent visit to the Italeri factory, I chanced into the machine shop just as this brand new mould was being tested in what I was described as “a nearly-definitive form”. I had the pleasure of actually pushing the big yellow button - a Goal in Every Modeller’s Life - and about ten seconds later the machine ejected the test shot shown here.




The fuselage is engraved in the typical Italeri style, with scribed panel lines on the metallic areas, and fabric effect on the rear fuselage. When the Italeri S.79 came out, I heard many critics about the fabric effect being overdone: though I agreed at the beginning, I soon discovered (after actually building the kit – something many “loud speakers” seldom do) that the heaviness disappeared under the Italian mottled camouflage. On the C.R.42, the fabric is less pronounced anyway, so I can’t see any problem.

Please note the air intakes at the lower wing roots (there’s a separate part for the outlet), a subtle detail of the Falco which is missing from CA’s kit.

The cockpit is well done, including sidewalls, framing, pedals, and raised instruments (you also have flat panels, in case you prefer to use decals here). I don’t like the gunsight moulded together with the windshield, though I have to admit the result is good-looking.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Wings and Tailplanes

What I said about the fuselage fabric also applies to the wing ribbing effect, but I’d suggest some light sanding here. The struts have the correct fairings on top and bottom, and the moulding of the smaller parts (like the aileron actuators) is OK. Same for the horizontal tail.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Here we have a real winner - easily the best injection-moulded FIAT A.74 in any scale. It’s made up of four parts plus the collector ring, with the crankcase and the cylinders having the correct “look”, including the V shape to the cylinder heads which is missing from several resin A-74s (in bigger scales, too…). The cowling comprises another four pieces, and it’s easy to leave the access doors open to show the detail inside.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Landing Gear

Shown here are the gear legs with partial covers only (the first box to be issued will include parts and markings for three Luftwaffe night fighters); the wheels are flattened.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:




I made a quick check of the major airframe parts against the drawings published in the “Ali d’Italia” C.R.42 book. The match was nearly spot-on. Decals and instructions weren’t ready yet, so we’ll have to wait to see them.

I was told that the first box – the Luftwaffe night fighter – should be in the shops by mid-late April.

Overall, I like this kit. It is accurate, likely to be cheap (something we don’t take for granted anymore), and the mould is clearly planned to bring forth a few more versions (have a look at those empty spaces on the sprue).

Dear Italeri, will you please give us an 1/72 version, too?


Review Copyright © 2005 by Alessandro Nati Fornetti
This Page Created on 18 March, 2005
Last updated 17 March, 2005

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