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CR.42

Classic Airframes 1/48 CR.42B Biposti Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2005 Manufacturer Classic Airframes
Subject Fiat CR.42B Biposti Scale 1/48
Kit Number 499 Primary Media Resin/Photo-Etch
Pros Excellent detailing in the cockpit, Eduard color photo-etched parts included! Cons  
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

CR.42
CR.42
CR.42
CR.42
CR.42
CR.42
CR.42

The Fiat CR.42 fighter was an evolutionary development of the CR.32 and would be the last military biplane design off of Fiat's production lines. First flown in 1939, the aircraft was placed in service with not only the Reggia Aeronautica, orders were also received from Belgium, Hungary and Sweden. By the time production ended in 1942, over 1,780 were built.

The CR.42 fighter soldiered on during WW2 even though biplane fighters were a thing of the past. The Italian Air Force flew the CR.42 up until their surrender, and even some of these continued on in training schools to get the 'new' air force operational. While a number of single-seaters were used in training, it was clear that a two-seat trainer was required. At least eleven single seat CR.42s were converted to two-place aircraft and these were used even after the end of WW2.

This release in Classic Airframe's 1/48 CR.42 series represents a modified CR.42 airframe that literally inserted a second cockpit into a lengthened fuselage. The parts are molded in light gray styrene and presented on three parts trees. The wing and engine parts trees are common to the other releases, while the new tree with the lengthened fuselage and fairing as well as a pair of clear windscreens complete the kit.

The 14-cylinder radial engine is cast in resin along with two cockpit floors and O2 bottles, and other nice details.

Eduard provides the photo-etch, with four frets included in this set. Two frets provide the fuselage framing, rudder bars, and seat pans for the front and rear cockpits (the seat backs are in resin). The remaining two frets are some of Eduard's new color-photo-etch that provide instrument panels, side consoles, and a complete parachute and harness for each cockpit.

The aircraft painting and markings were simple - the entire airframe was finished with aluminum dope over the fabric and an equivalent paint over the metal sections. Markings are provided for a single aircraft from a post-war flight training school.

If you're into training aircraft as I am, you're going to like this kit. This multimedia kit will provide some eye-popping details inside the cockpit, and this version has two cockpits to show off. After flying Tiger Moths and similar trainers, this aircraft had to be the sport model of early post-war trainers. This kit is recommended!

My sincere thanks to Classic Airframes for this review sample!

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