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CR.42 Kit

Italeri 1/48 CR.42 LW and AB 41 Autoblinda Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2008 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject CR.42 LW and AB 41 Autoblinda Scale 1/48
Kit Number 10-501 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice 2-in-1 kit of a pair of Italian warriors pressed into German service Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $46.00

First Look

CR.42 Kit
CR.42 Kit
CR.42 Kit
CR.42 Kit
CR.42 Kit

The CR.42 was to be Fiat's last biplane fighter that entered service in the late 1930s. Even though the aircraft was outclassed by more contemporary monoplane fighters, it held its own in a variety of missions until the surrender of Italy in 1943.

The Germans retained control of the Fiat factory after the Italian surrender and ordered 200 CR.42s produced for Luftwaffe service and designated CR.42 LW. Only 112 of these would enter service by the time the Allies had neutralized the factory through bombing missions and eventual liberation of northern Italy.

The AB 41 was an armored car armed with a 20mm cannon and featured four-wheel-drive for good off-road mobility. The Italian Army used the AB 41 in its North African operations and for the defense of Italy before that nation surrendered in 1943. The German Army confiscated nearly 40 of these armored cars and built around 20 more. These German AB41 201(i) armored cars saw service with the Wehrmacht on the eastern front.

Italeri has released a nice 2-in-1 kit featuring a pair of 1/48 scale kits of two Italian warriors pressed into German service. These are both nice kits individually and make for an interesting combination here.

The first kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on two parts trees, plus a small clear tree containing the windscreen. The second kit is molded in desert yellow and presented on four parts trees, plus a pre-painted die-cast metal chassis and a set of six rubber tires.

Starting with the CR.42, the kit's cockpit is quite nicely detailed and will look quite nice with that open cockpit straight out of the box. If you opt for some color photo-etch instrument panel and other subtle details, the results will be quite stunning.

The engine is also quite nicely done with the twin rows of cylinders, exhaust collector ring, ignition rings, and even open cowl flaps. The access panels around the cowling are molded separately so you can display the model with the cowling unbuttoned and reveal that nice detail.

Among the options in the kit:

  • Two different propeller spinners
  • Underwing bomb racks
  • Open or closed cowling access panels

The AB 41 Autoblinda is also a nice looking kit and offers a nice die-cast pre-painted chassis. The kit assembles much the same as the Italeri 1/35 AB 41 kit released a few years ago and looks to be a scaled down version of that nice kit. Like the 1/35 kit, this model has no interior nor would one be visible with the hatches closed up.

The kit does provide a set of six rubber tires to mount on those wheel hubs.

The turret does have a nicely rendered main gun with details that are visible through the positionable hatch atop the turret.

This kit provides markings for three different aircraft. The subjects are:

  • CR.42, Nachtschlachtgruppe 9, E8+JK, Turin, Italy, 1944
  • CR.42, Nachtschlachtgruppe 9, E8+FK, Turin, Italy, 1944
  • CR.42, Nachtschlachtgruppe 9, E8+AH, Rome, Italy, 1944

Markings for the AB 41 include:

  • AB 41 201(i), 162 Infantry Division, Wehrmacht, Italy, 1944
  • AB 41, Italian Military Police, Tunisia, 1943
  • AB 41, Regio Esercito, Libya, 1942
  • AB 41, Regio Esercito, Italy, 1942

This is a nice two-in-one kit that will scratch the itch of the modeler who enjoys armor and aircraft subjects, and here are two that could be posed together in a common vignette.

Thanks to MRC for the review sample.