Fiat G.50 Finnish Air Force (Ilmavoimat) 1942 – Secter/Hasegawa 1:48
Another “spaghetti” fighter, this time Fiat’s attempt to produce something more modern for the “Fighter I” competition than their earlier biplane designs. The “Freccia” (Arrow) in fact was the first serie produced all metal fighter plane in Italy with enclosed cockpit (deleted just after introduction of theplane) and recractable undercarriage. The only reliable engine was available then in Italy was the Fiat A74 radial which was an excellent powerplant but with limited power and relatively high drag (big diameter), that forced the designers to try making aerodinamic (as possible) and light planes for speed so the armament was quite weak in early Italian Types. In combat the Macchi C.200 outperformed the G.50 but the Fiat’s ruggedness served well in far combat territories such in Africa or Finnland. In early 1938, the Freccias served in the Regia Aeronautica (the Italian Air Force), and with its expeditionary arm, the Aviazione Legionaria, in Spain, where they proved to be fast and, as with most Italian designs, very manoeuvrable. The Fiat G.50 was also used in small numbers by the Croatian Air Force and 35 were shipped to Finland, where they served with distinction, with an unprecedented kill/loss ratio of 33/1 despite the inadequate weaponry – Finnish know something about aeroplanes as lot of types declared obsolete or ill-fated served them well during the World War II – remember the Brewsters! At least two Hungarian volunteer pilots flew Fiat G.50s in Finnland during the last days of the Winter War.
I found this very interested camouflage when I planned to make this model and can’t resist the opportunity since I coudn’t decide whether I build a Finnish or an Italian Plane. This livery is perfect as now I have both at the same time! 🙂 There are several speculations about this mixed camouflage. One says that damaged fighters’ main element mated together – it is quite improbable as 3 Fiats crashed during the hostilies altogether. One says that Finnish so urgently needed these planes in the front that wasn’t enough time to finish the camouflage – well maybe. And finally the Italian painting peeled off so intensively that they overpainted the totally exposed areas to protect the airframes. If anybody knows the truth please share with me!
I bought this kit some years ago when the Special Hobby G.50 kit released and these kit’s value decreased delightfully. This was a Hasegawa rebox with beautiful Koige Shigeo artwork and quite good (Italian AF) decals. Once I found a lone photoech fret from a Fliyng MAchines kit in a swap meeting. The kit is a typical example of kits that “looks good on the sprues”. Closely examined there are several issues – uneven and too shallow or on some areas too deep panel lines, thich trailing edges, sparse interior, nonexistent wheel wells, oversimplified engine and some shape issue that makes the finished kit a bit strange (for whose the type is familiar). But we have wings, fuselage, tails and other goodies and we are modelers, right? I planned this built as a revelation from he earlier Smer blob of plastic but finally I improved it in nearly all aspect. You know if You look too much photograps and background materials You will modeling considerably slower 🙂 I made a new cockpit, deepened the wheel wells, made a new mode 3D like engine, cured the trailing edges (by making separated and deflected flaps and rudders), made a new vertical fin and reshaped the airscrew and the cowling (because the original is so squared from profile that makes the finished model almost toy-like). The kit isn’t that bad the fit is good and the engineering is simple (which I prefer on modern overengineered “überkits”) to say some positives too. I didn’t compared the parts with drawings the finished plane looks like a G.50 and this enough for me.
They say that Francois Verlinden sayd once that “Life is too short for the second best kit”. Well this kit is – as I guess – the third best kit now so this saying does not apply this time :D. Flying Machines reworked the kit some years ago and they say that is the most detailed G.50 in 1:48 (and quite hard to find and overpriced too) but I strongly recommend Special Hobby if You want to buy a G.50 in 1:48 as their last issues are all beautiful.
It’s not bad if You have one in the stash but prepare some elbow grease. The kit is buildable and presentable just out of the box (just don’t look too much literature on the type). Bad news for the notorious AMS modeller that unfortunately the type isn’t popular enough to generate aftermarket interesting so no photo ech or resin out there (o.k., I made copies of my alterations but I can’t call myself “aftermarket industry” 😀 as these usually lands on my freinds’ desks or sometimes on the internet but no more that 5-10pcs 🙂 ) so You have to go to town – or buy a Special Hobby.
Painting this mixed camouflage was a real fun and makes this rarely seen plane more interesting. Hope You like it, any C&C are welcome. Cheers!
57 additional images. Click to enlarge.