Profile Photo
Vladimir Kafka
1 article

Fiat G.55 Centauro – 1/72 Sword

February 19, 2020 · in Aviation · · 11 · 3.6K

My most recent work is a machine of the 1st Gruppo , stationed in Vicenza, northeast Italy in summer 1944. I don't know any interesting details about this particular airframe, but I liked the herringbone camo. It is quite under-represented, almost everyone seems to do the splinter pattern or the German colors. The only photo known to me is in the excellent book The Camouflage & Markings of the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana by Ferdinando D'Amico and Gabriele Valentini. It shows just a partially obscured wrecked hulk. Fortunately, the camo pattern can be approximated from a much better-documented machine - the one which defected to the Allies.

As for the kit, this is a typical product by , a quality, detailed shortrun, but shortrun none the less. I won't hold against them all the flaws which simply come with the technology (I had to rescribe everything and adjust or replace all the small parts).

Just a few remarks regarding the build:

The chin oil cooler, in a rather strange engineering decision, is split and molded together with the fuselage halves - it would be much easier to have it as a separate part.
The front window of the windshield has a wrong shape, it is more “A” shaped, while the sides should be parallel.
There are two canopy frames missing. The large side windows are undivided, but in reality, there were two sliding windows on each side and a thin frame in between.
I just sanded all the framing down, reshaped the windshield a bit with a sanding stick (the sides are still not parallel, but closer), then re-polished everything with Tamiya compounds.
The antenna mast is a bit too robust - my bad, I should have noticed earlier.
The undercarriage struts were quite fiddly, as is always the case with these Italian U-fork designs.
Exhausts are resin replacements intended for Bf 109G by Finemolds.
On some photos of the real aircraft (including a similar machine with a spiral prop hub and probably a herringbone camo as well), I noticed different cannon “sleeves”: short, with protruding gun barrels. So I changed them on my model accordingly.

As for the paint job, I used Tamiya acrylics. I cut my own masks for the clear parts, for the prop hub spiral and for the fabric effect on the control surfaces (I will probably market those later as Airone Hobby).
The color combination should be Verde Oliva Scuro and Nocciola Chiaro, but on real photos of the herringbone machines, it looks much less contrasty than I would have expected (even when taking some sun-bleaching into account), considering the real VOS was very dark, almost black-green. To lower the contrast a bit, I added a lot of white and some yellow into the XF-27, which I normally use as the VOS.
Decals by Techmod are excellent (probably the best on the market nowadays), but a bit tricky to use, as they are very thin.

That's all folks. Feel free to ask any questions and as always, I appreciate any constructive criticism and comments on historical accuracy - don't be shy to count those rivets! 🙂

Reader reactions:
18  Awesome 1 

3 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. I just love the way you put together this rather unfriendly kit. Nice details added, beautiful work.
    I have to say also that on the right side you made a huge mistake by putting the "tricolore" with the red looking forward. It has to be green/white/red.

  2. I'm really sorry to say that, because I like your work, but the axehead on fasces should point always towards wing tip.
    So, you have a problem on the upper right wing and the lower left wing.

  3. Thanks for the comments. You are right as for the tricolores - I made it according to kit instructions, which are wrong. Well, I am going to leave it as it is. My bad believing the instructions like a beginner 🙂

    As for the fasces, you are wrong though. I was aware of this issue and double checked before decaling. There were both styles of fasces on Fiats - mirrored, or all facing the same direction. It seems to depend on the camo style. In the case of herringbone machines, they were all the same direction. By the way, in the book I mentioned, it is wrong on the drawing on the cover (ie mirrored like you suggest), but photos in the same book prove otherwise.

  4. That's a real beautiful build, especially for 1/72. Great work on all the panel lines and rivets - bringing nice visual interest. Love the scheme. Looks fantastic.

  5. I changed my mind and fixed the tricolore. Thanks again for the comment, Bogdan.
    Both green and red are now darker, but I actually think it looks better than the former bright colors. I resprayed the other side as well (but without switching the colors of course :))

    2 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  6. Beautiful build, great camo scheme! This and the Folgore/Veltro always intrigued me: they look like they have common airframe parts and are very similar in design, even being made by different manufacturers. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Btw, Italeri's take on the tricolore topic 😀

    Which color comes first, red or green?
    Italeri: yes.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

Leave a Reply