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Fiat CR.32 / CR.32 bis


Silver Wings, 1/32 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Silver Wings Kit No. 32-005 - CR.32 / CR.32 bis

Scale:

1/32

Contents & Media:

Resin multimedia kit

Price:

Available online from DMC Models for USD$144.25
Also from Silver Wings. Contact Silver Wings for pricing in your country.

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Lovely examples of casting with no air bubbles or distortion of any parts; superb detail; metal reinforced struts; excellent fit of parts; clever engineering for ease of assembly; well packaged for safe transport.

Disadvantages:

Some issues with the decals

Conclusion:

I would have never believed to see the glorious CR.32 in 1/32 scale so I am really happy with my latest purchase and cannot but praise Silver Wings latest product; wish that this kit will sell well and that a 32nd scale CR.42 or CR.20 or Macchi M.52 or… will follow soon.

Reviewed by Francesco Del Greco


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Background

 

I ordered this kit directly with Silver Wings in Poland as soon as I knew they were releasing a’32 in 32nd scale, that was back in February.

After a long wait for the first examples to be boxed I was acknowledged my example was ready to ship; the kit arrived after a few days from payment in a sturdy packaging protecting the fragile and precious content. I must say shopping experience with Silver Wings was really first class.

 

 

FirstLook

 

At first I was a little dubious a 1/32 kit could fit into such a small box. Anyway the CR.32 was a small airplane and the larger part, the upper wing, is provided as two separate halves with the bullet shaped auxiliary tank in the middle. Again packaging of parts inside the box was high quality with everything wrapped inside bubble pack.

 

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  • Silver WIngs 1/32 Fiat CR.32 Review: Image
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Fuselage halves come assembled with Tamiya tape: the fit of the parts is so good that at a fist glance I thought fuselage was a single casting. Here I discovered another smart feature of this kit: the two fuselage halves, which have detail molded on the inner surfaces, are provided with two pin and hole matching points which allow positive alignment. Another nice surprise was to find out that casting blocks had already been removed from the larger parts though a little heavy handedly on a few spots of the lower part of the fuselage halves on my example where the cutting wheel had dug in the resin more than needed here and there. Anyway nothing that cannot be fixed with some putty and probably I couldn’t have done much better while I really appreciate avoiding messing up with resin dust. Surface detail on the fuselage side is provided by means of delicate and very convincing rendition of stretched fabric and a few scribed panels. Panel lines are good in overall though a few vary from faint to deep; nevertheless this is consistent with the “mixed media” construction of the real article. The rendition of the engine cowling is commendably accurate: this was one critical spot of some of the previously released CR.32 kits The cockpit is a mix or resin and photoetched parts and is very comprehensive; a few cables need to be crafted from copper wire and their placement is clearly shown in the instruction sheet. Instrument panel also benefits of printed acetate to be sandwiched under photoetched panel so spectacular result is guaranteed. The seat comes complete of the somewhat kinky system of chains and belts in use with the Regia Aeronautica again in the form of photoetched details.

The wings and various struts are another example of superior resin casting technique. These are cast around metal rod which ensure strength and correct alignment in the assembly; this solution is a kind of trademark of Silver Wings and being a resin caster myself I can figure how much effort have gone in their making. Flying and control surfaces are suitably thin and devoid of any distortion which is frequently found in resin kits; some parts like the rudder are so thin you can actually see through them. Trailing edges are sharp and the wing cross section profile if faithfully reproduced as is the peculiar “bat wing” profile at trailing edges. Two set of lower wings are provided: one “slick” and the other complete with the 7.62 mm gun bulges found on the Bis series only. These were removed from further series since the weight of the armament affected performance leaving just the 2 Breda-Safat 12.7 mm machine guns in the nose. It has to be noted that the kit allows to build all the CR.32 series with the additional tropical radiator of the Quarter series provided as a separate part; these were fitted to Regia Aeronautica CR.32’s operating in Africa in the “assalto” (kind of close air support) role. To make this option full justice two 50 Kgs bombs and related pylons would have been a welcome addition but these are not offered and should be sourced somewhere else. I believe that modifying two AIM-54 Phoenix missiles in 1/72 scale could do the job. The windshield is supplied as a thin and absolutely flawless single piece clear resin part with subtle frames molded on it. Finally are the many smaller parts both resin and photoetched which are all nice and provide a feeling of complexity; my favorites are the cooling fins on top of engine cowling which are 42 individual PE parts, daunting but I guess effective. The outline of fuselage and wings appear to be extremely accurate and the scaled dimension of fuselage and wings is perfect match with those reported on sources I did check.

So is this kit so good? Well it is but I still wish to highlight some space for possible improvement when it comes to the decal sheet. The decals themselves are thin and beautifully printed and allow to make 6 examples wearing all the schemes in which the CR.32 was painted with the only, notable, exception of the beautiful three color scheme of diagonal bands of sand, brown and green over grey. The renditions of the fuselage fasces and of the red devil insignia are missing some detail to my taste. The design of the fuselage fasces had some delicate shading in reality that have never been rendered in decal form by any manufacturer so far and these are no exception; the delicate shading is correctly represented in the color profile of the kit box top so I had some serious expectations. While this cannot be considered as a real shortcoming of the kit, I was so happy with the overall quality that I expected to find ALPS or laser printed fuselage fasces. The red devil badges are a similar story, though in this case is not a matter of color shading but of missing details when compared to the complex design of the original: if you look at picture in page 33 of Ali d’Italia book you can have understanding of what I mean. This applies just to the unit badge for the silver pre-war example while the devil with tropical hat of the camouflaged aircraft of “Romantica Squadriglia” had a more simple design and looks accurate on decal sheet.

A real disappointment came from the construction number and type identification lettering which are likely to be wrong for the aforementioned silver example of 6° Stormo (though I cannot state it for sure since I do not have a picture of it) and devoid of the shadow effect behind the characteristic FIAT fonts for the Quarter example which is also missing the construction number. Despite my criticism on the decals I still believe this kit is outstanding and really worth having if you are interested in the type or if you just like unusual subjects or complex luxury kits. Most modelers will live with the minor inaccuracies of the decal sheet; for me I believe the only real let down is with the inaccuracy and missing details in the construction number decals, an issue which affects the majority of Italian WW2 aircraft kits around. I hope that some decal manufacturer reading these lines will issue a decal sheet to address these shortcomings and provide more of the beautiful unit badges worn by CR.32’s in the early and mid ‘30’s.


 

Conclusion

 

I would have never believed to see the glorious CR.32 in 1/32 scale so I am really happy with my latest purchase and cannot but praise Silver Wings latest product; wish that this kit will sell well and that a 32nd scale CR.42 or CR.20 or Macchi M.52 or… will follow soon.

Francesco Del Greco


Text and Images Copyright 2010 by Francesco Del Greco
This Page Created on 13 July, 2010
Last updated 13 July, 2010

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