AML 1/72 Fiat G.50bis






See review


Scott Van Aken


Short run with vac, resin and etched bits


1936; Italy needed a modern warplane. The Air Ministry put forth a requirement and got six aircraft; the Macchi 200, Caproni F.5, IMAM Ro.51, Reggiane Re.2000, AUT 18 and the Fiat G.50. Unable to choose between them all, it chose the Macchi, Reggiane and Fiat entries for production. This multiplicity of designs when only one was needed was to permeate Italian air thinking and actually made it more difficult to build a large number of aircraft and keep them in the air. What it did do was keep a lot of people employed, which is great if you are wanting to come out of a depression, but bad if you want an efficient air force.

The G.50 prototype first flew in early 1937. It was a modern monoplane with retractable landing gear and a closed canopy. Pilots hated the closed canopy and so it was eliminated after the first series production. The G.50 was a popular plane to fly and was ordered by Finland who got 35, the first of which entered service in 1940, by which it was already obsolescent. When Italy entered the war in 1940, the G.50 was sent to northern France to take part in the war against England. However, it was badly beaten by the RAF and the open cockpit wasn't exactly the thing to have in the late fall over the Channel. The planes were rather quickly returned to sunnier climes without having seen action over England.

By the fall of the fascist regime, the G.50 was no longer a mainstay fighter. A couple of handful were given to Croatian forces for anti-partisan use in the Balkans. At one time, a navalized version was developed for use aboard Italy's aircraft carrier Aquila, however the ship was never totally finished by the time the war had ended.


Can you say 'typical Czech short run kit'? Sure you can. It has all the proper trappings; single sprue with parts on relatively thick gates. Fine panel line detail, a bit of flash on parts, resin bits, vac canopy, etched metal fret and a superb Propagteam decal sheet. Interestingly, the cowling is split into a top and bottom section. A rather unusual way of doing it, but it looks as if it will work ok.

Now, if all the parts fit fairly well, then this should be a dynamite kit. It is obvious that this kit was done in a series I version as the fairing behind the cockpit is a separate part. There are also two fins, one taller than the other a bit shorter. Your choice on which one to use as the kit gives both as used on this plane. I'd suggest checking photo references.

There are many etched metal parts for the interior and they are also used for cowl flaps, which should look s bunch better than the plastic ones. You'll have to drill a few holes for air intakes on the wing and stretch some sprue for pitot tubes and gear braces, but these kinds of things are pretty well expected on these kits.

The instruction sheet is really pretty good. There are a number of construction steps given and some detailed ones for the cockpit, engine/cowling assembly and others. Color information is given in generic and FS 595 references where applicable. There are also Humbrol, Aeromaster, and Aeromodel paint references. Decals are by Propagteam so are excellent. You get one Italian aircraft as shown on the box art and six different Finnish aircraft. The Finnish schemes are shown in the instructions while the Italian one is on the back of the usual flimsy box. There is a second set of decals for the Finnish insignia, though why is beyond me as the ones on the main sheet look just fine to me!



The major benefit of this kit is that we now have an injected 1/72 Fiat G.50 to replace the old Airfix kit that has to be nearly 40 years old. Yes, this one will be a LOT more fussy to build. However, it has all the right parts and with the careful building one puts into a short run kit, it should be a real winner.

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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