|PRICE:||$7.00 from a vendor|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Fiat G.50 Freccia ("Arrow") was a World War II Italian fighter aircraft developed and manufactured by aviation company Fiat. Upon entering service, the type became Italy’s first single-seat, all-metal monoplane that had an enclosed cockpit and retractable undercarriage. On 26 February 1937, the G.50 conducted its maiden flight. During 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 relatively fast and very manoeuvrable in comparison to its adversaries in the theatre.
Early in the Second World War, it was determined that the G.50 possessed inadequate armament, comprising a pair of Breda-SAFAT 12.7-mm machine guns. The fighter was extensively used on various fronts by Italy, including in Northern Europe, North Africa, the Balkans, and the Italian mainland. The G.50 commonly came up against the British Hawker Hurricane, which was fast enough to frequently outrun and out-range the Italian opponent. Later models of the fighter had improvements, including a substantial increase in range.
The G.50 was exported to several overseas customers, small numbers being flown by the Croatian Air Force while 35 G.50 fighters were shipped to Finland, where they served with distinction during both the Winter War of 1940 and the Continuation War of 1941–1944 against the Soviet Union. In Finnish service, the type reportedly achieved an unprecedented kill/loss ratio of 33/1.
Fly is fairly new to the hobby as kits go and this is one of their 1/72 forays. The kit itself is nicely molded and I'm pleased to see that it doesn't rely on photo etch for all its detail parts. The kit does include a few resin bits that consist of the seat, machine guns, gun sight, and prop hub. This latter items is used in place of the spinner on one of the markings options.
This is a fairly basic kit and so it not as parts intensive as some other short run items. The cockpit is nicely detailed with molded in rudder pedals. The resin seat has belt detail and you are provided a two piece instrument panel. An instrument decal would have been nice.
The engine is next and it is a multi row construct wing a separate front gear box. There is pushrod detail molded in place. This fits into a three piece cowling with a single forward piece so no pesky seams to deal with. Exhaust need to be drilled out. I'm glad to see a single piece prop as I'm not much of a fan of individual blades/hub.
It is only at this stage that the interior is placed in the fuselage halves and the halves closed. There is sidewall detail but you won't see much through the small cockpit opening. With that done, the three piece wing and individual tailplanes can be attached. This is followed by the engine, cowling, guns and canopyh. The side pieces to the windscreen are separate and quite small. It would have been nice to have this as a single piece.
The final thing is to attach the landing gear, doors, and the other small pieces. The main gear forks are separate and trap the wheel between them.
Instructions are well done and provide Humbrol and Mr.Color paint references. There are four markings options, all of which are provided on the back of the box. One is the box art plane of 366a squadriglia in 1942. Another is a lighter scheme from 1941 at Berat. A Croatian plane from 1944 is next, followed by a German option used by JG 108, a training outfit in 1944. The decal sheet is nicely printed.
Overall, this looks like a very nice kit and while not complex, offers enough detail to satisfy most right from the box.
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