Italian Classic 1/48 Fiat G.50 series 1




$51.95 MSRP




Chris Busbridge


Conversion set


The Fiat G.50 was Italy's first all-metal single seat fighter and first flew in 1937. From the initial batch of G.50's, some were sent to Spain to gain combat experience. The enclosed canopy was profoundly disliked  by the pilots, who complained of poor visibility. This was to lead to the development of the more familiar open cockpit seen during WWII,  which some might consider a retrograde step. They were not very good aircraft with regards to speed and firepower, although they were said  to be quite maneuverable. In competition between the rival Reggianne  RE.2000 and Macchi C.200 designs, it was found to be inferior on nearly  all counts.


The Fiat G.50 has been a fairly popular modelling subject, although  examples of the initial versions are rare. Having already built a Hasegawa/Secter G.50, using a Misterkit replacement resin wing and an  E&T engine, I knew what was in store when I decided to convert another one to a Serie 1, using the admittedly expensive Italian Classic resin  conversion set. It has excellent detail that's in stark contrast to the crude Secter parts. The only items needed from the donor kit were the  two main fuselage halves, the carb intake, aileron mass balances and the wings (which, I believe, were the Hasagawa items). Everything else was trashed, which is all they're good for to be honest. A Misterkit  resin wing could be used as well, but that would push costs even higher.


As the replacement wing was not used this time around, first thing to do was to open up the very shallow wheel wells on the lower wing and the corresponding area in the fuselage. This allows them to be modelled  to their correct depth. The ailerons and flaps on each wing were removed as well and 2 thin strips of plasticard applied to the "kink"  in the wing, to represent the prominent seams visible on the real aircraft.

Next task was to construct the fully detailed Italian Classic resin  cockpit. This proved to be a joy. The detailing was exquisite, the only items missing were the seatbelts and the frame behind the pilot seat.  Overall cockpit colour is thought to be grey, not the usual interior green.

The two fuselage halves fit very nicely around the cockpit. The tail-end of the fuselage is replaced by a resin piece, before attaching the resin tail surfaces. Having already deepened the wheel wells, the  wings were next, with only a touch of filler needed. Finally all the ailerons and flaps were added. Considering the amount of surgery  carried out, the fit of parts was very good.

The engine and cowling are very nicely detailed. The cylinders were moulded as seperate pieces, so care was taken to ensure the cylinders were applied to the crankcase correctly, the back row of cylinders  being slightly different to the front. Pushrods were scratchbuilt. The propeller is fully detailed and has a pale blue protective varnish,  with black applied to the rear faces of the blades to avoid glare.

The undercarriage legs were white metal with resin wheels. Although there were brass etch doors supplied, they were not used on this aircraft. The tailwheel has a bullet fairing into which the wheel  fitted quite snugly.

The only down side of the detail set was the vacform canopy, which was not very well moulded or a good fit. Luckily Falcon made a nice canopy in one their recent 1/48 sets that's beautifully moulded, as well as  being an accurate fit. I decided to retain the fore and aft sections of their moulding, which meant removing the relevant parts from the resin  items. This proved to be a relatively simple task as the rear shelf in the cockpit was quite bare and the front section just needed careful  treatment of the upper instrument panel.


The detail set did not come with decals, but both Tauro and Skymodels  have printed various markings for a Spanish campaign aircraft, including one with the "Ace of Clubs" insignia. Colours used were from  Humbrol and Xtracolor range, based on information found on the IPMS Italy website. The wing tips and rudder were sprayed Satin White.


To sum up, I would say the results were well worth the effort, the  quality of the resin items in the detail set being first class. At the time, it was the only way to get a decent model of this aircraft.  Recently, Italian Classic released a full kit of this type as well the later bis and A.S. types. They are extremely well detailed kits and are  worth a look, despite their high purchase price.


Ali d'Italia G.50 (published by GAE).

Chris Busbridge

August 2003

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Reviews Index Page 2015