**** DONE: GB-42 1/48 Fiat G.55 - MTO II

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Senior Airman
Jun 19, 2015
South-East UK
User Name: Mainly28s
Name: Olaf
Category: Beginner (possibly upgading to Intermediate as discussed elsewhere)
Kit: Smer Fiat G.55
Scale: 1/48
Accessories: Assorted decals

My main interest is 1/48th aircraft. Of course, I don't do things the easy way, so I picked a specific pilot to honour. Hans-Werner Lerche provided a good source of variety and diversity. He was senior test pilot at Rechlin until 1945, and flew about 125 different aircraft types, as told in his autobiography/memoir "Luftwaffe Test Pilot". My plan is to eventually build (as well as I can), as many of the planes he flew in 1/48th scale. Of course, his biography doesn't list every code on every plane he flew, but there is enough to make very educated guesses about a large number.

Anyway, for this group build, I'd first planned to build a Liberator as flown by the Italians and then H-W Lerche in Sicily, but can't find the required decals. So, with that off the table, I figured a Heinkel He-111 that he used to fly him to various Italian airfields would be OK. While re-reading the book, I found a reference to a trip in October 1943 that included a number of Italian aircraft. I checked which ones he flew on the trip, and only found one candidate available at a low price- the Fiat G.55 (ANR insignia over standard Luftwaffe colours in the kit). A trip to e-Bay later, and it was on its way to me. Next step- some research. Special Thanks to Giorgi N at Britmodeller for his help.

Firstly, any aircraft produced in Northern Italy would have carried Luftwaffe markings, as ANR markings were applied starting in January 1944. The most likely colour scheme would have been the "continental" scheme of Verde Oliva Scuro 2 (dark olive green) over Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1 (light blue grey). This was the scheme applied to most, if not all, G.55s at the factory until mid 1944. The first ANR unit equipped with the G.55 was the Squadriglia Complementare Caccia Montefusco in late 1943, operating from Venaria, just outside Turin. The unit would most probably not have been operational in October, so Lerche most probably flew one of the machines built by the Aeritalia division of Fiat, but not yet delivered to anyone and so taken over by the Luftwaffe.
Three machines were completed in October and delivered directly to the Luftwaffe, all finished in the dark green over grey scheme, and although any potential machine flown by Lerche may have been completed earlier, the scheme would have been the same. The original scheme seems to have retained the Italian 600 mm wide white band on the rear fuselage. Crosses on the wing and fuselage were thinner than the standard used by the Luftwaffe, and were 700*700 mm, while the swastika on the tail was 580*580 mm.
The serial number can only be between MM 91054 and MM 91070. The aircraft with serials MM 91066, MM 91067 and MM 91068 were the 3 completed for the Luftwaffe in October. MM 91066 was flown to Germany, while the other two were tested in Italy and then sent back to Fiat to be refurbished and used by the ANR.

I will add photos as soon as I can (once I figure out my Flickr again).
OK, so here are a few pics:
Hans-Werner Lerche

The Fiat G.55 in fairly standard colours, but this particular profile is as per Italian acceptance tests:

Fiat G.55 Centauro, acceptance tests MM91059, Aeritalia, 25th July 1943

This is one of the trial machines that were flown in Luftwaffe insignia, after being refurbished and taken on by the ANR:

Fiat G.55 Centauro, 2 Gruppo, 2 Squadriglia, Yellow 1, Bresso, Italy April 1944

Here is a phot of a Fiat G.55 in Luftwaffe colours, during testing.

Fiat G.55 Centauro in Luftwaffe markings

Fiat G.55 Centauro in Luftwaffe markings (MM91068), left abandoned

And now, with the historical stuff out of the way, here are a few of the kit and the Italian paints. I'm still waiting for my Luftwaffe decals.



More to follow when I open the baggie and start work.
The copious amount of flash is a little concerning, and may be a warning of the accuracy of some of the reviews I read of this kit.
I have built this one, very basic kit from what I remember, and I think mine was 1/50 th scale
I have built this one, very basic kit from what I remember, and I think mine was 1/50 th scale
Yes, it is 1:50 no matter what's written on the box. This was the case with Macchi M.C.72 by SMER as well. You don't see it at a first glance though, unless you have a model in the proper scale to compare.
I'd like to apologise for the delay in starting, but due to an ongoing back issue, I have not been able to get any modelling in recently. I hope to get started fairly soon.
Well, this afternoon I did get a chance to open the box and make a small start.

The amount of flash is incredible. A few small broken pieces that I can fix while building. And weird plastic.
I managed to get the propeller and spinner assembly off and glued together, and slathered putty over the join.
I've also removed the seat from the sprue and attached it to the starboard fuselage half. No paint yet, and nothing else removed or cleaned.

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