Fiat CR.42 over Malta

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davenport49
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Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by davenport49 » Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:28 am

I'm continuing my project of portraying aircraft involved in the Siege of Malta. I found a fascinating (indistinct) photo of a CR.42 escorting S.M. 79s over Malta. I have the Italeri 1/48th "Aces" kit. Based on the information in the kit, it appears that PERHAPS Maggiore Vosilla and/or Capitano Martissa might be among those engaged over Malta. Does anyone have definitive knowledge?

And if neither of these men fit the description, can someone point me to a candidate and appropriate decals?

Thanks,
Richard

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Re: Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by Editor » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:52 pm

Probably not Vosilla, all his claims were shared MS.406s flying the CR.42 with 18o Gr. (Total: 3 shared destroyed, 4 shared damaged). Martissa flew with 91a Sq. and all his claims were in North Africa with no known assignments over Malta. Most of Marissa's claims were shared Blenheim and Gladiators Total: 1 and 11 shared destroyed, 2 shared probables.

Do you have the photo of the CR.42s escorting the S.79s?
Vince Tassone

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Re: Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by davenport49 » Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:18 am

Here's the photo from the Squadron/Signal book, p. 33:
2020-10-28_111118.jpg
2020-10-28_111118.jpg (155.95 KiB) Viewed 1923 times
2020-10-28_111118.jpg
2020-10-28_111118.jpg (155.95 KiB) Viewed 1923 times
I've also found these references in the 2 Osprey S.79 books:
24° Gruppo w/ S.79 attacking convoy Operation Harpoon – Torpedo-Bomber, p. 49

9°Gruppo, 4°Stormo Caccia, esp. Maggiore Ernesto Botto, CO of 9°Gruppo – Bomber, p.58

156° Gruppo, - Bomber, p. 61

I'm thinking about getting the 2 Osprey CR.42 books, but thought I'd check here first.

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Re: Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by Editor » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:10 pm

davenport49 wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:18 am
Here's the photo from the Squadron/Signal book, p. 33:
2020-10-28_111118.jpg

I've also found these references in the 2 Osprey S.79 books:
24° Gruppo w/ S.79 attacking convoy Operation Harpoon – Torpedo-Bomber, p. 49

9°Gruppo, 4°Stormo Caccia, esp. Maggiore Ernesto Botto, CO of 9°Gruppo – Bomber, p.58

156° Gruppo, - Bomber, p. 61

I'm thinking about getting the 2 Osprey CR.42 books, but thought I'd check here first.
Botto shot down Hurricane (P2614) piloted by Officer John Waters of Hal Far (Malta) Fighter Flight 03/07/40. Botto is a good subject and he was also a SCW ace. His total record is 8 and 20 shared destroyed, 7 probable shared destroyed. 1 and 4 shared damaged.

The two Osprey books CR.42 #90 Aces and #31 Duel are written by two good authors in Hakan Gustavsson and Ludovico Slongo who have spent a lot of time on the subject. I believe Stefano and Ludovico are friends, and both live in Padova. Ludovico has posted here in the past. I haven't read #31 but #90 is a good reference (I would have to review my notes). The book contains good color plates (Richard Caruana) and covers the CR.42 in Belgian, Hungarian, Swedish and German use.
Vince Tassone

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Re: Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by davenport49 » Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:03 am

It sounds like Botto is my candidate, and I imagine he's covered in the Aces book with aircraft profile. I assume the standard decals in the kit will be good, but any suggestions on finding Botto's personal insignia?

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Re: Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by Editor » Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:12 pm

I'm not sure if there's a sheet with Botto's machine, I think you may have to get creative :) Note the white upper wing tips.

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Re: Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by Stefano » Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:31 am

Though no banner is visible, and if the date is confirmed, ind.no. and radio of 75-1 suggest it was the mount of Cap. Luigi Filippi (7 kills and at least 1 shared). MM is not known.
If you want to represent the CR of Botto on Malta, you should omit white wingtips and black St. Andrew's underwing crosses, as these were id. insignia for North Africa in 1940. The 9° Gruppo CR.42s flew over Malta just by 2 to 10 July 1940, before being directly transferred to NA.
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Re: Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by davenport49 » Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:57 am

Thank you to both of you. Stefano, thank you especially for clarification re: the wingtips and cross for Bottos. As of now, that's the direction I'll go. Apart from the commander pennant, I don't see any specific identifiers for his aircraft. The red lightening flash on the wheel pant is interesting; any idea if it was only port side or both? I'm on another project now, but I'll let you know how things proceed. Any additional details you might have are greatly appreciated.

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Re: Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by MiGFoxbat » Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:33 pm

Thanks for the explanations, I think I'll go for Botto's CR.42 over Malta as well for my next build! I've loved this biplane since I discovered it as a teenager playing Il-2 Sturmovik a good 15 years ago, and since I'm going to finish my market analysis for these flats in Montenegro a bit earlier than expected, probably by Thursday, I should have the time to start a kit if I order it tomorrow.

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Re: Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by Editor » Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:11 pm

Look forward to seeing your work.
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Re: Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by davenport49 » Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:19 am

MiGFoxbat wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:33 pm
Thanks for the explanations, I think I'll go for Botto's CR.42 over Malta as well for my next build! I've loved this biplane since I discovered it as a teenager playing Il-2 Sturmovik a good 15 years ago, and since I'm going to finish my market analysis for these flats in Montenegro a bit earlier than expected, probably by Thursday, I should have the time to start a kit if I order it tomorrow.
Hi, "Foxbat";

It sounds like you're going to get to this project before I do. The obstacle I see is coming up with the necessary decals, specifically the aircraft number and the "gruppo" commander banner. I think I'll ultimately be able to create them. But if you have any suggestions or sources, please let me know.

Richard

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Re: Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by Stefano » Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:21 am

Some tips for modelers: colors of early CR.42s were officially named as havana (light tobacco brown) background, green and chestnut brown spots. Choose proper hues among CMPR and Vitocharts palettes. Here spots are very small and dense. Undersides were aluminium paint, not light gray as commonly believed.
Red bolt was on both sides. There's no individual number, just the squadriglia number as the aircraft was in charge of it. Other than pennant, Botto wore a red leather cap for identifying. The front engine cowling had cooling louvers upperside, but I don't know if they were made when still against Malta or when the unit arrived in North Africa.
1/48 Decals for Botto's "73" are in Sky Models decals 48036 (CR.42 part 1), MM digits are in 48037 (part 2).
Stefano

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Re: Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by davenport49 » Mon Nov 02, 2020 12:30 pm

Amazing! Thank you so much, Stefano, for all the help! :thumbup:

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Re: Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by MiGFoxbat » Wed Nov 04, 2020 4:22 am

davenport49 wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:19 am

Hi, "Foxbat";

It sounds like you're going to get to this project before I do. The obstacle I see is coming up with the necessary decals, specifically the aircraft number and the "gruppo" commander banner. I think I'll ultimately be able to create them. But if you have any suggestions or sources, please let me know.

Richard
Hi Davenport49,

I'm sorry, I don't have any source for the decals, I was thinking of ordering them from someone I know who prints decals on demand. If you're interesting, I can give you his e-mail address; he's in Russian and I'm not sure he speaks English, but in the worst case scenario, Google Translate could handle something like a basic negotiation. If you want to ask something or to describe what sort of decals you need (you can send him either an image of what you want, or describe it), don't hesitate to PM me and I'll ask him in Russian.

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Re: Fiat CR.42 over Malta

Post by Stefano » Fri Nov 06, 2020 4:07 am

Stefano wrote:
Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:21 am
Some tips for modelers: colors of early CR.42s were officially named as havana (light tobacco brown) background, green and chestnut brown spots. Choose proper hues among CMPR and Vitocharts palettes. Here spots are very small and dense. Undersides were aluminium paint, not light gray as commonly believed.
Red bolt was on both sides. There's no individual number, just the squadriglia number as the aircraft was in charge of it. Other than pennant, Botto wore a red leather cap for identifying. The front engine cowling had cooling louvers upperside, but I don't know if they were made when still against Malta or when the unit arrived in North Africa.
1/48 Decals for Botto's "73" are in Sky Models decals 48036 (CR.42 part 1), MM digits are in 48037 (part 2).
Stefano
Forgot to say, the front face of propeller blades in FIAT-Hamilton Standard was FS 35466 light blue.
Spinner wore that squadriglia's red color.
S.

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