Fiat CR.42 Falco

By Przemyslaw Skulski
Mushroom Model Publications, ©2007
ISBN 83-89450-34-8
Softbound, 144 Pages
Available from Mushroom for £13

Reviewed by Chris Banyai-Riepl

The newest book from Mushroom Model Publications examines one of my favorite aircraft, the Fiat CR.42. Designed at the intersection of biplanes and monoplanes, aluminum construction and fabric construction, open cockpits and enclosed cockpits, the CR.42 marked the pinnacle of biplane fighters. However, the world had changed, and monoplanes were the way to go, and by the time the Second World War opened up, the CR.42 was outclassed in just about every aspect. Still, the aircraft proved itself quite well in combat, and in the hands of a skilled pilot, it could be quite lethal.

Like other books in Mushroom’s Orange Series, this book starts out with a type overview, showing the development of the CR.42 and its variants. This section is complemented with 1/72 scale drawings (the drawings are repeated in 1/48 in a separate pullout at the end of the book). Following the type overview comes a synopsis of the operational history of the Falco, both in Italian service and abroad. The CR.42 served with the air forces of Belgium, Hungary, Sweden, and Germany, so there are some interesting alternatives to Italian Falcos presented here.

For the modeler, though, the most useful section would be what comes next: the detailed walkaround. This section utilizes several surviving aircraft and combines it with period photos to show virtually every corner of the CR.42. This section will be of immense use to those wanting to superdetail one of the available kits, or for the more ambitious, that scratchbuilt 1/24 CR.42 that I’m sure someone somewhere is working on. Finally, the book ends with a section of color profile illustrations. This section will provide the modeler with plenty of schemes that are intriguing enough to model, so before you flip to this section, better stock up on Falco kits.

Overall, this is a great book on the Falco, one well worth the price for Regia Aeronautica fans. My thanks to Mushroom for the review sample.

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