Italeri’s 1/48 CR.42: An Engine, Short Wings, And A Bunch Of Struts

Work continues on the CR.42.

The engine assembles into a decent little unit right out of the box. I dry assembled it for the photos, but actually assembly requires mixing cowling parts into the process. Once the cowl is on, very little will be seen of the engine.

I also finished assembly and sanding of the main fuselage. The CR.42 is not actually a biplane, but a sesquiplane. That’s a $64 word that means “the lower wings are short and stubby compared to the upper wings”. There weren’t any problems with fuselage assembly- no complaints at all.

And then come the struts.

The instructions call for gluing them ALL on the upper wing, and then joining it to the lower wing. As with most biplanes… sorry…. sesquiplanes…. the struts don’t really have anything in the way of proper alignment pins. So it will be a process of gluing a few on, trying to get it all straight, being satisfied it is, setting it aside to dry, and returning later to realize it’s all wrong and horribly misaligned.

I do plan to get the bulk of the painting completed prior to adding the wings. This plane will have the “smoke ring” camo scheme, so having the upper wing off will be essential in getting it done.

In the meantime, I cleaned up the mold seams on the struts, and labeled them for easy identification.

So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice. (Gunga galunga… gunga, gunga-lagunga)

4 comments

  1. Cracking work on that engine Jon – The rust effect on the exhaust ring looks really effective.
    Good luck with all those struts! It’s that sort of thing that puts me off biplane building more than rigging. I’ve never understood why more kits aren’t tooled with the …(cabane???)… struts (between the fuse and the upper wing) moulded onto the fuselage halves like monogram did in there 1/72 kits. At least you’d have a fighting chance of getting something lined up.
    Airfix seem to be pretty good at it as well.

    Cheers
    .Stuart

  2. This is where the “drill and pin” technique comes in handy Jon. However, you do need some very fine drill bits (#72-#80), and wire. I recommend simple “fine” floral wire. You can generally get a handful for a buck or two from your local florist (if they don’t give it to you); but be sure to get the thinnest wire they have.

    Use the BIGGEST drill size your struts will accommodate to drill holes in the end of each. Super glue a length of wire into the end of each one. Don’t worry about length much, as that can be trimmed as needed. Use lengths long enough to handle easily. Be sure those wires will fit into the sockets in the fuselage and wings, trimming to fit. Another advantage is that these wires can be bent if needed to fit the sockets better and secure the struts at their correct angle.

    This is a tedious process, but then biplane strut alignment is tough on all but the best engineered kits. This technique will allow you to build stronger wing assemblies or make up for the lack of good molded pins on a kit.

    By the way, the most widely accepted way of building biplanes says you use the CABANES to set up the top wing alignment, adding them first. Once you’re satisfied with the way the wing sits on those, then you work on fitting the outer struts. You then have the option of adding the outer struts to the top or bottom wing; whichever suits your painting and assembly needs best.

    Hope this helps! Best of luck!

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