Founded in 1908 by Count Gianni Caproni, this company is famed for its large WWI aircraft, especially the legendary Ca.3 bomber. In the inter-war period its manufacturing became more diverse and it grew to be one of Italy's largest group of companies (only FIAT was comparable in size). By the start of WWII it was apparent that the company was in decline, with many of its aircraft already obsolete. As you can see below there are numerous examples of Caproni aircraft in kit form!

Caproni Ca.100. A very neat little biplane based on the Tiger Moth but with a short span upper wing. This gave it a very distinctive appearance. It was used primarily as a trainer. Choroszy Modelbud have released a multitude of Ca.100’s in 1/72 scale, covering nearly all engine types and floatplane variants. Legato also produced 1/72 resin kits and their 1/48 resin kit is surprisingly good. GAE printed a very neat mini reference source for this aircraft, but it is out of print.

Caproni Ca.101 was the first in a series of Caproni aircraft that was to see widespread use in the early period of the Regia Aeronautica, a lineage that was to continue with the Ca.111 and Ca.133 variants. Italiankits re-released RCR Models 1/72 resin kit but is recommended for the more experienced modeller as it would appear the moulds are looking rather tired these days. Fly Models released a good looking injection-moulded kit in the same scale which has finer parts moulded in resin. LF Models re-released the same kit using their own decals.

Caproni Ca.111 is a single engined variant of the Ca.101 tri-motor. It was widely used in the Ethiopian campaign. Available as a 1/72 vac-form kit by Broplan. Easy to assemble, despite the relatively thin plastic. It captures the rather distinctive, functional looking lines of this aircraft very well. Internal detail is minimal, but it does not detract from the overall appearance. No decals supplied, but a rummage in the spares should solve this problem.

Caproni Ca.113. A tidy looking biplane with an elegant streamlined fuselage. Planet Models have produced a nicely moulded 1/48 resin kit of this aircraft.

Caproni Ca.133 A more efficient development of the Ca.101 tri-motor. It too saw widespread use in Ethiopia, for which it was well suited, as it's generous fuselage proportions made it ideal for transport purposes. Aviation USK made a 1/72 vac-form kit of this plane but has been OOP for quite some time now.

Caproni Ca.161. Lt. Col. M. Pezzi broke the altitude record for a piston engined aircraft back in 1937 in this wide-span biplane. He flew a bis version a year later to reach 56,032ft, a record that still stands. Brach Models 1/48th resin kit is highly detailed, is of excellent quality and includes a standing figure of a suited-up Mario Pezzi, complete with a separately moulded pressurised helmet. Now thought to be OOP.

Caproni Ca.164 is a two-seat trainer biplane, complete with trademark smaller upper wing, which found very limited Regia Aeronuatica use. Dujin produced a 1/72 resin kit as did Choroszy Modelbud, which would be my preferred choice.

The 3 aircraft listed below are experimental prototypes.

Caproni Stipa. Quite possibly one the oddest aircraft ever built. A veritable "flying barrel" prototype that did actually fly, thus proving ing. Stipa's bold and original 'venturi’ concept which still has some relevance to modern ducted-fan technology. Dujin released a 1/72 resin kit but will be hard to find now. When built and put on your display shelf it is bound to provoke some kind of reaction! The image used by Dujin on their packaging is that of a scaled down flying replica.

Caproni CH.1. A prototype biplane that showed good promise during development. Designed by ing.Chiodi, it was notable mainly for its resemblance to racing aircraft of that era. An accident cut short it and Chiodi's promising career. Dujin released a reasonably good 1/72 resin kit. Issue 88 of Aerofan has a good in-depth article of this aircraft which showed that Dujin have modelled the canopy incorrectly, perhaps the only serious fault on the model.

Campini-Caproni. Campini joined forces with Caproni in 1940 to build this experimental jet prototype, which used a piston engine to drive the compressor. One complete aircraft is preserved at the Vigna di Valle Museum. Delta 2 produced a crude toy like 1/72 injection moulded kit of this interesting aircraft. It is OOP. So is the mini Ali d'Italia booklet, which proved just how inaccurate the Delta2 model was. Valom released a limited run injection moulded kit in 1/72 scale but, despite looking pretty good in the box, it does not match published plans. It actually looks if it is based on the Delta2 kit, which is a shame.

 

CAPRONI BERGAMASCHI.
Originally called Cantieri Aeronautiche Bergamaschi, it became a subsidary of the Caproni empire in 1931 and went on to be their most productive division during WWII.

Caproni AP.1. This large single seat fighter, powered by a 9-cylinder Piaggio radial engine, first flew in 1934. A two seater version, fitted with a more powerful Alfa Romeo radial, followed. Although on strength at the start of WWII, it never saw action. LF Models have produced both as 1/72 resin kits, but are not highly recommended. One major error I found on mine was an inverted aerodynamic profile to the wings, i.e. flat upper surface and curved lower surfaces! Both Dujin and Legato also issued 1/72 resin kits but their quality is not known.

Caproni Ca.135 was a twin-engined medium bomber that was fitted with all kinds of engines, but only the Piaggio powered aircraft had any useable performance. Were built for export only. ItalianKits re-issue the Cunarmodel 1/72 resin kit on an occasional basis. It is a highly detailed resin kit with good interior detail.

Caproni Ca.308. This is the aircraft from which the Borea lineage was born. Alitaliane released 1/72 resin kits of both the civil and military versions of this aircraft, the civilian aircraft sporting the Ala Littoria livery and includes passenger seat detail. Now thought to be OOP.

Caproni Ca.309 Ghibli. The Old Wings 1/72 resin kit was featured on the ItalianKits website. This elegant plane continued the long line of twin-engined multi-role aircraft. It was re-issued by Vintage Models, but quality was not that great. Current availability is unknown.

Caproni Ca.310. Under their Azur label MPM have made perhaps the first 1/72 scale kit of this aircraft. Has very nicely moulded parts, including resin pieces, with very good fabric effect and engraved panel detail. Also released in separate boxings with markings for Norway, Peru, Croatia, Hungary and Yugoslavia.

Caproni Ca.311. The distinctive glass-house type canopy on this aircraft was disliked by pilots, so a more conventional stepped version was introduced during production. MPM, under their Special Hobby label, have released both versions of this aircraft in 1/72 scale and, just like their Azur Ca.310 kits, are highly recommended. One neat trick with this model is that the fuselage pieces are moulded in transparent plastic, with vinyl masks supplied for the complex canopy and fuselage glazing. This model practically relegates the elderly 1970 Italeri kit to the ‘collectable’ category. Ali d'Italia have released a useful reference guide, which includes the Ca.313 & Ca.314 models. Apart from the Falcon canopy, no other aftermarket items are known for this kit, so the Ali d'Italia book can be useful for scratch building any extra detail.

Caproni Ca.313/314. Like it’s sister Ca.311 kit, this model is issued by Italeri on a limited basis and shares parts with the Ca.311 kit. Both the RCR etch set and Falcons replacement canopy can be used to improve the model, although the Falcon canopy is correct for the Ca.313 only. Sweden flew this aircraft too.

Caproni Ca.316. This is a floatplane variant of the Ca.310. Can be built using Broplan’s 1/72 vac-form kit.

Caproni Ca.331. The Ca.331 could be considered as one the most elegant aircraft of WWII. The Germans were hugely impressed by this aircraft, but efforts to get it into full scale production failed. LF Models have produced 1/72 resin kits of both the O.A. & C.N. prototypes. They  are not the best examples of limited-run resin kits you can buy. The feature article in Aerofan #76 serves to hi-light the kits shortcomings, which included non-existent panel detail, incorrect aerofoil section to the wings (too blunt) and rather difficult vac-form canopy installation.

Caproni Ca.335 Maestrale. A 1937 two-seater prototype intended for the fighter/reconnaissance role. This monoplane design was eventually sold to the Belgian SABCA company, who gave it the designation of S.47 but were unable to start production due to the German invasion. Omega Models do 1/72 resin kits of both the Ca.335 and S.47 which are essentially the same kit.

Caproni Ca.355 Tuffo. This 1941 dive-bomber prototype was a scaled-down variant of the Ca.335 that, despite successful trails, did not receive any production order as the Junker Ju.87 was readily available at the time. Omega Models have a 1/72 resin kit of this aircraft in their catalogue, with decals for two aircraft.

 

CAPRONI VIZZOLA.
Starting out as Caproni's flying school Scuola di Aviazione Caproni, Caproni Vizzola S.A. was modernised in the mid-1930's and started production of their own aircraft under ing. Fabrizi.

Caproni Vizzola F.4. The F.4 prototype was an F.5 fitted with the DB.601 engine. It saw action in the defence of Rome. Available as a 1/72 resin kit from LF Models.

Caproni Vizzola F.5. A neat and elegant radial engined aircraft that was built in sufficient numbers to be used as a Rome defence fighter. Dujin made a 1/72 resin kit of this aircraft, but the Alphaflight kit is far, far superior. Both are OOP.

Caproni Vizzola F.6. The F.4 program was halted in favor of the F.6, which was an F.5 fitted with a DB.605 power plant. The F.6M ‘metallico’ was essentially an all-metal variant. The F.6MZ was powered by a 24-cylinder Issota Frascini Zeta engine. LF Models do both F.6M and F.6MZ variants as 1/72 resin kits.