ing. Giuseppe Gabrielli FIAT
This page features the aircraft ing. Giuseppe Gabrielli designed during the time of the Regia Aeronautica. He had a long, distinguished career that continued long after WWII had ended.
FIAT G.5. This aircraft was a fairly large 1930's single-engined low-wing monoplane built for touring and training purposes. Only a handful were built in various guises. Choroszy Modelbud do a nice 1/72 resin kit. See the first image on the right. Aerofan 80 features a useful article on this aircraft.
FIAT G.12. A tri-motor transport aircraft powered by FIAT A74 radials. Originally designed for commercial use only, a troop carrying G.12T was also developed. Aerodim produced a resin cast G.12 in 1/72 scale with a separately moulded rear fuselage section. The large wings were solid cast but fortunately the kit included metal cast underecarriage to take the weight! It is a large kit but builds into a nice looking model although surface details are non-existent. SEM Models had the same kit in their catalogue. The post war FIAT G.212 was a modified G.12 with an enlarged fuselage and extended wings. Broplan produced two 1/72 vac-form G-212 kits covering both military and civilian variants. All these kits are now thought to be OOP.
FIAT G-18. First built in 1935 and closely resembling the Douglas DC.3, this commercial aircraft was powered by a pair of FIAT radial engines. It probably never saw RA service. Italiankits have photos on their website showing kit parts for a 1/72 G.18 resin kit, penned as a future release. Issue 87 of Aerofan has a major article on this aircraft.
FIAT G.50 is a very popular modelling subject, including G.50s in Finnish markings. It had a very unique appearance with is distinctive cockpit and fuselage 'hump' but, despite good handling, it suffered from a lack of firepower and good performance. Ultimately it was relegated to training duties for both the Regia Aeronautica and the Luftwaffe
The1/48 Hasegawa Fiat G.50 is was originally a Secter kit so it is not a typical Hasegawa product. The tail surfaces are crudely moulded, the engine cowl shape is wrong, the wheel wells are too shallow and the engine is best replaced with an aftermarket example. Although the cowling is fairly easy to reshape and the tail surfaces can be reworked, the shallow well wheel could only be resolved with the Misterkits/Pacmodels replacement wing, which had the correct wheel well depth and the bonus of separate flaps and ailerons. The very thick canopy could also be replaced with a Falcon vac form canopy. The end result of all this remedial work is a very good looking model, albeit a rather expensive one.
Italian Classic released a series of 1/48 G.50 conversion/detail sets. The second image shows the Serie 1 conversion together with a Falcon canopy. They followed these up with a series of complete 1/48 resin kits. They were extremely well detailed and beautifully cast but they have been OOP for some time.
Pacific Coast Models reissued the Hasegawa/Secter kit in various guises, either as a bis or Serie 1. They addressed most of the faults by including extra resin parts for the engine, cowl, fin/ & rudder, a fully detailed cockpit, an Eduard etch set and a complete SkyModels decal sheet. It was possibly the best value kit of the G.50 in 1/48 at the time, although stocks were limited. Some of the resin/brass etch items used in these kits were available separately, as well as the replacement resin wing. Flying Machines have since released a trio of high quality 1/48 injection moulded kits and are now the only ones to get.
The recent FLY 1/72 G.50, also released by AML, is perhaps the best injection moulded kit in this scale and for any modellers who do not mind working with resin should consider the excellent 1/72 SBS G.50 kit, which has superlative detail and finely moulded parts. The third and fourth images on the right show older versions of the AML G.50 kits.
Other G.50 kits in this scale were made by Airfix, AML/Kora and Misterkit. The Airfix kit is quite old and rather inaccurate. The OOP Misterkit kit was easily the best in resin before the all new SBS kit appeared. Another interesting G.50 is ItalianKits 1/72 resin kit of the D-Benz engined G.50V prototype.
MPM have recently released a very impressive series of 1/32 limited-run injection moulded kits, with resin and photo-etch details. As well as a Regia Aeronautica boxing, there is the Finnish and Luftwaffe/Croatian types as well. They build up very well despite not having separately moulded flaps and ailerons. See the fifth image which shows a G.50 in Croatian markings.
FIAT G.55. This was a development of the FIAT G.50 but, with so many changes made to the airframe, it was given a new designation. Along with the similarly engined Macchi C.202, C.205 & Reggiane RE.2005, this design was at least equal or even better than some of the rival Allied fighter designs of the time. The G.55 had only just entered service with the Regia Aeronautica when the Armistice was signed, so it saw most WWII action in the ANR. It was a very highly regarded aircraft, especially at altitude, where its large wing area proved to be very beneficial. Germany were so impressed with this design that they developed a G.56 prototype, which was fitted with the more powerful DB.603 engine and had a top speed of 425mph.
For too long, this fine aircraft was badly served by model kit companies. Only the poor Supermodel 1/72 G.55 and SMER 1/50 kits were around but both suffered from various inaccuracies. All too briefly the best 1/72 G.55 was Misterkits resin kit, as seen in the sixth image. Nowadays, the Special Hobby's series of 1/72 injection moulded kits are a whole lot better, using resin and etch detail parts. Versions covered include the two seat trainer, serie ‘O’, captured ‘RAF’ and the G.56 prototype. The seventh image down shows one of them. Sword have released a good looking double kit in 1/72 as well.
Although Classic Airframe's 1/48th G.55 multi-media kit was very popular in its day (judging by inflated eBay prices), it was not very accurate. It suffered from various outline faults to the fuselage, as well as a few other detail errors. Fortunately, the Special Hobby/Flying Machines 1/48 kit series are much better and should be considered as the definitive 1/48 G.55 kit. In the seventh image you can see the 1/48 Flying Machines kit which has parts to build the sole silurante prototype. It has additional resin cockpit detail whereas the Special Hobby kits only have injection moulded cockpit detail. As with most limited run kits, it is necessary to test fit all parts first.
Pacific Coast Models released a 1/32 G.55 Serie 1 and it is a great kit. Being a relatively large aircraft, it makes for an impressive model in this scale. The detail throughout has been faithfully captured and is quite easy to assemble if care is taken to prepare the parts first, especially thinning the trailing edges of the wings. Decals are provided for 4 ANR aircraft for which I prepared the artwork. Cammet Models released a silurante conversion set for this model amd is now produced by Mastercasters.
The last two images are iterations of the OOP RCR Models 1/48 G.55 resin kit which resurfaced as limited run re-issues by both Vintage Models and ItalianKits. The model captured the look of this aircraft extremely well, but the panel lines lacked finesse, being a bit heavy handed in places. It was an easy model to build, mainly because of the one piece fuselage and wing, but the canopy should be replaced with the more accurate Falcon vac form canopy (which was originally designed for the Classic Airframe kit). The Italiankits tweaked the RCR kit with improved wheel well & cockpit details but failed to improve the engraved panel lines. Two fuselages were included, with and without nose gun troughs, as well as a full Skymodels decal sheet. ItalianKits also produce 1/48 & 1/72 scale conversion sets for the post war FIAT G.59 variant, which were G.55 fitted with Rolls Royce Merlin engines and teardrop canopies, altering their appearance quite markedly.