Built in the late 30s, the originally planned sleek shape of this plane was more or less undone by putting a 14 cylinder radial engine at the front end. The Italian government thought it was better because they found radials to be more reliable. In the end it made for a very interesting looking plane. Typically Italian, if you will.
And the Saetta happened to become one of the fastest and most reliable aircraft of the Italian air forces. The design of the Saetta was later reused in the improved C-202 Folgore, which had a straight in-line 12 cylinder engine, a license-built Mercedes and thus a nice sleek pointy nose. I already have that one on the shelf in a recolour as one which was captured by the U.S Army.
Now since there are no other Saettas outside of those scarce ones one sees in museums, I wanted to colour this Saetta like a privately owned plane. No camo, no guns, just a fun high powered one seater to have fun in. So, away with the camo, and on goes the colour. And wahey, there are Il Velivolo Azul and Cavallucio Marino.
I used Ye Olde Ffotoshoppe for the recolouring process. Zio’s way of colouring his planes meant I had to redraw all the lines of the plane. Also the ‘embossing’ and ‘bevelling’ to create depth in panel lines.
But with these panel lines loose, it also was easier to make lots of different colours and nice decorations. So I made a couple of colourful Saettas.
|I overdid the detailing of the engine a little, with curved cylinders and all. It's hardly visible...|
|Those bulges on the cowling make for a very interesting shape.|
|It's a pity the cockpit is empty.|
Assembly was easy but sometimes a bit fiddly, like where the fuselage meets the wings and the transition from wing to fuselage. Zio’s method of using inward folded glue strips on both parts that come together is an effective but sometimes quite elaborate. In the end all worked out well and I ended up with a very sporty looking plane.
The propeller is turning very smoothly at the slightest breath or breeze.
For the second one, which got a sea horse themed scheme I did for my GF, I took a different route on assembling the plane. This time I first added the top parts of the wings to the fuselage. This meant I initially didn’t use the centre part of the top wing. This came later when the wings were set and I used it as a spacer in the fuselage. The bottom wings were glued together and eventually glued to the top wing section. This also worked very well, it was easier to keep the wings straight and the fit was very good.
|a Nice silver part at the cowling for some extra shiny bits.|
|I thought these bulges around the cowling would be a real pain in the neck but, on the contrary, it wasn't.|
|I really like how the sea horse at the rear fuselage came out. It goes all the way round and meets almost seamlessly in the middle.|
|I had to enlarge the back of the hood with the Saetta, just like I did with the Folgore. They were too low.|
The rest of the procedure was the same, although I did something else with the engine section to get the prop turning. But that is not really interesting. the only thing I can sat of both rotating props is that using a sewing pin and those minuscule beads as bearings make them spin like a real one. Just walking around with them gets the props turning.
PS. On what is coming up next:
There are several projects warming up to take their place on the cutting mat.
Of course, there still is the Soyuz capsule that has to be made, I also still need to finish the N1’s fairing, but there's new stuff too. In the not-so distant future you can expect perhaps some more Zio planes, a Handley-Page HP.42 (design by Gary Pilsworth) in a fantasy livery, and MaksArt has released a very impressive and beautiful 1/33 model of the Myasischev M-55 Geofysica, the U2 of the USSR. More on those later on this year.
For now, thanks for looking and til next time.