GROUP BUILDS > The 2017 One Week Build

Fiat G.91 "Mario" - completed!

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Ok, so here's my entry for the one-week build.  An ancient Airfix (Japanese boxing) Fiat G.91 in 1/72.  As with most of my builds, it fits within a larger project - in this case part of my massive Area 88 fantasy build project.

For those of you familiar with the Area 88 manga, Mario Baldini was a hotshot Italian fighter pilot who storms into Area 88 and quickly takes over as the mercenary forces No. 1 ace.  Young and cocky, Mario was the soloist in the No. 1 plane as part of the Italian Frecce Tricolori team, but joined Area 88 because he craved the thrill of actual battle. Of course, he soon discovers the difference between stunt flying and battle as his thrill-seeking "devil may care" attitude gets him shot down.

Although in the manga, Mario only appears for a short time, during the period when the base only has a small group of KFIRs at their disposal, this is part of a sub-project that will include both Mario's (mentioned but never seen) Gina in Frecce Tricolori markings as well as a Whif-within-the-story Gina in camouflage that Mario might have flown if he'd lived long enough.

I also have a nice Meng G.91 set aside for the camouflage part of this sub-project, but I'm not sure which way to go here.  Since a Frecce Tricolori G.91 is a real world subject, does it count as a Whif under these circumstances? I think I might need a mod ruling...

Okay... let's get into it!

First up is my favourite part of the build... the box! So wonderfully full of possibilities, and all wrapped up in a bit of cardboard covered with some exciting artwork. I also really like how this is an Airfix box, but totally Japanese (which makes sense since I got it in Tokyo).

And here's what's in the box... old timey goodies on THICK sprues.  Hopefully I won't need to translate the Japanese instructions.

Here's what we've got... started by gently rescribing the raised panel lines. Someday I will be able to do it in straight lines... but not today!

Also, since this is a 1-week project, I don't have time to scratch-build a cockpit, so I rummaged one up from the spares box. The control panel is from an Airfix Gnat (after I blanked over the rear seat) and the seat/tub is off an Academy F-8E that died on the bench. I know the seat is a MB mk.5 not a mk.4, but isn't great that I don't care?  ;D

Ok, looks like it'll fit.

Now that the cockpit's sorted out, let's do something about those gaping cavities.  First up the air intake.  A bit of styrene tubing cut and pinched/glued at one end will work.  It was a bit too large for a 6mm tube and a bit too small for an 8mm tube, so I went with the 8mm and notched a "v" into it so it'll fit.

Now for the thruster. With a bit of sanding, that 6mm tube fit just fine.  I plugged up the other end with a leftover Academy MiG-21 wheel and painted everything dark metallic grey.

okay, so that looks about like I thought it would. Much better than staring at daylight from the other end!

Ok, the tub and sidewalls have been painted grey...

With that out of the way, both ends are plugged up, and glued in place I also added a bit of weight to the nose.  Also with the side controls painted and some homemade decals slapped onto the control panel, suddenly we've got a cockpit.  After thinking about it, I also swapped the Academy chair for the one that came with the Meng kit - which was strangely sub-par for such a nice detailed little kit.

I also glued the back of the Academy tub into the canopy.  The rear part will be painted over, so if everything goes as planned, you won't be able to see behind it on the finished model.

Ok, so all the guts are in place and I stitched up the fuselage.  I also cut off that weird little nobby thing above the control panel and replaced it with a bit of tubing cut at an angle.

And, from the back...

 A bit of sanding on the inside of the air intake to cover over that notch, and some more dark metallic grey, and we're good to add the nose cone.

Ok... what's next? Why, PSR of course!

Blimey! You're flying through it :o. Rescribing too...that's something I do not enjoy.

Spent three summers on the Tuscany coast watching G.91s buzzing about overhead. Very nice looking plane.


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