|Kit:||Heller, 1/72; bought on eBay for about $3. Model finished on 2022-01-20.|
|Aircraft:||CA-556, N° 6, Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force), Summer 1940|
The Caudron-Renault C.R.714 Cyclone was a French fighter that first flew in 1936. A total of 83 aircraft had been completed by the time Germany invaded France in 1940. Earlier, the French government had decided to donate 80 aircraft to Finland; eventually only six aircraft made it. The Finnish Air Force had a plan to assign the aircraft to LeLv 30, but the aircraft was found to be unsuitable to Finnish conditions and generally poorly suited for combat.
The old Heller kit dates back to 1967. My model was built from the 1993 boxing which featured a new decal sheet (which I did not need). The kit is generally accurate but suffers from its age. I spent a lot of effort detailing the cockpit and the landing gear, as well as adding wheel wells, using Evergreen stock and Albion Alloys tubing.
Painting the model was extremely difficult. I tried to replicate the exact pattern based on photographs I had taken of this aircraft in 2006. I used the Hataka lacquers from their excellent "Early WW2 French Air Force" set (see here for more information on French camouflage colors). I also used some Tamiya acrylics for details, and finished the model off with a mixture of Testors' Dullcote and Glosscote.
Decals came from an InScale sheet (for Caudrons and Moranes) as well as from a TechMod sheet of Finnish swastikas. The InScale decals were rather thick, and for the swastikas I had to paint white circles underneath to prevent the camouflage from showing through.
Glueing a "handle" to the model makes painting a lot easier
Masked for clear coat spraying
Masked for painting the anti-slip wing walk
CA-556 in storage at Vesivehmaa, Finland
This aircraft type is well documented. Particularly excellent references are 2, 4, 7, and 9 (Finnish edition of the Mushroom "Finnish Fighter Colors" book), as well as - of course - 12.
Original 1967 cover art of the Heller kit