Author Topic: The Cramponi-Crampini J-2 Second Italian Jet in 1/72 Scale  (Read 531 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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The Cramponi-Crampini J-2 Second Italian Jet in 1/72 Scale
« on: March 17, 2019, 09:28:44 PM »



While the Caproni-Campini N.1 is notable as one of the earliest jets and the first Italian jet



Far less well known is the second Italian jet:



Taking to the air just a mere 29 months after its more famous predecessor, this sharp, cutting-edge aircraft would be utterly over-looked by aviation historians.



Built by the Cramponi-Crampini concern notorious for tight cockpits, it was officially known in Regia Aeronautica parlance as the J-2.



However, its prominent intake shock cone gave it the nickname Pinocchio. This may have also been because the aircraft's promise of flight was far from the truth.



Jet power was in its infancy and early adopters struggled to make the new technology work. And the Cramponi-Crampini Co. struggled more than most. The Pinocchio's power-plant was problematic at best. Even when it finally became airborne on its third attempt, the J-2 just barely got off the tarmac. The entire "flight" lasted all of a minute and 49 seconds until the main compressor blew out and forced the pilot to glide to a dead-stick landing.



The Cramponi-Crampini J-2 proudly wears a bold 'S' on the tail for 'Sperimental (Italian: Sperimentale). First Aid kit access is also well marked, a feature much appreciated by pilots and ground crew alike as being able to quickly find the aspirin was the only cure for the aircraft's mechanical headaches.



Still, this would not prevent the Pinocchio from being called to defend the Italian capitol and Il Duce himself.



You see, the Duce was a bit of a party animal and kept very late hours. While this fact has been mostly white-washed from history, evidence of Mussolini's love of martinis has been recently discovered.



Early in the morning of March 15th 1943, the drunken Duce was sleeping off another epic bender. At the crack of dawn he was jolted out of his alcoholic coma by a piercing sound he first mistook for an air raid siren. Local air defenses were alerted even if the actual "threat" didn't really warrant such an alarm.



Unfortunately, all Regia Aeronautica forces protecting Rome had been sent off on a wild-goose chase after phantom allied bombers and the Cramponi-Crampini J-2 was the only air asset available. It was scrambled (in more ways than one) and attempted to take off to interdict the intruder. True to form, the Pinocchio's temperamental engine performed as per usual and it consumed its vitals upon reaching altitude.



Il Duce's slumber would be interrupted more rudely as the tide of war turned against the Axis. The Cramponi-Crampini Pinocchio was captured by Allied forces after the fall of Rome and re-painted in co-belligerent colors. It's shown here on the ground where it spent most of its service life.



Sadly, the second Italian jet would not survive to see the end of hostilities. After numerous false-starts, the aircraft was destroyed by frustrated ground crew who hammered it into oblivion as yet one more attempt to get it to work went for naught. Nothing exists of the Pinocchio today except this Wayoshima limited-run kit of which only one is ever known to have been built.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 11:45:39 PM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Cramponi-Crampini J-2 Second Italian Jet in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2019, 10:00:31 PM »
This all started when a good friend sent me a real classic, the 1/72 Aoshima Nakajima C6-N1 Saiun "Myrt" (thanks a million, hamsterman!). One of the great things about kits like this is the box art and Aoshima does not disappoint.



What's inside the box is pretty nifty for late 1960's vintage.



Wait, let me unpack that for you...



Ok I know, it's pretty basic but it sure looks like C6-N1 don't it?



Since the prop was nice and there was just a flat, blank plate for an engine, this bird seemed to want upgraded to jet power. I was happy to oblige, using some of the great plastic wire Jeff Fontaine sent me to mimic compressor blades up front. I capped it off with a pointy drop-tank end for the shock cone.



In back I chopped the rudder to make room for a tail pipe. I bulked up the end with Me-109G gun blisters and used a 1/144 787 APU exhaust as the burner can. I also added a ventral fin in front of the tail wheel because more fins is good. Here's a detail shot of the back.



Since I'd re-purposed the canopy, a replacement was needed. Luckily a spare from a Fuji T-2 worked after it was cut just a bit and force-fit. The windscreen was added after a slice of curvy blister-pack was glued over the remaining cockpit hole.



The old hairy stick was brought out again for another command performance and loaded up with a custom Medium Gray acrylic mix. The canopy was tinted on the outside with Polly Scale Light Blue and given a shiny top-coat of Liquitex acrylic gloss medium.



The wheel wells were done with the oddly-named Polly Scale WarPac "Gray" acrylic. Model Masters Steel and Flat Black were used on the landing gear.



The compressor blades were done with Polly Scale Silver.



Model Masters Feldgrau was used to over-paint the aircraft's original fascist markings. I took great pleasure in doing this since Mussolini built a road through my father's childhood home, forcing his family to emigrate in 1928.



The wing gun covering tapes were made with actual tape painted custom red. Decals were from spares and I was pleased as punch to find some nice CCs that were perfect for the Cramponi-Crampini initials. Before I forget, here's a couple of shots with a U.S. penny for scale.



It only took me three days to build this model and it was a blast the whole time! I'd like to thank Bill for his kindness in sending me the kit and Jeff for the magic plastic wire. I couldn't have done it without them!



I hope you enjoyed the Cramponi-Crampini Pinocchio and reading a little more forgotten aircraft history even if it cramps the so-called "experts" style.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 10:24:27 PM by Brian da Basher »

Offline andonio64

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Re: The Cramponi-Crampini J-2 Second Italian Jet in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2019, 11:57:33 PM »
Hi Brian I love this one, I love the plane and also like a lot the story behind it.
Indeed Mussolini should have drunk really a lot of Martinis to make all the damages he was able to do to our country!!!

:-D

Antonio

Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Cramponi-Crampini J-2 Second Italian Jet in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2019, 01:07:25 AM »
Great back story, Brianís! I assume the sharp nose was to pierce the enemy if the guns jammed. So this is also an Italian Mosquito?

The Caproni- Campini wasnít a real jet - it used a piston engine to drive the first stage compressor, then dumped and burned fuel for some extra thrust.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: The Cramponi-Crampini J-2 Second Italian Jet in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2019, 02:12:09 AM »
Sweet design
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline elmayerle

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Re: The Cramponi-Crampini J-2 Second Italian Jet in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2019, 04:09:00 AM »
Beautiful model and most enjoyable backstory.

Offline finsrin

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Re: The Cramponi-Crampini J-2 Second Italian Jet in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2019, 12:07:36 PM »
Another round of deep research into archives untouched by others.
C6-N1 Saiun was fastest Japanese carrier plane.  Can see Italy using its design as basis for J-2 with hope of high speed success.  Though maybe it was the other way around.  Either way you done the kit good.
Has a kind of resemblance to N.1 but looks more sporty.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 12:20:24 PM by finsrin »

Offline apophenia

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Re: The Cramponi-Crampini J-2 Second Italian Jet in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2019, 03:37:34 AM »
» favoloso!  I wouldn't have guessed Saiun in eons. An amazing transformation and the hilarious Brian da Basher backstory we've all come to love  ;D

The Caproni- Campini wasnít a real jet - it used a piston engine to drive the first stage compressor, then dumped and burned fuel for some extra thrust.

So crude, thunky, and more style than delivery ... sounds like the perfect mascot for Italian Fascism  ;)
The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new land ...

Offline Camthalion

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Re: The Cramponi-Crampini J-2 Second Italian Jet in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2019, 05:28:58 AM »
another top model and backstory