|21st Century Toy's 1/32 Macchi MC. 202 Folgore
Lightning Prototype - Part I
by Gregory Jouette
|This new fighter was designed by Mario Castoldi the father of the Regia Aeronautica’s best modern fighter aircraft before the outbreak of World War II, the Macchi C.200. Although the C.200 was an excellent fighter the small radial engine configuration limited power. This realization lead to the development of a new series of competitive fighters powered by the German designed Damler-Benz DB-601 engine, built under license by Alfa-Romeo with some improvements. As an indigenous in-line engine was not available, the DB-601 was the best natural choice.
The new fighter was christened the Macchi C.202 “FOLGORE”. The C.202 shared many features of the C.200 such as it’s wings, tail planes along with other structural features. The design featured a highly streamlined fuselage and in-line engine that created a whole new class of Italian fighters. The sole prototype later serial MM.445 first flew in August of 1940. Deemed impressive enough to be ordered into full production with only a few modifications. In the end approximately 1,100 examples were completed in series during World War II.
Macchi C.202 Prototype Conversion Project:
For this project I used two 21st Century Toy’s 1/32 scale Macchi 202 kits. I had originally intended to use PCM’s Macchi 202 kits, however due to the cost of these kits I opted to use the less expensive kits instead. In other words if this project went badly the cost would be at a minimum.
Construction and Modification:
The construction phase of this project was fairly straight forward with no surprises. However there were numerous modifications required to improve the basic kits. As well as to backdate their configuration to that of the Prototype MM.445.
List of Modifications:
1. Cut down the hump on both kits.
2. Improve cockpit details and fabricate additional interior details.
3. Fabricate new landing gear struts and covers from aluminum tubing and plastic card stock. Modify and reshape L/G kit supplied forks. Replace tires with spares/copies from PCM’s kit.
4. Enclose gear and engine bays.
5. Fabricate external details such as two different types of supercharger intakes, venturi tube, and early type pitot tubes.
6. Additional external modifications: Replace exhaust stacks from spares, cut down the props using PCM’s examples as a guide.
7. Fill all panel lines and cooling vents not present on MM.445.
8. Vacuform new rear canopies.
Painting the Prototype:
For MM.445 version I : Natural Metal Finish and the dreaded yellow primer. Alclad II in several shades was used for the NMF. As for the dreaded yellow primer a mixture of Testor’s flat yellow w/ a touch of flat white in a 50/50 mixture with Verde Anticorrosione.
For MM.445 version II : Camouflage Scheme C8 (Poached Eggs).
Humbrol and Model Master paints were use for this version.
Finishing and Decals:
All decals used in this project were kit supplied or taken from extras included in PCM’s kit. As MM.445 was a prototype very little weathering was applied, only a slight heat tinting of the exhaust to version I and rust applied to the exhaust of version II. They are depicted as new aircraft.
1. Aero Details # 15 Macchi 200,202,205
2. Ali D’Italia #22 Aermacchi C.202
3. Aviolibri Specials #1&3 Macchi 202 parts 1&2
4. Squadron No. 41 Macchi 202 in Action
5. Mushroom # 8102 Macchi 202
A special Thank You to Vince Tessone, Riccardo Trotta and the Doctor Maurizio Di Terlizzi for all your assistance and inspiration.
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STORMO! © 2009
Aircraft: Macchi MC.202
Manufacturer: Aeronautica Macchi S.p.A.
Engine: Daimler Benz DB 601A-1, 12-cylinder V, liquid-cooled, 1,175hp
Wingspan: 34 ft 8 1/2 in (10.57m)
Length: 29 ft 1 in (8.85 m)
Height: 9 ft 11 1/2 in (3.02 m)
Weight: 6,480 lb (2,937 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 372 mph (600 km/h) at 18,050 ft (5,500 m)
Ceiling: 37,700 ft (11,500 m)
Range: 475 miles (765 km)
Armament: 2 x 12.7 mm SAFATs (0.5 in)