Tauro 1/48 Macchi C. 202 Folgore
Dai Banana!
by Jose Lucero
Drawing its lineage from the Italian Schneider Cup Trophy contenders of the nineteen 20s and 30s the MC.202 would carve out a place for itself in the annals of aeronautical history as the most important single seat fighter in the RA inventory of World War II.  With great performance and suitably armed, many notable pilots would earn ace status using this aircraft.

This is the very difficult to construct Tauro kit which was only my fifth "serious" kit build and it helped me learn some very handy modeling skills and gave me some confidence as well. I built it mostly out of the box except for the Cutting Edge Italian seat harness.

Construction of this model was long and complicated. Work began with the cockpit which is fairly detailed. I added the Cutting Edge Italian seat harness and I really liked how the harness fit the seat, but to my taste it is somewhat thick for the scale.

The hardest part of the build was the cowling section of the model since it was designed to show-off the fairly detailed motor provided with the kit. Aligning the exhaust stubs was very tricky as I had to attach them to a piece of sheet plastic individually after cleaning them as best as I could. The characteristic nose of the Macchi C.202 started emerging after lots of putty, sanding, Mr. Surfacer and more putty and sanding. After all this work, I re-scribed the details on the nose area. The hump behind the cockpit gave me a lot of trouble also.

The fuselage join was a real mess. I had to use plenty of putty and Mr. Surfacer again to sculpt the shape out of the plastic. The wings were the best fitting parts of the kit and the fit to the fuselage didn't require as much attention as the other joins.

The canopy and windscreen were thin but a little opaque for my taste. I tried polishing them as best as I could.

I painted this Macchi C.202 with Model Master Italian Sand for Nocciola Chiaro and Gunze Sanyo RLM 70 for the Verde Oliva Oscuro smoke rings. As I was new to airbrushing when I built this kit, I masked each individual smoke ring and painted it. Weathering was done with chalk pastels. The kit decals were excellent quality and a highpoint of the kit. I chose Ennio Tarantola's mount, a notable RA pilot who would register 10 (+1 Spain) kills and many more shared and destroyed on the ground. The slogan
Dai Banana! (Go Banana!) is in reference to the pilots prior days as a fruit vendor and this aircraft was the inspiration of a recent Dan Zoernig portrait.

Well, this build was quite entertaining and I must confess that there were moments when I wanted to leave it, however in the end, the result of building a model less than perfect is very gratifying and a great learning experience. I now count my kits before the Macchi C.202 and after it.

Technical Data:
Aircraft:
Macchi MC.202
Manufacturer: Aeronautica Macchi S.p.A.
Type:
Fighter
Year:
1941
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)
Crew: 1

Additional Images:
Click on the STORMO! Eagle to return to the Galllery