|Hasegawa 1/48 Macchi C. 202 Folgore
Italian Aces Mount - Teresio Martinoli
by Vince Tassone
|This was probably the best Italian fighter of the Second World War and was the preferred mount of top scoring Italian aces and one of the best fighters of WWII. It was an excellent aeroplane on all accounts, it was used in several theatres of operation and it was produced in large quantity. More than 1,100 aircraft were built in little more than two years. Better planes were designed such as the 'Series 5' (Macchi C.205, Fiat G.55, and Caproni-Reggiane Re 2005), but few of them were built, and they arrived too late in the war to have a significant effect.
The prototype first took to the air on August 10, 1940. Test results showed that Italy had caught up with Britain and Germany in the field of fighter aeroplanes. It was a fine aeroplane, robust and very easy to handle. It was also a very fast aeroplane and reached high altitude rapidly. The Macchi C.202 marked a fundamental shift in thinking, until then all the combat aeroplanes in Italy had been built around radial engines. The decision to use radial engines (for safety reasons) had been made in the second half of the 1930s, notwithstanding the excellent racing results that Italian aeroplanes with in-line engines had obtained in that period. The C.202 was powered by a Daimler Benz engine built under licence by Alfa Romeo.
The Macchi C.202 was designed by Mario Castoldi, who had designed the C.200. The new aeroplane kept many features of its predecessors, including the wing-system and tail-plane, but the fuselage was changed and became extremely elegant and streamlined. The C.202 was armed with two 12.7 mm machine guns (0.5 in calibre), synchronized to fire through the propeller disc and had a good range, outranging most enemy fighters equipped with only light calibre machine guns.
The Macchi C.202's operational career began in Libya in November 1941. It was later used in the rest of Africa, in the Balkans, in the Mediterranean and in Russia. After the 1943 armistice, the C.202 remained in service with the Allies in the south and with Mussolini's 'Salo' Republic in the north. Surviving aircraft were used as trainers until 1948.
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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)
|This is the 1/48 Hasegawa Macchi C.202 Folgore. This kit is excellent and has been covered so extensively and is so well known for its overall accuracy, that not much needs to be said. As you'll note from the photos I used the excellent and highly-recommended Eduard Photo Etch accesory set(s) for the cockpit interior and wing flaps. The Eduard instrument panel is well detailed and the flaps add to the overall apperance of the plane, giving it a distinctive and convincing appearance. The model was built for a customer using Stormo 1/48 "Italian WWII Aces" decals. The plane represents Sgt. Maj. Teresio Martinoli's plane, offical Top Scoring Italian Ace of WWII with 22 Victories; 4o Stormo, 9o Gruppo, 73a Squadriglia, 73-4 July, 1942. To apply the decals use Mr. Mark Softer. Apply the solvent before setting the decals. Allow the decals to partially dry for 30 mins, allowing the decals to set against any relief or raised detail. Then apply another coat of Mr. Mark Softer and let the decals dry for 1-2 hrs. I used Polly Scale Nocciola Chiaro and ColourCoats Verde Olive Scuro 2 for the mottle scheme. I used Polly Scale Grigio Azzurro Chiaro for the wheel wells and undersurfaces. The Eduard Cockpit Set is pre-painted Anti Corrison Green so I finished the rest of the cockpit in the same color. The finish I achieved on this model was quite satisfying, clean, crisp detail, a very enjoybale build indeed.
In the words of jean, "Ciao Tutti".