|Hasegawa 1/48 Macchi MC. 202 Folgore
by Vince Tassone
|This plane was the most important Italian single-seat fighter of WWII. Although more powerful Italian fighters appeared in 1942 none were produced in the same quantity as the Macchi MC. 202. Although the number of MC. 202s produced in WWII amounted to approximately 1,100 aircaft this number is small in comparison to the number of P.51s (15,686), P.47s (15,683), Bf. 109s (35,000), Spitfires (20,351) and the Mitsubishi A6M (10,449). These figures illustrate the state of the Italian aircraft industry, as well as the entire Italian industrial complex of WWII to produce modern military equipment in sufficent numbers. In fact, aircraft production decreased during this period indicating the general state of the industry. This situation was due mainly to a lack of strategic raw materials since the Italian aircraft and military industries were large and developed. This state of affairs also stymied the military industry's efforts to convert new and competitive types into useful numbers. Nevertheless, given these odds, the MC. 202 distinguished itself and is generally considered in the same class, and is often considered superior in some important aspects to the Spitfire Mk. V, the Bf. 109F and the P.38s in which it encountered in the Mediterranean and NA theaters.
The kit used in this project is the well known Hasegawa 1/48 MC. 202. The kit is currently the most accurate example of this plane in this scale. What's perplexing to me is why this model is only produced in small batches by Hasegawa and then discontinued shortly after each of its releases, for to find one in a local hobby shop is near well impossible.
Like most Hasegawa kits, construction is straight forward, wheel well construction needs some attention as does the placement of the cockpit tub. Detail is generally accurate, including interior detail around the cockpit and wheel wells. Recessed panel lines are well proportioned and the canopy is easy to mask.
The model depicts Red 2, 369a Squadriglia, 22o Gruppo Autonomo, 53o Stormo based in Campo Vasubio, Naples. The model is painted in the distinctive Macchi smoke-ring camoflauge scheme using AeroMaster Lacquers RLM 70 Verde Oliva Scuro (FS 34052) over Humbrol 119 (Nocciola Chiaro FS 30219) and Polly Scale Italian Light Gray (Grigio Azzuro Chiaro) FS 36307 undersurfaces. The interior cockpit and the wheel wells were painted Verde Anticorrosione FS 34272. Aeromaster Decal Sheet 48-189 MC. 202 "Folgore Collection" was used to complete the kit. Aeromaster decals react well to setting solution. Recommended.
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)
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