|Tauro 1/48 Macchi C. 205 Veltro - Part I
by Riccardo Trotta
Aircraft: Macchi C.205
Manufacturer: Aeronautica Macchi S.p.A.
Engine: Daimler Benz DB 605A, 12-cylinder V, liquid-cooled, 1,475hp
Wingspan: 34 ft 8 1/2 in (10.59m)
Length: 29 ft 1 in (8.85 m)
Height: 10 ft (3.05 m)
Weight: 7,120 lb (3,224 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 403 mph (650 km/h) at 24,300 ft (7,400 m)
Ceiling: 37,200 ft (11,350 m)
Range: 646 miles (1,040 km)
Armament: 2 x 12.7 mm SAFATs (0.5 in), 2 20mm cannons
|Click on the STORMO! Eagle to return to the Gallery|
|I first saw this wonderful fighter on Saturday, October 1st 1960 at a model show in Florence; I think it was absolutely the first model show I was at. The memory of the models is now lost, only an indefinite impression has remained, to have seen with great amazement some works which looked exceptional to me (I was thirteen years old!); on the contrary the memory of this silvery airplane, parked in an air field, with its tricolor cockades is still clear and neat.|
STORMO! © 2007
|At this point, I evaluated if it was useful to reproduce in 1/48 scale the factory sections, which would have been used for positioning the internal details, figure 3 and figure 4.|
|And it was with this memory in mind that I decided, some time ago, to begin modeling this airplane. I tried to find reliable information (the beautiful drawings of “Ali e colori” had not yet been published) and I began with the volume AER.CA MACCHI C.205 V C.A. 677 “ISTRUZIONI E NORME per il montaggio, regolazione, pilotaggio e manutenzione del velivolo “AER.CA MACCHI C 205 V”” (the airplane manual).
In fact the tables 31, 31 bis and 32 reports the principle measures of the most important airplane parts; in detail, for the engine cowling length that measures 2190 mm in the reported, i.e. from the front of the nose to the fuselage section where the engine mounting is grafted; for the remaining fuselage part the measure 6097 mm is as reported, while the spinner lenght is 590 mm. Adding all these measurements the airplanes overall length should be 8877 mm.
Problem: in the same volume at page 16, the overall airplane lenght is 8845 mm, while at page 165, included in the technical data, the overall lenght is declared 8850 mm; moreover in table 31, the fuselage lenght (spinner excluded) is declared as 8250 mm and adding the declared spinner length, 590 mm, the overall lenght should be 8840 mm! Another discrepancy!
So the maximum error sould be 37 mm in the real lenght, corresponding to 0.77 mm in 1/48 scale.
This is another demonstration how the official documentation can be misleading: I had already found a discepancy concerning the measures of Breda 88.
However I had a bad idea, i.e to represent a model with the cowling removed, so I needed correct the measurements, at least concerning the cowling area, otherwise I would meet with great problems.
To solve the problem, I asked for help to my friend Angelo Brioschi, well known for his wonderful scale drawings included in the series “Ali d’Italia” and “Ali e Colori”.
On the basis of the information he provided, I deduced from original Aermacchi building drawings, I could reconstruct the drawings attached in figure 1 and figure 2, in June 2003, drawings that subsequently have been compared with ones from booklet #5 of the series “Ali e Colori” (April 2004) finding a substantial correspondence.
|To be accurate, in figure 1 the indication of 5mm between the nose and the spinner is lacking; furthermore it should be highlighted that in the drawings two lines appear: in the upper line, in integer numbers, the real length appears; in the second line the measure in 1/48 scale is reported.
Concerning the kit to be used, I started considering the Hasegawa 1/48 kit and I also used the Ali d’Italia drawings for the parts in common with the 202. The comparison of the Hasegawa half fuselage with the drawings highlighted the follwing results:
• The fuselage is to be lenghtened near the tail of 2.5 - 3 mm to get the correct position of the fin with respect to the drawing;
• The height of the fuselage behind the cockpit is 1 mm lower with respect to the drawing; this has as consequence a reduced dimensions of the transparent parts, including the windshield.
|Subsequently, after its issue, I could reproduce these controls with the drawings from A. Brioschi in Ali e Colori #5; the results were identical and everyone can perform these controls and verify this.
The problem concerning the transparent parts was not easily resolvable, so I decided to examine the old Tauromodel kit, known as full of defects. I remembered that in the magazine “Aerei Modellismo” #1/1994 on page 22 was reported “however the largest errors are very evident in the nose area, where the nose section is 3 mm in excess”. 3 mm is a very large discrepancy so I wanted to perform a verification comparing the initial section concerning the engine mount and the final section of the nose, the one that interfaces the rear part of the spinner. I used the C202 drawings by Brioschi and, as it is possible to see in the figure #5, for the initial section there are no problems, considering that to the part thickness, the fuselage thickness is to be added; in the same way I did not find differences in the dimension of the part that constitutes the final fuselage section. So I thought the error could arise during the assembly phases, that are known to be very hard, and I decided to go on. Another analysis has ben performed on the transparent parts, in detail the windscreen that, in this kit is over dimensioned. From a first comparison, I could realize that the excess concerned the side that interfaces the tipping part and the fusalege leaning line could be corrected: basing on these considerations I decided to use the Tauromodel kit.
|For the subject selection, some images from CMPR archives were very useful and I selected as a subject the 11-1 (Red Eleven) of the ANR Asso di Bastoni.
So I stared correcting the kit discrepancies:
• Removed 2 mm of the connection of the wing to the fuselage: practically the connection of the wing outlet edge is to be in correspondence of the cockpit rear section;
• Subsequent sanding beginning with #500 sanding paper and then #600 and #800, to reduce the furrows present on the fuselage surfaces, until obtaining acceptable engravings; during this phase a thin sharp point has been used to save the engraved ports;
• Correction of the profile of the fin edge, cutting off the tooth at the fin top, modelling the edge and glueing again the tooth;
• Lowering of » 1mm of the anti-somersault structure and correction of the headrest section: for this correction I used a profile obtained from another drawing (figure #6), in a rough way, postponing the refinement for the gluing phase; furthermore I could verify that the profile agreed with the pilot protection armour present in the RCR photo-etched kit dedicated to C202-C205 that I had purchased and decided to use.
• Prolong ahead » 1.5 mm the port hollows for the machine guns access, on the fuselage upper part; this involves the port lengthening, with the reproduction of the fastening holes; furthermore the slit engraving and the circular port engraving are to be highlighted; after glueing the panels in the correct depth have been engraved;
• The cockpit width, in correspondence of the tipping part, is to be 13 mm, according to what is reported in CMPR Notiziario #23, where the actual measure for this detail is 630 mm; moreover in the kit, the height of the cockpit edge is insufficient. I have corrected this defect using Evergren 0.5x0.5 mm strips, to agree with the drawing;
• Displace, to agree with the drawing, the oil radiator junctions, in the lower nose area;
• As the wing junction to the fuselage has been withdrawn , it is necessary to fit, under the fuselage, the wings rear housing;
• On the wing lower surface, the rear profile of the landing gear bays is to be aligned to the fuselage section where the engine mount is connected; the landing gear bay on the lower wing part is over dimensioned, it shall be reduced; the correction will be described in the following;
• On the two fuselage halves, the strip ahead of the exhaust bays is 1.8 mm too long and this excess is to be eliminated; leaving this lenght unchanged, with the connection of the rear section of the spinner, can, in my opinion, produce the above mentioned error in this section;
• Engrave the correct profile of the first aid port, according to the drawing; the one engraved on the kit corresponds to the C202;
• Using wet abrasive paper, correct, according to the drawing, the lower fuselage profile;
• Correct with plasticard and putty the tail wheel fairing;
• Correct the engraving near the fin edge;
• Engrave the rivets at the base of the anti-somersault structure;
• With thin plasticard, build the external windscreen edge, visible in the drawings, especially in the front part, where the windscreen fits; this was the occasion to fit the kit windscreen, reducing the rear lenght with a nail file, till reaching the drawing dimension. Subsequently the windscreen thickness has been reduced, working in the internal side with wet abrasive paper, till reaching an acceptable thickness. At last the windscreen was polished using first tooth paste and subsequently a coat of Future wax;
• Detail the surface under the exhausts reproducing the fastening for the engine cowling blocking.
|At this point the corrections to be performed on each half fuselage could be practically considered concluded; the result with respect to the drawing are visible in figure #7. Subsequently, the lower part of the engine cowling, the one with the juncton of the oil radiators, wasglued to the starboard half fuselage, using plasticard strips in the rear part to connect it with the new wing position. Consequently a dry assembly was performed to verify the correspondence of the powerplant with the drawing; the result is visible in figure #8 (apart from slight deviations due to the pin disposition to block the model) and, as it is possible to see, no error in the front section is visible.|
|The subsequent assembly phase concerned the engine, that will be visible when the model is completed; for the engine I selected the Fiat RA 1050 kit by Tauromodel; this was the Italian version of the German engine DB-605, licence built. The engine has been detailed with electric wire, opportunely painted, using as base the photocolors included in the book “Aero Detail #15, Macchi C200/202/205”; moreover figure #10, provided by the well known modeler Massimo Barbieri, was very useful.|
|Before positioning the engine, it will be opportune to realize what will be subsequently visible looking from the landing gear bay.
About this topic I was helped by a post, dated March 8th 2004, on “Warbirds in scale” forum by my friend Angelo Brioschi who has a very deep “love” (as he rightly says) for Italian aircraft and has peformed some research in the technical and historical archives of the firms that produced these aircraft
“Concerning the C202, apart the first score of pre-series airplanes, all the rest of the production was released, by all three firms that built the plane, in configuration AS (Africa Settentrionale, North Africa), consequently all the others C202 mounted surely all the AS modification “packet”(otherwise they were not accepted by Regia Aeronautica), also when there were colonies no longer; so all the planes were endowed by the shaped sheet closures for the landing gear bays (and there was no reason to disassemble them when they were provided with the complete airplane).
Concerning the C205s, coming straight to the point, they all were provided with the landing gear bays closures”.
The AS modification “packet” is shown in figure #11, taken from C205 Manual. A better view of this “packet” implementation, concerning the landing gear bay, is shown in figure #12, that I saw published for the first time in the old #28 “Profile” series, issued in the second half of the 60s; what is useful, as visible also in other photos, is the shape of the panels that close the rear part of the landing gear bay, in the lower part. These panels, with the relevant fasteners, are visible, for istance, in the photos published on “AISA (today Aerofan) Collana Plastimodellismo n°2 – Macchi C202/205” (1980) at pages 26 and 30, and this confirms the information kindly provided by Mr. Brioschi. So the lower part of the engine mount section is to be opportunely detailed; the description of this activity is postponed to the wing assembly phase. On the above mentioned AISA publication, at page 27, there is a photo that shows the C205 assembly bay, where, on each engine, the engine Matricola Militare (MM) is present; I wanted to add such writing, taking a number close the one visible in the photo (which seems to be MM.48214), even if this information is only probable.