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Inbox Review: Pacific Coast Models 1/48 Macchi MC.200
by Dan Salamone
Kit Specs:
Catolgue No.:
PCM 4800
Model: Macchi C.200 Serie VII
Manufacturer:
Pacific Coast Models
List Price: $38.95
Subject Type: Fighter
Year (kit): 2003
Scale:
1/48
Plastic Parts:
35
Resin Parts:
46
Clear Parts: 2 vacform canopies
Photoetched/Accessories:
31 PE Parts
Target Audience: Medium Skilled - Skilled
Decals:
Skymodels/Cartograf, 6 options
Tooling:
New Tooling
Panel Lines:
Recessed
Weighted Tires: No
Rating:
Box Art:
5
Flashing:
4
Sprues:
4
Quality of Recessed Panel Lines:
5
Quality of Plastic:
5
Quality of Resin Parts:
5+
Quality of Photoetched Parts:
5
Instructions:
4
Brief History (Instructions):
4
Decals:
5
Suggested Color/Camo Accuracy:
4
Overall Detail:
5
Overall Accuracy:
5
Bang-for-your-buck: 5
The subject of this inbox review was the first all new tool release from Pacific Coast Models, the Macchi C.200 in 1/48. Released in 2003, this kit represents a serie VII as presented in the box.

Upon opening the box, one is struck by the completeness of this kit. Plastic parts from MPM are complimented by etched parts from Eduard, as well as very well molded resin parts that include the cockpit, engine, and an incredibly well molded cowl assembly. See the close up photo of the cowl, and note the detail of the oil cooler ring. The box also includes a decal sheet designed by Skymodels and printed by Cartograf that features six options, covering practically all of the known official paint schemes for this aircraft type. Finally, PCM includes three instruction sheets. The first sheet covers the parts diagram and plastic/resin assembly, the second sheet is from Eduard and pertains to the etched parts in the kit. The third sheet depicts colors and markings, and includes a color chart matching the official Italian colors with FS, as well as Humbrol, Molak, Tamiya and Gunze paints. All contents of the box are included in the photos on this page.

I compared the kit parts to the line drawings in Ali D’Italia #8 on the C.200, and the plastic parts are a dead match to these drawings. The parts are well molded, with subtle panel lines and realistic fabric control surfaces. One nice feature is the characteristic curvature of the main gear doors, which is captured well. Flash is minimal, and on my kit limited to the landing gear struts, and engine mounts.

The photoetched parts are not only well produced, they are quite useful too. Cockpit, landing gear, and engine detail is represented in this medium.

Perhaps the highlight of this kit are the resin parts. The previously mentioned cowl is amazing, one part that includes the entire cowl, exhausts, and sand filter. The cockpit and engine parts are also well molded and appear to have few, if any, air bubbles present. There is also a resin prop hub and blades, which are in addition to an injection molded propeller. I would opt for the resin parts myself…..

This kit has many strengths, which include dimensional accuracy, practically everything you would need for detail in the box except brake lines, and a price very competitive with other models that lack resin or etched details.
That said, there are a few notes I need to include in this review. First, PCM forgot to include the disc behind the prop hub. Just after the kit was released, Ken Lawrence (owner of PCM) pointed this omission out. The fix is simple, an 8.25mm disc cut from 20 thousandths plastic cures the problem. Second, the engine cylinders are not molded correctly. This would only be an issue if a modeler was building the model without the cowl assembly. A possible solution for someone so inclined would be to substitute the resin Fiat A74 engine from Italian Classic. Thanks to Riccardo Trotta for sharing his knowledge on this subject.
I have owned some of the other 1/48 C.200 models, including SMER, Astrokit, and Classic Airframes. The PCM kit combines high levels of accuracy and detail, along with many markings options, and a very reasonable price for a multi media kit of this quality. For a first all new tool release, this model is as good as it gets, and then some.

Because of the relative simplicity of the C.200, this kit would lend itself quite nicely as a first “limited run” project for a modeler. It is also a great starting point for a super detail project, and could very easily be modeled as a late serie aircraft by changing the canopy (check the above references).

I hope that this review will spark interest in the kit, and encourage others to examine it and reach their own conclusions on the topics I have covered.  Some other items that would complement the PCM C.200 kit would include:

Ali D’Italia #8
Ali E’Colori #2
Aviolibri Monograph #5
Skymodels decal sheet #48-021
Aero Detail #15 Macchi C.200/202/205
click the images to enlarge views
NOTE:
From STORMO! Forum:
---------------------------------------------------
Chris Busbridge
Re: What's New : Inbox Review PCM 1/48 MC.200
Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:00pm81.178.246.153

There is one other omission in this otherwise marvellous kit. It concerns the cowling. The top panel, between the gun barrels, should extend out to meet the fuselage. Only the very early serie did not have this feature.

Just the addition of a small piece of plasticard should do the trick!