Pacific Coast Models 1/32 scale
Macchi Castoldi C.200
by Ben van Soldt
Hobby Boss' 1/48 MiG-17 is available online from Squadron.com
A couple of years ago I was happy to hear PCM bring out the MC 200 in 1/32 scale. Finally something entirely new on the market and finally I would be able to do one of those characteristic Italian camouflage schemes. Apart from this I have always liked the sturdy looks of this hunch-back little plane. Just as I do the Hawker Hurricane- another long neglected, but now issued fighter; again by PCM . I hope they will also bring us the Russian WOll airforce sometime in future.
In its days the stocky aeroplane was frequently being underestimated, due to its lack of flowing lines. Still the Saetta held out surprisingly well in the early years of the war.
Apart from some minor adjustments and improvements I built my MC 200 straight from the box.
I started the build by painting the whole skin of the plane in the chosen camouflage colours:White Ensign Models Colourcoats: giallo mimetico 4, nocciola chiaro, verde mimetico 2 and grigio mimetico.
In this stage I didn’t yet use my airbrush, but normal brushes and very well thinned paint leaving out the underlying green where the spots were to come, thus preventing a build up of multiple layers of paint. In this way I hoped to save as much surface detail as possible.
Besides, this method of applying paint is easier to control; airbrush effect comes in a later stage.
I had to make some adjustments in this area to make it all sit in the right place.
The pilots chair was located about 5 mm. forward which means nose ward, the instrument panel came tail ward some 5 mm. by means of plastic sprue. I also cemented a piece of sprue to one fuselage half where the gun sight would sit on in a much later stage of the build.
I followed Ian Robertson’s instructions and added some wiring behind the engine block.
I also put a sort of collar around the radial engine with the purpose of better fit within the cowling (which indeed is very tight now ) and also to make it easier to add the pushrods to the cylinders.
I found the tail wheel attachment a bit of a problem as there was no satisfying locating point for the tail gear. So I had to make one myself . In the process I thought it would be nice to have a rotatable tail wheel; a detail to bring life to the model. I took a styrene tube that had the right diameter to hold the tail gear and made it fit tightly between the tail fin halves and cemented it carefully in place (make sure you have the angle right ).
Later on, the gear will be secured in, but use no cement so it can rotate.
This being a short run kit and not having any locating pins I chose to cement the fuselage halves together in steps which works out fine usually. This means that I start cementing the critical points with CA glue ( just the tiniest pin point )one by one. As so I can concentrate all my attention on each crucial point separately.
When this was done, I cemented the seams between the CA glued points with Tamiya extra thin.
This kit has a vacuformed canopy and it was the first time I worked with one, so the risk of spoiling one, or even two ( PCM kindly delivered two ) was actually there. Making a mess of canopies and windscreens is a big fear for me, because they are very difficult to repair, if at all. I managed to get it right the second time by filling up the whole vacuform with well-warmed (to make it mouldable) blue tack to give a solid basis to do the cutting on.
I then carved out a bed, as I wanted the windscreen to fit in, rather than fit on, the fuselage. This way I could blend the windscreen best into the fuselage.
I used Micro Mask, instead of Future to give that nice and shiny look to the wind screen
I decided to cement the landing gear in place before putting the wing halves together, because this way I could more easily see what I was doing and add glue from the inside of the wing to guarantee a really solid joint.
This worked out very well, but you need to be careful of course with this rather vulnerable extension under the wing when proceding with the rest of the wing assembly.
Wing to fuselage
The small T-shape I added aft of the under wing ensures a certain stiffness of joint with the fuselage as it rests under and against the cockpit floor and thus prevents the under wing from bending.
The ill-fitting wing root to fuselage got cured with styrene strip similar to Ian Robertson’s fix.
When I had finished this build and already had made some photos I went back to my reference material and noticed some MC 200’s had their flaps down. This came to me as a nice touch to bring more life to my model and so I went. This explains the apparent existence of two MC 200’s.
I carved out a slot wherein the flaps, made of styrene sheet, were to rest. Hinges were made of sheet cut from a tin can; easy.
I built my MC 200 with the later style canopy, which is wrong for the type I did, but I just couldn’t resist the looks.
And there is something else…
The port side is sporting the colours of 79 Squadriglia-17 Gruppo-1 Stormo, while I did the starboard side in the colours of 84 Squadriglia-10 Gruppo-4 Stormo, both in the year 1941.
This way I created the possibility to do two camouflage schemes on one plane. Of course you have to look for the right combinations as the two sides should not interfere with each other; especially the nose area has to match well.
I guess that many of my fellow builders will passionately disagree with this method, but you sure save a lot of space, a lot of time and a lot of money; not a bad thing in these financially hard times.
Models, Description and Images Copyright © 2010 by Ben van Soldt
Page Created 24 August, 2010
24 August, 2010
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