by: Adie Roberts [ ]
The Macchi C.202 Folgore (Italian "thunderbolt") was a World War II fighter aircraft built by Macchi Aeronautica and operated mainly by the Regia Aeronautica (RA; Royal (Italian) Air Force). Macchi aircraft designed by Mario Castoldi received the "C" letter in their model designation, hence the Folgore is referred to as the C.202 or MC.202. The C.202 was a development of the earlier C.200 Saetta, with an Italian-built version of the Daimler-Benz DB 601Aa engine and a redesigned, more streamlined fuselage. Considered to be one of the best wartime fighters to serve in large numbers with the Regia Aeronautica, the Folgore operated on all fronts in which Italy was involved.
The Folgore went into service with the Regia Aeronautica in July 1941 and immediately proved to be an effective and deadly dogfighter. The Australian ace Clive Caldwell, who fought a wide variety of German, Italian and Japanese fighters during 1941–45, later stated that the C.202 was "one of the best and most undervalued of fighters". The C.202 also had its defects: like its predecessor, the Macchi C.200, it could enter a dangerous spin. It was insufficiently armed, with just two machine guns that easily jammed. The radios were unreliable, forcing the pilots to communicate by waggling wings. The oxygen system was inefficient, causing up to 50/60 per cent of the pilots to break off missions, sometimes even causing fatal accidents.
Eduard's usual style box with some nice eye catching art work of the Folgore, the bottom of the box is cardboard which is quite solid with a thinner cardboard top.
1, Six medium grey sprues which contain the kit.
2, One clear sprue with the cockpit glazing.
3, Two photo-etch sheets one for the cockpit (pre-coloured) the other for the external parts to the plane.
4, One small bag with resin parts, which include weighted wheels, two different tail wheels and two different air intakes.
5. One set of masks.
6. One decal sheet.
7. One Instruction booklet.
The Macchi C .202 Folgore is the Hasegawa base kit with the usual twist of Eduard magic, bringing the detail level up with its Brassin, photo-etch and the cartograf decal sheets.
The plastic is of a light grey colour and was originally new tooled in 1995, this however does not detract on the level of detail this kit which for its age is still good.
Looking around the sprues it looks sprue cutter friendly on the most part, but as with all kits especially aircraft there is always going to be some particularly smaller parts that would need some patience to cut off without causing damage. There are some injector pin marks on most of the parts but in all fairness they are strategically placed so as not to cause too much of an issue, are only minor marks and would be easy enough to deal with if you felt the need. The worst mark is on the wheels which Eduard have put in some weighted resin wheels thus by passing that issue.
Cockpit level of detail is of a good standard if not very good for its age, the floor has some detail to it with fixing points for the seat and raised floor for the rudder controls add to this the Eduard Photo etch rudder pedals and it is already looking so much better. The kit has been made so that two inner walls fit either side of the fuselage, both of these have various control surfaces and levers. Eduard have produced quite a bit of photo-etch for this area, some plastic will need to be removed if using the photo-etch but with careful use of a sharp blade will remove the excess plastic and replace with better detailed parts. With over fifty photo-etch parts being placed into the cockpit itself it is sure to bring this up to a very realistic standard with some great eye catching detail. The control panel itself has some pieces that will be removed to allow the fitting of the pre-coloured etch bringing especially visually stunning dials and gauges.
The main fuselage comes in the standard two piece lengths, their is a lot of detail on both halves with some fine delicate recessed panels lines running from the inspection panel for the machine guns to the end of the tail. Looking at a blue print draught of a Maachi C.202 Folgore all the recessed panel lines look to be in the right places, lengths and depths. One part to note' is the replication of the top of the engine cowling with its well worked machine gun troughs and shroud for the machine guns to emerge from, and the fine detailed recessed panel lines that run up the middle between the troughs. You really can see some very nice sporty Italian design on this particular aircraft's aerodynamics.
The wing section is a one piece lower half with openings for the undercarriage and two separate top wing sections that then fit snugly either side of the fuselage. The control surfaces are well defined on the wing with recessed lines marking the ailerons and flaps. Inspection panels and maintenance panels are also well presented with a good standard of detail with a couple of nice riveted detail around some of them. The underside of the lower half of the wings has a couple of stress marks where the wing raises slightly either side. However this is minor and the detail on the underside with inspection panels that in the middle of the wing has a great amount of detail with rivet detail which will catch your eye. Control surfaces again show a decent amount of detail with clear defined lines around the ailerons and flaps, a rear recessed hole where the oil cooler fits in the middle of the rear of the underside of the lower wings. Six pieces of photo-etch three either side of the plastic oil cooler really adds too the detail and realism. Some more removing of the plastic detail will need to be done if you are to use the photo-etch, but I think with some patience the effect will be amazing giving it a good sense of depth. Once in place you have the air scoop to place and Eduard have given this some thought and added photo-etch to the housing and photo-etch cover. At this point you will be assembling the undercarriage and also adding detail to the wheel wells two fine pieces of etch have to be placed in the underside divider between the wheel bay. More photo-etch in the shape of struts will fit into the divide along with two panels and a wing spa that doubles as a piece of structural wall to the wheel wells. Please remember to consult the instruction booklet at this stage as several changes need to be made depending on the mark you decide to make. At this point you will be finishing off the undercarriage, the legs and internal struts some added photo-etch on the legs and use of the weighted wheels will make this very pleasing on the eye.
The tail and stabilisers have some nice detail with well marked definition between the tail and rudder, the rudder itself has some nice ribbing detail defining it. You have two choices for the stabilisers depending again on what mark you decide to go with, enough detail here shows you the difference between the moving parts and non moving parts.
I was very impressed in the separate propellers which are very well made and add detail to the kit.
The cockpit glazing is in three parts and is very well moulded with detail, no distortion when looking through the glazing.
Included in this review is a set of Eduard Brassin 648 281 MC. 202 exhaust stacks these resin exhaust stacks are very clean and I love the detail on them. These will enhance the kit with their pre-drilled holes giving them such a realistic finish
Instructions, decals and photo-etch
Eduard Instructions are one of the best around especially on their limited edition kits, a fantastic intro well written and with some great history to glean about the Folgore in the war years. With information on the decision by the Italian military authority to adopt radial engines. The design of the C.200 that lead onto the MC. 202 and goes on into some detail of the units that flew them and how well they faired. It then shows you what the kit should have in the box and then onto the build of it. The instructions on the this kit is colourful and easy enough to follow so long as you look at the book first before building, different colours representing changeable options. If you have a piece of resin or photo-etch to include in the model then there is clear and precise instructions showing you where you need to place them and how.
The instructions lead onto the masks and the colour profiles of the planes and decals.
A. Macchi C .202 VII. Serie, M.M. 9066, Maresciallo Ennio Tarantola, 151a Squadriglia, 51 Stormo C.T., Gela September 1942.
B. Macchi C .202 XII. Serie, M.M. Unkown, 70a Squadriglia, 3 Stormo Cerveteri, August 1943.
C. Macchi C.202 Vi. Serie, M.M. 8122, 386a Squadriglia, 21 Gruppo Autonomo C.T. Kantemirowka, October 1942.
D. Macchi C .202 II. Serie, M.M. 7711, 378a Squadriglia, 155 Gruppo 51 Stormo C.T. Gela, August 1942.
E Macchi C .202 XI. Serie, M.M. Unknown, 24 Gruppo Autonomo C.T., Olbia- Venafiorita, June 1943.
F Macchi C .202 I. Serie, M.M. 7860, 71a Squadriglia 17 Gruppo 1 Stormo C. T., Udine - Campoformido, October 1941.
Colour is Mr Hobby Gunze / colour.
Photo-Etch, the kit comes with two photo-etch sheets one for the cockpit that includes pre-coloured control panel, seat belts some control levers. All of these parts will enhance the all round detail in the cockpit but some of the bits are very small but require some patience to remove.
The second piece of photo-etch is for internal and external use, includes some grills for the oil cooler, back rest for the cockpit some of these parts are pre-coloured too. Their is a lot of different parts on this sheet some will require a very sharp blade to cut them from the photo-etch sheet.
The decal sheet is a very clear and colourful sheet with crisp edges and no messy carrier film some beautiful artwork and printed by Cartograf. I am failing to find any digressions with this decal sheet.
As with all Eduard limited edition kits they have this way of taking sometimes not the best of kits out there but working their magic with some brassin and or photo-etch to make these kits into something quite different. The Macchi .202 Folgore is certainly no exception the kit itself albeit 20 yr old kit it is still a very well detailed for its age with very fine recessed panel lines. The lines and shape of the aircraft are to me at least beautiful and again for an older kit is really quite accurate and requires only minimal work. Photo-etch and resin provided with the kit is what starts to make a difference, enhancing the realism and overall look of the model.
The extra Brassin 648 281 MC .202 Exhaust Stacks really are worth the money for they are crisp and oozing detail and fit is really flush.
The decals are crisp and with great artwork. Instruction booklet is typical of Eduard's easy to follow colourful book with some great artwork on the colour profiles. It is easy to follow and with clear instructions when it becomes either change of Mrk of aircraft or when Photo-etch, Brassin is required making it easy for the new modeller to be able to grasp.