Intech/SMER 1/48 Macchi C.200

KIT #: T 127
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Pablo Calcaterra
NOTES: This is the worst kit ever (no wonder I paid 9 Canadian Dollars for it…!)


 Franco Lucchini, top scoring (?) Italian ace

Historical Background:

Franco Lucchini was born in Rome on December 24, 1914. He loved aviation and in 1930 he started to fly gliders. In 1935 he joined the Reggia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force).

Two years later, with the Spanish Civil war in full swing, he volunteered to fight with the Nationalists. At the time he was flying with the 91st Squadron of the 10 Gruppo, 4 Stormo. In Spain he was assigned to the 19a Squadriglia, XXIII Gruppo Caccia Aviazione Legionaria flying Fiat CR-32. On October 12th he claimed his first victory. On January 7th, he shared one. An I-15 was claimed by Lucchini on February 21st. On March 17th he was shot down, injured, but avoided capture and returned to the Nationalist lines. Though he had been credited with 5 kills during the Spanish Civil war, other papers put his actual victories in 1 and 2 shared.

When he returned to Italy after the war, he was transferred from the 91st to the 90th Squadron of the same 10 Gruppo, 4 Stormo. When the Second World War started for the Italians on June 10, 1940 his unit was located in North Africa (Libya).

On June 14th, the first combat in this scenario (and probably in the war) between both RAF (Italian and British) took place. A group of 7 CR42 claimed the destruction of a Gladiator but this loss cannot be verified with the British records. Still, Lucchini was credited with 1/7th of a victory.

The next victory came on June 21st, when Lucchini along with other 3 pilots claimed a Sunderland shot down, though this plane from 230 Sqn was damaged and managed to return to base. As there was a Bombay that ditched close to Italian positions, the pilots were awarded the victory. In fact, the Bombay had been hit by heavy AA fire…

On July 24th an important air battle between Gladiators, Blenheims and CR42s took place. Lucchini damaged 3 Blenheims and apparently claimed on Gladiator. Though claims were made on both sides, only a Gladiator was damaged and subsequently destroyed by the Italians after it force landed.

On July 28th Lucchini, along with 2 other pilots, shot down one Blenheim (30 Sqn) and severely damaged another one (113 Sqn) (both claims confirmed by British records).

On August 4th, another very large battle between Breda 65s, CR 32, CR 42, Blenheims and Gladiators took place, with 60+ planes being involved. During the last part of this, the famous South African Pat Pattle (top scoring Western Ace of WWII) was shot down, probably by no other than Lucchini.

After another shared claim (Blenheim) in September, he crashed in December during test flying a repaired CR42 but was slightly injured.

During the first encounter with Hurricanes, he claimed a shared damaged Hawker fighter (validated by British records)

Other clashes took place in December 1940. At the end of the year he had flown 94 missions and took part in 13 air combats. He claimed 3 victories and 15 shared victories.

In early 1941 his 10 Gruppo was transferred to Italy, where they changed their CR42 for Macchi 200s.

He was promoted to Capitano (Captain) and in June 1941 they moved to Sicily to take part in the attacks to Malta.

His first recorded combat in this new environment took place on June 25th. Clearly, records show a high number of over claiming by the Italians during this period. They flew large formations against the small defenses of Malta.

On June 27th, he claimed one Hurricane shot down and another damaged flying this plane, Macchi 90-2. In fact, no Hurricane was lost on this day.

On September 27th he was forced to ditch when a formation of 10 Macchis lost their way and run out of fuel. Critical injured he was sent back to Italy in a hospital ship and was out of operations until November, when he was put in command of 84 Squadriglia, 4 Stormo. By then, he had flown 37 missions over Malta and claimed 14 kills with many more shared or damaged.

They reequipped with Macchi 202 at the end of the year and in April 1942 they moved back to Sicily to keep on supporting the attacks on Malta.

During their first combat on May 9th, they claimed 3 Spitfires but actually no Spit was even damaged! Four claims were also filed by the British pilots, when only 2 planes where damaged by only one round!

On the 15th, another Spitfire was claimed by Lucchini but no Malta based fighter was damaged seriously.

During this period of action, the Argentine ace Ken Charney was flying Spitfires with 185 Sqn from Malta…but that I leave for my next article.

On May 26th, after fitting their Macchis with desert equipment, they left for North Africa again. Now they faced Hurricanes, P-40s and Spitfires. Again, considerable over claiming took place. During a combat on June 16th, his plane was hit 5 times and loosing fuel, he managed to return to base but was dizzy due to the fuel vapors entering the cockpit.

A very successful strafing attack took place on August 31st in Burg el Arab. Many Allied planes and vehicles were left seriously damaged and reaction of planes from the Alexandria area was too late to catch the intruders.

During a combat with P-40s, Bostons and Spits on October 20th, the spinner of his plane was torn off by a 20 mm shell, which forced him to land his damaged plane. Of the 43 combat ready planes available on the morning of this date, only 11 were left in good condition in the evening.

On October 24, 1942 he was shot down and seriously injured in a combat with B-25s and P-40s. He was sent to Italy in a Hospital ship.

Early December 1942 found the Gruppo (84, 90 and 91 Squadrons) on their way to Italy. They had lost 24 pilots killed, 29 injured and 2 POW, while claiming a further 289 victories (for a total to date of 501).

On June 23rd, 1943 Lucchini became the leader of 10 Gruppo.

In July 1943, fully recovered and after having spent some time defending Rome, the Gruppo was sent to the defense of Sicily. They now had Macchi 202 and 205.  They were all the time outnumbered in the air by the Allies.

On July 5th, during their first combat against B-17s and after claiming a victory, his plane was caught in the defensive cross fire and Lucchini was seen to dive to the ground. His canopy did not open. It was a hard blow for the Gruppo. His body was found two days later, still inside his plane. His friend and 22 kill ace Leonardo Ferrulli was also shot down and killed in the same combat.

He had been awareded five Medaglie d'argento al valore militare, four Croce di guerra al valor militare, the Croce al merito di guerra, the Medaglia commemorativa della campagna di Spagna, the Medaglia di benemerenza per i volontari della guerra Spagna and a German Iron Cross 2nd Class during the war.

He was credited with 4 biplanes victories, and a total of 22 in 294 missions and 70 aerial combats. He was also credited with 52 shared claims.

He was called the Baracca della Seconda Guerra Mondiale.

Italian pilots flew with underpowered and under gunned planes, lacking spare parts, in general in small numbers. When the Macchi 202/205 entered combat, they were too few to affect the course of the air battles. And still, they only had 4 small machine guns…(though it is better than the 2 of the Macchi 200!)


Terrible kit. Believe me. One of the worst I have ever tackled. Wrong panel lines, lots of rivets everywhere, enough flash to make another plane, bad fit, oversized pieces, bad alignment of mold halves…you name it. This kit has it!


I started sanding out all those ugly rivets and replacing them with scribed panel lines using the Osprey book as a reference.

Then I sprayed green paint for the interior and black for the engine, propeller. The cockpits is so void of detail that either I had to scratch built everything or use a pilot. But the pilot is a blob of plastic. So I used one from the spares. I painted his clothes in white, like the Italian pilots you can see I many pictures of the period. The dials were given some drops of Future.

With the cockpit closed I had to use a lot of putty to fix the seams.

When I added the wings I found a large gap at the root of the right side one. I cut a piece of plasticard, put it in place and sanded it to smooth the union to the surface of the wings.

Lots of putty was also required for the bottom of the fuselage/wings union. There is a large gap inside the front part of the fuselage. Wires, equipment go here. None supplied with the kit. I was not willing to go that far with this one!

The windshield supplied is not the correct one for Lucchini’s kit. I cut out the rear part and masked it.

The engine was drybrushed with aluminum. The front of the engine was painted in light gray.

A difficult area was the engine cover. Too many parts and in the wrong place.  This required lots of sanding and putty.

After masking the cockpit, I was ready to start with the interesting cammo pattern.



I first gave the kit a hand of gray Modelmaster Acryl 4763 (undersides and topside to check for imperfections) Then I painted the white band and masked it.

Once this area was masked I painted the top surfaces including the bottom fuselage using Brown Modelmaster Acryl 4707.

Using the painting in Osprey’s book, I applied little balls of blue tac in roughly the proper positions. Then the model was sprayed with Sand Modelmaster Acryl 4789.

Then the little blue tack balls were pressed a little bit against the kit, to increase the surface area and protect the sand color. Finally, the coat of green was applied to the kit (Modelmaster Acryl 4729).

The hood was painted in yellow, while the front was painted in bronze with some drybrush in rust.

After removing the blue tac and doing some retouches here and there (where I had applied too much pressure and the sand area was too big) I drybrushed black pastel to give the plane a dirtier look (moveable surfaces, some panels, area around guns).

Finally I gave the kit a coat of Future.


The kit decals are actually quite good, to my surprise. Areas where they are wrong are the size of the Cavallino Rampante (on the white band) and the lack of the Red 2 required for Lucchini’s plane. The “90” also seem to have the wrong size and shape (too short and too thick). For the first time ever, I made my own decals using Testors decal paper (clear for the 90, printed in white paper for the 2).

I experienced some lack of ink density of the 90 so I used two layers of decals to get the proper color depth. The other problem is that while cutting the 2 from the paper, no matter how careful I was, I lost some red paint on the edge of the number. A close look reveals the defect. In this picture you can see the “9” with only one layer of decal, the “0” with 2 layers, and the white area around the red “2”.


The engine had been glued using the (minimal) support structure provided by the kit.

The landing gear is a nightmare. Due to the fact that the molds are not aligned properly, the halves of the wheels and legs don’t match and have a large gap that needs to be sanded. Detail is minimal. The struts are useless because of this reason and were replaced with parts from the spares box painted in aluminum.

The pitot was added to the right side of the cockpit.

The windshield was sanded to fit the contour of the fuselage. The gunsight was scratchbuilt and glued. The head rest was painted in brown (leather).

Machine guns…well, those plastic strips the kit gives us…I sanded them the best I could and painted them in black mixed with aluminum.

I painted the three lights (red and green wing tips and formation light on the end of the fuselage in white)

The exhausts were glued in place, after painting them in rust and cammo green with black to simulate the opening.

To finish the kit I added the two antennas on the wings (from the spares box as well), painted in green (top) and gray (bottom). 


Why did I decide to tackle this kit…I don’t really know! I have built a Tauro Models Macchi 202 and I thought I could have a nice addition to my collection of Italian planes of WWII (the other being a SMER SM 79). At least now I have a plane flown by the Italian ace of aces of World War Two.


Italian Aces of World War Two, Massimello and Appostolo (Osprey)

Biplane fighter aces website

Comando Supremo Aces of the Regia Aeronautica website

Courage Alone, C. Dunning

Wings of Thunder, Meunier and Raimondi

May 2010

Pablo Calcaterra

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