|KIT:||NOIX models 1/48 Macchi M.39|
|PRICE:||$90.00 from www.coopersmodels.com|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Multimedia kit of resin and cast metal|
The Macchi M.39 was a racing seaplane designed and built by the Italian aircraft company Macchi Aeronautica in 1925-26. The plane, piloted by Mario Bernardi was one of three entered and won the 1926 Schneider Trophy.
The M.39 was designed by Mario Castoldi as a single seat, twin-float racing plane. Castoldi went on to design some of the most beautiful fighter aircraft of WWII. Powered by a Fiat engine producing some 880 hp it reached a winning speed of 396 km/h (246 mph) at the Schneider Trophy contest held at Hampton Roads, Virginia, besting an international group of entries.
According to Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation, Macchi was essentially ordered to produce a winning plane by Italy's fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Later Italian seaplanes (the M.52, M.52R, and M.67) failed to defeat rival entries (mostly from the United Kingdom). However, the final seaplane created by Macchi, the M.C.72 set a world speed record (over water) on April 10, 1933 with a speed of 682 km/h (424 mph). This was also the absolute speed record and stood for five years until broken by the Heinkel He-100 in 1939. It is still the absolute speed record for float planes.
Upon opening the sturdy cardboard box, I found the 'standard' compartmentalized bags holding only a few of the resin parts each. All of the resin is superbly molded and completely flawless. Yep, not a mold glitch to be found; not even a tiny pinhole. I was able to test fit several of the major components and though the fuselage halves were a bit warped out, I found that when gently squeezed, they fit superbly. Same with the wing attachment point.
There are also several bags of cast metal parts. These are as flawlessly cast as the resin with only a tiny mold seam to clean. Airframe parts, the launching float, and the single piece floats are in resin while the struts, prop, exhaust and some interior bits are in cast metal. You also get a cast metal pilot figure. A single semi-thick vac windscreen is also included. Decals are provided for the various race numbers used by this aircraft.
Instructions are somewhat basic in that it is just an exploded view, but really, little more is needed. This is a simple aircraft and so a simple kit. My instructions are in Japanese, but DMC Models has English translations for your kit and has e-mailed me a set. Markings are for one of three planes and you can paint it any color as long as it is Italian Racing Red! About the only actual 'work' will be adding the rigging, a rather simple task on this very simple kit.
If your interest is in racing aircraft of any era, then this is a kit you MUST have. Yeah, it is a bit pricey, but it is certainly worth it in terms of the quality of the kit, as this one is right up there with the best of them. I can tell you that this one is at the head of the build pile and may actually get me motivated to finish my SMER 1/40 MC.72, a kit that has been half built for nearly 20 years!
You can get yours at www.coopersmodels.com and get speedy shipment as well.
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