Sheet #

Sky Models 72-009 for Aermacchi MB.339




All Italian AF and Argentine Navy

Review By:

Scott Van Aken



The Italian aircraft industry has long been known for building well-designed aircraft that not only perform the desired function, but look great as well. The Aermacchi MB.339 fits into that category. To the eyes of the reviewer, it is one of the nicest looking training aircraft to have ever been designed. I put into that category the BAe Hawk and TA-4 Skyhawk. For some reason, to me, twin seat aircraft generally look nicer than the single seat variants using the same airframe. Don't know why, it just is one of those things.

The MB.339 has been around for quite a long time. It was a derivative of the earlier MB.326 and basically is a sleeker update of that other aircraft, using a number of the same components like the wings, for instance. Despite having been around for years, it is only recently that any decent kits of the MB.339 have been available. About ten years ago, Aeroclub produced a combination vacuformed/injected kit in 1/72, but the vac fuselage was a stumbling block to many who think that the media is only for advanced builders.

However, recently things have changed dramatically. A few years back, Supermodel produced two 1/72 MB.339 injected kits. One for the two-seater and one for the single-seat light attack aircraft. Just last year, FreMs released the 339 in 1/48 scale, much to the delight of a number of modelers including myself. For a review of that kit, go here

Sky Models has been insightful enough to produce a sheet for the MB.339 in 1/72 scale. It is quite complete as are all Sky Models sheets that I have seen. There are sufficient common markings to do 5 aircraft using the sheet. Taking these common markings from the kit sheet will vastly increase the number of aircraft you can do. 

The MB.339 has gone through a number of camouflage changes in its history, and all of them are catered to on this sheet. As you can see, there are enough separate number/letter combinations to do any Italian and Argentine 339 that was ever done! This is one trait of Sky Models sheets that I really like in that one isn't limited to a few subjects. Included in that listing are several manufacturers prototypes with civil registration.

Every Sky sheet I have ever seen is just superbly printed with no registration problems and clear, crisp lettering that can be read, though you may need a magnifier to read it. This sheet is no exception.

The instruction sheet is a photo-copied affair giving 11 different schemes. Like other Sky sheets it has a color cross-reference chart giving equivalent FS595, Humbrol, Molak, Tamiya and Gunze colors. Also like other sheets, the instructions are not fancy, but adequate for the task, showing small upper right wing images to help in placement of wing decals and markings.

I did notice one glitch on the sheet and that is only because I built my FreMs kit using this scheme. The Argentine Navy version does not include the lower wing anchors or the unit badge. The instructions do not show the placement of the nose numbers either. 

The sheet is a great value for the money and is highly recommended. You can get them direct using the link below if your hobby shop does not carry them.

Review copy courtesy of  the fine folks at Pacific Coast Models Inc.

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