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Mike

TopDrawings 71 Special Edition – Macci MC.202 (9788366148222)

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TopDrawings 71 Special Edition – Macci MC.202 (9788366148222)

Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK

 

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Known at the Folgore, which is Italian for Thunderbolt, the MC.202 was the most common Italian fighter aircraft of WWII, and was considered by many to be pretty much the best they had.  The MC part of its name stems from its designer Mario Castoldi, who designed it around a licence built DB601 engine that was constructed by Alfa Romeo once it reached series production.  It remained fairly much unchanged overall, with a short list of upgrades that centred around pilot protection, improving the aircraft's offensive armament and adding filters to improve longevity in hot, dusty environments.

 

We have kits in most major scales of this elegant aircraft, although we're not spoiled for choice in some scales, sadly.  The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand.  With this edition, you get a set of masks for the 1:72 Hasegawa kit for the wheels and canopy in pre-cut vinyl.

 

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The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Polish on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within.  The book itself has 28 pages bound in a card cover, and the rear cover is devoted to additional colour profiles of a Series VII and a Series III in "smoke ring" camouflage.  Held loosely within are two loose A2 sheet printed on both sides with plans of the Series VIII, airframes in maintenance situations and on the second sheet, which is printed glossy paper, the major structures of the airframe plus more plans of the Series III and VIII, all in 1:24.  The first half of the plans show the initial prototype MC.202 and series I, II and III, followed by the IV, VII, VIII and IX.  After this the colour profiles are printed on four pages, augmented by the aforementioned two on the rear cover.  After the break there are a host of detail drawings covering weapons, common parts in the wings, tail wheel variations, the two types of engine mounts, instrument panel changes, the two gunsights used, the engines in different scales, prop profiles, and the three canopy designs in chronological order.  Then the usual side profiles showing the changed areas between each successive series marked out in grey, which surprisingly for a relatively unchanged aircraft takes four pages.  The last few pages covers front, rear, overhead and lower plans in 1:72.

 

Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show differences in wing leading edge shape and the addition of leading edge tanks; weapons pods carried under the wings and a drawing of the cowling from below.

 

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Conclusion

These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the large scale prints and masks a bonus if you're a modeller in 1:72.

 

Highly recommended.

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Review sample courtesy of

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