‘Tennente una sigaretta ?’ (Cigarette Break ?) Italeir 1/72 Macchi MC.202 Folgore
In the summer of last year I did my first Italian aircraft, since I wanted to give my self a challenge I decided to go for this little beauty. The fit itself was very straightforward and a joy to build. The real challenge started when it came to apply the smoke rings, this had to be done freehand and with enamels it is not always easy to airbrush such fine detail with a 0.2mm needle. I have spent countless of hours experimenting on scrap plastic only to get jittery hands when it came to the real thing, in fact by the second attempt I was ready to call it quits and buy smoke rings decals (which I did, yet when they arrived I did not like them as I could see that they were a bit big for 1/72), thus I decided to ask for the help of a local master modeler and a good friend, who suggested that I should try to airbrush the paint mixed with cellulose thinners, rather then the usual thinner. This quite honestly was a game changer since the cellulose thinner gets to dry instantly once airbrushed and thus it gave me more control of the situation, the downside though is that the paint mixture tends to clog in the airbrush quite a lot due to the fact that it dries quickly, yet still all things considered, in such a build, paint clogging the airbrush was just a minor hiccup. For this one I also tried using a marble primer mix of black, grey and white.
Regarding the Macchi itself. The Folgore was an under rated beast, apart from a very sexy design (typical of the Italians) it was often mistaken by the allies for a BF 109 F, due to it's slick design. Yet still m any experts agree that the design came way too late for the Italians in the war, bar from that the early releases had some serious issues, when it came to diving, that issue and the lack of armament, was very disadvantageous, yet it is my humble opinion that given more time to improve, the MC 202 would have been a very formidable adverse to the Spitfire Mk V (not that it wasn't in the hands of a good pilot).
The diorama / vignette depicts one of Italy's Aces Luigi Gorrini, who survived the war and continued his military service with the Aeronautica. The figures themselves are in 1/72 from Waterloo Figures (they are a bit costly but the detail of each figure and the lack of flash and mould lines are a joy to work with). The cigarettes where scratch built. Everything was airbrushed and hand painted (the figures) with Humbrol enamels, while the pin wash was done with brown acrylic mixed with water and liquid soap.
Hope you enjoy