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Atelier Noix 1/48 scale Macchi Mc. 72

Scale: 1/48
Kit: No. Men and Machine Series No. 11
Manufacturer: Atelier Noix, 366-5 Miyamae, Fuzisawa, Kanagawa 251, Japan, fax 81-466-22-4927
Price: ¥9,000 (about $85) plus shipping
Comments: Cast resin, 21 parts (9 cast metal, 1 clear plastic windshield), decals.

The lineage of Macchi's Schneider Cup floatplane racers goes back to the early 1920s, when many aircraft were built specifically for this race. This plane never posed a serious challenge to win the cup, but in 1935 Francesco Agello flew the Mc. 72 to a new world speed record of 440.68 mph -- to this day a record for floatplanes.

The detail in the resin parts is superb, with recessed panel lines and no flash or bubbles. The metal interior details, propellers, and struts also are well-cast. The four-color decals are accurate and thin. A standing figure of the pilot is included.

Since there were only a few parts, building the red racer was easy. The 12-step instructions are in Japanese, but a sheet of English translation is provided. This plus the exploded-view and four-view drawings are all you need to guide you through assembly.

I used super glue to bond the parts. The resin float crutch makes a handy assembly jig, and all the parts fit properly. I built the float assembly as a unit and didn't attach it to the fuselage until after painting. As with any kit, thoroughly wash the resin parts with a strong detergent to remove mold-release agents and oils.

I painted Testor gloss red overall with Floquil brass around the nose. Black-stripe decals represent the surface radiators. Instead of painting the brass undercoat as suggested in the instructions, I used SuperScale International TF-3 gold trim film.

The finished model scales out exactly to the specifications in Robert S. Hirsch's Schneider Trophy Racers (Motorbooks). It's a handsome addition to my collection, and took only 25 hours to finish. Intermediate-level modelers with resin kit experience should find this kit easy and fun to build.

Bill Gebhard

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