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Pacific Coast Models' 1/32 scale
Macchi C.202 Folgore

by Ian Robertson


Macchi C.202


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The C.202 Folgore was one of the best Italian aircraft of WWII, proving itself in the Mediterranean theater as a formidable adversary for the Hawker Hurricane, P-40 Tomahawk, and early Spitfires. A direct descendent of the C.200 Saetta, the C.202 Folgore had a smaller fuselage cross section, enclosed cockpit and retractable tail wheel. Most importantly, the forward fuselage was redesigned to accept a DB.601 inline engine, giving the C.202 it’s sleek and fearsome appearance. The C.202 retained the C.200’s asymmetric wing length to compensate for engine torque rotation.

Here I present Pacific Coast Models’ 1/32 scale C.202 Folgore as a series III aircraft flown by Capt. Franco Lucchini, commander of 84a Squadriglia, 10th Stormo, fall 1942.



Photographs of Capt. Lucchini’s aircraft (see pg 61 in Osprey’s “Italian Aces of WWII”) show a replacement starboard wing and a replacement panel on the cowl. For variety, I chose to depict Lucchini’s aircraft prior to these field repairs.

PCM’s kit – what’s in the box?

Like the C.200 kit before it, PCM’s C.202 is an excellent example of just how far short-run kits have come in recent years. The grey styrene parts, manufactured by MPM, feature finely recessed panel lines and plenty of detail. The plastic is a bit softer than what you get in a Tamiya or Hasegawa kit, but it remains easy to work with. A number of panel lines on my kit were partially filled, requiring rescribing. Some large ejection stubs in the inside surfaces of the fuselage and wings required removal, but this was not problematic.

The canopy is injection molded with well defined framing.

The resin parts are excellently crafted and include a well detailed cockpit, radiator, and lower cowl. The kit also includes a large fret of Eduard photoetch. In general, the photoetch parts are reserved for those places on the model that really benefit from them (e.g., the seat harness, instrument panel, radiator grills). I left off some of the more fiddly pieces of photoetch, choosing instead to fashion my own details from other materials.

Decals were produced by Sky Models and printed by Cartograf. Seven attractive marking options are provided, spanning a wide range of camouflage styles for the C.202.


It is clear that PCM has attempted to “stretch” the molds of their C.202 kit by including details found on C.205s. This makes perfect sense given that a 1/32 C.205 has been announced as the next kit for release by this company. Some simple modifications are therefore required to build an accurate C.202, although these modifications are not mentioned in the instructions.




I will start by emphasizing that this is an excellent kit and I thoroughly enjoyed building it. It is a great example of just how good a limited run kit can be, and how subjects that many doubted would ever be produced in injection molding are now getting a chance to shine in 1/32 scale. While this kit is definitely not intended for beginners, it should be well within the reach of modelers with moderate experience, particularly those with experience using resin and photoetch. I found the C.202 comparable in difficulty to the Pacific Coast Models 1/32 C.200 and Azur 1/32 D.520.


Construction begins with the resin/styrene/photoetch cockpit. The parts are finely detailed and fit together quite well, although the assembly is not without challenges owing to the fiddly nature of the small parts. Translation - I’m all thumbs when it comes to photoetch.

A more significant difficulty I had with the cockpit was determining how far down in the fuselage it should sit. The correct answer is that the top of the resin side walls should reach the lip of the cockpit opening on the fuselage (sigh…..just as it is shown in the instructions). However, if you do not thin the sidewalls of the fuselage prior to installing the cockpit, the cockpit will sit 1-2 mm too low when the fuselage halves are attached. This is what happened on my model, and I did not realize my mistake until after the cockpit was installed and the fuselage halves were attached. What gave away my error? When I tried to install the photoetch seat harness the strap was not long enough to mount on the plate behind the pilot’s head. To overcome this problem I scratch built a slightly larger harness from lead foil and incorporated the original photoetch chains and buckles.



Despite my mistake, the cockpit tub looks great when finished and installed in the fuselage. However, little did I know that my gaff created another problem that would appear in the next phase of construction!


The error I made in positioning the cockpit returned to haunt me when I tried attaching the wings to the fuselage. Specifically, the radiator housing that is molded on the interior of the lower wing bumped the underside of the cockpit, preventing attachment of the wing. My only option was to remove this radiator housing from the wing (see photo), attach the lower wing to the model, and then rebuild the housing from sheet styrene. As luck would have it, the underside of the cockpit was the perfect depth to accept the radiator screens, and the resin radiator fit perfectly over top. I dodged a bullet!


Wing dihedral and alignment was perfect, and the upper sections of each wing fit without difficulty once the lower wing was in place (I carefully dry-fitted these parts prior to gluing). Be sure to thin the trailing edges of the wing before gluing. Also, the four round hatches on each wing were filled because these were specific to C.205s. The bumps on the underside of the wing were removed for the same reason.


Even though the aircraft I was modeling probably lacked wing guns (most series III aircraft did), I left the rectangular access panels for the guns in place. According to Maurizio Di Terlizzi (in Aviolibri’s “Macchi MC202 Folgore, Pt 1a”), series III aircraft were upgraded with wing guns (and thus had the access panels), although in most cases the guns were later removed and the holes plated over.

Wheel Wells

The wheel well is an area on the model that begs for detail in the form of wires and hoses.



I referred to color photos in the Mushroom Models book “Macchi C.202 Folgore” and used solder wire to simulate the plumbing.

Horizontal Stabilizers

The kit provides elevators suitable for C.205s and C.202 series XI-XIII. If you want to build a C.202 series I-X, you will need to modify the elevators as shown in the photo below.



To make the modification, simply clip the balance off the tip of the elevator and reattach it to the main part of the stabilizer using CA glue.

The Nose

Some concern has been raised regarding the fit, as well as shape and size, of the C.202’s spinner. There is definitely a problem to solve because the spinner plate is considerably smaller in diameter than the tip of the cowl. My impression is that the cowl doesn’t curve inward sufficiently at the tip, resulting in an anterior cowl diameter that is larger than the spinner plate. I therefore reshaped the cowl with sand paper until it was the same diameter as the spinner. To me the nose and spinner look just fine following this simple modification; however, I did not go to the trouble of measuring the spinner for accuracy. Should the spinner turn out to be the problem, a more elaborate fix will be required.

Landing Gear

The final major step in construction was attaching the landing gear. I experienced some difficulty achieving proper forward rake for the struts. Based on photographs and color profiles, the rear edge of the gear covers should be close to square with the lower wing. However, my initial attempts at fitting the struts in their sockets left the undercarriage too upright, causing the nose to sit too high and the model to look “off”.



I made a few adjustments to the socket and finally got the struts to rake properly forward. It made all the difference in the world to the appearance of the model.


Painting and Markings



The cockpit side walls were painted in Polly Scale RAF interior green (a reasonable match for Italian cockpit green) and then treated with washes and chalk pastels. The seat, control stick, and plate behind the pilot were painted in Alclad II duraluminum and then treated with a thin black wash (Tamiya acrylic).

The exterior of the model was primed with Tamiya fine grey surface primer and then polished lightly with a micromesh sanding cloth. The fuselage band, wing tips, and tail cross were sprayed white and masked for the remainder of the painting.

The underside of the model was painted Polly Scale Italian Light Blue-grey. The wheel wells were painted interior green. For the upper surfaces I mixed my own version of Nicciola Chiarro (hazelnut tan) using a 50/50 mixture of Aeromaster RLM79 and Polly Scale Israeli Khaki. Once the Nicciola Chiarro mix had dried I applied dark green patches freehand using Polly Scale Italian Olive.

The propeller blades were first painted Alclad II duraluminum followed by scale black. Wear was simulated by wet sanding the rear tips of the propeller blades with a micromesh sanding cloth.


The decals for this kit worked beautifully. Although the scheme I chose was not one of those indicated on the decal sheet, most of the markings I needed were present. The kit decals even included the “84 -“ I needed (I had a suitable red “1” among my spares), but from photos it was apparent that the size and thickness of these numbers was incorrect for Lucchini’s aircraft. Therefore, I made my own decals for the “84 - 1” on each side of the fuselage. The markings were printed on Testors decal paper using a Hewlitt-Packard deskjet printer. Once dry, the decals were coated with fine mists of Testors decal bonder (clear lacquer in a rattle can), allowed to dry overnight, and then applied to the model as per usual.



Photographs indicate that the symbol typically seen in the center of the tail cross on Italian aircraft was absent from this aircraft. I opted to add the symbol on my model any way.





Images of the completed model were taken outdoors in natural light with a Nikon Coolpix 5400 digital camera. The “unsharp mask” tool of Adobe Photoshop was used to restore some of the clarity and crispness lost during image compression. The mountains in the background are the Owyhees in south-western Idaho.




Pacific Coast Models has added another winner to their growing 1/32 lineup. Based on the same basic design as the 1/32 C.200 kit, the C.202 is somewhat easier to build because of the inline engine.

For my money this kit is well worth the price given the good fit, detailed resin parts, photoetch, and marking options. I’ll be keeping my eyes (and wallet) open for the PCM 1/32 C.205 Veltro down the line!



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Italian Aces of World War 2
Aircraft of the Aces 34
Author: Giorgio Apostolo
Illustrator: Richard Caruana
US Price: $19.95
UK Price: £12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 November 25, 2000
Details: 96 pages; ISBN: 1841760781
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Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2006 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 17 July, 2006
Last Updated 19 July, 2006

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