Italeri 1/48 MB-326H A7-025 "Roulette" Macchi
1/48 Aermacchi MB-326H (A7-025) - Central Flying School (East Sale) - "Roulettes" Display Team
Italeri (ex Esci) 1:48 MB-326.
Decals AAF-62 - RAAF MB326 Roulettes
> Plane Bits Resin conversion set for RAAF/RAN Macchi’s
> Hasegawa Pilot Figure from accessory set.
by the RAAF as two seat jet trainer, the Macchi provided
pilots with a transition onto fast jet combat types like
Mirage, F-111 and Hornets. It was Also used by the RAAF
display team “The Roulettes” prior to moving to their current mount, the Pilatus PC-9A turboprop. I chose to model an aircraft in-flight in the final colour scheme applied to Roulette Macchis. During the transition to the PC-9A, the roulettes were reduced to a synchro pair display. At least one of my reference pics shows A7-025 as part of this display pair, and although airframes were probably rotated, I like to think of my model as one of the last jet “Roulettes”.
Construction began according to the instructions with modifications as per the instructions for the resin conversion set. In the cockpit, as well the resin seats, I added a bulkhead and instrument coaming between the rear of front seat and the aft instrument panel from styrene sheet. Scratchbuilt throttle quadrants and flap selectors were added to LH consoles. 1 x Pilot figure was installed in the front seat and manipulated to have hands on controls. The kit detail here is light on with plenty of room to go nuts, however that was never part of the scope of this project.
After the wings were assembled the replacement resin tip tanks were added with some brass pins for strength. Gun pods included in the conversion set were not used. As the aircraft is in flight, no landing gear parts were used and gear doors were closed. The main gear doors fit Ok but the nose gear doors looked like a lot of work so they were discarded. Instead I chose to completely fill the nose gear bay with milliputt which was contoured to match the fuselage. The gear doors were later scribed back in. For the exterior, some Blade antennae were added from styrene stock, and red reflective beads added for exterior rotating beacons top and bottom.
The clear acrylic rod used to support the model in its pose was screwed into the back of the jet pipe of the model which was in turn epoxy-glued onto one fuselage half prior to closing. The acrylic rod simply sits in a hole drilled in the display stand and supports itself allowing the pose to be changed (roll axis).
No major fit problems presented themselves from memory, minor amounts of putty only on some seams.
This is a challenging colour scheme. The release is moulded in bright orange plastic which makes the job even harder (I have seen the original Esci boxing in white plastic). I decided to paint the colour scheme in the order that would give the best coverage and the fewest trips to the paint booth. After masking the canopy the entire airframe was painted white. White areas and areas to be aluminium, were then masked off and the orange applied. The orange and white areas were then re-masked, and the aluminium areas painted. TAMIYA tape was used for all masking operations. An acrylic clear gloss was applied for an overall gloss finish. Flat black areas were masked and applied after decals and weathering. A panel wash was applied in this instance prior to decals as the Hawkeye decals have a thick carrier film and the wash can tend to run around the outline and spoil the result. Fortunately the decals were translucent enough for the panel wash to show through meaning I didn’t have to re-do those areas.
Decals from Hawkeye decals (AAF-62) set were used for a late scheme RAAF example. Micro Set/Sol were used to settle down all decals. A final clear acrylic coat sealed all decals and wash. Hawkeye provides white discs to go underneath the RAAF roundels, however applied over the orange these proved to be a bit too translucent for my liking. In hindsight these white discs should have been masked during the painting process.
> Vampire, Macchi & Iroquois in Australian Service – Stewart
> www.hobbyvista.com.au Motty’s
aircraft photos pages.
> www.adfserials.com.au Australian military aircraft serial number website.
> www.defence.gov.au Australian Defence website.
> The Aerobats – Bill Yenne
"Smoke on - GO !!!"
Photos and text © by Andrew Perren