Having just made a model of a RAAF Aermacchi MB.326 I thought it would be interesting to then make the RNZAF Aermacchi MB.339. I had the Supermodel kit, bought when Adam was a boy, and Oldmodels in New Zealand made decals for that model. What could be simpler?
I should have known better. A quick cruise in the interweb showed me there were some significant differences between what the kit in the box would allow me to make and what I actually needed to make if the end result was to look anything like the New Zealand Macchi. When the decal sheet arrived from Odlmodels it was even more specific in telling me that the only solution to my problems was to buy the resin conversion kit made by Kiwi Models. ‘Fine’, I thought to myself, and went to the Kiwi Models website, only to find that the conversion kit was no longer available. Fortunately a brain wave sent me back to the Oldmodels site and I found a set there.
What you get for your money is a new nose, a new tail, a couple of excellent ejector seats and a few other bits and pieces. There were a few challenges in getting the conversion parts to match the kit parts after I’d attacked them with a razor saw, but a bit of filler and filing solved that. I discovered that the kit cockpit is far too shallow for the rear ejector seat so you could make a new cockpit if you wanted to. I discovered this problem too late for that and was reduced to filing away at the bottom of the rear ejector seat until there was almost nothing left, but it finally fitted.
The real challenge in completing this model was the camouflage paint scheme. The instructions that come with the decal sheet are as good as you could expect but a little confusing in places. The real problem came with my ability to hand paint the scheme as it was too complex and fiddly to mask in 1/72. What I ended up with was okay but not the result that some of our master modelers would have achieved.
The decal sheet is extensive with everything you could want included. Some of the smallest ones don’t stand out against the dark paint scheme and I wondered whether I was wasting my time applying them. In any event, a nice little model was the result.