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Supermodel 1/72 scale Aermacchi MB-326

Kit: No. 10-011
Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: Supermodel, Via Capo di Lucca, 40126 Bologna, Italy. Distributed by Military Model Distributors, 1115 Crowley Drive, Carrollton, TX 75011-5010, phone 214-242-8663.
Price: $11.98
Comments: Injection molded, 60 parts, decals.

FIRST FLOWN IN 1957, the Aermacchi MB-326 ranks as one of the world's most widely used military jets. Continually upgraded since its introduction, more than 700 serve as trainers and light-attack planes in a dozen air forces on four continents. A derivative, the MB-339, is still produced -- and recently competed in America's JPATS (Joint Primary Aircraft Training System) trainer competition.

Supermodel's kit features fine raised panel lines and the flash-free parts go together with few problems. The pictorial instructions feature six steps of assembly and markings details.

The kit's beautifully printed decals provide stenciling, and cockpit panels, as well as markings for Argentine navy and Australian, Italian, and South African air forces. The cockpit decals are good enough to tempt experienced enthusiasts into opening the two-piece canopy and lavishing extra details in the kit's otherwise spartan interior. There's little room for nose weight, so replacing the kit's ejection seats with cast-metal aftermarket items could help keep your MB-326 from bumping its tail.

Wing-tip warpage in my kit complicated both alignment and tip tank attachment. Generally, the fit is good, but main components require extra attention to ensure gap-free junctures, particularly at the dorsal wing roots. In contrast to the razor-sharp trailing edges of both horizontal stabilizers, the wings and intake openings appear too thick for the scale.

The kit packs a reasonably complete weapons mix (parts common to Supermodel's companion single-seat MB-326K), but the twin 12.7mm wing-gun pods common to most armed MB-326s are absent.

The weapons racks do not fit well. Carefully sand the inboard attachment points to make them hang vertically.

My main reference is a superb feature in the July 1989 Modelaid International. An equally good color reference also graced the modeling section of the December 1982 Air International.

Looking past the minor glitches, you'll enjoy Supermodel's little Aermacchi. Wearing Floquil Classic and Polly Scale paints, my model sports the kit decals for an Argentine Navy EMB-326GB. With construction claiming only 10 hours, this simple kit makes a great weekend project.

David L. Veres
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