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In-Box Review
Maachi M5
The Sea-Borne Bat
  • 1/48 Fly Macchi M5

by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]

The Kit,

The instructions follow the Fly layout, one printed two sided sheet starting with a brief history, With a series of assembly diagrams, On the box art a 3-view drawing and a colour scheme. No colour matches are given and colour call-outs are restricted to only the box schemes . Colours for the smaller detail parts are generalized, this includes the cockpit interior.

The parts are come in three of variously sized ziploc bags. As expected, the molding & casting quality of all the parts are first rate, including the resin. The top wing have come under some cyberspace scrutiny. Though I have some information that says they are close enough to be built as is. The upper wing has the right number of ribs so I would sand the ribs down as they are too prominant. Also the trailing edges of noth wings need to be sanded down at well. Then restore the ribs with thin strips (evergreen 0,5 mm sanded after application or decal strips like ribtapes.

The plastic fuselage halves are finely moulded. The fuselage profile seems to be a bit out of shape, is not difficult to correct. I would round out the rear area of the underside as it is not flat on the original. Not much flash if any is present. Top deck needs rivets at port side. Another item that will need to be corrected is the beaching dolley, as the kit does not have one. The kit is equipped with late style floats, so anyone wishing to model a later variant will have to scratch build new ones. The missing white disc items for the rear fuselage deck can be made from sections of white sheet plastic.

There are a number of parts for the cockpit and the engine is nicely detailed. For the cockpit, try to go with a predominately varnished wood interior, included is the seat. There is a floor, rear bulkhead, a very simple instrument "panel on a bar", gun breeches as well as ammunition boxes. The instructions do not show very clearly where each part should go in the cramped area of the fuselage. a nice resin engine, seat, dynamo prop and a 'clock' is included in the kit. The resin set also includes two machine gun breeches but since the jackets, barrels and muzzles are buried in the forward upper deck, they are not included.Other parts given a wood effect at this stage were the wing floats, propeller and main interplane struts.

The engine also had some of its extreme edge detail removed in order to get it to fit into its cradle. Once satisified, the whole engine assembly was sprayed in Aluminium, the engine itself given a wash of diluted black to bring out all that detail. It was then glued to the fuselage. Engine panels are slightly too thick and are easily reshaped. Propellor shape and profile as an 'tractor' type should be replaced with a 'pusher' type.

Decal Versions,

The Box art provides decals for two options, The Windsock Datafile shows these interesting schemes as some aircraft began to appear with quite interesting markings, such as a saw tooth edge to the white portion of the fuselage. A unique example had a dragons head painted over the entire nose area and another had bold black and white stripes over the whole fuselage. Although no aftermarket decals are known, it should not be too difficult to replicate some of these schemes.

The decals for the Bat head version (M 5 #13041) are disappointing and do not look hand painted as it has thick solid computer drawn lines for the eyes and ears. A set of addenda decals for the Bat's face is included in my kit. From Raymond Manders of the Netherlands we have this comment. ". . .The decal makers did not decipher the text on the hull so they made bits up and they left the rest of the text out using underscores The decal text shows this: ICH_SON_AVE. It should be: "I CASI SONO DUE" (ref. Windsock Datafile 86 page 31 and page 32). I CASI SONO DUE actually means: ' There are two possibilities'. It was the motto of commander Arcidiacono who flew this plane. . ."

The KUK version (M 5 #7068) contains the correct shaped floats in resin


The casting, particularly the wings and fuselage, are excellent quality, so it's a shame that a beaching dolly was missing, that the colour diagram was not entirely correct and that the decal sheet was "incomplete". Most modelers will relish the chance of using this model to improve their general skills (including a little bit of scratchbuilding). The finished result is a very attractive and distinctive aircraft, particularly if one of the more colourful schemes were applied. The word is that it was a new mold made for them by Special Hobby. Despite the problems mentioned, which are not insurmountable by any means, this model can still be recommended for the more experienced modeler.

Concerning the cyberspace comments on the top wing.,

I offer further comments from another modeler Raymond Manders of the Netherlands, ". . .cross-checked the windsock 48 scale plans by _Marty Digmayer with Airmacchi specifications of wingspan and length. The plan is about 2-3 mm too wide as regards the wingspan, so the model wing is close to the specifications (1mm too short). I'm sure the problem is not in the Digmayer's original plans, but depends by the printing process and most of the WS 1/48 plans are afflicted by a non-uniform reduction in length or wingspan, that tends to be overexagerated when the plans are enlarged to 1/32 or 1/28 scale - I realized this problem when I enlarged the hanriot plans to scratchbuild an 1/32 model of the hd1: the wingspan is 6 mm too short in 1/48 and this is nearly 1 cm in 1/32! It seems that 1/72 scale plans in windsock are more close to scale, so enlarging them could be a solution, when a check is performed after the enlargement is printed. . ."

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: High quality kit excellent details. Great choice for any Seaplane buff or Mediterreanian Front enthusiast.
Lows: Poor intrepretation of text in decal profile. No beaching trolley for display. Very minor dimension issues.
Verdict: Good kit to start working with multimedia. Good references are a value to the modeler in any case.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: FLY48002
  Suggested Retail: $37.95 USD
  Related Link: Watch a modern reproduction Fly
  PUBLISHED: Oct 19, 2008

About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


One of the fellows I quoted in the review (decals section) has sent me a very cordial PM and will hopefully comment here. Here is a bit of fun from Raymond Manders of the Netherlands. "Dear Mister Lawson (or may I say Stephen), I have read your excellent review of the Fly Macchi M5. I noticed that you used some bits from the review I originally wrote for this kit. I'm perfectly all right with that. I think it's nice if knowledge is shared. The thing is, I wrote my version of the review quite hastily. For the WWI Digest forum to help somebody out. I know I made some typo's and grammar errors. It's because of this you have made an error in your Macchi review: >>The decal text shows this: ICH_SON_AVE. It should be: "I CASI SONO DUE" (ref. Windsock Datafile 86 page 31 and page 32). I What means 'is How stupid can you be? It was the motto of commander Arcidiacono who flew this plane That's incorrect: I CASI SONO DUE actually means: ' There are two possibilities'. With " How stupid can they be" I refered to the decal makers. Not the actual meaning of the motto. . ." ". . .The big problem with the kit wings is not so much the dimensions but rather the alignment of the ribs and the misplaced heat shield. For this conclusion I'm not solely relying on the windsock data file drawings but also the Datafile's photos. The model's ribs are not placed evenly and often not straight. I very much agree with you that the lack of a beach dolly is an other big miss of this kit. I hope I have helped you out. Best regards, "
NOV 22, 2008 - 08:37 AM

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