Piero Magni Aviazione

A singular company that was founded by former WWI pilot Piero Magni in 1919 and was based in Milan. He had taken out a patent in 1919 for a monoplane aircraft design featuring load bearing paddle-shaped wings struts that acted as an airbrake when rotated 90 degrees into the airsteam. Another major contribution he made to aircraft design was the 'minimum pentration hood' that came to be known as the 'NACA' cowl. His aircraft was the first to feature this pioneering concept.

In 1924, at his factory at Meda, he built the PM1 and PM2 followed by the PM3-1 'Vale' at Taliedo in 1934. The PM3-4 was built in 1937 and donated to the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan by Piero Magni himself. It remains there to this day and gives the viewer a chance to appreciate the almost flawless construction of this distinctive aircraft.

The images to the right show the PM2 design followed by the PM3-1. Both are 1/72 Choroszy Modelbud resin kits and, despite their diminutive size, are great fun to build and paint. They were both built for SAMI review articles. The PM1 and PM2 kits are very similar in appearance, as are the PM3-1 & PM3-4.

Scroll down this page to see the text and images I prepared for Scale Aircraft Modeller International review articles.  

Piero Magni 3/4

This is one of four variants of this very interesting aircraft to be released by Chororszy Modelbud. The others being the PM 1, PM 2 and PM 3/4. They are very similar in appearance, although the PM1 & 2 are slightly smaller and have a dark brown scheme. All the kit parts are resin and are very well cast, with hardly any air bubbles. Only a small amount of cleaning up is required after removing parts from their casting blocks. The decal sheet is quite small and nicely printed. The instruction sheet describes the construction process adequately enough, but only 'pearl grey', 'natural metal' and 'black' are given for the aircraft's overall colour scheme. Internal colours will have to be guessed at.

After painting up the interior (I chose a wood effect), the fuselage halves are joined together. The spine is moulded integrally with the port fuselage half, leaving a gap that needs to be filled when the starboard side is glued in place. Only then can the rest of rest of the kit parts be attached, apart from the cowling & struts, which are not attached until painting is complete. Care needs to be taken to avoid knocking off that tail wheel, it's extremely fragile!

For the 'pearl grey' scheme, I used Xtracrylix XA1139. It looks to be about the right shade compared to photos of the PM 3/4 on display at the 'Museo nazionale della scienza e della tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci' in Milan. The cowling and propeller is sprayed with Alclad II Aluminium before attaching them to the model, followed by the struts.

The decals were easy to apply to the smooth acrylic paint surface. The lettering is very faint however and tricolor is very brittle when dry, which meant a little touch up with paint when removing the excess carrier around the edge.

This attractive looking model was fun to build and its single colour scheme made it an easy one as well. The only tweak to perform was to adjust the strut ends where it joins onto the wing. Highly recommended, even for those who have not ventured into resin modelling.

Piero Magni PM2

This diminutive model is cast entirely in resin, the contents of which look rather lost inside the standard box Choroszy Modelbud use for their kits. The quality of the moulding is very good, with only a few air bubbles present. All parts are easily removed from their casting blocks and only a small amount of clean up is needed. The instructions helps to explain the assembly reasonably well, but there are no colour call outs to any of the detail parts, so interior colour is anyone's guess. The colour scheme diagram uses generic colours only (brown, black & linen). The white lettering on the small decal sheet looks to be opaque which is fortunate as they will be applied to a dark colour.

With no clues to interior colours, I thought I'd try a wood effect for this model. A wash brings out the sidewall detail cast into each fuselage half nicely but after joining the pieces together very little, apart form the seat, can be seen. I also attached the undercarriage legs and tail surfaces at this stage but left the wing and struts off until after all the painting was done.

I used Humbrol 10 for the brown sections of the colour scheme and Tamiya Semi-Gloss black for the rest. The decals  thin varnish meant they had to treated with some care, but settled down very well on the glossy finish of the model. The wing, struts, prop, spinner, exhaust and wheels could all be finally glued in place. A photo of another variant of this aircraft suggests it would have had a very glossy finish for which I used Johnsons Klear.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable model to put together, with very little to tax the modeller. Only a little adjustment to the ends of each strut was necessary to get a good join to the wing. The rest was quite easy, albeit a bit fiddly in places due to its small size. With hardly any documentation to hand, it is hard to comment on its overall accuracy. Certainly, the look of this aircraft is very distinctive, even a little out of the ordinary. Worthy of note is the unusual technique of using the rear half of each strut as an airbrake. Three more versions of this aircraft are produced by Choroszy Modelbud (PM 1, PM 3/1 & PM 3/4) and together they would make a very interesting quartet. Highly recommended.

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