A singular Milan based company that was founded in 1919 by former WWI pilot Piero Magni. He had taken out a patent in 1919 for a monoplane aircraft design featuring load bearing paddle-shaped wings struts that provided lift and acted as an airbrake when rotated 90 degrees into the airsteam (see second image on the right). 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 & PM2 Vittoria, powered by the Anzani 6A.20 radial engine. He followed this with the PM3-1 'Vale', which was built at at Taliedo in 1934 and powered by the Farina T.38 5-cylinder radial. The PM 3-4 Vale was donated to the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan by Piero Magni himself and remains there to this day. It gives the visitor a chance to appreciate the almost flawless construction of this distinctive aircraft. Plans for an armed PM 4 was proposed, powered by a FIAT A.54 engine, but Piero Magni shut down the company at the onset of WWII.
Scroll down this page to see the text and images of the 1/72 resin kits of the Choroszy Modelbud PM 2 and PM 3/4 built for Scale Aircraft Modeller International review articles. They both appeared in the September 2006 issue.
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.
PM 1 Vittoria
PM 1 (with flaps deployed)
PM 3-1 Vale
PM 3-4 Vale