Guest article by Eric Gallaud - click here to go to his web site - it's well worth it, for First World War scale modeling.

  • The M9 was the last type of Macchi designed flying boat produced during WWI by Italy. Its predecessors were the L1, L2, M3, M5, M7 and M8 flying boats. All of them were based on the captured Austrian lohner L-40 in 1915. The M9 went into production in the summer of 1918 and was used during the final month of WWI. It was considered to be of good construction with some achievements comparable to fighters of that era.
  • 16 No. M9's were produced during the final months of WWI and 14 No. in 1919. 9 No. were purchased by Poland in 1921 and they were used by MDLot (Air Naval Squadron) in Puck until the end of 1926.


  • Engine: Fiat A-12bis, 300hp, liquid cooling
  • Wing span: 15.54 m
  • Length: 9.52 m
  • Empty weight: 1250 Kg
  • Loaded weight: 1550 Kg
  • Maximum speed: 187 Km/h
  • Ceiling: 5700 m
  • Range: 965 Km
  • Construction: biplane flying boat, 1 engine with a 2 bladed pushing propeller. Crew of 2, Pilot and Observer/Gunner. The hull has a wooden structure covered with plywood. Tail plane and rudder are made of steel tubes covered with fabric. Main wings have wooden structure covered with fabric. Lower wings are equipped with floats at their tip.
  • Armament: 1 No. moveable MG in observer cockpit, 2 No. bomb racks for 4 No. 25 Kg or 2 No. 67.5 Kg bombs.
  • Additional equipment: radio installation, photo camera and search lights.

I will use the resin kit from Choroszy Modelbud in 1/72. The resin is well cast, with few bubbles. I don't know yet if I will use the interplane struts provided with removing the simulation of fabric straps, or scratchbuild them from bamboo. I will also replace the control horns with photoetched ones, I will scratch from brass rod the various supports, under tailplane, under lower wings and those which maintain the under wing floats.

First of all, let's have a look at the kit:

Macchi_M9_engine.jpg (120025 bytes)Macchi_M9_interior.jpg (80940 bytes)Macchi_M9_trolley_and_floats.jpg (164146 bytes)
Macchi_M9_fuselage.jpg (65034 bytes)
Macchi_M9_struts.jpg (116752 bytes)
Macchi_M9_trolley_and_floats.jpg (164146 bytes)
Macchi_M9_various.jpg (97961 bytes)
Macchi_M9_wings.jpg (53469 bytes)


Macchi_M9_decals.jpg (98238 bytes)




Following the remarks from Michael Kendix who also built this kit, I sanded down the seats in order to reduce their thickness to be able to close the fuselage. I drilled several holes 0.5mm diameter following the pictures I found on the SEAWINGS web site. Then, I sprayed a coat of Humbrol 63 Matt Sand on the inside of the fuselage, the floor, the seats and the instrument panel.

I handbrushed a coat of Citadel Chesnut ink, which allowed to enhance all of the relief. Be careful, as this ink drys fast, you must paint it in one shot. After that, I paint some other details.

I painted the tank grey, its support and fixation in Tamiya Satin Black X18 and then add a wash with gouache. This type of paint is very convinient, once painted and dry, you can remove the excess with a damp cloth or Q-tip.

Macchi_M9_11.jpg (126820 bytes)
Macchi_M9_06.jpg (96103 bytes)

After, to add the harness on the seats, I glue them in place as well as the tank and the control column. I also add a rudder bar because the one provided moulded on the floor was broken. To build it, I copied the one I saw on the Macchi M.7 on the SEAWINGS site. I add everything in the fuselage, it is ready to be closed.

Macchi_M9_02.jpg (109623 bytes)Macchi_M9_05.jpg (50417 bytes)
Macchi_M9_12.jpg (118089 bytes)  

Now, I can close the fuselage. First, I adjust both sides together and maintain them with clamps. I added some superglue along the joint between both sides.


I start to paint the fuselage overall in white with a can of Skull White from Citadel. Then, I mask the underside, the sides and the tail which will receive the Italian Tricolour.

After that first painting operation, I airbrush a coat of Humbrol 63 Matt Sand onto the whole area which will be painted in wood colour. After at least 24 hours, I start the oil painting process.

Macchi_M9_15.jpg (88327 bytes)

I thin some Sienna Burnt Earth oil paint with turpentine (about 50%) and, with a wide flat hard brush, I apply the paint on the whole fuselage. At this stage, it is not a problem to have some brush marks everywhere. Then, first smoothing, wiith the same brush wiped on a paper towel, I smooth the paint always in the same direction (the wood grain direction) and along the whole length of the fuselage (no stopping from the front to the rear).

Macchi_M9_16.jpg (89319 bytes)

Once done, I start again this operation with a soft brush (same type) with no paint addition. You also have to wipe your brush to remove the excess paint. Stop the smoothing operation when the result pleases you.

Macchi_M9_17.jpg (118320 bytes)

After that, I wait for at least 48 hours prior to touching it to remove the masking tape.


I begin with the glueing operation. For the upper wings, I improve the joint strength with some brass rod between each part. The lower wings are glued without anymore reinforcement as they already have some locating points.

I fill the glue joint between the lower wings and the fuselage with putty, but not those of the upper wings. That joint must remain visible. As I want to represent the wing ribs 'show-through' effect from under the wing, I had the not-so-good idea to use a fine marker pen, usually used to write on cd's. The problem was that after 10 coats of paint, it was like I had never painted the ribs!

Macchi_M9_19.jpg (114120 bytes)Macchi_M9_21.jpg (117039 bytes)
Macchi_M9_22.jpg (60577 bytes)

After spraying a coat of Citadel Skull White, I started again to draw my wing ribs but this time with a watercolour pencil. The result is lighter and fades away with a few coats of paint over it. In addition, I draw a part of a circle to simulate the cockade showing through from the underside.

Macchi_M9_24.jpg (110671 bytes)
Macchi_M9_26.jpg (64198 bytes)

I used the paper of the decals as a template. Then, a few coats of Misterkit Clear Doped Linen - Dark, some Flag Green on starboard and some Flag Red on port, et voila..!

Macchi_M9_25.jpg (62458 bytes)
Macchi_M9_27.jpg (43982 bytes)Macchi_M9_29.jpg (52580 bytes)


To weather the top of the wings I masked the wing ribs with 0.7mm masking tape. Then, I use pastel chalk and apply it with a brush following each rib. I rub it in with my finger following the tape direction to fix it then I remove the masking tape.
Macchi_M9_31.jpg (60838 bytes)Macchi_M9_32.jpg (57028 bytes)

For the engine support, first I sprayed a coat of Alclad White Aluminium. Once dry (after 15mins) I brush its central part in Humbrol Black 33. After about 30 minutes, I slightly rub this paint with my finger to show through the aluminium colour.

Macchi_M9_33.jpg (96376 bytes)Macchi_M9_34.jpg (55369 bytes)

I paint the bottom of the engine support in Humbrol 165 Medium Sea Grey. At the last, the wood colour, one coat of Humbrol 63 Matt Sand followed, when dry, buy a coat of Citadel Chesnut ink.

Macchi_M9_35.jpg (111900 bytes)Macchi_M9_36.jpg (126706 bytes)

The engine support was washed with highly diluted Black and Burnt Sienna Earth oil paint for the inside and some trace of the same mix for the outside. The engine is painted in Alclad White Aluminium, then the cylinders in Humbrol Matt Black. After that, to have a more shiny appearance, I apply a coat of Klir.

Macchi_M9_37.jpg (74396 bytes)Macchi_M9_38.jpg (73173 bytes)

The exhaust pipe is painted in Matt Black, then it received a dry-brush of Humbrol 113 Matt Rust. The engine crankcase is washed with highly diluted Black and Burnt Sienna Earth oil paint.

The engine support is glued in place and some rigging is added prior to fitting the engine. I had to scratchbuild the crank as I didn't find it in the parts. As I opened and closed the box several times prior to starting the building process, it is possible that I lost it.

Macchi_M9_42.jpg (109151 bytes)


I used 0.5mm brass rod to build all of the struts. I didn't want to use the ones provided with the kit, as they were looking too fragile. They are painted in Humbrol 165 Medium Sea Grey. The struts of the tail are also made brass rod, this time 0.4mm.
Macchi_M9_41.jpg (40316 bytes)Macchi_M9_40.jpg (41097 bytes)
After I added the engine, I also added the cabane struts. Because of their 'N' shape, I used the resin kit parts as provided in the kit. Their extremities were reinforced with 0.3mm steel wire.
Macchi_M9_43.jpg (95027 bytes)

Then I added the upper wing onto the cabane struts. This operation is easier because of the steel wires previously inserted into the struts. After that, I added the interplane struts made from Contrail stock. 

Macchi_M9_44.jpg (70729 bytes)
Macchi_M9_45.jpg (56707 bytes)

I painted the struts first with a coat of Humbrol 63 Matt Sand, then a coat of Citadel Chesnut ink. After that, I added the linen bands around them.

Macchi_M9_46.jpg (79739 bytes)


First, I pass the wire through the upper wing as afr as the corresponding hole - half drilled - in the lower wing where I glue it with thick CA glue. I repear this operation for all of the wires. I use 0.06mm fishing line, tinted with a permanent marker. 
Macchi_M9_47.jpg (58215 bytes)

Then each wire is tightened and glued with a drop a drop of thin CA. Once dry, I cut the excess wire with a razor blade and fill the gap with putty.

Macchi_M9_48.jpg (66877 bytes)

Once the putty is sanded, I airbrushed some thin coats of Misterkit Italian Clear Doped Linen - Dark followed by the decals and a coat of Satin Varnish. Then, I repeat the same operation as above for the lower wing. 

Macchi_M9_50.jpg (41982 bytes)

In the picture above, you can see the results. The hardest part is to keep some regularity when adding the pastel chalk. In conclusion, I added the last details such as the propeller and the control cables.
Macchi_M9_51.jpg (79747 bytes)
Macchi_M9_54.jpg (76423 bytes)
Macchi_M9_55.jpg (70727 bytes)
Macchi_M9_60.jpg (104136 bytes)
Macchi_M9_63.jpg (90373 bytes)

Eric's superb model won this award at the MaugeExpo at Cholet, France in October 2006:-

Cholet2006.jpg (61196 bytes)

Well done, Eric...!!! And thank you for sharing it with SEAWINGS