Scale Aviation Modeller International — February 2018

(Jacob Rumans) #1
Quickboost resin replacements
(QB72106). Incidentally, the
Quickboost cowlings also have
the correct number of three
concentric panel lines around
the circumference at the front,
hugely helpful at the paint stage.
The S.79 was powered by three
Alfa-Romeo 126 RC 35 nine-cylinder
air-cooled radial engines, originally
license-built copies of the Bristol
Pegasus. As noted last month,
Airfix’s 14-cylinder engines are a
complete no-no, so I turned instead
to Pavla’s radials in their set U 72-
46, together with the Quickboost
cowlings. This combination didn’t
last long, however, as it was quickly
apparent that the Pavla engine is,
unfortunately, a slightly loose fit.
I had some spare Italeri engines,
and although also slightly loose,
I decided to use them instead.
I sanded away the locating
backplates and substituted some
location tabs, made invisible by
placing them behind individual
cylinders. There’s a deficiency
not addressed by Airfix or Italeri,
and here Pavla really comes to
the rescue: each engine sports
a pair of air intake horns, one
on each side of the 12-oclock
position cylinder, and Pavla offer
them in resin. For my own model,
however, I scratch-built these
horns using heat-stretched sprue.
I should also mention that
Eduard’s excellent ignition
harness, and the cowling bracing
struts, add a huge amount of
realism. The Airfix exhausts are
reasonable, if you hollow out the

ends, but the Pavla equivalents are
much better. I chose to use these
and only fitted them when I had
completed all cowling painting.
I like the Airfix spinners and
propellers, but the spinners need
to have backplates added. 193-6
required white spinners with blue
nose caps. In 1940 Italian propeller
blades were usually painted
light blue on the front faces, but
I suspect that some were in light
grey or natural metal. The rear
faces were matt black. Yellow blade
tips were official, but photographs
seem to suggest that prop blades
were not always so painted at
this time, so the choice is yours.

Anyone intent on a wide choice
of Italian S.79 markings will
be unable to avoid purchasing
a copy of Sky Models’ superb
decal sheet 72003, which offers
markings for 67 different machines
(plus many others, if spare
numbers are taken into account).
However, there are wing fasces
sufficient for only two aircraft.
For many Regia Aeronautica
fans, the iconic S.79 bomber unit
was 193 Squadriglia, part of 87
Gruppo, and headquartered at
Sciacca on Sicily up to August 1941. I
say iconic, not necessarily because
of the unit’s exploits, but because
of its famous unit badge “The
Electric Man”, with bolts of voltage
emanating from every appendage.
The badge was applied in two
different forms, that is, with and
without a blue circular background
field, although the Internet records
that there was only one aircraft
with the badge on a blue field, that
being 193-6, red 6, serial number
MM22326, the aircraft of Tenente

Gino Magnani. The Internet also
records that this aircraft first went
into battle following the application
of the badge on 28 November

  1. An interesting feature of
    the aircraft is the marked and
    dated battle hits, a not uncommon
    practice amongst Italian airmen.
    Moving on to the camouflage
    colours, I would suggest Giallo
    Mimetico (Yellow Camouflage) 2
    FS33481 as the topside base, with
    Verde Mimetico (Green Camouflage)
    2 FS34092 and Marrone Mimetico
    (Brown Camouflage) 2 FS30076
    as the mottle colours. Grigio
    Azzuro Chiaro (Light Blue Grey)
    FS36307 is suggested for the
    underside. I decided to run with
    these colours, except for the
    underside, where I decided to use
    the traditional early war Grigio
    Mimetico (Grey Camouflage)
    FS36231. (The FS 595A numbers
    are courtesy of Sky Models).
    Colourcoats has a good range
    of Italian enamel colours, and Mr.
    Paint has recently announced a
    new range of Italian airbrush-
    ready lacquer paints. However, I
    fell back again on my DBI paints
    collection, selecting numbers CI4,
    CI8 and CI11, plus CI2 for the grey.
    Other alternatives, as set out by Sky
    Models, are: for the yellow, Humbrol
    81 Matt Pale Yellow or Tamiya
    XF54; for the green, Humbrol
    149 Matt Dark Green or Tamiya
    XF11; for the maroon, Humbrol 20
    Gloss Crimson; and for the grey,
    Humbrol 140 Matt Gull Grey.
    Due to the S.79’s few panel lines,
    I decided not to bother with any
    pre-shading. With the white theatre
    band masked, I first applied an
    all-over coat of Grigio Mimetico,
    because I wanted an even undercoat
    to cover the many areas of filler,
    etc. After masking the underside

areas, I covered the rest of the
model with the Giallo Mimetico.
When masking, the upper
surface camouflage wraparound
under the wing leading edge
should not be overlooked, but note
that it was not always confined
to merely the area occupied by
the slats. Photographs appear to
show that 193-6 had the sides of
its gondola also camouflaged.
The verde and marrone mottling
followed. This was my first ever
attempt at a serious mottled
finish and it took many hours!
Overall, I was fairly pleased with
the result, although maybe my
individual mottles could have
been a little larger. On the other
hand, the application of mottles
is known to have been denser
during this early-war period.
As for the decals, who could
resist the “Omino Elettrico (Electric
Man)” insignia of 193 Squadriglia!
Unfortunately, however, Sky Models’
Electric Man is not quite right, nor
is the original issue of Tauromodel’s
decal sheet ART. 72-513. Tauromodel
eventually reprinted this sheet,
coded 01-18 II, and this has things
correct. I also had to turn to
Tauromodel for the fuselage codes,
because 193-6 featured a smart
white shadow, whereas the Sky
Models numbers and letters show
virtually no shadow at all. The
Tauromodel codes were not perfect
either, being too large, but overall
Tauromodel won the day for me.
It seems that 193-6 carried no
underwing fasces. I was surprised
to find that this is something that
wasn’t all that unusual, whilst
above the wings were the usual
fasces roundels. I took these from
the Sky Models sheet. Later-issue
Tauromodel decals, like 72-513,
are of top quality, and I found






082-89-VP-Sm79-0218.indd 87 12/01/2018 12:10

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