Originally built for SAMI and appeared in the November 2006 issue.
This is the third Savoia Marchetti S.79 to be released by Italeri in 1/72nd scale. It is of the early bomber type, which had a few detail differences, the most notable being the small fairings either side of the main fuselage hump.
Moulded in the slightly soft plastic so typical of Italeri, it is cleanly moulded with fine recessed panel lines and fabric effect that, to some eyes, may be rather exaggerated. There are few sink marks to deal with, the most noticeable being on the wing along the aileron edge. Cockpit detail is fairly good, with a choice of decal or raised instrument panel detail. Seat belts would need to be added by the modeller. There is some detail moulded into the fuselage side walls that would benefit from a wash to bring it to life. For those of you who wish to improve the level of internal detail, the Eduard coloured etch set can be used. The clear parts are quite thick, as is the frame work on the cockpit canopy.
Construction started with a slight deviation from the instructions. Instead of installing the early style hump as a complete unit later on in the construction, I thought it better to install each half to its corresponding fuselage part at the earliest opportunity. Each side need a few test fits. The only problem was the front edge of the starboard side, which did not quite match the contours of the fuselage. The side door, gun hatches (which were clear), floor and bulkheads were also glued in place. No rudder pedals were supplied (they would never be visible anyway). The interior was given an overall grey colour, with black used on the instrument panel, control column handles and seat pads. The tail wheel was also prepared, as were the machine guns. Before closing the fuselage, the side windows were carefully glued in place.
Next task was the wing installation. This is another instance where a slight deviation from the instructions was thought necessary. I glued the top half of each wing to the fuselage first, as this ensures a neat join. When set, the one piece lower wing, which had the wheel well inserts previously installed, was then lined up and glued in place. The gondola sub-assembley was prepared, then installed, along with the stabilisers, engine mount 'cones' and the engines themselves. The bomb bay doors can be posed open, if wished, but I modelled them closed (the previously mentioned Eduard etch set provides extra detail if deciding to pose them open). A touch of Mr. Surfacer was to hide the joins along some of these parts, notably the gondola sub-assembley. The cockpit canopy was test fitted and finally glued in place. It was not a perfect join, but after masking the canopy with Tamiya tape, a small amount of Mr. Surfacer was used fill some minor gaps. All the other clear parts were masked at this point as well.
I decided to try the A1 Banded scheme. Although the Italeri instructions are fairly accurate, I referred to other sources to make a few minor adjustments, in particular Postiglioni's 'Colori e Schemi Mimetici della Regia Aeronautica, 1935-1943'. In it, it suggests Marrone Mimetico 2, Verde Mimetico 1 and Giallo Mimetico 3 for the upper colours and Grigio Mimetico or Alluminio on the lower surfaces. I used the corresponding colours from the White Ensign Models Regia Aeronautica enamel range. The rudder tricolor was sprayed separately, using acrylic colours.
Italeri are to be applauded for adding this trio of 1/72 Sparviero kits to their range, especially as fans of this aircraft have had to make do with Airfix's elderly model for so long in this scale. Most modellers should be more than satisfied with the overall quality of the model, which builds into a nice accurate looking replica without the need for any filler or major corrections, provided care is taken during assembly. Although there is room for added detail, the only real criticism of the kit in general is the rather heavy handed fabric effect.