Sunday, July 11, 2010

My latest adventure

When I build models, I am always looking for a model that is new to me.  I mean I have favorites like everyone else, but I always like to try something different.

Currently I am working on a model that is brand new to me, both in the manufacturer and aircraft represented.

The model is the SM-79-1 tri engined bomber, used by Italy in World War Two.  This is the second tri motor aircraft I have built, the first being the Junkers Ju-52.

The kit is made by Italeri, and it is the first kit by this company, that I have ever built.

Why did I not build Italian aircraft before?

I really can't tell you this, I always loved the Italian paint schemes, but I just never got around to building any kits, until now.

The SM 79-1 was a modified version of the SM-79, a plane used by both the Italian Army Air Force and Naval air wings. 

When I got the kit, it came with markings for an Italian bomber used in the Spanish Civil war, as well as a pre war version and a version used later when Italy began their campaigns in lands like Ethiopia and North Africa.

Although there were some interesting paint schems, I wanted something a bit more interesting, lucky for me I am a member of a facebook site titled Ships-and-planes-silhouettes, which provides a variety of profiles of aircraft, armor and ships as well as profiles of pilots and crews.

I found a profile for the SM-79 as a night bomber, the plane painted almost entirely in black.  This scheme cried out to me, and I quickly began to paint my model for this version.

I have used Google to search for photos of the interior of this plane, so I have the right colors for things such as seats,contold panels and flight decks.

So far it has been a slow build, but for me that is the nature of the game. 

Here are some photos of my model as it looks now, and a few of the actual aircraft.

SM 79 having made successful anti shipping attack

SM 79 desert air base, North Africa?

SM 79 with clipped wing tips.

Early war markings and camoflague, based on paint scheme used in Spanish Civil war.

SM 79 Desert camoflague and setting.

Possible photo of  SM 79 with 257 Squadrigila 108th Gruppo 36th Stormo

Formation of SM 79's on patrol.

Flight of SM 79's ready to take off on a strike.

SM 79's low level approach.

Model representing SM 79 as it would have appeared in the Spanish Civil War.

Profile from Facebook group Ships and Planes Silhouettes.

Cover of Italeri 1/72nd scale model of the SM 79
Parts being painted Gloss Black.

Parts,instructions and decals.

Landing gear and gear foors installed.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Forgotten Hawk, the Curtis P-36 Hawk-75 1939-1944

U.S. Army P-36 with no camoflague, Natural metal and Dark Olive Drab anti glare panel.  Because the Army had evualated the P-36 as not up to part for combat, they relegated the plane to use as a trainer and test bed for camoflague patterns.  The above P-36 was in a training squaqdron which explains the lack of camoflague and the larger markings.

My model of the  Curtis  P-36 Hawk in the paint scheme and markings of the French Air Force 1939.  Academy kit in 1/48 Scale

A second version of experrimental camoflague tested by the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1939
P-36's with experrimental camoflague 1939

Illustration of Experrimental paint scheme, less extreme, using White Orange and Bottle Green on upper and lower surfaces.

Another photo of one of the P-36 Hawks in experrimental camoflague 1939

One variation of the French Camoflague pattern used 1939-1940

Good look at a variation of the French scheme using two tone Brown and Green for upper surfaces, instead of the intermediate Gray.

Variation of standard French camoflague pattern.

Royal Canadian Air Force winter scheme using an intermediate blue gray and dark Olive Drab upper surfaces and light gray lower surfaces.  RCAF used the P-36 mainly as a training plane, although a few saw combat.

RAF Standard markings and camoflague for P-36 Hawk 75 in the CBI theatre 1942-44.  Note that the Red center meatball on the RAF markings has been omitted here, to avoid confusion with enemy aircraft.  Standard RAF camoflague of dark brown, dark olive drab and Sky Blue lower surfaces.

Captured French P-36, sold by Germany to Finland.  Standard German camoflague of Light Olive Drab, Black Green Light Sky Blue and Yellow cowl and lower wing tips.  The Fins used the Hawk 75 against the Russians' who had taken territory from Finland.

There are sources that indicate that an earlier version of the Curtis P-36 served in China between 1939 and 1941, this version had fixed landing gear that did not retract, and one rumor claims that Claire Lee Chennault, the man who formed the Flying Tigers, actually flew this version of the P-36 and had a kill record of around 50 Japanese aircraft by the time he started the Flying Tigers.  However, finding photos or any additional information on P-36's used in China is difficult.