Monday, January 25, 2010

1/144 SM.79 Sparviero by Atlas Editions

The SM.79 had a major role in the Mediterranean theatre and for three years achieved outstanding success in operations against merchant convoys, naval vessels of all sizes and the island fortress of Malta. Among the Allied destroyers sunk by the Sparviero were HMS Husky, Jaguar, Kujavik II, Legion and Southwall. The original operations against Malta and Allied shipping in the Sicilian Channel were carried out by SM.79s of the 30th Stormo and 279th Squadriglia.

Although I recently started working on a 1/72 kit from Airfix, I decided to get this model so as to put it next to the other same scale italian bombers. Entirly made of diecast, it looks good and although IXO models offers the same model in different markings (and maybe with better finishes), I'd say the Atlas attempt is just fine. Not sure about the colors and I would have preferred the propeller blades to be in silver rather than light grey, as well as a more detailed Regia Aeronautica insignia on the tail. The fascist-era roundel is wrong (see here).

Markings are incorrect, as this model should represent a 193a Squadriglia aircraft which saw action over Malta in 1940. The 198a Squadriglia were equipped with the CANT Z.506 Airone. The "omino elettrico" badge has no background, therefore I assume this aircraft should probably have been serial no. 193-4. Only a few aircraft had this particular badge, and this forum page has some related info and photos.
Info & profile artwork source: "Profile Publications no.89 - The Savoia Marchetti SM.79"

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