Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

1/72 scale Brazilian Savoia Marchetti
S.79 Transatlantico

by Mark Davies


Savoia Marchetti S.79 Transatlantico


Italeri's 1/72 scale S.79 III is available online from Squadron




The Savoia Marchetti S.79 is one of my favourite 1930ís aircraft, and I have always liked the S.79C (for Corsa meaning race) and the very similar S.79 T (for Transatlantico) which were modified s.79Cís.

I had some Superscale decals for one of the three aircraft I-BRUN, the others being I-BISE and I-MONI. Having recently built a modified Airfix S.79 bomber I decided to convert my Italeri S.79 bomber to an S.79T. Some of the images here include my modified Airfix S.79 bomber to contrast the airframe changes applied to the S.79T.





The major part of conversion required me to remove the ventral gunnerís hump, and mould a new windscreen. The new windscreen was made by fitting the kit one in place and cutting off the top associated with the gunnerís hump, and re-profiling the upper fuselage in thick plastic card. Once satisfied I removed the canopy area and sanded it undersize and polished it to form a male mould for plunge moulding a new acetate canopy.



I then closed all openings associated with the side-gunnerís and bomb-aimerís positions. The Italeri kit features exaggerated fabric sagging on the fuselage and tail surfaces, so I chose to fill these with Milliput and smooth them away along with the closed openings already mentioned.

Lesser jobs included making some streamlined tail braces as the racers used these in place of the bomberís bracing wires. I also filled in the bomb doors. New more slender prop spinners were needed, and these came from a smashed up Hasegawa Kawanishi Mavis flying boat which were Dremeled out to accept the kit prop bosses. A crew entrance hatch was scribed in, and port-hole style windows added to the fuselage. I built a fuel tank venting system from scrap, and this along with a DF loop was added behind the cabin.



Having done all this work I realised to my horror that the I-BRUN serial of the Superscale decals were far too small compared to photos. This led me to search for more information and fortunately I stumbled across a website, since moved, that gave some history regarding three S.79Tís that flew non-stop from Rome to Rio de Janeiro in January 1938 as part of a commercial route-proving exercise. They covered the 10,000 km at an average speed of 400 kmh and were given to Brazilian Government afterwards and incorporated into the Brazilian Armyís Military Aviation. The aircraft were used for long-range reconnaissance, instrument flying and bombing training mission. They were transferred to the ForÁa Aťrea Brasileira upon its creation in 1941, but usage was suffering from a lack of spares by this time and the aircraft were taken off active duty in 1943.



The website provided a profile drawing of the Brazilian aircraft. It said no photo existed, but gave a description of the colours and codes used. The profile showed the aircraft to have an extended centre engine cowl. I was aware that some Italian tri-motors like the Savoia Marchetti S.81 had this feature, so it seemed plausible enough. I incorporated it into my model by cutting the rear part of a spare Academy B-17C cowl and adding it the S.79ís cowl. I have since had my doubts about the accuracy of this, and may change it back to the original length cowl. Finally exhausts were made using a combination of Italeri and Airfix S.79 parts.



Painting and Markings


The aircraft was painted in a green to match the website profile, and code letters were courtesy of Martin Short and his ALPs printer. I covered the cowls in Baremetal foil, and then created the machine-turned aluminium look using some folded 800 grit wet & dry paper, scuffing the surface with eth folded corner of the paper in a tight swirling motion.



The collector rings were then sprayed on and various small details picked out as required and the undercarriage added.





Iím happy enough with my unusual S.79, although I rushed to finish it after it had sat around for a year or so after I lost interest in it. Perversely, Pavla have issued an S.79C conversion set for the Italeri kit with everything you need, including the correct decals. I now own this and will at some stage build the very attractive red, green and white Italian racer I originally planned.



An example of this aircraft, built by an Australian email pal of mine, Graham Carter, using the Airfix kit and Pavla conversion is shown in the image above.

Images and Text Copyright © 2005 by Mark Davies
Page Created 14 September, 2005
Last Updated 14 September, 2005

Back to HyperScale Main Page