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Savoia Marchetti SM.79 1/48th - 01/01 Update

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Well this is a bit unexpected, I had planned to build another Macchi C.205 in 1/48th but it hasn’t arrived yet and I was a bit surprised to see only one SM.79 in the build!

I have so wanted to build this one or the resin one for so long that I really couldn’t at least attempt it for this GB. This was the original choice when the GB was suggested, so it’s always been in the back of my mind.

Ok the model is produced by Flashback and appears to be a re-boxing of the old Classic Airframes SM.79 but with an Eduard PE set and different decals, which are rather nice.


The model has a full set of resin extras, in the way of a nice cockpit area, propellers/engine faces and guns etc.





I’m adding a nice set of Sky decals,


…..some additional resin bombs and main wheels, which I may or may not use,


…plus some additional PE from Eduard that was to be for the resin version. I’ll be using some of this just for detailing up the model a bit.


I’ve already made a bit of a start to it, I haven’t build a limited run plastic model for a while and had forgotten about ejector pins, there’s plenty to remove!


I’ve glued and cleaned up the wings already…no photo’s that part is a bit boring.

The main section of the fuselage is bare, unlike the cockpit that is fully detailed, so with having the main door open as well as the upper turret, I need to have some sort of detail for the interior. So using that was the first job, making up the exposed framework. I’m not to sure how far I’ll take the interior, a lot will depend on time and how much will actually be seen.


I haven’t decided yet whether to build the bomber or torpedo version, the kit supplies the parts for both, the same with the colour scheme. For that I intend to be a bit adventurous with that one, as there are some really colourful ones to choose from.

So I can’t promise to have the one finished by the end of the build, but I reckon I’ll be close and will try to have it done, even it I have to forget about the 1/48th C.205!

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This one's right up my street Rich.

Just out of interest, do you buy all your AM stuff at the same time as you buy the kit, or later? You seem to have an unending supply!


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This one's right up my street Rich.

Just out of interest, do you buy all your AM stuff at the same time as you buy the kit, or later? You seem to have an unending supply!


I usually end up buying all my AM stuff later, I like to have a look at what the model is like before I buy any AM stuff. Most of the AM stuff here is/was for the Vintage Models resin SM.79, as I thought it might need some extra stuff. I usually go on my buying sprees while I'm away with work...get bored easily!!

Very nice Rich. I'm doing the Airfix 1/72, your kit looks much more impressive!

Seeing your build is what tipped my over the edge and make me bring out this one. I just love the look of these aircraft, so I just had to join you, I had expected to see a couple of more of these. They're close to being the most famous of all the Italian aircraft from WWII and as torpedo bombers second to none!

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Good luck Rich

I have the Trunpeter version in the same scale, which I need to get the courage to build.

Of course a real man would build the Smer one !

Cheers Pat

...and so are you going to build it???

The Trumpeter one is meant to be not too bad, thought there are some issues with the cowlings, wrong nacelles, and the tail surfaces are all too small, but it's a simple model to build. It seems that Classic Airframes got it right with their version and it's extremely accurate, just a few of the odd fit issues you get with short run models. The Smer version is actually 1/50th scale, so you can guess how old that one is (early 70s)!

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I have just seen this. So you are doing two mind blowing builds. good luck with it.

I have also got the Trumpeter one, but that one will stay in the stash for later (read: Spanish civil war GB I hope).

I have also got loads of after market for it.


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Ok as mentioned with the 205 I’ve been spending an awful lot of time researching up the aircraft and the models, more time than building time. But it’s slowly paying off as it’s helping me though all the issues.

ISSUES!! I had almost forgotten what it’s like to build a Classic Airframes model, but I have been reminded very quickly along with the say that goes with every part of the model….”nothing fits!!”.

Ok some of the easier bit, the side windows have been cut out…but for some reason I’ve cut the RHS one a bit small, that’s easy to fix.



The engine have had their first coat of paint and sealer so they’re ready for detailing, they do look rather nice!


I’m using some of Eduard’s PE detailing set for the Trumpeter model on this build. This is the framework for the upper gun assembly, the PE one looks much nicer. It’s made up for the torpedo version, this model has the bits for both bomber and torpedo versions even though the instructions are for the bomber version.


The cockpit was the first area with fit issue, the base of the sidewalls don’t match the profile of the floor! One end sit up by about 2-3mm! If I cut them to shape them I loose some of the nice detail on them. So it ended up being a case of CA gluing one end, allow it to cure, then with brute force and more CA glue, gluing the other end! The worked only to discover they were too long! Anyway finally got that sorted and they’re together and have had the base cockpit colour. Not the green that you see 90% of them done in, that wrong, the SM.79’s were only ever painted the grey colour inside, it was something unique to them.


Ok all the easy stuff is over…..the wings! What a nightmare they were…..nothing fitted! The outer panels were fitted first before being glued to the center section. This involved lots of tape, clamps, CA glue, and lots of cursing. Then they were added to the center section following the same process but triple of everything!

The fit….well truly horrible! As you can see by the rather large gaps, or canyons as I like to call them, typical of a Classic Airframes model! I’ve already attacked them with the course side paper to knock them into rough shape. All the gaps will be filled with sprue, them I can start the shaping and cleaning up process. Plus I started to add some detail to the wings as well.



One of the issues I found with the wings of this model is that they got the position of the flaps wrong on the underside. They should be inline with the outer ailerons . So after some quick re-scribing, some gouging, and some plastic strip that issues is sorted.


Just a couple of shots of the wings and fuselage of the resin version, I think that would have been an easier build! Least I know what I’m in for with this one….lots of work!



I am probably going to have to remove the rear section of the upper gun area, this is quite often seen opened up to one side, as it’s going to be the only way I can do some of the interior detailing. Plus it will help me get the gun opening correct, which it’s not at the moment. The bomb bay area is gone, this will be replaced with an internal auxiliary fuel tank that was often fitted to the torpedo aircraft, it was a field mod.

While I’m at work I’ll start to figure out what colour scheme she’ll have, this will depend in the unit she was with.

I’ve made a good start on this baby, it’s going to be quite a bit bigger project than I first though but doable. As mentioned in the 205 update, I’ll put her aside next break so I can get some more done on the 152. But if I’m waiting for bit to dry then I may do little bit here and there.

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Nice work Rich.

I've just bought the Italeri MS79 (plus the Eduard BigEd set) off of eBay today after looking at yours and DAG058's builds.

No idea when I'll get round to it though. I bought a Boston Mk.V (MPM/Revell) for this GB months ago but I'm struggling to get one very small tank together at the moment so I doubt I'll be wasting everyone's bandwidth by chucking my hat into this particular ring.

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Great start on a true classic of the MTO.

Looks it will have the usual Classic Airframes fit issues though.

Like Blastvader I've also got the Italeri kit in the stash, but have other commitments to deal with first.


yeah you can always expect fit issues or huge gaps with Classic Airframes models....... but strangely I do enjoy building them, guess I like a challenge!!

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  • 2 months later...

GOSH the last update on this was 30th of August!!! Well after all this time I’ve finally done a bit more to this build. I was intending to leave this as move of a long term build but I had a bit of spare time the other day while bits on the Mustang and Macchi were drying.


Ok as mention previously as this is a Classic Airframe model fit issues are the norm! I sort of wonder if it would be easier to build the Trumpeter model and fix all it’s issues! Anyway……


Stuff I’ve forgotten to photograph…..I’ve do quite a bit of work on the cockpit and there is still quite a lot to do. Most of it well not be seen really easily but I’ll try to make it as detailed as possible.


After lots of sanding and re-profiling I have the engine pods starting to looks even and everything fitting. A bit of filler was required to fill in some of the gaps between the sprue used to fill the huge gaps. I’ve lost quite a bit of the detail around them so I’ll have to do some re-scribing.




Ok with a coat of Mr Surface 1200 the wings start to look a whole lot better, now I just need to fix up the panel details.......and some of my dodgy attempts!






I’ve made a good start on the engines themselves, they looks quite good just not so in the photos.




I’m going to have to build and finish the cowlings before I fit the engines, which is the opposite of the instructions! As you can see the cowling opening is pretty poor and actually not even round! Gluing them together now should make the whole process much easier. So to fit the engines later I had to remove the original locators and replace them with new ones made of plastic strips (the original ones were behind the fitted engine) so I added new ones in front so I could fit them later. They have been pretty much sanded smooth and both openings have been cleaned up.




While I was at it I started the props as well.




Ok the next major exercise was to sort out the upper gun position and a bit complicated to explain so bare with me. I wanted to have this position open so I had to remove the original plastic cover over this area, the details for which were very vague, especially with the shape of the opening. Luckily I have the Eduard PE set for the Trumpeter model, which I’m using for this build as a guide. Now this is where it all gets really difficult! The fuselage really needs to be closed up so I can get the opening shapes right, but I’m nowhere near ready to close it up plus there are lots of fragile PE around this area!! So I had to remove the rear section of the opening, this section did open on the aircraft, which is very helpful. So this small section was glued together and thin plastic sheet glued to each end to make up for plastic lost and add strength while I work on it. Plus I had to add new plastic so I could reshape the profile of the opening.




The picture shows the PE frame compared to the plastic section, you can see how much I had to add to roughly get the shape right. Once it’s all dried I’ll used the PE as mask to correctly shape the opening.




With some reshaping I’m at this, the shape is much closer to what I'm after.




It will be enough to help get the fuselage together.


Now there’s actually quite a bit going to be going on in this area, this PE section sits just below the opening of the gun position.




Under this are normally the bomb tubes for the bomber version, seen in the resin bit on the left. For the torpedo version the bomb chutes were replaced with an auxiliary fuel tank, I’ll have to make this from scratch along with the other detail in this area. I’ll only be going to the level of detail that can be seen through the opening.


She’s going to be a big beasty when done!!!




I’ve decided to do an aircraft from 193 Squadriglia, 87 Gruppo B.T./M., 30 Stromo with the famous  “Omino Electtrico” insignia. It’ll be a three-tone colour scheme but I haven’t quite decided on the pattern yet as there were quite a few variations within the squadron. The scary part is it’ll have to be painted free hand!




As mentioned this is a bit of a longer-term project and I’m not sure I’ll be able to complete her for this GB, even though I’m really starting to get into this build.

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Well this is just a small update but there is actually quite a bit of work done even if it doesn’t look like it.


I did a bit of work on some of the smaller bits, one being the tail wheel assembly. Unfortunately it’s not the strongest of parts so I replaced the main strut with plastic rod and tried to replicate the spring at the top of the strut……probably not really needed as it can’t be seen.





Most of the work though has been sorting the main interior section, the cockpit, and making up lots of PE bits. A lot of this area won’t be really seen except through the gun positions and side door, and even then you won’t be able to see too much.




I forgot to take photos of the cockpit, but I have now fitted most of the main parts to it and have started doing all the detail painting. The IP looks like it’s going to cause issues as it appears to be too wide, even though it came with the model.......very typical Classic Airframes! I’m going to see if there is a way I can either fit it last or use the Eduard PE one (was meant for the Trumpeter model). That way I can get the cockpit side to fit correct before fitting the IP, it may fit that way. Else I may have to do some “trimming”!!!!!!


Plus I will have issues with the how the engine/cowlings fit to the wings/nose. With the resin engines in place the whole unit is meant to then attach to the engine mounts on the wings and nose, however they don’t as the cowlings hit the wings before the rear of the engines touch the engine mounts. I can see a bit of fiddling required here and some plastic sheet shims to get everything to line up correctly....more fun.


There’s still an awful lot to do on this build and even working solely on it on my breaks, I still doubt I’ll finish her in time unfortunately.....the paint job along is got to take quite a bit of time. Anyway will just see how we go.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I can finally spend a little more time on this beast, and she's certainly been one too! 


This one is still fighting me at every step but I’m making progress. I finished off the interior finally, as mentioned I’m not going over the top with it as the majority of it will not be seen. So after quite a bit of effort I’ve managed to close the fuselage up…..the work was in trying to get it together and stay together! There are no alignment pins at also joining her so that everything lines up is…..interesting!


The elevators needed to be glued on first, as the join to the fuselage is just a butt joint. Both elevators are now joined together with 2 brass rods, which will help give them the added strength they need. 




The mid section gun was on a sliding mount allowing it to be move to either side, so the easiest way to do this was to drill 2 parallel holes in each side then slide in some rod and glue. No mount for the gun is provided so I’ll have to make that up.




The seats were finished and fitted, they look quite good in place. With the main canopy in place quite a lot of the detail will be very hard to see, hence why I’m not going to great lengths detailing in some sections.




I'm still not sure how I'm going to fit the IP because it just won't fit, it's we too wide!






This is the frame work that needs to go in this section, getting this section to sit right is going to take some work as the plastic is just so thick!



Oh it's back to front in this photo.


You get an idea of how it will all look with the second panel in place. Not a lot will be seen, but I still need to make up an auxiliary fuel tank, which will sit where the bombs would have in the bomber version.




He is the main weapon, the torpedo versions were designed to carry 2 torpedos but generally only carried one.




So with the fuselage together I can now look at how the wings are going to go on……arr the wings!!


…..and this photo pretty well sums up the wings!




The instructions ask you to build the wings a bit different, glue the lower centre wing section to the fuselage, then glue the top of the wings to that, then finally the lower outer sections of the wings. I can see why they want you to do it that way but with all the fit issues I think it’d be even harder.


So doing it backwards I have this, some big gaps but they eventually fitted. The wings need to have a slight bit of dihedral but the top surface of the wings are pretty well perfectly level. So I don’t have too much work to go here.




And for the first time she is starting to look like an SM.79. Now the fuselage is together the rest should go together reasonable well/easy. I’ll pretty much finish off the fuselage before I fit the wings as she’s a big sucker and it’ll be hopefully easier that way.




My plans for the colour scheme have hit a big snag! I’ve only just realised that the SM.79’s used by 87 Gruppo were mainly used for bombing duties and not torpedo, so I’ll have to have another look or a scheme. (I’ll do the 87 Gruppo scheme on the other resin SM.79 I have).

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2 hours ago, modelling minion said:

Excellent work Rich.

She really is fighting you all the way isn't she! 

A shame that there isn't a better mainstream kit of what was certainly one of the most important bombers of the MTO.



There is a Trumpeter version available but it has accuracy issue (seems to be a normal thing for them!!), I'm not sure how bad, but all the reviews still say the Classic Aircrafts one is the way to go. I guess those reviewers and barking mad! The resin one I've got is actually looking like it would have been the better choice to build. Who'd thought a resin model would have been easier to build!


This one has very similar build issues I found with the Meteor NF.13 build. Anyway I'll get there, I just wish I'd been able to complete this one in time, would have been nice to have another one of these in the gallery. 

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Hi trickyrich

It is posible to tame the Trumpeter kit and have it looking a lot better. Get rid of the over the top ribbing, add to the rear tail and add to the front of the engine cowl




and hope you don't mind me posting but heres how she turned out



Great build so far your much braver than me taking on this classic kit and I am following your one with much interest 

all the best


Edited by Triumph
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WOW!!! that's a lovely model Peter, well done, the paint job is beautiful!!!


I haven't actually seen a proper build of one of these just the reviews. It looks like you had a bit of fun with that build, that's a fair bit to have to add to the elevators! I see you used the Eduard PE bits as well, that side door wasn't much fun to do!


Classic Airframe kits are quite interesting, I've built a few now, so going into this build I pretty much know what I'm in for........sometimes I don't know why I do it!


The resin one is now getting quite hard to find, I have one of the very early ones so the moulds were still nice and fresh. I sort of wished now that I had built her instead, the detail is a lot finer on her.





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Thank you tricky rich :) and yes it has the full Eduard PE bits used, so not as bad as you have had as the Trumpeter kit itself went together very well, have to say the one mod that changes it from others was adding to the engine cowls, made it look so much better.

It seemed a pity to hide all the detail so the cover can be open or closed.



I have an interest in the SM.79 as I am half Italian and have looked into the aircraft so if theres any info or maybe some pictures to help you out on please ask. If I have them I will be very pleased to share with you

All the best




Edited by Triumph
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Thanks, I've seen these photo's of your build before, they're what lead me to cut the top section out. It's made the whole process of building up this section so much easier. I'll though be closing the door you have left open.


The one thing I and having a wee bit of trouble is getting the shape opening for the MG in the non-movable section right. I assume there must have been some sort of rails for the segmented section to slide forward on. have found it hard to get good detailed photo's of this area.



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Hi m8

This picture is as good as it gets on how the segments of the 'hump' move back under them selves and is in fact from a flying 'model' and have to admit I never went this far on the detail of my model with the rails but I made three segments out of thin plasticard and stuck them under the hump. There is a piece in the Eduard PE bits that is suppose to represent the retracted hood but I did not like it and went with my own way


Edited by Triumph
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Hmmm I don't think I'll go that far either! It's quite a bit different than what I have which doesn't make life any easier either. At least the segments with mine are a cast resin block, which helps.


I may have to go with "something like it, as I don't want to get too stalled in one aera as there's plenty of other work required.


thanks for the photo. it was really helpful.

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Ok this is going to be a big update, my last (maybe) for this break, as I have managed to get quite a bit done! She’s still fighting me (but that’s typical Classic Airframes) but I’m happy to say the end is in sight! I’ll try and do this update in order of the bit done…….maybe.


Ok now the fuselage is together time to start sorting out the upper gun position, so first up to fit the segmented section. This is nicely cast in resin, unlike the horrible PE one in the Eduard set. My only issue was while gluing it some CA cement flowed it between a couple of the segments! It can be fixed, just an additional pain I didn’t need.






The opening and how it should look and how the segments worked was the next issue. Triumph was kind enough to provide a picture of how this setup should look. So with a wee bit of artistic license I did my version. It’s not 100% correct but it looks the part and give the impression that it’s correct!




I have a lot more to do in this section and that’s a bit further down, there’s still a lot of work required here.


The tail surfaces were cleaned up and they look good now (except for my horrible scribing attempt!!), they just need a final tidy up then some Mr Surface 1200.




One of the big issues with the CA model is the thickness on the plastic parts! They are just so think it’s ridiculous, resulting in part not fitting correctly. I had to do some major grinding down of the upper panel just so the PE structure inside would fit. This thick plastic is the reason the IP panel won’t fit either.




The next major step was fitting the wings! Not a simple or easy task at all! The wings were a bit warped to start with, which was another reason for building them in reverse. Even building the wings in reverse didn’t quite straighten them out, so 2 sections of brass rod were inserted into each wing with a copper joiner. Then additional wedges of plastic fitted to help strengthen them. What can’t be seen is even more bits of tube inserted into each wing to help achieve the correct wing profile as well!




Needless to say it still wasn’t 100% straight…..nothing that super glue can’t fix. So on with the wings…..lots of cursing (just ask SHMBO, she even came down stirs to see if I was ok!), clamping and CA cement and they where on!


Some gaps but nothing major, again there was lots and lots of test fitting and adjust before hand.






So some sanding and filling and more sanding and this is what we have.



sorry for the bad photo



As you can see not that much filler was left, the joins didn’t really need anywhere as much as I put on.


Ok that’s out of the way back to the upper gun section. The profile is not quite right here, there need to be a bit of a lip where the segments sit when this section is closed, so some thin strip added.




While I was at it I started looking at the fit of the windows in this section as well. AS you can see there is a wee bit of a difference between the CA supplied clear windows & PE frame (LHE & center) and the Eduard PE frame (RHS)!




It doesn’t look right either when fitted…and doesn’t even fit right! The top part of the frame should be parallel with the flat section of the open top gun mount.




These photos with the Eduard frame in place shows how it should look, so there is a bit of work to do here!




I made up one of the guns to see how it will look in the upper gun mount. The barrel has the flash suppressor fitted. This section is starting to look the piece!




Ok the lower gondolier. The kit supplied part is empty, and because it can be seen with the side door open I needed to do something about it. So first up….well I don’t really know what to call it, other than where the bombardier put has feet! For some reason the bombardier got to sit in the gondolier rather than lay down, which meant there had to be some place to put his feet. So they made a retractable section where his feet could go! So this was scratch built. The half rounded piece in-front of the gondolier was lowered for take offs and landings to help protect the bomb aimers window. In flight it would be retracted up into the cabin. 




The gondolier with a few more bit added, the 2 bits of rod were part of the structure that held it in place.




Ok back the upper gun again, some more plastic strip, some filler and sanding and we’re nearly there. It now looks a lot closer to the real thing, just some tidy up work and she’s done!




And finally. For some reason I removed the frames from around these windows thinking I had PE replacements……….well I didn’t!!  So I had to make up some new ones. Despite how it looks in this photo, but all three windows are exactly the same, the fuselage was photographed on an angle!




With all the work in the main section of the fuselage not too much can be seen!! The interior has been painted since this photo was taken




 Well as mentioned I have made some real progress on this build. While it is tantalisingly close I just don’t think I’ll be able to finish this one in time. Though I didn’t really ever expect to. All the major work is complete, it’ just finishing up all the small bits and pieces which will take up the time. I expect to be painting here by the end of the next break, unfortunately I’ll be away when this GB finishes.


Oh and her new scheme will be an Torpedo Bomber from 278 Squadriglia, around March 1942 before or as they became a part of 132 Gruppo.

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