SM 79 interior color questions

Post topics relating to Colors, Camouflage Schemes and Markings of the Regia Aeronautica and ANR
Post Reply
Peter Sig
Pilota
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2022 11:17 am

SM 79 interior color questions

Post by Peter Sig » Tue Oct 04, 2022 11:47 am

I am embarking on building Italeri's 1/72 SM 79 (281st Squadriglia/132 Gruppo Autonomo A.S, Rhodes 1941) and have some color related questions....

I suspect seeing color interior pictures of a SM 79 is probably a holy grail type thing... The only one I've found online is of the Lebanese museum example. The aircraft doesn't look to have been restored. The interior cockpit color is clearly "interior green". I know it is generally accepted that the interior color is gray. I'm curious if the cockpit area was green and the rest of the interior gray?

I am also curious if the interior floor/deck was made of wood (I'm guessing the answer is "yes)? If so, was it left in a natural wood finish, or was it painted the interior color? If painted the interior color, I suspect it would have worn, and the natural wood would have been partially exposed in spots.

The torpedo color seems to be described as "aluminum". In numerous period b/w photos it appears to have the tip of it painted a distinctly different color. I'm leaning towards gray, but could it be yellow, red, or some other color?

Last question for now ;-) .... Would the "aluminum" finish of the wheel wells have been bare metal, or an aluminum painted finish?

Cheers,

Peter

User avatar
Editor
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1964
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 3:53 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: SM 79 interior color questions

Post by Editor » Sat Oct 08, 2022 10:06 am

Welcome to Stormo. Try reading through Richard's thread below, he posted it a few days ago and it contains some useful information for the interior colors of the S.79. The wheel wells of the S.79 were painted GAC1.
https://stormomagazine.com/phpbb2/viewt ... =26&t=1568

For a general reference here's Peter Dixon's 281a Sq. S.79-II:
https://www.stormomagazine.com/ModelArt ... PD_1a.html

There were color codes for bomb colors although these codes seemed not to have been applied to Italian Whitehead torpedoes:
https://www.stormomagazine.com/RegiaAer ... b%20Colors

The nose colors of Italian torpedoes varied but in general were left unpainted in a polished light metal color, steel body and white stabilizers:






This photo shows a torpedo nose with a painted surface:
Image

This photo was taken at Vigna di Valle, it shows a painted red surface extending well back of the nose with a dark gray body. I don't know the sources that were used to paint this torpedo (if re-painted at all), it could be an afterwar torpedo.


Here's a photo of 281a Sq. S.79s armed with torpedoes:


There is a well known color photo of ground crew pulling a torpedo on a trolley and the nose appears gray, however the nose is likely an unpainted metal surface.

Here's Jean's S.79-II:
Image

Image

Stefano
Generale di Brigata Aerea
Generale di Brigata Aerea
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:40 pm
Location: Padua, Italy

Re: SM 79 interior color questions

Post by Stefano » Sun Oct 09, 2022 3:15 pm

Hi Peter,
The S.79 was built by other factories other than SIAI, namely Reggiane, AUSA and Macchi. Light gray (i.e. Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1 - FS 36307) was the standard finish for interiors, even before 1941, but it's known that at least Reggiane and Macchi often used instead their own Verde Anticorrosione, each one in different hues. You should know which MM is the example you choose, so you can find the match.

The floor was made of small tubes welded on a metal plate, so to have a "corrugated" anti-slipping floor. They were unpainted NM, but were easily soiled during active use.

Torpedoes came by two factories: Whitehead (W) in Fiume (now Rijeka, Croatia) and Silurificio Italiano (SI) in Naples. They were made in gray bronze, and in active use they were greased with mineral oil to prevent salt corrosion. W torpedoes were totally metal, while SI ones - which had an ogival head - had a hemispherical cap painted light blue. That color in orthocromatic b/w films appears very light, but the use of yellow, orange or red lens filters progressively darkened it, and this explains the different tones in images. Aerial torpedoes had a wood detachable fin which stabilized the flight before the dive. This was painted aluminium. W and SI had different fins.

Wheel bays and legs were painted as undersides, so aluminium paint for aircraft built until first half of 1941, then GAC1. They however could have been repainted gray during overhauling.

Stefano

User avatar
davenport49
Generale di Brigata Aerea
Generale di Brigata Aerea
Posts: 191
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:15 am
Location: Michigan

Re: SM 79 interior color questions

Post by davenport49 » Mon Oct 10, 2022 6:56 am

Stefano,

Thank you so much for the information. It's very helpful for my current build.

Peter Sig
Pilota
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2022 11:17 am

Re: SM 79 interior color questions

Post by Peter Sig » Fri Oct 14, 2022 6:08 pm

Stefano, thanks for all the great info. Take a look at the color photo (link below) of the cockpit of one of the two museum examples. To me the decking clearly looks like wood. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this as it relates to your previous observation that the deck was all metal.

https://www.eaf51.org/Photo_22_S.79.htm

Cheers,

Peter

User avatar
davenport49
Generale di Brigata Aerea
Generale di Brigata Aerea
Posts: 191
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:15 am
Location: Michigan

Re: SM 79 interior color questions

Post by davenport49 » Sat Oct 15, 2022 7:30 am

Peter,

I'm personally following Stefano's lead re: cockpit decking. Nevertheless, I'm THRILLED you posted the link. A LOT of photos I've not seen, especially the restoration, which directly relate to my current build. They're going to be a tremendous help.

User avatar
Editor
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1964
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 3:53 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: SM 79 interior color questions

Post by Editor » Sat Oct 15, 2022 9:57 am

The color photo of the cockpit is of a restored plane and a wood surface appears to have been added over the metal decking, you can see cut marks around the metal posts and bars if you expand the photo.

Peter Sig
Pilota
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2022 11:17 am

Re: SM 79 interior color questions

Post by Peter Sig » Sat Oct 15, 2022 11:47 am

That is a fair assessment of the restored example. I am always skeptical of restored aircraft and/or colorized photos….I will go with Stefeno’s advise regarding the metal flooring. I will probably add some west on the paint and some grime on the low spots.👍

User avatar
Editor
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1964
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 3:53 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: SM 79 interior color questions

Post by Editor » Sun Oct 16, 2022 12:17 pm

Here are some original color photos of SM.79s and a SM.84 armed with torpedoes. The SM.84 is armed with two torpedoes although that wasn't common because it affected the planes performance. In the fourth photo, the application of mineral oil over the torpedo is evident but is not applied over the head of the torpedo.











The wooden detachable stabilizer:


Painted tip torpedo heads, note the striped torpedoes that were used for training and the light blue tipped Silurificio Italiano torpedo.


Drawing of the torpedo rack:

Post Reply