Technical Data:
Meridionali Ro. 37
Manufacturer: S.A. Industrie Meccaniche & Aeronautiche Meridionali (I.M.A.M)
Year: 1935
Engine: FIAT A.30 RA, 12-cylinder V, liquid-cooled, 550hp
36 ft 4 in (11.08m)
28 ft 3 in (8.62 m)
9 ft 9 in (2.95 m)
5,269 lb (2,390 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed:
202 mph (325 km/h)
22,000 ft (6,700 m)
726 miles (1,168 km)
2-3 machine guns
Classic Airframes 1/48 IMAM Ro. 37 A30
RA Recce Aircraft - Part II
by Davide Splendore
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Painting and Camouflage
The livery of this subject is fairly complicated and the historical documentation in my possession was uncertain of the origin and the definition of some colors. After having carefully reviewed tables, photos and suggestions of friends and comments from pertient forums, the livery of the aircraft appeared to be as most Italian aircraft of the period, however the exact shades of the colors was still somewhat vague.  For this reason, my rendition of this aicraft remains a personal interpretation lacking any specific documentation. I did rely however on a  monograph by Vigna on the IMAM Ro 37, which is the only document that has published the color and camouflage of this aircraft, even if it is not an historical document.  Vigna suggests various Federal Standard numbers for the camouflage colors, which also correspond to some other sources I had.  I also had the good fortune of receiving some rare reference photos of a similar aircraft from Riccardo Trotta which helped provided more detail on the camouflage scheme used on this aircraft .  

The approximate Federal Standard numbers suggested by Vigna are as follows:
Giallo Mimetico 1 FS 33594
Verde Mimetico 1 FS 34258
Marrone Mimetico 2 FS 10076
Verde Mimetico 2 FS 34092
Bruno Mimetico 30215
Grigio Mimetico FS 36293

Obviously the FS numbers are only one indication of what we know today and are not exactly the colors that were in use during the time.  We must also keep in mind the compositions of paints not only varied from one manufacturer to another but also from one batch of paint to the next, just like any manufactrued good today. To this end, I have tried to reproduce the most ‘accurate’ colors in an independent way in order to approach the FS codes and the color tables of Vigna.

I prepared color chips on a sheet of photographic paper. In my case for Verde Mimetico 1, I rendered it a lighter shade similar to anticorrosion green from black and white photos which appeared to suggest a lighter shade than interpreted by the tables of Vigna, as well as keeping in mind that paint jobs in the factories occured using colors of various origins depending on the place of construction of the aircraft, and in the case of this green, may even be interpreted as a gray.   I finally arrived at the 6 colors that were used to paint the model. The following are the FS numbers corresponding to the colors used on the model:

Giallo Mimetico 1 FS 33594 (10% more white)
Verde Mimetico 1 FS 34258 (20% more white)
Marrone Mimetico 2 FS 10076
Verde Mimetico 2 FS 34092
Bruno Mimetico (RLM 79) e Grigio Mimetico FS 36231 (10% more white).

For these mixtures I used Vallejo paints, for their variety and ease of use, besides the fact that the paints are water based and not toxic.  Following this arduous task of trying to obtain the correct colors, I began painting the model using a white primer to get the correct color shade of Giallo Mimetico 1.
The next step was to paint the background white of the upper and lower wing roundels as well as the unit numbers, since the kit decals did not contain the subject of interest.
To complete the build, I prepared a simple dirorama adapted to the model and to the historical period, adding two figures skillfully painted by Alexander Carlino of the G.M.N. di Caltanisetta.
A beautiful model, however certainly a challenge to build, especially assembling the wings and applying the sophisticated camouflage scheme.  However to the Italophile, this kit provides enormous satisfaction, but once again before tackling such a project the modeler must have some experience, particualrly in assembly and painting.

Buon lavoro.

                                                      CONTINUED FROM PART I
After completing the rather complicated job of masking, I could finally appreciate the result of the livery
and the result was quite satisfying at this stage.
As usual, I sprayed a transparent (FUTURE) to prepare the model for the wash phase using oil paints.
For the wash I used "Bruno van Dick " and "Nero di Marte " mixed together.  I applied the mix using a brush after approximately 4 hours. In this manner the panel lines were highlighted appropriately while accentuating the surface detail of the model.
For an optical effect of aging I airbrushed (post shading) a gray highly diluted (1/10) and concentrated the application of this diluant in certain worn areas of the aircraft, and in a way to minimize disrupting the color scheme; the same treatment was also performed on various panels.

I then sprayed the entire model with a highly diluted base color of "giallo" to tie in all elements of the color scheme. To dry brush, I reproduced some weathering in typical worn areas, giving the model a more realistic appearance.
For the final phase of construction, I mounted details such as lights (made from clear sprue), fixed the wiring in place, added a rear-view mirror (scratch built), added the target telescope (scatch built), the venturi tube, machine-guns, the propeller and wheels.

Adding the landing gear in the correct position was complex enough, but I also had to apply the wheel spokes in which I had to proceed with some patience.  Wiring this aircraft was rather complex, however given the particularity of this subject, it could not be omitted.
by Riccardo Trotta

The following two in flight photos of a Ro.37 are the first publication of these photos and have been kindly provided by Riccardo Trotta. The photos come from the collection of the family of an R.A. officer pilot Flaccomio, who had lived in Florence; a copy of these two photos were presented to Riccardo by the son of Flaccomio whom he had met in 1989; the pilot Flaccomio had passed away some years earlier. The photos are very interesting since the photos highlight the shape of the camouflage and also interesting is the detail of the wing insignia (roundel), lacking a white background, even if the tail flag indicates the war has not yet begun in Italy.

May, 2006
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