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Colori Ufficialmente Impiegati

Dall'Aviazione Italiana 1916-1943

VITO Charts


Dott. Stefano Lazzaro

April 2020

TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLES

The popularity of Italian WWII aircraft amongst modelers stems partly from the varied and interesting color and camouflage schemes on these planes. A mix of green, yellow and brown colors, each in varying hues and in several patterns, which allow the modeler to choose from many liveries, for even a single aircraft type.

During the 1930s, Italian aircraft were mostly painted silver, as in many other countries. During the Spanish Civil War, the need to conceal machines from above led to effective ways to do so. Several experiments were conducted in the field (see Alfredo Logoluso's article), and with this experience the Regia Aeronautica set the rules of its aircraft camouflage, as the environment was similar between Spain and Italy. These rules were general in nature, and until 1941-42 there was no standardization of the colors, so each aircraft factory used its own paint producer, and often there were more than one paint supplier per factory.

So, until the publication of the Tavola 10 there wasn't an official standardization in hues, and also after that, existing stocks of similar paints continued to used until exhausted.

The study of WWII Italian aircraft camouflage arose in the early seventies, with the increased interest in plastic modelling. By then thirty years had passed after the war, color hues faded by memory of witnesses and modelers needed to find a way for an accurate replica.

The first debates about the matter arose in those years with articles and discussions in magazines (the web was then far away), among them Aerei, IPMS Italy magazine and Tuttomodellismo. Two of the students were Andrea Degl'Innocenti and the late Umberto Postiglioni, who summarized their research in a book published in 1977 by CMPR1 : Colori e Schemi Mimetici della Regia Aeronautica 1935-1943. The book contained a precious attachment of 21 enamel chips with Humbrol Authentic references and mixing formulas, matched according to original specimens.

Since the book soon became unfindable, a second edition was later published in 1995 jointly by GMT2, the same CMPR and GAVS3, but it didn't add anything new other than some new -and better quality-photos and a revised classification of camo schemes, but sadly lacked enamel chips, these being replaced by an unreliable press-on-rough-paper color table.

A scan of the CMPR palette -1st Ed.- is published elsewhere on this site ( see CMPR Color Chips), but in this study, we'll be analysing each of those chips, with English translation, FS 595c matches and notes excerpted from the book.

Note: rather than grouping the paints below by their id. number (apart from those of Arson-SISI, identified by factory code, the others are arbitrary), the mimetic (camo) colors are grouped by brand/manufacturer. It's sensible that an aircraft factory would purchase a complete set of paints from a single paint supplier, and then apply those paints together. This could give an idea about the rendering on the aircraft. Of course, the hues can vary depending on each screen calibration, so consider them as merely indicative.



Table 1. CMPR 1st Ed. Color Chips
Color English
Translation
FS 595b personally matched on chips in 1st edition (in brackets as suggested in 2nd edition) Notes
Alluminio Aluminium 17178 Made by DUCO (DGCA no. 1018)

Used by Breda, Caproni (1935-39), CRDA (1935-38), FIAT (1936-38), IMAM (1936-38), Piaggio, Reggiane, SIAI (1935-39)

Found on:
- factory wooden models of CR.32 and Ca.133 (undersides)
- Ro.43 at Vigna di Valle museum
Grigio Mimetico Camo Gray 36231 (36293) Used by Breda, Caproni, CRDA, FIAT, IMAM (1939-41), Macchi, Nardi, Piaggio, SIAI

Found on:
- original factory drawing on BR.20
- factory wooden model of CR.42 (undersides)
- original C.200 at Vigna di Valle before restoration (undersides)
Verde Mimetico 1 Camo Green 1 14257 (34258) Made by INVES
Used by FIAT and SIAI (1935-39)

Found on:
- original factory drawing on BR.20 (band camo)
- factory wooden model of CR.42 (mottles)
- "very similar" on a factory wood model of S.79 (band camo)
Marrone Mimetico 1 Camo Brown 1 Lighter than 30118 Made by INVES
Used by FIAT and Nardi

Found on:
- original factory drawing on BR.20 (band camo)
- "very similar" on a painted fabric patch from SRAM at El Adem (1941)
Giallo Mimetico 1 Camo Yellow 1 23594 Made by INVES
Used by FIAT and Nardi

Found on:
- original factory drawing on BR.20 (band camo)
- painted fabric patch from SRAM at El Adem (1941)
Verde Mimetico 3 Camo Green 3 34102 Made by Masciadri (DGCA no. 1090)
Used by Avia, Breda, Caproni, FIAT (1939-41), IMAM, Nardi

Found on:
- painted fabric patch from SRAM at El Adem (1941) (mottles)
- rudder of a Ro.37 (mottles)
- "very similar" on factory wood models of C.202 (as mottles or background)
Marrone Mimetico 2 Camo Brown 2 30109 (10076) Made by Masciadri (DGCA no. 1091)
Used by Caproni, FIAT (1939-41), IMAM (1935-38), Piaggio, Reggiane and SIAI (1935-39)

Found on:
- factory wood model of P.32 (band camo)
- "very similar" on a factory wood model of S.79 (band camo)
Giallo Mimetico 2 Camo Yellow 2 33481 Made by Masciadri (DGCA no. 1092)
Used by Piaggio

Found on:
- fuselage relic of P.108 MM 22003 (mottles)
- factory wood model of P.32 (band camo)
Verde Mimetico 53192 Camo Green 53192 Similar to 34128
(strangely matched as 34227 in second edition)
Made by Arson-SISI
Used by Caproni, CRDA, FIAT (1939-41), Macchi, SIAI (1940-41)

Matched in original Arson SISI paint chip

Found on:
- CZ.1007 gun turret (mottles)
- factory wood model of S.79 (mottles)
- fabric patch from a Ro.37bis (mottles)
- "very similar" on factory wood models of CR.32 and Ca.133 (mottles)
Marrone Mimetico 53193 Camo Brown 53193 30140 Made by Arson-SISI
Used by CRDA and SIAI (1940-41)

Matched in original Arson SISI paint chip

Found on:
- CZ.1007 gun turret (mottles)
- factory wood model of S.79 (mottles)
- fabric patch from a Ro.37bis (background in mottle camo)
Giallo Mimetico 3
(Giallo Mimetico 53194)
Camo Yellow 3 33434 Made by Arson-SISI (personal note: it's quite surely that firm's Giallo Mimetico 53194, listed in SIAI documents)
Used by Breda, Caproni, CRDA, FIAT (1939-41), IMAM (1935-38), Reggiane and SIAI

Found on:
- CZ.1007 gun turret (background in mottle camo)
- factory wood model of S.79 (band camo)
- another wood model of S.79 (background in mottle camo)
- "very similar" on factory wood models of CR.32, CR.42 and Ca.133 (background in mottle camo)
Bruno Mimetico Camo Brown Similar to 30215
(30215)
Made by Arson-SISI
Used by Breda, Caproni, CRDA (1935-38), IMAM, Macchi, Piaggio

Matched in original paint chip as official disposition CA 490 (1939) "very similar" as in table UNI 287 (1934)
Found on:
- fuselage relic of P.108 MM 22003 (mottles)
- C.200 relic (mottles)
- rudder of a Ro.37 (mottles)
Verde Mimetico 2 Camo Green 2 34092 Made by Max Meyer
Used by Macchi, Piaggio and Reggiane

Found on:
- fuselage relic of P.108 MM 22003 (mottles)
- factory wood model of P.32 (band camo)
- original C.200 relic (mottles)
Giallo Mimetico 4 Camo Yellow 4 30266 Made by Max Meyer
Used by IMAM (1939-41), Macchi, Reggiane

Found on:
- original C.200 at Vigna di Valle before restoration (background in mottle camo)
- rudder of a Ro.37 (mottles)
Verde Anticorrosione Anti-corrosion Green 34558 Found on interiors of Macchi-built C.200 relics
Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1 Light Blue-Gray 1 36307 Matched in the original TAVOLA 10
Verde Oliva Scuro 2
Dark Olive Green 2 34052 Matched in the original TAVOLA 10
Grigio Azzurro Scuro 3
Dark Blue-Gray 3 36118 Matched in the original TAVOLA 10
Nocciola Chiaro 4
Light Hazelnut 4 30219 Matched in the original TAVOLA 10
Found by the Author on a paint chip by an ANR C.205 serie III, painted in D3 scheme, shot down and fallen near Padua in 1944.
Bianco Avorio 5
Ivory White 5 33613 Matched in the original TAVOLA 10
Found on a factory wooden model of a S.81
Bianco Neve 6
Snow White 6 Actually, represented by white paper support

Please note that Arson SISI, INVES, Masciadri and Max Meyer weren't the only firms to refurbish the aircraft factories: at least Corti and DUCO produced a trio of camo greens, browns and yellows (the latter for DUCO is called Havana, i.e., a light tobacco brown) while other firms manufactured paint products for interiors or surface protection: other than those above, SIPA, Castiglioni, Colver, ICASA, SVI, Brava, etc.

Below are colors are not represented in the CMPR 1st Ed., but FS comparisons are given in CMPR 2nd Ed., p. 122

Table 2. New Colors in CMPR 2nd Ed.
Color English
Translation
FS 595b Notes
Giallo Cromo 7
Chrome Yellow 7 23655
Rosso 8
Red 8 11105
Verde 9
Green 9 14062
Bruno 10
Brown 10 30045
Azzurro 11
Blue 11 15056
Nero 12
Black 12 37038
Verde Anticorrosione (variante)
Anti-corrosion Green (variant) 34272 Used by Reggiane
Verde Prato Anticorrosione
Anti-corrosion Meadow Green 34230 Internal parts in Reggiane fighters: ammo boxes, etc. (it should be paint DGCA no. 1080 "pea green", made by Max Meyer)



Though the same authors warned that their work was partly hypothetical and somehow incomplete, and that they considered it as a proposal for further research, through the years the CMPR reference has been interpreted, mainly abroad, as a "Holy Grail of Italian WWII Camouflage & Colors".

We all would like this to be true, but it's not, or at least not completely.

In the same year 1977, the Vitocharts were also published, a three-fold chart with 39 chips, also made from mixing Humbrol Authentic enamels. Due to the hand-made nature, some minor differences could appear between chips of the same color, in two different sheets. A sheet with text description and a table with the mixing formulas for all the enamel brands of the time were attached. Also interestingly, the Vitocharts published several issues of various old and modern air forces, but all of them are by now long out of print, and are now rare finds. The Vitocharts were less successful commercially than the CMPR, mainly -I believe- because of their poor appearance and the fact that they were sold by a single model shop in Rome. Another reason is the text which is hard to decipher, even by those who know Italian, mainly because it fails to provide information about the setting of each color or indicates if close hues i.e. (colore 9) and (20) were to be used jointly or alternatively to each other. However, the orginal text can be summarized as follows (personal notes are given in square brackets):
Before WWI, Italian aircraft were finished in a yellowish hue of varnished fabric. There was no real need at the time to camouflage aircraft since enemy air activity was essentially non-existent.

During WWI, Italy purchased French fighters, which were painted with large bands of ochre (25), brown (26), green (20), oxide red (38) and gray (37). The Pomilio Italian-made aircraft added two more patterns: light green (20) spots over yellowish (16) fabric, and light green (20) and dark green (8) or dark blue-green (9) spots over grey-green (13). The Caproni and Ansaldo aircraft later adopted the same pattern. Moreover, Caproni used a brown (23), or black, or a dark blue close to (COLORE 3) for its night bombers, and often left varnished fabric (23) for day bombers; the latter varnish darkened/faded in time to a color like (25), even to (22) or (28). The Ansaldo SVA had natural metal parts (aluminium, brass), while the fuselage was a clear-varnished wood.

In the period between the wars, the Regia Aeronautica (founded on 28 April 1923), aircraft were painted in varnished fabric or aluminium (11) or (12), but also "race" red for competition aircraft (Schneider Trophy and Paris-Damascus-Istres race). Civil transport companies had for instance sky-blue (SANA), ivory and dark Royal blue (Ala Littoria) or dark garnet red (flying boats).

In 1932, Caproni studied various liveries for its foreign costumers, mainly in South America. They were longitudinal fuselage large stripes of various colors, according to the duty: yellow (19) and ochre (25) for transport Ca.111s, gray-green (13) and gray-blue (24) for bomber/recon aircraft, blue (29) and silver gray (11) for fighters, green (20) and dark brown (26) for night time duties.

During the Ethiopian campaign (1935-36) the only particular scheme was the painting of red bands over the wings to make it easier to spot downed aircraft. Aircraft were painted ivory (COLORE 5) or aluminium (11). The same bands, in use since 1919, were to be used also in WWII by air-sea rescue seaplanes.

In 1936, the Ministero dell'Aeronautica ordered that new schemes of large oblique band or large patche schemes. Each factory used its own paints, so there were as follows:
  • FIAT BR.20: gray, yellow (16), brown (26), green (20) and black; for examples sold to Japan: light brown (21), reddish brown (COLORE 10) or (38) and dark brown (26)
  • FIAT G.50: ochre (25), green (20) and brown (22)
  • FIAT CR.32: green (COLORE 9), [or?] green (20), ochre (25) and raw umber (30)
  • SIAI: gray, green (COLORE 9) or (20), reddish brown (COLORE 10) and yellow (19); [the last two?] often replaced in S.81 by red oxide (38) and light brown (21)
  • IMAM: ochre (25), green (20), [or?] green (COLORE 9), light brown (21) and dark brown (28)
  • CRDA: gray-green (13), yellow (19), green (20) and brown (28)
  • Breda: ochre (25), light green (14), oxide red (38) and green (COLORE 9)
  • Caproni: green (COLORE 9), oxide red (38), ochre (25) and green (20)
In the Spanish Civil War other patterns based on mottles of various colors were tested, with better results. Form that experience, the Regia Aeronautica set three types of seasonal camouflage:
  • Scheme A or Spring: green (COLORE 9) spots over yellow (16) background
  • Scheme B or Summer/Autumn: green (COLORE 9) spots over grey-green (13) background
  • Scheme C or Autumn/Winter: as Scheme B, with added spots of reddish brown (COLORE 10)
  • FIAT CR.32s had instead green (20) spots over raw umber (30) background
At the outbreak of WWII (Italy joined on June 10, 1940), most RA aircraft were painted in Scheme A and in fewer numbers in Scheme B (mostly S.79s, CZ.1007s and MC 200s). The aircraft of the Corpo Aereo Italiano (CAI), sent to the Channel Front on October 1940, had the Scheme C, but this was the last time this pattern was used.

At the beginning of 1941 suggestions were to use various shades of green, and at the end of same year the seasonal criteria were abolished in favour to a closer adherence to tactical needs. The basic color became the light hazelnut (COLORE 4), which in Africa had an ochre-similar hue (10) also called "mustard" or "sand". On it, several types of green and sometimes brown (COLORE 10) were applied. The dark olive green (COLORE 2) was used even more by the following year. After leaving Lybia brown was replaced by gray, perhaps to imitate German patterns.

The green [perhaps (39)?] of Macchi 200s was obtained by mixing old stocks of green (14) and the new dark olive green (COLORE 2).

Seaplanes had dark blue gray (COLORE 3) by 1941, while ivory (COLORE 5) was used in the colonies or on training aircraft; the latter were also in white (COLORE 6), or fabric yellow (23), or blue (24), or blue (29) for SAIMAN aircraft.

Summarizing, from the beginning of the conflict, factories used the following colors:
  • Breda: green (8) or (14), brown (22) and ochre (25)
  • Caproni: ivory (COLORE 5) overall; green (8) and/or (14), and ochre (25)
  • Reggiane Re.2000: green (8)
  • Reggiane Re.2000cat.: blue (29)
  • Reggiane Re. 2001: green (8) or (COLORE 2) topside, or black overall
  • Reggiane Re.2005: dark olive green (COLORE 2)
  • SIAI: green (14) and dark brown (22) or (28). From 1942 torpedo-bombers S.79s and S.84s in dark green (colore 2) or dark blue green (9), sometimes with front parts with light blue gray (COLORE 1) or gray (37)
  • FIAT CR.32: green (14) and ochre (25)
  • FIAT CR.42: sand (10) with green (20) or (COLORE 9), or black overall; towards the end of the war green (8) and ochre (25)
  • FIAT G.50; green (8) overall (Greece); hazel (COLORE 4), green (20) and brown (22) (North Africa); towards the end of the war green (8) and ochre (25)
  • FIAT G.55: dark blue green (9) and green (20) ()
  • FIAT BR.20: brown (26) spots over gray-green (15) background [and/or?] ochre (25); towards the end of the war green (8) overall
  • FIAT G.12: dark green (COLORE 2) overall and experimental infra-red paints (COLORE 2), (COLORE 3) and (9)
  • CANT Z.1007: light blue gray (7) and dark blue green (9) (CAI); light blue gray (7) and green (8) (Greece); ochre (16), green (8) and dark blue green (9) (Aegean and Homeland)
  • IMAM: light blue gray (15), blue (29) and brown (21) or (22) with ochre (16) and green (8) or (20)
  • Piaggio P.108: dark blue green (9) and ochre (16)
  • Macchi C.200: green (39) or (8) and light green (20); hazel (COLORE 4) and green (14) or (8)
  • Macchi C.202: hazel (COLORE 4) or brown (22) or sand (10) with green (8)
  • Macchi C.205: hazel (COLORE 4) and green (8); gray with green (8) or (14)
  • Transport aircraft: ochre (16) and green (20) (all); sand (10), green (20) and brown (22) (S.73, G.12, S.81 in Lybia); green (20) and green (8) (Russia)
  • Sea aircraft: dark blue gray (COLORE 3)
  • Night fighters: black (COLORE 12)
Undersurfaces were at the start painted aluminium (11) and by 1938 in pale blue (18) or light blue (24). SIAI, until late 1941, used a dull aluminium (12), sometimes also on engine cowlings; the latter these surfaces were painted white (COLORE 6) on all aircraft, then yellow (COLORE 7), and so were fuselage or wings insignia, according to the various theatres of operation.

Undersurfaces then passed to light blue gray (COLORE 1), or (7), or rarely to light blue (29).

Finally, in 1942 SIAI experimented with the S.84 by wrapping bands camo of dark blue gray (COLORE 3), dark blue green (9) and black (COLORE 12).

© "VITOCHARTS" - 1977
Sadly, the Vitochart text gives only approximate indications about the use of colors, patterns, camo etc., because these were later to be published in a separate publication, but never published as far as is known.

There do exist 'official' FS matches on CMPR chips, but not in the Vitocharts, so we need to know the hue of those paint chips in order to compare these two palettes. So, I matched also the Vitochart chips with Federal Standard. I checked the colors under direct sunlight, in clear day, with chips perpendicular to my eyes and sunbeam behind me.

Now, as above let's analyse the colors of the Vitocharts, with FS matches and summarizing notes next to each description (with personal observations in italics).

Note: To avoid confusion, Tavola 10 colors in the Vitochart palette are indicated as "COLORE #", other colors are identified by the chart's number in bold.



Table 3. Vito Chart Colors and CMPR 1st Ed. Equivalents
VITO Color CMPR Equivalent English
Translation
VITO Color
FS 595b
Notes
COLORE 1 - Grigio Azzurro (1941)
Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1

Blue Gray 36473 Undersides
Front parts on some S.79 torpedo-bombers
COLORE 2 - Verde Oliva Scuro (1941)


Verde Oliva Scuro Dark Olive Green 14056 Uppersides overall
C.200 (mixed with 14: see 39)
Re.2001 (an alternative to 8)
Re.2005
G.12 (an alternative to 8 or 9)
Torpedo-bombers S.79 and S.84 (an alternative to 9)
COLORE 3 - Grigio Azzurro Scuro Marino (1941)


Grigio Azzurro Scuro 3 Dark Sea Blue Gray 36118 Uppersides overall
Floatplanes
G.12

Band camo
Experimental camo on S.84 (1942): with 9 and COLORE 12
COLORE 4 - Nocciola (1941)
Nocciola Chiaro 4

Hazelnut 30140 Mottle scheme
G.50 (North Africa): as background, with spots of 20 and 22
C.200: as background, with spots of 8 or 14
C.202 and 205: as background, with spots of 8
COLORE 5 - Bianco Avorio (1930) (1941)


Bianco Avorio 5 Ivory White Halfway between 33798 and 33695 Overall
Colonial Caproni (in the Thirties)
Training aircraft (by 1941)
COLORE 6 - Bianco Neve (1941)
Bianco Neve 6

Snow White 17886 Used to mark oxygen device, in rudder flag or cross, and various insignia and codes
Engine cowlings and fuselage band

Overall
Medical aircraft (with Red Cross insignia)
7 - Colore 1 in variante (Macchi - Reggiane)


No close match Variant of Colore 1 (Macchi - Reggiane) Slightly lighter than 35414 Mottle scheme
Z.1007: spots on 9 (CAI) or 8 (Greece) background (or vice versa?)

Undersides
Macchi and Reggiane
8 - Verde Mimetico Scuro (1940)


Verde Mimetico 3 Dark Camo Green 34094 Similar to Verde Mimetico 3

Mottle scheme
Breda
Caproni
Late CR.32 and G.50: spots on 25 background; or as background, with large mottles in 25 (D1A5 - green lizard scheme)
BR.20, BR.20bis and R.23: spots on 13 background
Z.1007 (Greece): spots on 7 background, or vice versa
Z.1007 (Aegean and Homeland): dense spots with 20 on 16 background
C.200: spots on 20 background
C.200 and 205: spots on COLORE 4 background
C.202: spots on COLORE 4, 10 or 22 background
C 205: spots on 37 background (maybe respectively RLM 74 and RLM 75 used on late ANR Veltros?)
Uppersides overall
Re.2000
Re.2001 (an alternative to COLORE 2)
G.50 (Greece)
G.12: an alternative to COLORE 2 or 9
9 - Verde Azzurro Scuro (SIAI 1940) (FIAT 1943)


Verde Mimetico 2 Dark Blue Green 34094 More bluish than Verde Mimetico 2

Band camo
CR.32: with 20, 25 and 30
Experimental camo on S.84 (1942): with COLORE 3 and COLORE 12

Mottle camo
SIAI (1940)
Z.1007 (CAI): spots on 7 background, or vice versa
(Prototype?) G.55: as background, with large mottles in 20 (D1A - green lizard scheme)

Uppersides overall
CR.42
G.55
G.12: an alternative to COLORE 2 or 9
torpedo-bombers S.79 and S.84: an alternative to COLORE 2
10 - Colore 4 in variante sabbia


Giallo Mimetico 4 Colore 4 in Sand variant 33448 Lighter and more grayish than Giallo
Mimetico 4


Mottle camo
Breda (as background, at least on this factory-built fighters, pre-Tavola 10)
CR.42: as background, with 20 spots, or vice versa (in D1A - green lizard scheme)
S.73, G.12 and S.81 (Lybia): as background, with spots of 20 and 22
C.202: as background, with spots of 8
11 - Alluminio

Aluminium 17178 Undersides
Most aircraft at least until 1940
12 - Alluminio SIAI subalare

Underwing SIAI Aluminium Similar to 37200 As Alluminio, but with a point of blue-gray

Undersides
SIAI: until 1941

Overall
Some floatplanes (i.e. CZ.501 and CZ.506)
13 - Verde Mimetico (1916) (1936) (FIAT C.A.I.6 1940)


No direct match Camo Green 34227 Used by Caproni

Band camo
Export bomber Ca.111: with 24
CZ.1007 Asso: with 19, 20 and 28
Mottle camo
"Official Scheme B" (Summer/Fall): as background, with COLORE 9 spots
"Official Scheme C" (Fall/Winter): as background, with COLORE 9 and COLORE 10 spots
BR.20, BR.20bis and R.23: as background, with 8 spots
14 - Verde Mimetico Chiaro (1940)


Verde Mimetico 1 Light Camo Green A bit less yellowish than 34151 Similar to Verde Mimetico 1

Band camo
Breda: with COLORE 9, 25 and 38

Mottle camo
Breda
Caproni
SIAI: as background (?) with spots 22 and (or an alternative to) 28
CR.32: spots on 25 background
C.200: spots on COLORE 4 background
C.205: spots on 37 background

Uppersides overall
C.200 (mixed with COLORE 2: see 39)
15 - Verde Azzurro Chiaro (FIAT O.M.S.7 e C.A.I. 1940) (IMAM 1941)


No direct match Light Blue Green Darker than 24241 Mottle camo
BR.20 (CAI): as background, with 26 (and 25?) spots

Overall (?)
IMAM
16 - Giallo Mimetico (1938)

Giallo Mimetico 3 Camo Yellow Halfway between 33275 and 33434 A bit darker than Giallo Mim. 3 and almost identical to 25

Band camo
BR.20: with 20, 26, 37 and COLORE 12

Mottle camo
"Official Scheme A" (Spring): as background, with COLORE 9 spots
CR.32 (WWII): as background, with 20 spots
Z.1007 (Aegean and homeland): as background, with dense spots of 8 and 20
Transport aircraft: as background with 20 spots, or vice versa (color photo evidence at least in Ca.133)
17 - Vernice Anticorrosiva Trasparente su Alluminio


No direct match Transparent, anticorrosive lacquer for aluminium Darker than 34554 (transparent over metal) Hard to define chromatically, the chip is a transparent, matt layer over a silver base. The effect is a greenish-yellowish gray. The Vitochart give a Humbrol mixing formula (see below)
18 - Vernice per interni (anche FIAT O.M.S. subalare 1937)


No direct match Interior paint (also underwing FIAT O.M.S. 1937) 34516 with a point of blue Interiors
Possibly also as a protective coat for Piaggio propeller blades, until 1941

Undersides
From 1938, an alternative to 24
19 - Giallo Mimetico (1936)

Giallo Mimetico 1 Camo Yellow 23594 Lighter than Giallo Mimetico 1

Used by Caproni

Band camo
Export transport Ca.111: with 25
SIAI: with COLORE 9 or 20, COLORE 10 and 37
CZ.1007 Asso: with 13, 20 and 28
20 - Verde Mimetico (1916) (anche Verde Mimetico FIAT 1940)


Verde Mimetico 53192 Camo Green (1916) (also FIAT Camo Green 1940) Halfway between 34108 and 34138 A bit lighter than Verde Mimetico 53192

Band camo
Caproni: with 25, 38 and (or in alternative to?) COLORE 9
SIAI: with COLORE 10, 19 and 37, and an alternative to COLORE 9
IMAM: with 21, 25, 28, and COLORE 9
Export night Ca.111: with 26
BR.20: with 16, 26, 37 and COLORE 12
CR.32: with 9, 25 and 30
G.50: with 22 and 25
CZ.1007 Asso: with 13, 19 and 28

Mottle camo
CR.32 (Spain): spots on 30 background
CR.32 (WWII): spots on 16 background
CR.42: spots on 10 background
G.50 (North Africa): with 22 on COLORE 4 background
(Prototype?) G.55: large patches on 9 background (in D1A - green lizard scheme)
Z.1007 (Aegean and Homeland): dense spots with 8 on 16 background
C.200: background, with 8 spots
S.73, G.12 and S.81 (Lybia): with 22, on 10 background
Transport aircraft: spots on 16 background, or vice versa (color photo evidence at least on Ca.133)
21 - Rosso Mimetico (O.M.S. 1936)


Bruno Mimetico Camo Red 10115 Lighter and more orange than Bruno Mimetico

Band camo
IMAM: with 20, 28, 25 and COLORE 9
S.81: an alternative (?) to COLORE 10
Japanese BR.20: with 26 and COLORE 10 or 38
22 - Colore 10 Bruno Chiaro in Variante


Marrone Mim. 53193 Colore 10 Light Brown, variant Lighter than 30108 Very close to Marrone Mimetico 53193

Band camo
Prototype G.50: with 20 and 25

Mottle camo
Breda
SIAI: spots on 14 background (?) with (or in alternative to?) 28
G.50 (North Africa): with 20 on COLORE 4 background
S.73, G.12 and S.81 (Lybia): with 20, on 10 background
C.202: as background, with spots of 8
23 - Trasparente Anticorrosiva

Anticorrosive transparent varnish (for fabric) 33637 Fabric surfaces in WWI and training aircraft
24 - Azzurro Subalare (O.M.S. 1937)


Grigio Mimetico Underwing Blue Lighter than 25237 and bluer than 26329 Lighter and less gray than Grigio Mimetico

Used by Caproni, SAIMAN (?)

Band camo
Export Ca.111 bombers (with 13)

Undersides
From 1938, an alternative to 18
25 - Giallo Mimetico (1916) Ocra O.M.S. (1936)


Giallo Mimetico 3 Camo Yellow (1916) O.M.S. Ochre (1936) A bit darker than 33434 A bit darker than Giallo Mimetico 3 (see above (16))
Band camo
CR.32: with 9, 20 and 30
G.50: with 20 and 22
IMAM: with 20, 21, 28 and COLORE 9
Breda: with COLORE 9, 14 and 38
Caproni: with COLORE 9 and/or 20, and 39
export transport Ca.111: with 19

Mottle camo
Breda (as background in early factory-built C.200s and C.202s - photo evidence)
Caproni
CR.32: as background with 14 spots
BR.20 (CAI): possibly spots with 26 on 15 background
Late CR.42 and G.50: as background, with 8 spots; or large mottles on 8 background (D1A - green lizard scheme)

Overall
Caproni (an alternative to COLORE 5?)
26 - Bruno Mimetico (1936)

No direct match Camo Brown 20062 Band camo
Export night Ca.111: with 20
BR.20: with 16, 20, 37 and COLORE 12
Japanese BR.20: with 21, and COLORE 10 or 38

Mottle camo
BR.20 (CAI): spots (with 25?) on 15 background
27 - Giallo Cromo per interni e fregi


Chrome Yellow for interiors and insignia 33655 Engine cowlings and fuselage bands in Russia. Interior parts at least in G.55s. It matches almost perfectly RLM Gelb 27.
28 - Colore 10 Bruno (SIAI)

Marrone Mimetico 2 Colore 10 - SIAI Brown 30108 Darker and less reddish than Marrone Mimetico 2

Band camo
IMAM: with 20 and/or COLORE 9, 25 and 21
CZ.1007 Asso: with 13, 19 and 20

Mottle camo
SIAI: spots on 14 background (?) with (or an alternative to?) 22
29 - Azzurro Celeste O.R.8 (Reggiane 1940-41)


No direct match Sky Blue O.R. 35240 Used by SAIMAN
Rarely, undersurfaces on unspecified aircraft

Band camo
Export Ca.111: with 11

Uppersides overall
catapult-launched Re.2000 MM 8381
IMAM (?)
30 - Terra d'ombra (FIAT O.M.S. 1936)


Giallo Mimetico 2 Raw Umber A bit greener than 33440 Darker than Giallo Mimetico 2

Band camo
CR.32: with 25 and COLORE 9 or 20

Mottle scheme
CR.32 (Spain): as background, with 20 spots
COLORE 7 - Giallo Cromo per esterni


No direct match Exterior Chrome Yellow 33538 Used to mark fuel tubes and device. Almost identical to RLM Gelb 04.

Engine cowlings and fuselage bands in Russia
COLORE 8 - Rosso

No direct match Red 11120 Used as rudder flag color in pre-war insignia, various insignia and codes, individual aircraft numbers in fuselage unit codes, and to mark fire extinguishers
COLORE 9 - Verde (anche Verde Mimetico 1936)


No direct match Green (also Camo Green 1936) 14110 Used as rudder flag color in pre-war insignia and to mark water cooling tubes
Band camo
Caproni: with 25, 38 and (or an alternative to) 20
SIAI: with COLORE 10, 19 and 37, and an alternative to 20
Breda: with 25, 38 and 14
IMAM: with 20, 21, 25, and 28

Mottle camo
"Official Scheme A" (Spring): spots on 16 background
"Official Scheme B" (Summer/Autumn): spots on 13 background
"Official Scheme C" (Autumn/Winter): spots with COLORE 10 on 13 background
COLORE 10 - Bruno Rossiccio (anche Bruno Mimetico 1936)


Reddish Brown (also Camo Brown 1936) A bit lighter than 10075 Darker than Marrone Mimetico 2
Used to mark lubricating oil pipes

Band camo
SIAI: with COLORE 9 or 20, 19 and 37
Japanese BR.20: with 21 and 26, and an alternative to 38

Mottle camo
"Official Scheme C" (Winter): spots with COLORE 9 on 13 background
North Africa: seldom used in spots on COLORE 4 or 10 background (BR.20Ms of 13 Stormo in North Africa?)
COLORE 11 - Azzurro

No direct match Azure blue 25095 Used to mark compressed air tubes and devices, writings, etc.
COLORE 12 - Nero

Black 37038 Used to mark engine exhausts

Band camo
BR.20: with 16, 20, 26 and 37 (originally intended for undersides, that in actual aircraft were painted gray)
Experimental camo on S.84 (1942): with COLORE 3, and 9

Overall
night CR.42
night Re.2001
other night aircraft
37 - Grigio (1916) (1936)

Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1 Gray A bit darker than 36307 More neutral hue than Grigio Mimetico, but close to Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1

Band camo
BR.20: with 16, 20, 26 and COLORE 12
SIAI: with COLORE 9 or 20, COLORE 10 and 19

Mottle camo
Front parts on some S.79 torpedo-bombers
Suggested to have replaced brown tones in 1943:
C.205: as background, with 8 or 14 spots (no evidence)
38 - Rosso Ossido (1916) (1936)


Marrone Mimetico 2 Oxide Red 30109 Almost identical to Marrone Mimetico 2

Band camo
Breda: with COLORE 9, 14 and 25
SIAI: an alternative (?) to COLORE 10
Japanese BR.20: with 21 and 26, and an alternative to COLORE 10
Caproni: with COLORE 9 and/or 20, and 25
39 - Verde Scuro Mimetico (Macchi 1940)


Verde Mimetico 3 Dark Camo Green (Macchi 1940) 34096 Almost identical to Verde Mimetico 3

Uppersides overall
C.200


In the nineties, two Italian modelers, Stefano Zaghetto and Giuseppe Verde, had the opportunity to examine painted relics of Italian WWII aircraft, and gathered colors that weren't in the CMPR list. Recalling the Vitocharts, they realized that some of these original paints matched with chips of the latter. In 1999, they published their observations in an article in Italian magazine Model Wings no. 9 (see article translation). Some years later, they visited the author of the Vitocharts, Virginio Tosco (ViTo), who worked in his youth as a drawing artist at FIAT. Tosco studied original aircraft colors by copying them with lacquers, or taking specimens of the original paints.

By directly comparing the two palettes, we can say that Vitocharts' Tavola 10 colors are very similar to the CMPR chips, and differences could well be within individual eye sensitivity, color degradation, differences among production batches, different dilution, etc. Only Bianco Avorio 5 seems more yellow than pink as it appears in Tavola 10. The following image of a Caproni 133 could confirm this yellow hue, at least for Capronis and before the introduction of Tavola 10. Also, Zaghetto and Verde observed that the Vito color exactly matched a piece of fabric from a CR.32 (see). It should be mentioned that Bianco Avorio 5 of Tavola 10 was intended for use on training aircraft after 1941 (Nardi 305, etc.), and doesn't necessarily match the previous Ivory color for colonial use.


Img. 1 - A colonial Ca.133 (Ref. Ali d'Italia No.20)

Chip (7). This is the first color not present in the CMPR palette. According to the text, it was used by Macchi and Reggiane, as an alternative to Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1. All post-1941 Macchi and Reggiane fighter color images show undersides of a light gray close to the classic Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1, but a color photo of a Macchi-built MC. 200 (386-4, formerly of 359 Squadriglia) in Ukraine, Summer 1942, clearly shows pale blue undersides, in contrast with the gray of a Breda-built MC. 200 in the foreground (see undercarriage door between groundcrewmen legs).


Img. 2 - C.200s of 21 Gruppo in Ukraine (Apostolo)

This could mean that this color was also used before the introduction of Tavola 10 other than as a possible alternative to the "official" Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1. Indeed, this color is on the undersides of the C.200 relic in Museo Caproni at Trento, under a layer of overpainted "true" Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1 (FS 36307).

For Reggiane fighters, color photos show pale gray undersides (near FS 36622), so evidence is lacking. It's possible that this paint was used for undersides of catapult-launched Re.2000 MM 8381, which had been experimentally painted blue uppersides (see chip (29)).

Chip (8) similar to Verde Mimetico 3. According to the Vitocharts it was used also on CZ.1007s.

Chip (9). According to Vitocharts, it was used by FIAT on monochrome aircraft and "green lizard" FIAT fighter scheme (D1A scheme), possibly as a variant of Verde Oliva Scuro 2.

About its use in an experimental band camo scheme for S.84, the only pictures available I know for such a pattern are the following, representing an aircraft of 282 Squadriglia. Umberto Postiglioni, in 1976, supposed that those three colors were the classic, pre-war green-yellow-brown, while according to the Vitochart colors were (9), COLORE 3/Grigio Azzurro Scuro 3 and COLORE 12/Nero 12. No details by other sources are known for these colors.

Img. 3 and Img. 4 - A S.84 with an unusual band camo scheme. (Ermanno Albertelli)


Chip (10) is one of the more controversial, yet interesting colors. The chip caption suggests that it has been used as a sand-shade alternative to Nocciola Chiaro 4. A lighter version of the latter had been previously proposed by Nino Arena and Giorgio Pini in a booklet on RA colors in 1975, but such a variant wasn't considered by CMPR.

Img. 5 - Tavola 10 palette colors in Arena-Pini's booklet (1975). Note the Nocciola Chiaro 4 variant marked with an asterisk (*). (STEM-Mucchi)

The study of b/w pictures of Macchi fighters in 1942 and 1943 shows that in the early period this paint appears somewhat lighter than in the late period (note the gray contrast of each with respective undersides).

Img. 6 - (left) Brand new Macchi C.202 MM 7806 (serie III), early 1942. It was later coded 90-1 and assigned to ace Cap. Ranieri Piccolmini in North Africa. (Apostolo)
Img. 7 - (right) Same view for a new Macchi C.205V MM 9338 (Serie I), April 1943. This example enjoyed a good career, becoming soon after 360-4 then 85-1 with RA, and then serving with II/JG77 and after the Armistice was passed to 2 Squadriglia, I Gruppo ANR (piloted by Ten. Oddone Colonna). (Apostolo)

Img. 8 and Img. 9 - A SAI-Ambrosini-built C.200 at Castelvetrano (Sicily) in Spring 1943 (left). A Macchi C.205 Serie III MM 92298, ready to be delivered to the ANR, 1943 (right). The darkness of the background in the latter is better evident by comparing respective colors with the skin of the airmen. (Apostolo, D'Amico-Valentini)

Img. 10 and Img. 11 - A color comparison between a Breda-built C.202 of 1 Stormo (left, note (Macchi-built) replaced wing) and a detail of C.205 Serie I 352-2 (MM 9244, right). Notwithstanding the differences in saturation and light incidence, some color difference are evident. (LIFE, D'Amico-Valentini via Di Terlizzi)

Very close variants of this color are found on relics of Macchi-built fighters (FS 33473), and on a rudder of a G.50bis in D1A scheme, owned by a private collector (FS 33303). We can suppose they were the same paint, in which the hues had faded over time. Chip (10) also has a good match with Giallo Mimetico 4, and since it was tested by CMPR on the C.200 currently at the Museo dell'Aeronautica Militare at Vigna di Valle (Rome), before its restoration, we could say that Giallo Mimetico 4 and (10) also possibly represent the same paint.

Img. 12 - A CR.42 Serie X, camouflaged with D1A scheme. The lightness of the blotches is evident. (Apostolo)

This was surely a standard paint: Umberto Postiglioni recalled that painters in Macchi factory nicknamed it as 'mustard' ('senape' in Italian), and this was later confirmed by Riccardo Trotta in an article in IPMS-Italy Magazine. In common sense, a brown like FS 30219 could hardly be coupled with a mustard hue. In my opinion this lighter color wasn't a variant of FS 30219, but the 'true' Nocciola Chiaro 4, later replaced by a darker version. Indeed, Nino Arena pointed out that after the loss of North Africa the use of a sand-like camo had no further use, and a medium brown better matched the contintental environment. The only gathered example of Tavola 10 is dated postwar (showing the mark of the Aeronautica Militare), so it's possible that there was an early edition with a lighter hazel color.

In the following picture we can see C.200/202 fighters incidentally of all three builders (Macchi/Breda/Ambrosini): a rudder of a Breda-built (D2A scheme), SAI Ambrosini-built C.200 377-9 (C2 scheme) and a wing with a classic Aermacchi "smoke rings" or "amoebae" (D3 scheme). All three wear standard post-Tavola 10 patterns, and all had the same background paint: this indicates that this Nocciola Chiaro 4 variant was yet a standard paint.

Img. 13 - Overhaul in the open. This photo was taken in Palermo, Sicily, in Summer 1943. (Ermanno Albertelli)

This rare color photo has some other interesting points for discussion: the overturned wing in the foreground has pale blue undersides (see above Chip (7)) and the aluminium-made wheel well seems painted with a transparent gray-greenish paint (see below Chip (17)). Most of all, the structural frame (internals) of the wing seems to be painted in Nocciola Chiaro 4 variant. Though there is still no official evidence for such use in the war period, in Arena & Pini's book there are documents suggesting it happened at least in 1948, so possibly painting the internals of the aicraft could have occured sooner, as an expedient.

Among the colors of either the CMPR and Vitocharts, this is the one which better matches the common sense of 'sand'. Probably, this same sand/mustard color was used 'in the field' to cover darker camouflages of CR.32s (160 Squadriglia of Cap. Fanali) and CMASA-built G.50s (20 and 155 Gruppo), early in the war in North Africa.

Img. 14 - CR.32quater 160-6 in North Africa, 1940. Note the small and dense spots to cover the previous darker camouflage. (Garello)

Lastly, and perhaps not a coincidence, the same FS 33448 is the current color No. 29 Giallo Sabbia (sand yellow), an official paint (AA-M-P100/e) used by the Aeronautica Militare Italiana to camouflage its Tornados during the Gulf War in 1991.

Img. 15 - Al Dhafra (UAE), February 1991. Tornado MM 7061 of Aeronautica Militare Italiana (AMI) is armed for a mission during the Gulf-War. Usual payload was five 'slick' Mk. 83s. (Aviation Collectibles Company)

Chip (11) and Chip (12) remind us that their use on undersurfaces in the first period was wider than believed before, as it was applied for instance to the CR.42s at least until the Serie V, but also to S.79s, early G.50s and C.200s; just in March-April 1941, in fact, an order of Direzione Generale Costruzioni Armamenti prohibited it in favour to light gray. By that date, as we will see, each factory adopted its own paint for undersides: pale blue (FIAT?), light blue-gray (Macchi), medium bluish gray (CANT), light neutral gray. The latter could have been kept and standardized by Tavola 10 as Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1.

It's not known for sure why those two aluminium chips have been reproduced, both being very similar to each other. As we will see, this is not a lone case in the Vito Chart palette.

Chip (13) and Chip (15) are very similar and partly with the same indications about their use on the Channel front, a use which has still to be shown. Chip (15) is slightly darker than (13). They both have a distinct gray or blue component, and either should represent a Verde Salvia (sage green) color, widely witnessed by contemporaries and discussed until mid-70s, but forgotten by then. This kind of color wasn't considered by CMPR, because it was possibly mismatched with Verde Mimetico 1, which instead leans towards yellow. Even if the Vito Chart text didn't indicate it for SIAI, there is some evidence that a graysh/bluish green did exist and was used for S.79 for band-camouflaged early examples, as shown by the following original factory wood model, perhaps the same analysed by CMPR authors.

Imgs. 16, 17 and 18 - Views of an original wooden model of a S.79, in a band camo scheme and painted with actual factory paints. (by the web)

About this model, CMPR stated that the yellow was Giallo Mimetico 3 -and this seems confirmed- and found that the green was "very similar" to Verde Mimetico 1 and brown "very similar" to Marrone Mimetico 2, but we can see that the green is surely bluish and closer to (13), and brown is darker and less reddish than Marrone Mimetico 2, and it's closer to Vitocharts COLORE 10 or better (28 - Bruno SIAI) with its purplish shade. Also, the gray seems more likely as (37) and less bluish than Grigio Mimetico.

Moreover, a blue-green close to (15) was surely applied to 280 Squadriglia's S.79 torpedo bombers, as shown by this picture on 130 Gruppo CO's mount. A careful examination reveals that it didn't wear the original factory finish, but had been repainted, surely to better match the sea color of the Mediterranean. Pierluigi Moncalvo suggests that this paint could have also been field applied, by simply mixing, for instance, standard Verde Oliva Scuro 2 and Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1.


Img. 19 - Torpedo-bomber S.79 280-6 MM 23973. Piloted by legendary torpedo ace Magg. Massimiliano Erasi who shared in the sinking of the sloop HMS Ibis at Algeri harbour, on 10 November 1942. (Apostolo)



Chip (14) corresponds to Verde Mimetico 1, but the Vitocharts indicate its use also by Breda and Caproni, other than SIAI and FIAT (CMPR). A possible application of this color can be seen below on an early-serie Breda-built C.202s, which show bright green spots over ochre yellow. It's interesting to compare those colors with the standard Verde Oliva Scuro 2 and Nocciola Chiaro 4 (lighter variant) in the D3 scheme of the replaced wing.

Img. 20 - A color shot of a Breda-built C.202 Serie I 377-3 (formerly 168-11) MM 7948, which shows the early Breda paints of ochre yellow (Giallo Mimetico 3/Vitocharts (25)) and bright green (Verde Mimetico 1/Vitocharts (14)). Note: the Breda-built C.202 Serie I were at first painted green overall, then the yellow was sprayed over leaving small 'worm-like' spots of green: watch the convexity of the yellow spray! (via Moncalvo)

Chip (15): see (13).
Chip (16) and Chip (25) are virtually the same, the second being a bit darker, and are equivalent to Giallo Mimetico 3. The indications about their use by factories matches well, but CMPR states it also for CRDA, Reggiane and SIAI.

Chip (17) is hard to define chromatically, but the Vitocharts provide a formula to make it: three parts of Humbrol 95 (Concrete) and one part of Humbrol 81 (Pale Yellow Matt). Its use is confirmed by this image of the internal windshield frame of a Breda-built C.200 (note: Macchi-built planes were painted black). According to Zaghetto and Verde, it should be a zinc-chromate varnish, also found in ANR G.55 relics and in Reggiane fighters.


Img. 21 - C.200 365-1 in Sicily, Summer 1941. (D'Amico-Valentini)

Chip (18) is a pale blue-green color, but less green than Verde Anticorrosione. In a document by Caproni in the mid-thirties that provided steps for preparing interior metal parts:
  • Thorough cleaning with sandpaper
  • Washing with Methyl-Acetate
  • One-layer spray of [Arson-SISI] Giomar transparent blue
  • Kiln-dry until blue turns to green.
Could it be possible that variations in heat and treatment time of kiln-drying process led to various degrees between blue and green? This is just a guess.

About its use on undersurfaces in FIAT fighters in Spain, stated by the Vitocharts, the only explanation offered here is that Spanish skies are more often blue than gray.

Another possible clue comes from the camo description of the BR.20s of 13 Stormo in June 1940 that stated: "The BR.20s [...] had a hazelnut brown background with dense spots of green more or less dark. The undersurfaces of the fuselage and wings were painted with a metallic sky blue."

By the way, in Img. 2 the C.200 in the foreground, the Piaggio P.1001 propeller blade shows a pale blue similar to (18), as well as (7). Until at least 1941, indeed, propeller blades were covered with a protective paint, sometimes gray, or silver, but mainly blue. This was not standard in hue, and the color varied according to the factories: for instance, Fiat-Hamilton had a light blue like FS 35448, while Alfa Romeo had a paler FS 35526 (this one personally checked on a specimen). Rear faces of the blades were always matt black, but by 1941, propeller blades were painted all black with (27) - or rarely with Colore 8- tips.

Chip (19) is similar to Giallo Mimetico 1. The Vitocharts indicate its use for band camo in Caproni, SIAI and CANT, CMPR by FIAT (BR.20 band camo) and Nardi.

Chip (20) matches well with Verde Mimetico 53192, and is just a bit lighter than COLORE 9. Both sources indicate its use by Caproni, CRDA, FIAT, Macchi and SIAI; Vitocharts indicate it was also used for IMAM (band/patches camo).

Its use suggested by Vito, in the yet-seen "green lizard scheme" (in Italian, schema ramarro, D1A) on G.55 prototype is however denied by the following color photo, which shows large spots of Nocciola Chiaro 4 lighter variant.


Img. 22 - G.55 prototype. (Apostolo)

As a side note, whomever named this camo 'ramarro' surely wasn't an expert in zoology. In Europe, the green lizard has nothing to share with that livery. Instead probably intending to refer to a salamander, ignoring the differences between reptiles and amphibians.

Img. 23 and Img. 24 - Left: a ramarro (green lizard, Lacerta viridis), it lives in Western Europe. (Wikipedia). Right: A salamander (Salamandra salamandra), common in all of Continental Europe. (by the web)

Another use of (20), this time with (16), has been suggested by Vitocharts for transport aircraft; below we can see it on a Ca.133 in the Ukraine.


Img. 25 - A Ca.133 in Ukraine. The same plane is half-hidden in the background of Img. 2 (Apostolo)

Though CMPR suggests Giallo Mimetico 3 and Verde Mimetico 3, I find the latter is a little too dark, and (20)/Verde Mimetico 53192 is more suitable with this medium green. My opinion is confirmed by the same CMPR book (2nd Ed.): reading the Tabelle II and III (pages 62 to 65) it appears that an original factory wooden model of a Ca.133 is camouflaged with Giallo Mimetico 3 and Verde Mimetico 53192, i.e., respectively the Vitochart colors (16) and (20).

Chip (21) is similar to Bruno Mimetico, and, according to Vitocharts, it was used by IMAM, SIAI and BR.20s sold to Japan (see Table 3). Other than IMAM, CMPR suggests the use of Bruno Mimetico by Breda, Caproni, CRDA (1935-38), Macchi and Piaggio.

Chip (22) is close to Marrone Mimetico 53193. This range of color was used by FIAT, Breda and SIAI (Vitocharts), and/or CRDA and SIAI (CMPR).

Chip (23) WWI related.

Chip (24). The comparison between it and Grigio Mimetico -the latter being just a bit darker and less blue- suggests these colors could have been the same. Evidence of not-so-light undersurfaces in some Aviazione Legionaria's aircraft is shown in several pictures.

Img. 26 - S.79s over Spain (Pedriali/Aeronautica Militare)

Img. 27 - Viterbo (Italy), May 1941. CANT Z.1007s of 59 Squadriglia show bluish gray undersides. (Apostolo)

Chip (25): see (16).

Chip (26) has no direct match with the CMPR. It's a very dark brown. According to Vitocharts, it was used by Caproni and FIAT, but a further, possible use can be seen in Img. 2, where the brown spots on the foreground, Breda-built C.200 are so dark that they could not be compared with other chips, in both CMPR and Vito, than (26) (by the way, the other two colors should be Verde Mimetico 3/(8) and Giallo Mimetico 3/(25), both suggested either by CMPR and Vitocharts for Breda aircraft). About its use on band-camo of BR.20s, see below Chip (37).





Chip (27) and COLORE 7 are two insignia yellows. The first one is a lemon yellow, whose FS comparison makes it closer to original Tavola 10's Giallo Cromo 7 than the Vitochart name. We can also note that (27) is identical to the RLM 27 Gelb, as represented in Michael Ullmann's book chip. Also, COLORE 7 is a darker, orange yellow close to RLM 04. We can see (27) on the two Macchi 200s in Img. 2, and COLORE 7 in another Saetta in Img. 21. It seems that both these yellows were used for the same purpose, depending upon availability. Evidence of this comes from the following images, the first one showing a C.200 damaged from a crashed landed Ca.311 at Kriwoy Rog on 19 October 1941. Due to its red component, COLORE 7 appears darker than (27) in orthochromatic, unfiltered b/w films.

Img. 28 - The relic of C.200 359-4 MM 5148, probably the mount of ace Ten. Giovanni Bonet. (Malizia)

Note that a new band color had been applied, contouring the Squadriglia digits which had a darker background. Since there was no reason for a white band to have been applied on the Eastern Front, it comes that (27) was painted over on the original COLORE 7. The contrary happened on Magg. Borzoni's aircraft in Img. 29 (ordinal 2).

Img. 29 - The C.200 of Magg. Borzoni, CO of 22 Gruppo in Ukraine (D'Amico-Valentini)

Also, the following image shows two yellows on different aircraft: the two Macchis at the top have darker cowlings and bands.

Img. 30 - C.200s of 21 Gruppo in flight over Ukraine. The two at the top are wing camera-equipped C.200s, inherited by Sezione Cinematografica; in the very background it's the former 81-12 MM 6867, previously flown by ace Cap. Maurizio Ruspoli. (Istituto LUCE)

About the use of (27) for interiors, until a few years ago it seemed strange that zinc chromate yellow was used in RA aircraft internal surfaces, as it seemed more suitable to a Mustang than to a Regia Aeronautica fighter. The discovery of three ANR G.55 relics flown by Cap. Giulio Torresi, Mar. Ennio Tarantola and Serg.M. Lucio Biagini, which were all shot down near Turin on 25 April 1944, confirmed its use at least on G.55s' as a cockpit interior color, as shown in the restored Centauro at Vigna di Valle museum.

Chip (28): no direct match with CMPR, other than COLORE 10 of Tavola 10, mentioned but not reproduced. Its use by SIAI seems confirmed by an original model in Imgs. 16, 17 and 18.

Chip (29): the use of a light blue color on catapult-launched Re.2000 MM 8381 has been widely witnessed by the personnel who worked on the project, but this color wasn't considered at all by CMPR. Possibly evidence of a blue for catapult-launched Re.2000s is an original model currently on display at the Museo Caproni at Trento, Italy. This shows a blue paint which matches FS 35177, indeed very close to (29).


Img. 31 - An original factory model of a Re.2000, painted blue, on display at the Museo Caproni at Trento. Note the Futuristic-style stand (Michele Raus via Riccardo Trotta)

Chip (30). This is another interesting color, with no direct match with CMPR although it is somewhat similar, but darker, than Giallo Mimetico 2 and more grayish/greenish than Giallo Mimetico 3. It's very similar to (10), but with a distinct green component. Its use is suggested, with (20), for CR 32s in Spain...


Img. 32 - The rudder of a Spanish CR.32 (Aerofan)

... but also used by Regia Aeronautica, as shown below.

Img. 33 - A CR.32 of a Flight School (Apostolo)

It should have been applied also on some CR.42 batches, and this goes to RAF Crash Enemy Aircraft Report (see Steven Eisenman's article) which mentions a "greenish yellow" color on CR.42 95-13 MM 5701 that crash-landed in Great Britain. This color is found also on a piece of fabric by a CR.42 (MM still unknown) crashed in Asmara in October 1940. However, as suggested by Pierluigi Moncalvo and Riccardo Trotta, this green hue could also have been applied by a soft overspray of green over sand yellow.


Img. 34 - A patch of fabric by a CR.42 crashed in Asmara, 1940. That FIAT was flown by Serg. Gastone Simonetto (KiFA). (via Riccardo Trotta)

A greenish yellow color is also on an original wooden model of an Ambrosini 207 (a fighter which actually never wore such a pattern).


Img. 35 - An original wooden model of a SAI-Ambrosini 207 (by the web).

COLORE 7: see (27).

COLORE 9: see (20).

COLORE 10. The existence of Vito's suggested all-brown band camo for Japanese BR.20s cannot be proved. Gray tones in b/w pictures of them are similar to Italian band-camouflaged examples.

Img. 36 and Img. 37 - A band-camouflaged BR.20 is being shipped to Japan (left) and a rare colour picture of an Italian example (right) (courtesy of Pierluigi Moncalvo). Compare the latter with the scheme in Img. 39; for it, CMPR suggests Verde Mimetico 1, Marrone Mimetico 1 and Giallo Mimetico 1, with Grigio Mimetico or Alluminio undersides; Vito instead states (16), (20), (26), (37) and black.

Chip (37). This is a neutral gray, rather different by the bluish Grigio Mimetico and rather close to the classic Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1 chip in the Tavola 10; the latter, despite its name, has no blue at all in its hue. This similarity should be not surprising, as a note of 20 March 1941, describing the painting of floatplanes with the colors of Tavola 10, ordered to "use Grigio Azzurro Chiaro matt paint (Cat. No. 1008), yet in use, for undersides".

As we've seen, a gray like (37) can be seen on the undercarriage door between the personnel legs in Img. 2.

Its use in band-camouflaged SIAI aircraft is hard to see in b/w photos, but it's clearly visible on the fin in Img. 37. However, the following image of a S.81 clearly shows a four-color band scheme (watch the starboard wing), whose pattern is the same as an official colored drawing for BR.20 Img. 39. Note that the Vitocharts stressed that the hues varied for each factory, but the application pattern was stated by the Authorities. According to CMPR, colors were Marrone Mimetico 2 (the darker) Verde Mimetico 1 and Giallo Mimetico 3, with the adding of Grigio Mimetico. The Vitocharts say the colors were COLORE 10, (19), (20) or COLORE 9, and "gray", often (21) and (38), these perhaps as replacement respectively for (19) and COLORE 10. If we logically consider the paints of the band-camouflaged S.81 seen above, colors should have been (13), (16), COLORE 10 and (37). Indeed, the green areas seem very light.

Img. 38 - A band-camouflaged S.81 in the thirties. Compare this scheme with the following drawing. (CMPR)

Img. 39 - FIAT original drawing for a banded camouflage BR.20, possibly drawn by the same Virginio Tosco. (IPMS Italy via Riccardo Trotta)

Chip (38): Same as Marrone Mimetico 2. Used by Breda, FIAT, SIAI and Caproni according to Vitocharts, also by Piaggio, Reggiane and IMAM (but not by Breda), according to CMPR.

Chip (39): According to the text it was a mix used by Macchi. It's impossible to differentiate it from Verde Oliva Scuro 2 in b/w photos.


CONCLUSIONS
In this study the CMPR and Vitochart chips have been discussed and compared where matches were possible. We can say that most of the colors can be positively coupled. The Vitocharts provide some paints that were ignored by CMPR, the existence of most of them can now be proved. The 'new' colors are:
  • A different Ivory hue for Avorio Chiaro 5
  • A 'true' light blue-gray for at least Macchi (and Reggiane?) undersides, a color which probably preceded Tavola 10's Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1 and, possibly, later an alternative to it
  • Another type of Aluminum paint for undersides
  • Two types of sage green, a color ignored or mismatched by CMPR
  • A transparent, anticorrosive lacquer for aluminum, for interior parts
  • Two types of light blue for undersides
  • Two types of yellow, one of them used for interiors (zinc chromate)
  • More variants of reddish brown
  • A dark chocolate brown
  • The blue used for catapult-launched Re.2000, witnessed by contemporaries and whose hue was just guessed at
Of course, this study is far from conclusive, and its primary aim is to convey that published treatments of this topic such as the CMPR should not be treated as dogma. The CMPR study is still valid, but perhaps incomplete. And perhaps additional research into this topic should commence to improve our knowledge still further.

REFERENCES
1 Club Modellismo Plastico Ravenna (Plastic Model Club in Ravenna)
2 Gruppo Modellistico Trentino (Model Group of Trento)
3 Gruppo Amici Velivoli Storici (Historical Aircraft Friends Group, an Italian association to recover and restore historical aircraft)
4 CMPR book found this document (STATAEREO, n. 33815 of 8/7/1937), but lacking of the attachments with the schemes, it supposed the following patterns: "A/Spring" green, brown and yellow; "B/summer-autumn" green and yellow; "C/autumn-winter" green and brown.
5 Reference to CMPR book, 2nd ed. (see article)
6 Corpo Aereo Italiano - Italian Air Force [Expeditionary] Corp (to the Channel front)
7 Operazioni Militari in Spagna - Military Operations in Spain
8 Organizzazione Roma - the Italian project for ship-launched fighters

BIBLIOGRAPHY
[1] Nino Arena-Giorgio Pini, Schemi e Colori Mimetici dell'Aeronautica Militare Italiana, STEM-Mucchi, Modena, 1975
[2] Umberto Postiglioni-Andrea Degl'Innocenti, Colori e Schemi Mimetici della Regia Aeronautica 1935-1943, CMPR, Ravenna, 1977
[3] Francesco Romanelli, 13 Stormo - Cronistoria del reparto dal 1924 al 1943, Ufficio Storico Stato Maggiore Aeronautica, Rome, 1978
[4] Nicola Malizia, Ali nella steppa, Edizioni dell'Ateneo, Rome, 1987
[5] Nino Arena, Macchi 205 "Veltro", STEM Mucchi, Modena, 1994 (reprint)
[6] Umberto Postiglioni-Andrea Degl'Innocenti, Colori e Schemi Mimetici della Regia Aeronautica 1935-1943, 2nd edition, revised by Gregory Alegi-Marco Gueli-Paolo Varriale, CMPR-GAVS-GMT, Trento, 1994
[7] Michael Ullmann, Luftwaffe Colors 1935-1945, Hikoki Publications, Ottringham, 2002, ISBN 1-902109-34-1
[8] IPMS Italy via Riccardo Trotta

 
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