The penultimate contingent in my WWII naval project, I had been looking forward to getting stuck into the Italians mainly because their red and white striped aerial recognition markings are quite unique and provide a bit of colour. I was a little concerned about whether I would be able to paint lines that were straight enough without ruining the effect, but found that all the GHQ models with the exception of the destroyers had lines etched into the deck which made painting them quite simple.
I also purchased the Lifecolor WW2 Italian Naval paint set which took a lot of guesswork out of approximating the correct shades and were quite nice paints to use.
Here are the three completed Littorio class battleships which were the Littorio herself, the Vittorio Veneto and the Roma (the Impero was laid down and luanched, but never completed):
Followed by the Caio Duilio and Giulio Cesare:
Six heavy cruisers include the Trento, Trieste and Bolzano:
And three Zara class cruisers in the Zara, Fiume and Pola:
Italian spotter planes had a rather unique design, with red stripes on a very light grey background as can be seen here on the foredeck of the Zara:
I came a little unstuck on the light cruisers as some of the names are incredibly long and just wouldn't fit on my labels. The Abruzzi's full name, seen here alongside the Raimondo Montecuccoli, Muzio Attendolo and Giuseppi Garibaldi, is actually the Luigi de Savoia Duce degli Abruzzi:
While the final four light cruisers are the Attilio Regolo, Scipione Africano, Alberto Da Giussano and Bartolomeo Colleoni (which I chose as it sounded a little like Corleone to me):
The Soldati class destroyers are so-called as they are all named after different troop types. Below are the Velite, Mitragliere, Corsaro, Carabiniere and Bombardiere:
Followed by the Legionario, Ascari Artigliere and Alpino:
Three Navigatori class destroyers named after Italian explorers in the Antonio da Noli, Nicolo Zeno and Luca Tarigo, along side three Turbine class destroyers with the Turbine, Borea and Espero, complete the destroyer flotilla:
With the aircraft carrier Aquila completing the Italian fleet:
Here are all thirty-five ships nestled alongside some of the overflow from my US and Royal Navy contingents:
Only a similarly-sized French fleet left to go, which I hope to have completed by the end of next week.