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  1. Eighty-two years ago the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm attacked the Italian Fleet at anchor in Taranto. They scored a remarkable success for very little loss. Some months ago I started a Tamiya Swordfish and as usual posted may progress in the WIP section of BM. It seemed to light a spark of enthusiasm for this remarkable aircraft and several others were started what became an unofficial GB. Down here in Australia it's already the anniversary of the raid, so this is one of the first of two or three Taranto Swordfish that may be posted today (I lost count, and not sure who finished, but some of the participants were @Dunny, @bigbadbadge, @AliGauld, @iang). My Stringbag was built as “L4A” belonging to 815NAS and flown by Lieutenant Commander K. Williamson with Observer Lieutenant N. J. ‘Blood’ Scarlett. 4A was one of two lost in the attack, both crew members surviving their crash into the harbour and taken as POW. The other loss was 813NAS "E4H" in the second wave flown by Lt. G. Gayley and Lt. H. Slaughter. Sadly, both were killed. After the raid 4A's airframe was recovered by the Italian Navy and the photos of it are in fact the only known photos taken of the Taranto Swordfish on or close to the date of the raid. The Tamiya kit is rightly lauded as superb, and it gave me no problems at all, save those I created for myself. I built it out of the box using the Tamiya PE set for the rigging. I made the auxiliary fuel tank from the kit's main fuel tank and installed it in the cockpit as it was for all of the Torpedo bombers on the raid. All of the markings were painted, it required no stencil decals because the black distemper covered them. I am especially indebted to @iang for help with the s/n, while it's not known for sure what 4A's s/n was but I'm confident Ian's suggestion cannot be bettered. Here's the WIP; ...and here are the glamour shots... This is, of course, also the 104th anniversary of the end of the First World War. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.
  2. As a former member of 815 Sqn, when I saw Xtradecal's 815 Sqn decal sheet (X72-108) I just had to start modelling the history of this illustrious squadron - Taranto etc. The squadron initially formed at RNAS Worthy Down on 9 October 1939, from the remnants of 811 and 822 squadrons that had survived the sinking of their carrier HMS Courageous in September 1939, with Fairey Swordfish aircraft. In June 1940, the squadron embarked on HMS Illustrious and sailed for the Mediterranean in August, attacking and minelaying the North African coast. The squadron gained early fame with its involvement in the Battle of Taranto in 1940. The battle consisted of a raid on the Italian Battlefleet in harbour at Taranto which redefined the use of air power from the sea. During the battle only one squadron aircraft was lost (unfortunately with the Squadron's Commanding Officer), compared to the crippling of half the Italian Fleet. In March 1941, the squadron was once again involved in a major operation at the Battle of Cape Matapan. The squadron re-equipped in August 1941 with a mixture of Swordfish and Fairey Albacore aircraft, operating from shore bases in support of the North African campaign. On 10 July 1943, before 815 Squadron was disbanded. To be continued... Fairey Swordfish MkI, L7648/X of 815 NAS, Heliopolis, Egypt, 1942. The model is the 'old' Airfix mould and is showing it's age. The engineering and fit was poor, causing alignment issues. After market helped and was sourced from, Airwaves AC72-178 PE set, Pavla U72-135 resin oil cooler and generator pipes, Mini Part 0.303 Browning machine gun and a 'bodged' Quickboost QB72-363 exhaust. 815 Swordfish 1 by hegertyr, on Flickr 815 Swordfish 2 by hegertyr, on Flickr 815 Swordfish 6 by hegertyr, on Flickr 815 Swordfish 5 by hegertyr, on Flickr 815 Swordfish 3 by hegertyr, on Flickr 815 Swordfish 4 by hegertyr, on Flickr What would I change? the Swordfish was based in the desert under the sun, I think it should be dusty and more weathered, sand is very abrasive. The rigging could be tighter. I've found out that the oil cooler is wrong for a MkI. The torpedo should be black with a yellow warhead? 815 builds to come are: 3 x Swordfish Albacore Fulmar Barracuda Avenger Gannet Whirlwind Wessex Lynx HAS 2/3 Lynx HMA 8 Cheers John
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