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1/72 Airfix Swordfish - sink the Bismark


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This going to take some time - an hour here, an hour there & then towards the end I'll probably get impatient & mess the whole thing up.

I was lucky enough to be given this kit for my birthday. I've added the Eduard photo-etch kit, but apart from that it'll out of the box - including the paints, well that's the intention anyway.

first up - the box, lovely artwork & it is incredibly heavy for a 1/72 biplane kit.

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here's what's in the box

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I must say the floor was fairly uninspiring, but I doubt anyone will see it once the kit is complete

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The rest of the cockpit is very time consuming & some of those photo etch parts are microscopic

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The machine gun on the starboard side pokes through a hole on the side - when I put this through, it scraped all the paint off - so eventually I painted it once it was through & then positioned it correctly once it was dry. I painted the body under the gun beforehand with a brush. The gun is currently under a small lump of blutack. I have given the body a very fine coating of halfords primer.

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I've decided to paint each section before putting the thing together - here's the first coat on the body. My airbrushes are now totally blocked, so they both need dismantling before I make any more progress.

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A little bit of progress this afternoon - although I don't really want a fuzzy edge to the paintwork, I certainly don't want raised edges between the colours, so I'm using blu-tac, but spraying into the gap - I hope it works. So here's the dark sea grey (humbrol 27). Hopefully I can get the slate grey on tomorrow evening.

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Another couple of hours & then the exciting bit - pulling all the masking off

The contrast between the two colours isn't high, but I will persevere with the paints that came with the kit - and it looks like I may have missed a bit on the middle of the port side.

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You are doing well with this build. Don't worry over much about the lack of contrast between the camouflage colours, there wasn't a great deal in real life.

Martin

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's been a while -- but I finally managed to find a few hours to make some more progress.

The Engine went together quite nicely, It certainly needs a lot of trial and error before being glued in place. If only I thought about that later on....

I decided to fit some of the decals, as I thought they may be difficult to get to as the plane takes shape.

So next up was the wings - The upper wings fit together very cleverly & the way the struts fit in to the upper wing is awesome.

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Before fitting the upper wing to the aircraft, the undercarriage was assembled - again, it needs a little figuring out, but goes together very nicely.

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At this point disaster struck - fitting the upper wing was, for me, a nightmare - there is a small notch on the underside of the wing that fits over the supports on the front of the fuselage, the lower parts of the inner wing struts then fir into the little slots that can be seen on the upper side of the wing stubs in the previous picture. I simply couldn't get this to fit - with one wing strut fitted, I had to bend the wing on the opposite side downwards by a couple of millimetres, resulting in the fitted side eventually popping up. After much grief I finally used CA to fit the struts in place - but the fronts of the struts have set a little high, so now the joint between the wing the & the stub doesn't line up.

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Lots of tarting up to do before I'm happy with how this looks.

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I have been thinking about this one since your last post. I don't know whether you are in a position to remove the top wing and so my thoughts may be of no use. I think the problem might be that the central pylon may be on back to front. This would set the angle of attack of the upper wing at too steep an angle thus throwing your main struts out of true.

Hope that is of some help.

Martin

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I have been thinking about this one since your last post. I don't know whether you are in a position to remove the top wing and so my thoughts may be of no use. I think the problem might be that the central pylon may be on back to front. This would set the angle of attack of the upper wing at too steep an angle thus throwing your main struts out of true.

Hope that is of some help.

Martin

The problem was with the pylon - I've just found an extremely good walk-through on the Airfix tribute site. It's fitted the correct way round, but I should have filed it down so that it fitted better into the hole underneath the upper wing. The wings are pretty solid now, so I think I'll persevere with this as it is, I reckon I'll do more damage if I try to remove the wings now. ready for inspection pics will have to be from clever angles. The wings themselves are aligned with each other - both upper & lower have a slightly higher angle of attack than they should have. It's a lesson learned & one day I'll build another one. At least this will give me some good practice with the rigging.

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  • 2 months later...

well it's been a while & it's almost finished - I doubt that I'll do any more actually, I've run out of steam with this one. The rigging is mostly ez-line, a few of the lines are also done using stretched sprue. This is the first time I've tried stretched sprue & I must say it is actually easier than ez-line & a hell of a lot more satisfying.

Having completed this kit, I do feel the urge to go out & buy another one so that I can do it properly, but I am building up quite a stash of kits now, so what to do next here's my shortlist:

1/72 sopwith triplane

1/72 Sea Fury

1/72 Hurricane (old tool)

1/72 fairey Battle

1/72 Spad

1/72 focker DVII

1/48 Avro biplane

. The sun's out, there are golf courses to explore & airshows to visit, so not much modelling in this neck of the woods for a month or so. Can't wait to go to Dunsfold & see two Lancs together - I may even pop over to Shoreham the following week!

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She's turned out nicely Andy, and I do like the blu-tac method you've used. I've seen it used by many modellers and I'll use it on my 3 Swordfish.

Incidentally I see you're planning a Sea Fury...I'll wait and see when you start. There'll be many here who might be able to help...I'm about 70% through a Trumpeter offering and will be posting my progress either this week or weekend, as I too only get the spare hour here and there. (Germany Argentina final out of way, I might even get a few more hours.)

Graham

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Nice job!

This kit is certainly a huge improvement over the old Swordfish, although I'm sorry to see that despite all the new tooling, they still have panel joints the size of tram lines, and those awful strut "pairs" which mean it's almost impossible to hide the strut assembly. The only cure for that is to separate the struts, fill the slot, and attach each strut separately - a long winded process!

Ian

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  • 2 years later...

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