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Mr T

1954- The Supermarine Swift enters service

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I was born in February 1954, 11 days before the first Swift F.1 entered service with 56 Sqn. Much has been written about the Swift, a lot of it not terribly complimentary and it did have a number of flaws that made it unsuitable as an interceptor. The F.1 lacked manoeuvrability at the altitudes it was expected to fight at.  Handling was made even worse by the insistence by the RAF on a four gun armament in the F.2. Low speed handling when landing was poor and there were issues around its ease of maintenance. The F.2 entered service in August 1954 and that is what i am intending to build. The F.1 and 2 were withdrawn in March 1955 and any effort to turn the Swift into a useable fighter were abandoned, despite the appearance of the F.4 that addressed a lot of the shortcomings of the Swift.

However, all was not lost as the Swifts low level performance was good and it was solidly built. This made it a suitable replacement for the Meteor FR9 in the fighter reconnaissance role which it fulfilled with 2 and 79 Sqns in RAF Germany as the FR5, the subject of the RAF 1/72nd scale kit   

I built an F.2 about 32 years ago by carving up the Pegasus 1/72nd FR5 kit (the plastic was that thick!), but the model was damaged beyond repair in a house move and so the arrival of the Airfix kit and the Freightdog conversion set enabled me to think about building another one. This Group Build has spurred me to take the kits out of the stash and get them built. The two reference books shown give, in my opinion, a fairly balanced view of the life and times of the Swift and I am eager to start.  

48423931537_f687404f42_k_d.jpg

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Despite its shortcomings a lovely looking aeroplane. What markings scheme will it be in?

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 Camouflaged with 56 Sqn markings, the conversion kit has appropriate decals 

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An excellent choice and it'll be great to back date this one to F.2 standard with the aid of the conversion set. I've got the standard kit in the stash and watching this one come together may just entice me to start mine as well. Thanks for choosing to build this kit here and I'm glad that this GB gave you the motivation to do so. 

 

Cheers and warm welcome.. Dave 

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I have the same conversion set, but I'm too terrified to attempt it. God go with you.

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Come and admire the Swift FR5 at Tangmere Military Avaiation Museum. It is WK281 of 79 Squadron. A very handsome machine.

 

John

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13 hours ago, Procopius said:

I have the same conversion set, but I'm too terrified to attempt it. God go with you.

I must admit to a certain degree of trepidation in tackling the cutting. I have made this my first task and so far cut the fuselage in the places the instructions indicate. It has worked surprisingly well and the new nose and tail match up well on a test fit. I used a Taimya scriber tool to deepen the panel lines before cutting with a fine tooth razor saw. Going to do the wing, which is a little more scary. I reckon on marking out the cut and using the scriber to create a good line for a razor saw to follow. I will put pictures on when I have done. Only had one mishap when Wilf the cat came jumped up as he wanted attention (ie food) 

I note you live in the States and you have my sympathy for the terrible events of the last 24 hours. 

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As promised here are some pictures of the Swift with the cuts made for the conversion parts, apart from one wing half. Looking at what I have cut off to replace with resin , I now begin to realise how much of the Swift was altered to try and make a workable fighter as the FR5 was initially built from uncompleted Swift F.4 airframes. I am quite pleased how so far the new parts match the old. a wing has not bee fully tested yet as parts of the wing are quite fragile and i plan on adding the new resin wing panels to the under wing section as soon as I have cut them off their casting mounts to reduce the risk of damage.

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Now I have got that sorted i plan on starting the 'normal' part of the kit 

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On 8/4/2019 at 8:26 AM, jaw said:

 

Come and admire the Swift FR5 at Tangmere Military Avaiation Museum. It is WK281 of 79 Squadron. A very handsome machine.

 

John

A bit far for me, but I have seen the Swift at the Newark Air Museum, most recently after watching the 100 anniversary flypast practice when I went  on my way home, a very pleasant afternoon and the shop was worth looking in. 

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Those wing cuts are what terrify me the most.

 

On 8/4/2019 at 10:22 AM, Mr T said:

I note you live in the States and you have my sympathy for the terrible events of the last 24 hours. 

I'm sorry to say that such things are unfortunately so common here, and we're so unlikely to do anything to change that, that they don't really register for me that much these days. Monstrous, isn't it?

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Very impressive surgery there - nicely done.

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The conversion kit instructions give clear guidance about cutting the wings. I found measuring the cutting part at several places and then running a blade along a steel rule gave a good guide to using a scriber to make a deeper cut. A bit of breath holding is also involved. 

Edited by Mr T
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34 minutes ago, Mr T said:

The conversion kit instructions give clear duidance about cutting the wings. I found measuring the cutting part at several places and then running a blade along a steel rule gave a good guide to using a scriber to make a deeper cut. A bit of breath holding is also involved. 

Sounds good, however I think mine will be an FR.5! Vanilla all the way. 😀

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Excellent progress and a good start to this conversion. I’m sure you’ll get the best out of this project and entice a few more modellers to have a go. 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

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Progress has all of a sudden slowed owing to me being in A&E at the Leeds General Infirmary at half four this morning with a severe nose bleed. It stopped, only to start again, although not as bad at lunchtime. We are supposed to be going away for the weekend and so holding my breath. Completely p****d off with it as have to rest while it all settles. My Frog Group Build is also affected and annoyed as Hotspur is on the point of being finished 🏥🤧🛏️

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Hope it stays stopped and stays away for the weekend Mr T :) 

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Hope you recover quickly Mr.T, modelling can always wait until your health improves however it’s such a pain when that happens. Get well soon.

 

 Cheers.. Dave 

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Progress on every thing stalled. This is being written from my hospital bed as bled again and admitted this evening. Currently have an inflatable device the  🛏️ of a Zeppelin up my left nostril. Trying to distract myself on the hope I can sleep as a bit painful. 🏥🎈📈🛏️🤧

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Thanks for your good wishes. Not keen on knockout drops these days. Hopefully it will be sorted soon. 

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Get well soon - doesn't sound like much fun.

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Sorry to hear the bad health news Mr.T.  Rest up and take in all the hospital care can offer. Wishing you a speedy recovery and a fast return to the modelling bench.

 

 Cheers.. Dave 

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Thanks for your good wishes. They have taken the Zeppelin out of my left nostril and are going to let me go home as they have identified and treated the bleeding point (queue jokes about being a right little bleeder).Weird as the consultant I am under remembered me when he was a junior doctor and reg/senior reg when I was a staff and then charge nurse on an ENT ward. 

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Glad to hear that you're on the mend and on the way home.  Also looking forward to resumption of work on the Swift: I've also got the Alley Cat conversion but I'm a bit trepid about hacking big chunks off the wings; manual dexterity is not one of my strong points. 

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Thanks for the kind words. Am home now and going to have an early night I think despite the lure of the modelling space. 

My cutting is usually a bit rubbish which is why I used a Tamiya/Ofla engraver to go along the panel lines indicated and to make a  good cutting path for  a razor saw. The Airfix plastic is  not as brittle as some so was OK. The resin is nice and could be cut the same way which reduces the potential dust. All credit to Alleycat (who did the moulds) and Freightdog to try and make what are extensive changes a bit more manageable. 

Edited by Mr T
Revised some content

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