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DaveyGair

FAIREY SWORDFISH Mk II *** FINISHED 23/05/2020 ***

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The Sea Hurricane's coming along a treat so I had a scan of the stash to see what I could squeeze in before the end of the GB.

I spotted Airfix's Swordfish and on opening the box it seems I bought a Pavla Mk III conversion at the time.  I was ordering some decals from Hannants for other projects and came across a set of Xtradecal's for the Swordfish. The scheme that intrigued me was NF119/X, 'Black Mischief' of 819 NAS Knokke-le-Zoute 1944. Apparently a Mk II brought up to Mk III standard with radar system installed but it still has the normal open cockpit and 3-man crew?  I can't find any info on this aircraft, can for the Sqn with a couple of period shots, but I was wondering if anyone knows anything about this particular aircraft? Where does the third man go with all that gear in the cockpit?!

I want to start this while the decals are on their way but need to know the internal layout, if it's the same as Pavla have in the instructions as there are a few changes to the kit parts.

 

Davey.

 

DSC_0014 DSC_0015 DSC_0016

 

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Could you post a picture of the decal sheet diagram so I can see which aircraft you want to built? That way I can narrow the search for images. Is this an all black aircraft?

 

 

 

Chris

 

 

 

 

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I have done a bit of looking and the Swordfish you're after was with No. 119 Squadron. This, at one time, was based at B58/Knokke le Zoute, Belgium.

 

These were overall black with red squadron codes.

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.22812667.19357527

 

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.261240909.1935752

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.40900773.64969580

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.77641619.64969580

 

 

49305318046_8cf6c8a40e_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris

 

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4 hours ago, dogsbody said:

I have done a bit of looking and the Swordfish you're after was with No. 119 Squadron. This, at one time, was based at B58/Knokke le Zoute, Belgium.

 

These were overall black with red squadron codes.

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.22812667.19357527

 

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.261240909.1935752

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.40900773.64969580

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.77641619.64969580

 

 

49305318046_8cf6c8a40e_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris

 

Morning Chris, I don't have the decals yet, you can look on the internet but when blowing up the image of the sheet it's a bit fuzzy. I came across the photos you have shown but they show aircraft with the glazed cover over the radar operators position. The sheet definitely says unmodified cockpit with 3-man crew. Also it has camo uppers, black undersurfaces.

Cheers Davey.

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You have to be careful with decal supplied histories. They can be as bad as kit supplied painting directions. Not always accurate. If/when time presents itself, I'll take a look through some books I have, to see what's there.

 

 

 

 

Chris

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1 hour ago, dogsbody said:

You have to be careful with decal supplied histories. They can be as bad as kit supplied painting directions. Not always accurate. If/when time presents itself, I'll take a look through some books I have, to see what's there.

 

 

 

 

Chris

Thanks Chris, no problem. Even if it's 'fake news' it's interesting enough for me to have go. It seems it doesn't have the squadron code either, just its identity letter X.

 

Cheers, Davey.

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Okay! After some searching and looking, here are the results:

All of the Swordfish fitted with the radar pod between the undercarriage legs also have the fairing over the forward part of the crew cockpit

All Swordfish III's have that fairing fitted even if they are not radar equipped.

All radar equipped 119 Squadron Swordfish were overall black. No upper camouflage.

The only 1/72 kit to come with that cockpit fairing is the Matchbox kit. It also has 119 Squadron decals.

 

49887723926_31edb315fa_b.jpg

 

49888035757_f76fb77389_b.jpg

 

49887208238_d6e61d7f20_o.jpg

 

49887208263_c3cf625d12_b.jpg

 

49887724041_9766980e3c_o.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Chris

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, dogsbody said:

The only 1/72 kit to come with that cockpit fairing is the Matchbox kit. It also has 119 Squadron decals.

Not so - The Co-operativa/MPM re-issue of the Frog kit comes with extra parts for the Mk III and also has 119 Sqn decals

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33 minutes ago, Dave Swindell said:

Not so - The Co-operativa/MPM re-issue of the Frog kit comes with extra parts for the Mk III and also has 119 Sqn decals

 

Ah! So it does. I've never heard of the Co-operative-MPM re-pop before. I do have a couple Eastern European redone FROG Swordfish, but they don't have any resin bits.

 

I've just checked the Pavla website and I found this. It's made for the Airfix kit.

 

http://www.pavlamodels.cz/katalogy/detail.php?k=air&m=72&c=134&styl=styly.css

 

It has the fairing to go over the forward crew station.

 

 

 

 

Chris

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11 hours ago, dogsbody said:

Okay! After some searching and looking, here are the results:

All of the Swordfish fitted with the radar pod between the undercarriage legs also have the fairing over the forward part of the crew cockpit

All Swordfish III's have that fairing fitted even if they are not radar equipped.

All radar equipped 119 Squadron Swordfish were overall black. No upper camouflage.

The only 1/72 kit to come with that cockpit fairing is the Matchbox kit. It also has 119 Squadron decals.

 

49887723926_31edb315fa_b.jpg

 

49888035757_f76fb77389_b.jpg

 

49887208238_d6e61d7f20_o.jpg

 

49887208263_c3cf625d12_b.jpg

 

49887724041_9766980e3c_o.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Chris

 

 

 

Thanks for trawling for me Chris, I've been doing the same and come up with the same result. I'm intrigued where they got the info from, I wonder if it's worth getting in touch with them 🤔. I'll put a photo of the sheet instructions when they arrive.

Many thanks,

Davey.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/12/2020 at 1:47 AM, dogsbody said:

I have done a bit of looking and the Swordfish you're after was with No. 119 Squadron. This, at one time, was based at B58/Knokke le Zoute, Belgium.

 

These were overall black with red squadron codes.

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.22812667.19357527

 

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.261240909.1935752

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.40900773.64969580

 

large_000000.jpg?_ga=2.77641619.64969580

 

 

49305318046_8cf6c8a40e_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris

 

Hiya Chris,..... if you look closely at these Swordfish you can actually see an upper surface TSS scheme with black sides and undersides. The clearer the copies,....the more it stands out. 

Edited by tonyot

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, dogsbody said:

You have to be careful with decal supplied histories. They can be as bad as kit supplied painting directions. Not always accurate. If/when time presents itself, I'll take a look through some books I have, to see what's there.

Chris

Hiya Chris,....Davey contacted me for help as I researched this one mate,...... the RN flown aircraft from 819 NAS were locally upgraded from Mk.II to Mk.III configuration and they retained their 3 man crew,...... all I can think is that the earlier radar was removed from its position under the pilots seat in the bomb aiming position and then the new kit fitted,...... the aircraft even retained their ASV Yagi antennae on the struts! 

 

Here is a D-Day aircraft of 819,....note the cockpit and the Mk.III `bulge' under the fuselage,..... this one could well have been overall black;

DSCF7977.jpg

 

And the same aircraft with `Black Mischief' in the photo below after crashing in 1945 in Belgium on take off,.....again note the cockpit and there are traces of upper surface camouflage although the upper surface of the lower wing may be black for anti glare purposes;

 

DSCF7978.jpg

I also used photos from various other books for my research,....including Ray Sturtivants `Swordfish Illustrated',..... here is a model that I made of a 819 NAS Swordfish while operating in Belgium under 2nd TAF control in 1945,....... some of the photos that I used confirm the yellow outlined wing roundels which were found on all 2nd TAF aircraft at this time;

 

Swordfish-1.jpg

Swordfish-5.jpg

 

Here is a thread that I wrote some time ago on the subject and have recently updated;

 

Sorry for taking up your thread Davey,.....I hope the info that I sent to you was OK?

Cheers

         Tony 

 

Edited by tonyot

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12 minutes ago, tonyot said:

Hiya Chris,....Davey contacted me for help as I researched this one mate,...... the RN flown aircraft from 819 NAS were locally upgraded from Mk.II to Mk.III configuration and they retained their 3 man crew,...... all I can think is that the earlier radar was removed from its position under the pilots seat in the bomb aiming position and then the new kit fitted,...... the aircraft even retained their ASV Yagi antennae on the struts! 

 

Here is a D-Day aircraft of 819,....note the cockpit and the Mk.III `bulge' under the fuselage,..... this one could well have been overall black;

DSCF7977.jpg

 

And the same aircraft with `Black Mischief' in the photo below after crashing in 1945 in Belgium on take off,.....again note the cockpit and there are traces of upper surface camouflage although the upper surface of the lower wing may be black for anti glare purposes;

 

DSCF7978.jpg

I also used photos from various other books for my research,....including Ray Sturtivants `Swordfish Illustrated',..... here is a model that I made of a 819 NAS Swordfish while operating in Belgium under 2nd TAF control in 1945,....... some of the photos that I used confirm the yellow outlined wing roundels which were found on all 2nd TAF aircraft at this time;

 

 

Sorry for taking up your thread Davey,.....I hope the info that I sent to you was OK?

Cheers

         Tony 

 

Thanks Tony, I was just about to copy and paste the results of our conversation via messages! 

I sent a message to Hannant's asking about the research and then decided to have another look at the pictures of the decal sheets on the site, which are very blurry when blown up!  It was only looking at the last page that I noticed your name so decided to give you a shout.

Anyway, thank you both for the information, this is the main thing I like about this forum, there'll always be someone with a possible answer to a question!

 

Regards, Davey.

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Posted (edited)

Further to my last,.... here is the photo of NE999/G of 819 Sqn which I used for my model,......it has the radar under the fuselage, a three man crew, the 2 man rear cockpit without the cover,...... the Albacore (RAF/RCAF?) in the background has C1 Type roundels under the wings as per 2nd TAF directives and this Swordfish would have them too,......

DSCF7979.jpg

 

Cheers,

            Tony

Edited by tonyot

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Well there ya go! I admit my Swordfish references are a bit thin. So, Davey, looks like those decals will work great with the Airfix kit. Post pictures!

 

 

 

Chris

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3 hours ago, dogsbody said:

Well there ya go! I admit my Swordfish references are a bit thin. So, Davey, looks like those decals will work great with the Airfix kit. Post pictures!

 

 

 

Chris

The same as mine then. I never bought any books in the past, just built things OOB without a care for accuracy, now it's a wonder anything gets built!  I have the Warpaint book and that's it. The Airfix kit compares well to the drawings, not that drawings are always accurate!  The Pavla radar housing is under size if the drawing is correct but I'm not about to scratch one.

Gonna start the week. The Sea Hurricane's nearing completion.

 

Davey.

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2 hours ago, DaveyGair said:

  The Pavla radar housing is under size if the drawing is correct but I'm not about to scratch one.

 

I wonder haw it compares to the housing from the Matchbox kit?

 

49892179686_abf638a3cc_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

Chris

 

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9 hours ago, dogsbody said:

 

I wonder haw it compares to the housing from the Matchbox kit?

 

49892179686_abf638a3cc_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

Chris

 

 

Seems a about the same length as the Matchbox one but doesn't have the slightly flattened portion on the bottom.  I have a plan to modify the kit part, cutting it in half between the two join lines and adding a piece to bring the length more like the drawing and then adding some at the top when joining to the fuselage to add the height.

Even Pavla's own arrangement drawing shows the radar cover more like the real thing than their own kit part!

 

Davey.

 

DSC_0001

 

DSC_0002

 

Over the 'Warpaint' drawing.

 

DSC_0003 DSC_0004 DSC_0005

 

Compare to Pavla's own drawing, which isn't to 1/72 scale just there for refernce.

 

DSC_0006

 

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Geeze! That is small. I forgot to compare the Matchbox part with the Warpaint drawing. It's hard to be smart and this good looking at the same time.

I'll check it later and get back to you.

 

 

 

Chris

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If you look closely at the radome,.... there is a sort of baffle in front of the radome.

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I've compared the Matchbox radome to the Warpaint plans and it's small, too!

 

49895966411_b254ec6a0b_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

Chris

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I'm not going to overly worry about the Radome, I am going to lengthen it but thats about it, looking at photo's of the real aircraft and finished models of the Matchbox kit it looks Ok, I just need to get that flattened bottom look.

 

Ok, so I've been getting on with this, painting up the cockpit and testing out the fit, which so far looks good.  I separated all the radar equipment boxes and scope from the mounting panels etc, that Pavla put them on.  I kept 3 boxes together,plus an individual one, the actual gubbins that powered the radar? 

Pavla have you put them in place of the observers seat, so I have put the 3 together under the pilots seat and mounted the extra box on the side of the cockpit framework, leaving room for the poor crewman to half perch on the seat!  I have to figure out where to put the scope and two boxes which were on the same mounting so gather these would have been controls the radar operator could actually touch!  These would have went under the new enclosed part of the cockpit with a new seat put in roughly where the gunner would be. I'm thinking he would be sat facing the rear with the scope in some awkward position just in front of the small bulkhead dividing his and the gunners position, any ideas? My thinking is that this would have had all sorts of cables going to the radar control boxes and would be the reason they had to modify the rear cockpit.

 

Work so far, radar gear and radio detail just picked out with dry brushing.

Still got to paint some of the other cockpit stuff as I go along.

 

Davey.

 

Radar gubbins.

DSC_0001 DSC_0002 DSC_0003 DSC_0006

 

Where do I put these?

DSC_0007

 

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Okay, I tried to find a way to mount the viewfinder and its control boxes to the rear of the observers position but there would be no way he could get in and out so I decided he would lose his seat and mount it under the floor of the pilots seat, along with the control boxes mounted over the seat. They have rigged up a leather strap for him to sit on when using the scope though!

 

Davey.

 

The scope mounted underneath the bulkhead behind the pilot. The boxes can't be seen in this shot but they are there, I did get them in!

DSC_0024

 

You can just make out the leather strap strung across the cockpit  to the rear of the observers position, you can see the scope poking out from underneath the coaming under the pilots position. Maybe should be a bit wider!

Fuselage yet to be cemented together, need to touch up some interior painting.

 

DSC_0026

 

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So, it this actually how it was done on these Swordfish or are you just doing whatever to make it fit?

 

 

 

Chris

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14 hours ago, dogsbody said:

So, it this actually how it was done on these Swordfish or are you just doing whatever to make it fit?

 

 

 

Chris

Erm, modellers licence?  The only photos of the radar scope are the Mk III with the modified cockpit, so I'm just making this up as I go along 😁.

 

Davey.

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