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Airfix 1/72nd Fairey Swordfish MkI

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Fairey Swordfish MkI, K8393/E5A flown by Captain Oliver Patch RM and Lieutenant David G Goodwin RN, No 824 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, HMS Eagle.




No 824 Squadron was originally part of HMS Eagle's air group in the Mediterranean, and was transferred to HMS Illustrious just before taking part in Operation Judgement, the attack against the Italian fleet at Taranto, Italy, 11/12 November 1940. Operation Judgement was itself part of a larger series of operations under the codename Operation MB8. It's a complex story, best read on the Wikipedia page.




The Swordfish, nicknamed the Stringbag for its ability to carry almost anything rather like the 1940s housewives' string bag, really needs no introduction. If you are unfamiliar with the aircraft, perhaps a start with the Wikipedia entry would be a good primer for you


The new tool (albeit nearly a decade old now!) Airfix kit needs some effort, but makes up into a tidy scale representation of the classic biplane. I was lucky to acquire this particular boxing containing the Taranto raid markings as a secondhand purchase from a fellow Britmodeller. I added a photo etched rigging set from SBS Models, but otherwise the kit is built out of the box. 






I had been anticipating this build for some time, being a bit worried at the parts count and, well, it's a biplane. I felt it would make a good entry into the High Wing Group Build, and so the die was cast. I needn't have worried, as the kit was well thought through, and built up with very little trouble if you take your time over it. If you want to see the WIP thread, the link is below.


As well as the aftermarket rigging set, I used the kit transfers, ColourCoats enamels for the main camouflage, and Humbrol acrylics and enamels for the detail painting. I have one or two more models to build to complete this part of my Fleet Air Arm 1940 collection, though I have yet to acquire a Sea Gladiator.





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Heather, that marvellous. Great  photography as well. I always  look forward to your presentations because you always seem to capture the......I  don't know the essence of the  subject?


To  me it's flawless. 

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11 hours ago, dolphin38 said:

Great looking Stringbag :thumbsup:


11 hours ago, bigbadbadge said:

Lovely job on this  looks cracking.


9 hours ago, Spitfire31 said:

She looks much bigger than 1:72nd. Very convincing model!

Cheers all! The Swordfish is not a small plane, but Airfix did a fab job in capturing the look.


9 hours ago, dogsbody said:

Wow! That has turned out great!

I am very happy with it. It’s sat in the cabinet next to a Blackburn Roc, which is also a big plane. The Navy really liked their planes on the large side.


8 hours ago, noelh said:

To  me it's flawless. 


Not quite flawless, but I’m definitely getting better. It’s my paint finishing I really need to work on. 


7 hours ago, Procopius said:

I went out and bought a Swordfish after reading your build thread.


Thanks Ed! There’s a joke in there about aquariums, but I can’t find it. I leave you to choose the rigging, but I do recommend the SBS Models set.

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7 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

Beautiful job on the Stringbag, Heather. What's your opinion on the photoetch rigging?

Thanks Bill! The rigging? I like it. It ain’t cheap, but it’s designed for the job. I usually find I need to adjust lengths of parts occasionally, by fractions of a millimetre, where my building doesn’t quite match the exacting standards SBS expect. It isn’t always required to drill pilot holes, though it does help sometimes. I also like there are usually some little extras included, such as a pilot gunsight ring in this case. 

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