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Fairey Swordfish [Unofficial GB]; 815NAS "L4A" at Taranto, 11th November 1940


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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...

 

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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.

 

 

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Mark,

 

You beat me to the drop by about 20min, but may I be the first to congratulate you on a superb build. The Tamiya kit is without parallel, but your treatment and the subject take it to another level, Great work sir, and thanks for planting the seed for the build. Lest we forget,

 

Cheers,

 

Roger

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10 hours ago, mark.au said:

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...

 

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

spacer.png

 

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.

 

 

Another nice strigbag.

 

Alain

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11 hours ago, Dunny said:

You beat me to the drop by about 20min, but may I be the first to congratulate you on a superb build. The Tamiya kit is without parallel, but your treatment and the subject take it to another level, Great work sir, and thanks for planting the seed for the build. Lest we forget,

 

11 hours ago, bigbadbadge said:

What a lovely Swordfish Mark, you have done a great job with the Tamiya kit and in leading the Unofficial GB  too, it was great to be a part of it it was very enjoyable and a wonderful tribute. Lest we Forget.


Thanks for joining in gents, when you both started your Stringbags it added a ton of personal value and enjoyment to my own build.

 

11 hours ago, mahavelona said:

That's amazing!

 

Thank you!

 

7 hours ago, Maginot said:

Superb timing with the completion and post. Nice work on the auxiliary fuel tank. My Grandfathers served in WW1. Lest we forget.


I actually finished it a couple of months ago but saved the RFI for today.  It seemed apt, and besides, it gave Roger and Chris time to complete so we could post our RFIs together.

 

1 hour ago, MACALAIN said:

Another nice strigbag.

 

Alain


Cheers, I’m happy to be in their company.

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1 hour ago, mark.au said:


Thanks for joining in gents, when you both started your Stringbags it added a ton of personal value and enjoyment to my own build.

 

This is why we are here. The enrichment that this brings to my life is beyond monetary value. Thank you too!

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Beautiful building as always Mark. This one is still in my bookmarks of 'how to build sharp and clean and yet make it look real'. That drybrushing on the black distemper is wonderful effect.

 

Thanks for cajoling this miniGB into existence, it's been a real treat seeing so many excellent modellers build the good old stringbag.

 

Andy

:poppy:

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You know you try to do WWII aircraft because there isn't the rigging needed to be done as with WWI aircraft.  And then you run into the Swordfish.  Such a well done kit from the actual build itself , to the rigging, a magnificent paint scheme, and subtle and sublime weathering creating a wonderful presentation of this specific Swordfish for a specific mission.  Thank you for sharing.

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8 hours ago, mark.au said:

Thanks for joining in gents, when you both started your Stringbags it added a ton of personal value and enjoyment to my own build.

Was a very enjoyable experience watching everyone's builds, a great subject and as Roger said very enriching personally.   This community of ours is worth it's weight in gold.  Now what's next?😉😄

Chris

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18 hours ago, Winded Penguin said:

This looks like a particularly nice kit, and you've done spectacular justice to it, as you always manage to do Mark. Just lovely 👍

 

Thanks WP, very kind.  The kit is spectacular, I can't recommend it highly enough - it's [still] a state-of-the-art model.

 

13 hours ago, Sky Keg said:

Wow!!!! That is real nice!!!!! :yahoo:

 

Mike

 

Cheers, very kind.

 

12 hours ago, Ngantek said:

Beautiful building as always Mark. This one is still in my bookmarks of 'how to build sharp and clean and yet make it look real'. That drybrushing on the black distemper is wonderful effect.

 

Thanks for cajoling this miniGB into existence, it's been a real treat seeing so many excellent modellers build the good old stringbag.

 

Andy

:poppy:

 

It's funny because the GB came about through some lighthearted banter which I later checked with the guys to make sure I wasn't being annoying...!

 

10 hours ago, georgeusa said:

You know you try to do WWII aircraft because there isn't the rigging needed to be done as with WWI aircraft.  And then you run into the Swordfish.  Such a well done kit from the actual build itself , to the rigging, a magnificent paint scheme, and subtle and sublime weathering creating a wonderful presentation of this specific Swordfish for a specific mission.  Thank you for sharing.

 

Biplanes are still a phobia but they do give a great deal of satisfaction when done.  Having the Tamiya PE set did aid considerably though it posed its own challenges.

 

8 hours ago, AliGauld said:

She's a corker Mark,

Thanks for the opportunity to witness this and join in however slowly.

 

Cheers,

Alistair

 

 

Mate, you're keeping it alive for us all as your Stringbag comes together.

 

6 hours ago, wellsprop said:

Superb Swordfish :)

6 hours ago, cardiff guy said:

Great work, very nice indeed.

 

Thanks gents, much appreciated.

 

If you're squeamish, look away, you might see grown men squirm as they contemplate NMF...

 

 

 

 

 

10 hours ago, bigbadbadge said:

Now what's next?😉😄

 

5 hours ago, AliGauld said:

A Sunderland perchance. :whistle:

 

Cheers,

Alistair

Now going off to my pit before any replies.

 

VLR... Deadline is April 7.   😉

 

 

 

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