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Fairey Swordfish in 1/72


Heraldcoupe
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We have a state of the art Swordfish in 1/48, and one which seems pretty good in 1/32, I was wondering which of the ancient offerings is the best starting point in 1/72. Revell have the ex-Matchbox tool on current release, and the Airfix kit is sort-of available as a club edition. The Frog tool isn't difficult to find in it's Frogspawn incarnations. I built them all in my younger years, but that was before I really cared aboutaccuracy.

So knowing that any detail is going to be scratchbuilt in any case, which one would you use? Has anyuonedone a back-to-back comparison?

Cheers,

Bill.

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Bill, there's not really a lot to choose between the three 1/72 kits. I've a soft spot for Frog kits and their Swordfish is not at all bad and has the bonus of offering a floatplane option. OTOH the Matchbox has the radar housing. If you can find one (might be difficult), the Co-operativa boxing of the Frog kit comes with some very useful looking PE and resin bits. If you can find somebody willing to split their set then the Airfix Club FAA Edition comes with some very nice decals. The kit itself is fairly typical early 1960's Airfix, although it was tarted up at some stage and scrubs up quite well with a bit of TLC.

If I can dig them all out I will try and get some sprue shots up.

peebeep

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Frog is probably the most accurate from the box, although the mould has deteriorated over the years in the various post-Frog incarnations (Probably due to all those maroon or yellow plastic bagged kits that sneaked out of USSR in the 80s!!) . However, you can pick up original Frog versions quite cheaply on the second hand market - I got one from Comet at Scalemodelworld for £4 a couple of years ago.

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I'ld go for the Matchbox kit, personally. I've got all three stashed but recently, after taking a hard look at the Airfix one, I decided to buy another Matchbox Stringbag as a replacement. The Matchbox kit is basic but the Airfix one is crude. It can certainly be built into a nice model - if you can get hold of Scale Aircraft Modelling Vol 13 No 10 (July '91), Alan Hall wrote a detailed article - but I didn't consider it would be worth the effort when the Matchbox version offers a better starting point and is cheaply available. As Peebeep says, the Frog one isn't bad and I plan to build it (some day....) as a floatplane but the detailing on the flying surfaces is a bit heavy-handed, though it might look better under a coat of paint. My kit is moulded in rather unappealing black plastic, which doesn't help.

The July '07 issue of Model Aircraft Monthly has an article by Tony O'Toole on building the Matchbox kit.

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The FROG kit is the most accurate in outline and is actually quite a nice representation - especially with the COOPERATIVA upgrade (which is made by MPM).The wings of the MATCHBOX kit seem fairly accurate, but the fuselage is too wide at the cockpit and has a really awful tadpole like appearance in plan view. However, it comes with a nice prop and better wheels than the FROG offering and it has some of the parts for a Mk II. I can't comment in detail on the Airfix kit, as I've not seen one for a while, but I remember it being fairly crude and not as good in outline as the FROG kit. I'm building A COOPERATIVA version of the FROG kit, canabalising bits of the MATCHBOX kit where necessary. Aftermarket decals are readily available.

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Quite a few years ago someone did an article in the old Scale Models mag about modelling the definitive 1/72nd Swordfish.

I can't remember who it was(Hugh Beyts,Jonathon Mock maybe??).

I certainly remember it was a combo of Frog fuselage and Matchbox wings to start with plus the best other bits from both kits.

The Froggie is certainly very nice with a bit of TLC.I did one about 15 years ago and scratched up the cockpits,modified the tin-fish,

deflected the tail feathers,added 'fish aiming bars,fully rigged it and whatever else.

Stringbag2.jpg

Mark

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Made the Airfix rendering as a nipper and remember nothing except that I was told to paint it gloss ivory...................hmm.

The Frog was a nice kit. Don't remember much about the cockpit bt recall that the raised panel and rib effect needed a sanding down at least.

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Quite a few years ago someone did an article in the old Scale Models mag about modelling the definitive 1/72nd Swordfish.

I can't remember who it was(Hugh Beyts,Jonathon Mock maybe??).

I certainly remember it was a combo of Frog fuselage and Matchbox wings to start with plus the best other bits from both kits.

The Froggie is certainly very nice with a bit of TLC.I did one about 15 years ago and scratched up the cockpits,modified the tin-fish,

deflected the tail feathers,added 'fish aiming bars,fully rigged it and whatever else.

Stringbag2.jpg

Mark

I have that article, it may have been Ray Rimell, it was certainly in the early 80s. However, they were wrong - the Matchbox wings are more nicely moulded, but they are much less accurate than the Frog ones.

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I have that article, it may have been Ray Rimell, it was certainly in the early 80s. However, they were wrong - the Matchbox wings are more nicely moulded, but they are much less accurate than the Frog ones.

It was indeed. The article also appeared on the back cover of a part-work on real aircraft that Ray contributed modelling articles to.

John

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The Ray Rimell article appeared on the back of a weekly "collect the entire series" publication called "Wings" - I still have the full set from when I was a lad. This entire thread has brought the memories flooding back....ah, happy days!!!

Mark H (LKBS)

Edited by mhaselden
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