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Tamiya 1:48 Fairey Swordfish I  
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Tamiya 1:48 Fairey Swordfish I

The complex cockpit and internal fuselage structure is beautifully done. The seatbelt transfers should really be replace but I didn't have the time, skill, or money to do anything about it!



It is a pleasure to dry fit this kit, everything fits perfectly (apart from the issue with the wings noted later). Note the red over linen colour of the inside of the fuselage - this replicates the fabric areas which were red doped.



Once the major components were assembled, I started spraying it - the wrong colours! I thought all Swordfish were (by 1941) Sky Type S undersides, with Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey upper surfaces. The wonderful people on the Britmodeller forum helped out a lot (ta!),

As it turns out, the aircraft on the Ark Royal which were involved in the Bismarck sinking were *probably* Sky Grey (different to Sky type S) undersides and still had the earlier upper camoflage. This consisted of Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey on the upper surface of the top wing and fuselage, with the slightly lighter Dark Sea Grey and Slate Grey on the lower surfaces,

This shot shows it before I re-primed it and started again!


I can't get these colours locally (keen on supporting the local model shops!) so I ordered the required colours in Xtracrylix from Hannants in the UK. I used the Tamiya Sky Grey for the lower surfaces, These are all beautiful paints, I wish I could get them in Christchurch.

After painting and varnishing (Johnson's Future/Klear) I darkened panel lines with ink and some promodeller weathering wash.


  With four colours for the top surfaces and a large number of components that had to be painted before assembly, I found this a very complicated kit to paint.

The biggest issue came when I assembled it - there was far too much sag on the lower planes. I do not believe that the Swordfish has any anhedral on the lower wing. I definitely had the upper wing spar the correct way around!

To fix this I removed the spar (with difficulty) from the upper wing centre-section and then carefully filed the upper wing centre-section to reduce it's span. It's not quite perfect but near enough!

  Can you see the subtle difference in colours between the upper wing and the lower?

A beautiful model, and a complex and rewarding build, with some work required to make sure the lower main plane is level. I'm not sure if it is my construction error or a kit fault (unlikely). Searching the net, I am sure I am correct about the level lower plane, plus there are a lot of photos of Tamiya Swordfish with saggy lower planes!

I must finish the bomb racks and torpedo some day.


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  (c) Copyright Brian Greenwood 2011