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Fairey Swordfish Mk.I

Trumpeter, 1/32 scale

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: Trumpeter Kit Number 03207 - Fairey Swordfish Mk.I
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: 190 parts in total; 9 clear parts for canopy, windows and lights plus clear duplicate fuselage sprue; three vinyl tyres; photo-etched rigging; markings for two aircraft
Price: Around AUD$129.00 (equivalent to around USD$114.00), distributed in Australia by J.B. Wholesalers
Available through specialist hobby shops worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: High quality mouldings; includes option of clear fuselage halves; straightforward engineering and simple parts breakdown; optional position elevators and rudder; thin, clear transparent parts; includes photo-etched rigging
Disadvantages: Red of decals is too bright for the wartime marking shade.
Conclusion: Trumpeter's 1/32 scale Swordfish should be no more difficult to build than the 1/48 scale kit, and it will be big and impressive when finished.

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


Trumpeter's 1/32 scale Swordfish Mk. I is available online from Squadron
 

Background

 

The Fairey Swordfish entered service with the British Fleet Air Arm in 1936. By the outbreak of World War Two the big biplane already seemed obsolete compared to its contemporaries.

The maximum speed offered by its 690 horsepower Bristol Pegasus engine was a stately 139 miles per hour. Its defensive armament was basic, to say the least - one forward-firing fixed .303 machine gun and one Lewis gun mounted in the rear cockpit.

The Swordfish carried an impressive range of offensive armament, including one 1,610-lb. torpedo or up to 1,500 lb. of depth charges, mines and bombs. The Swordfish Mark II could also carry up to eight rockets.

The Swordfish was a versatile aircraft that could be equipped with either wheels or floats. It was the subject of many daring and successful actions including the sinking of the Bismarck. Land-based Swordfish based in Malta sank around 50,000 tons of German and Italian shipping every month.

The last Swordfish squadron was disbanded on 21 May 1945. A total of 2,391 of these remarkable aircraft were manufactured.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Trumpeter has released a 1/32 scale Swordish Mk.I

For such a big model the parts count is surprisingly modest. Trumpeter's 1/32 scale Swordfish comprises just 190 parts in total; 9 clear parts for canopy, windows and lights; three vinyl tyres; photo-etched rigging and markings for two aircraft.

 

  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
  • 1/32 Trumpeter Swordfish Mk.I Review by Brett Green: Image
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Perhaps the most obvious thing when you open the box is the clear fuselage sprue. This is also duplicated in grey plastic. You can choose the clear parts if you want to display every aspect of the the very well detailed three-man cockpit.

Surface detail is really very nice with fabric texture represented plus recessed panel lines and fastener detail where appropriate.

A few ejector pin marks are present on the inner surfaces of some parts, but these will be invisible once the model is assembled. The remainder of the model is totally free of flash, sinkmarks or other imperfections.

The engine is largely visible from the front and the back views and the kit's powerplant is appropriately busy.

The cockpit is also very detailed. Structural detail on the fuselage interior is complemented by the separate tubular cockpit frame in which the nicely rendered detail is suspended. Trumpeter has supplied a colour decal for instrument dials to apply to the rear of the clear instrument panel. This should work well.

Wings may be displayed at full span or fully folded. Don't expect to see masses of plumbing and hinge detail - the Swordfish wingfold was simple in the extreme. Ailerons are fixed in the neutral position but the rudder and elevators are poseable.

Vinyl tyres are supplied, but hopefully the after-market will come to the rescue with resin replacements at some stage soon. In the meantime, the tread pattern on the main wheels is quite crisp, and the only seam is very feint on the tail wheel.

 

 

A torpedo is supplied, but no rockets or bombs are included.

The transparencies are clear, thin and free of distortion.

 

 

I was very pleased to see that Trumpeter has included photo-etched rigging for the kit. Installation is described in the comprehensive construction booklet.

 

 

Despite this model's size, overall engineering is simple, sensible and conventional. The mounting points for the struts are robust, and the struts themselves are quite simple.

Markings are supplied for two aircraft.

 

 

The decals are nicely in register, but the red is too bright for the wartime marking colour.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Trumpeter seems to have used their "A" Team again for this 1/32 scale Swordfish.

It is well detailed, with apprpriate surface features and appears to be accurate. Detail is good too.

Trumpeter's 1/32 scale Swordfish Mk.I should be no more difficult to build than Tamiya's 1/48 scale kit - in fact the parts count of the Trumpeter kit is smaller than Tamiya's - and it will be big and impressive when finished.

Nice effort.

Thanks to J.B. Wholesalers for the sample

Text and Images Copyright 2009 by Brett Green
Page Created 7 October, 2009
Last updated 7 October, 2009

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