Airfix 1/72 Fairey Swordfish II






One generic aircraft


Bill Michaels


This is a real oldie



With the recent releases of the Tamiya Swordfish in 1/48 scale, there has been a lot of good information written about the aircraft.   If you want more info about the Swordfish, see one of the excellent reviews of the Tamiya kit here on MM or elsewhere.



Years ago, I built one of these kits, because I wanted a Swordfish in 1/72 and it was the only one on the local shop’s shelves.   I’ve recently completed a Tamiya Swordfish, so I’ve learned a lot about what the old “Stringbag” should look like.  With that in mind, I decided to take another look at one of the old kits in my basement stash.

 This is one of Airfix’s older kits, I believe.  I would describe it as typical “old Airfix” —a relatively easy to build model that looks like the prototype, with limited detail.  The box image I have is old—the kit has been released recently in the newer style Airfix blue box.

 The model is molded in white plastic.   Detailing consists of raised panel lines and rivets, and an engraved fabric effect.  There are 55 parts.  Detailing on the fuselage is actually not bad, and is not overdone like the wings.  I’ve taken a close up of the fuselage oil cooler to show what the fuselage looks like.

 The fuselage has raised panel, rivet and fabric detail.  There is no interior, except for a place to put the instrument panel decal.   Two aircrew figures are included—a pilot and a gunner.  (There is no observer figure.)  Cockpit detail consists of a machine gun on a simple mount, and a couple of plastic shelves for the figures to sit on.  The figures are not some of Airfix’s better efforts—they looked a bit flattened, and detail is not very sharp.

No windscreen is provided.  Also, the fuselage is missing the lower side windows.

 The engine and cowl are a single molding.  The cylinder detail is somewhat “glob-ish”.  The cowl has a depression or big sink marks around the ring that will need some putty to fill.  The long exhaust of the Mk II is provided.

 The top and bottom wings are each molded in upper and lower pieces.  Gluing these pieces together makes a one-piece wing.  (Building a folded wing version would require some cutting.)  The wing rib effect is overdone—the “peaks and valleys” effect.  Also, the trailing edges are thick compared to typical Revell or Monogram kits form the same era.

 The model comes with a torpedo and underwing rockets.  The rocket launcher rails are molded onto a plate that is supposed to represent the metal plate that was installed to protect the fabric from the effect of launching the rockets.  The effect is very crude, and you get these overscale launch rails on a sheet of armor plate.  (At least the rockets are molded separately.)

 Parts are generally fairly well molded, with some flash on the smaller parts.   

 The instructions are on both sides of a half sheet of A4 sized paper.  Assembly instructions are in the pictorial style.  The Aircraft history, general instructions, and finishing instructions are printed in English, French, and German. 

 The decals include basic markings only.  They look to be rather thick, but are printed in register.  The small decal sheet offers markings for one aircraft.  No information is given about when or where the aircraft served.  Colors are given by name and Humbrol number.  The color scheme given is for an aircraft with a white fuselage, and “slate grey M2 ” and “green M3.”   There are some nice Fleet Air Arm decal collections available, which include Swordfish aircraft. 


 Conditionally Recommended, with reservations.   This is an old Airfix kit—don’t expect any more from it.   This is definitely a model from the 1960s, and not from today.   I recently did previews of the Revell P-39 and the Monogram Curtis Goshawk, which are also kits from the same era.  Compared head to head with  those kits, the Airfix kit is just not as good.  I’m told that the old Frog kit, which is available under a couple of different eastern European labels, is a better kit….

 Review kit courtesy of my wallet.



Tamiya 1/48 scale Swordfish kit

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