Lindberg 1/48 Fairey Flycatcher

KIT #: 919
PRICE: $15-20 on the bay
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Dave Cummings


The Flycatcher was designed in 1922 to a Fleet Air Arm requirement for a single seat carrier fighter. An incremental improvement of WWI technology, it was powered by a 400hp Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar IV. Top speed was 133mph and it was a highly aerobatic airplane. Full span flaperons allowed a landing speed of just 47 mph. Wide chord wings allowed a short, 29 ft wing span, which facilitated shipboard operation.


Released before many of you were born. Lindberg produced a line of interwar aircraft that were nicely done for the times. Though somewhat crude by todayís standards, they none-the-less make into a fairly accurate depiction of some classic Golden Age aircraft. So, where else are you going to find a Fairey Flycatcher? I obtained the kit second hand and previously opened. It is a pretty simple kit comprising 44 parts. Molding is actually not too bad though there was some flash. The upper wing is 3 pieces with instructions to obtain the correct dihedral. The fabric over frame effect is pretty restrained for the times and looks convincing. The engine is well done with separate pushrod tubes. Interior is sparse consisting of floor, seat, instrument panel, and stick. Location of wing struts is positive easing upper wing attachment. Fit is just OK requiring some filler. Instructions are adequate and include a rigging diagram. Decals are the dry transfer type and depict an aircraft from HMS Glorious. They are well printed, but given the age of the opened box, mine were useless.


I built the kit out-of-the-box. Construction was straight forward with no surprises, except that my second hand kit was missing the pushrods. Holes for the rigging are molded as shallow dimples so required some drilling out to accommodate my particular rigging method. I painted the interior aluminum and assembled. Instrument panel black with dials picked out with a toothpick dipped in white. Nothing fancy. Then the fuselage halves glued together. Some filler was needed in dealing with the seam but it wasnít bad and no panel lines to reconstruct. Lower wings attached, a lot of filler needed here. Note when attaching the horizontal stabilizer that it floats above the fuselage on struts. The undercarriage was a bit fiddly and needed filler where attached. Cabane and wing struts glued on the lowers then placed upside down on the upper wing for strut alignment and allowed to dry. Finished gluing on all the little bits except upper wing, guns, wheels, and windshield and the airframe was ready for paint and decals.


These aircraft were in overall silver dope. For this I sprayed mine Model Master Aluminum. When dry I clear coated with Testorís Satin Clear Acrylic. The decal sheet still looked good but any attempt to use one would see it disintegrate instantly. So I copied the sheet onto white decal paper using the Testorís Decal System on a photo copier. They are not great decals being a little fuzzy and pixelated, but better than nothing. The result is one big decal so each marking must be individually cut and trimmed from the sheet. One good thing about it, if you mess one up you can just print another. Then a coat of clear was sprayed to seal the decals.


Wheels were painted with the hubs a decal matching yellow, then attached. Guns were painted and attached as was the windscreen. The upper wing was glued in place. After allowing the glue to dry overnight I rigged the model with guitar string wire cut to length. The engine was painted. The missing pushrods were cut from wire and superglued in place. The prop was painted with browns and tans to simulate wood. The engine was assembled and attached. Done.


The Lindberg Flycatcher done right out of the box it is not contest material. But it is a neat little bipe for the display case. Rigging was a wee bit challenging, but overall an easy build. Recommended for those looking to build their first biplane.


Internet surfing.

Dave Cummings

May 2019


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