Saturday, December 26, 2009

John Ratzenberger's Frog 1/72 Fairey Swordfish I

My fourth and last (as in the paint completely dried the day before I had to mail it) build for Telford -- this requested to be in the float version. I already had this kit in the stash because of my large 'silver wings' collection. The floats were dictated, I selected the 'tween war 'silver wings' scheme.

All in all, it is a nice kit. The raised panel lines are a bit much so I knocked them down slightly. The 3 crew members make/cover up for the lack of cockpit detail. It builds fairly nicely, with just two major problem areas. First, the outer wing panel tabs don't fit well into the center section slots. After opening the slots up a bit, then the tabs and slots had insufficient mating surface and were very weak. On the second try, I got everything aligned and then poured in superglue. Unfortunately the left lower wing slipped slightly.

The second problem is the floats. The kit has you glue the strut assembly into the float then glue each to the fuselage and wings. The glue joint on the fuselage/wings isn't great, but worse than that the floats were canted outboard. I had to carefully saw/cut the struts where then joined to the floats and bend the floats inward, breaking a strut or two off the fuselage/wings. I needed four hands, but substituted tape and superglue and a long drying spell. Needless to say, they didn't dry exactly straight, so it looks as if they had a hard catapult or landing. Last step was the rigging with steel wire.

Paint is Tamiya Gloss Aluminum rattle-can with Humbrol for details. The decals are right out of the kit box, went on like a charm, and settled nicely with MicroSol and MicroSet. I finished it off with Mr SuperCoat Semi-Gloss, something that really makes 'silver wings' look good, in my opinion.

With the crew hiding the empty cockpits, an in-flight display was a natural -- not to mention it's where a Stringbag belongs. The kit looks good and it's my favorite of the 4 builds.