Print Scale 1/72 Fairey Swordfish Decals
By Matt Bittner
Since there were approximately 2400 Fairey Swordfish built, there are bound to be plenty of marking options for it. Print Scale has realized this and released this set of decals for a 1/72 kit. There is no specific model manufacturer listed, but you can be sure it was probably meant for the ultimate Swordfish kit, put out a little while ago by Airfix. There are eleven aircraft in this release:
- L2720:680 of 821 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, on board HMS Ark Royal, February 1939 (finished in overall aluminum)
- Swordfish I, K6009:912 of 822 Squadron, HMS Furious, 1937-1939 (overall aluminum)
- Swordfish I Floatplane, K5959:809, 823 Squadron, HMS Glorious 1937-1938 (overall aluminum)
- Swordfish I, K8449:649, 820 Squadron, HMS Courageous, 17 October 1938 (overall aluminum)
- Swordfish Floatplane, P4199:E8F, 702 Squadron, HMS Resolution, December 1939, Scheme 2 (which appears to be camo (Dark Green and Dark Sea Grey?) on top with Sky undersurfaces and lower fuselage sides)
- Swordfish I, L7647:4H, 820 Squadron, HMS Ark Royal, 1941, Scheme 3 (which appears to be Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey on to top with Sky undersides and lower fuselage sides)
- Swordfish II, LS274:1F of 818 Squadron, 1945, operating on the Far East, Scheme 4 (Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey tops and white bottoms and fuselage sides)
- Swordfish II, NF374:NH-M, No. 119 Squadron, RAF, based at Bircham Newton 1945 (overall black)
- Swordfish II, 816 NAS, FAA Number: S (NF243), July 1944 (quite a different finished with with camo tops, white bottoms and what could be D-Day stripes)
- Swordfish III, Part: 119 Squadron, RAF, Number NH-F (NF410), Knocke, Le Zoute, Belgium, 1945 (overall black with a yellow cowl)
- Swordfish I, L2817:T4F, 767 Squadron, Kalafrana, Malta, September 1940, Scheme 2
The decals appear nicely finished and in register. My only complaint is with the instructions. While there is a four-view profile for an overall camouflaged aircraft, there is no mention at all about what "Scheme 2", "Scheme 3" or "Scheme 4" really is. Plus, the two aircraft labeled as "Scheme 2" are different; one has camouflage that runs the entire fuselage, while the other only has camouflage on top of the fuselage with Sky fuselage sides.
If you have references for the Swordfish for how these schemes look, then use them. If you don't, you'll definitely need to find some to help show how these schemes differed and how they were applied. Even with my caveat, I still am glad I have these to use.
Many thanks to Print Scale for the review sheet.