The Trumpeter kit arrives in an impressive box jam-packed with plastic. The parts are all cleanly moulded in pale grey styrene, with an extra set of fuselage components in clear plastic. The windscreen and some other smaller clear parts, the vinyl tyres and a sheet of photo-etched stainless steel rigging wires are protected in a second box, while the decals and instructions are carefully included in the bottom of the packaging, so the instructions protect the decals. Trumpeter is clearly a manufacturer who cares about their product.
The plastic parts themselves are very neatly formed, and the fuselage especially captures the shape and ‘texture’ of the real machine. I was less impressed with the flying surfaces however, as the rib tapes and ‘sagging cloth’ between the ribs appears very overdone. Looking at a real Swordfish, indeed any fabric covered aircraft will show the dope applied to the fabric pulls it drum tight, and the furrowing is only slightly evident towards the forward part of the wing surface. This will be a major job to refine, if it is going to look realistic.
The cockpit area is a very busy construction, capturing the look of the real crew compartments very well, but it will benefit from some refinements and a number of missing fittings and equipment being included. There are several accessory sets on the market so they will be included during construction. More details on the Accessories Used page.
The engine is well moulded but simplified, so it will be replaced with a Vector cast resin item which has much finer cooling fins. It will still need some additions and modifications to make it look like the real thing and some corrective work to fit it into the kit cowling.
The Mk II version of the Swordfish kit includes a lot of ordnance, GP bombs, AS bombs, rockets and some flares and smoke floats, stores carriers as well as the 18 inch torpedo included in the Mk I kit. Again, some of these have been simplified to make the parts eject from the moulds easily, such as the rocket rails, while others, such as the bombs, are just not a very convincing shape. I will be replacing these with my own ordnance models, although I haven’t yet decided on which particular aircraft I will be modelling, or the weapons it will be carrying.
There are plenty of other improvements that can be made to the model, separating the control surfaces, modelling the Handley Page automatic slats so they are extended, adding the various ASV aerials missed from the kit, as well as lots of surface details and other fittings.
Any comments or suggestions always welcome, do please e-mail me and we can compare notes.