Book Review
Swordfish In Detail
R068 - Swordfish Mk. II & Mk. III In Detail - Photo Manual For Modelers
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

The Fairey Swordfish, affectionately known as the “Stringbag” has long been a modellers’ favourite, so it’s strange that there aren’t many really detailed reference books on the aircraft. There’s no need to worry, though, because WWP have a richly detailed volume as part of their range.

Described as a “photo manual for modellers”, Swordfish Mk.II and Mk.III In Detail by František Kořán & Martin Velek takes the form of a combined walkaround of two airframes: The Canadian Avian and Space Museum’s Mk.II, and The Imperial War Museum, Duxford’s Mk.III

The 72-page book is softbound, measuring 240x225mm, and is printed to a very high standard on high quality glossy stock. Kicking off with a brief but informative 4-page history of the aircraft, the content is really all about the photographs and, between the two machines, the Swordfish is explored in exceptional detail, both inside and out, with over 200 colour photos of the preserved airframes. The photographs are well taken and chosen, with informative English-language captions. The layout varies from one photo per page to a maximum of six, and even then they are printed large enough to pick out all the details.

The basic sections are colour-coded on the page edges, allowing quick and easy navigation to the content you require. These are:

Fuselage Details
Cockpit Details
Wing Details
Tail Detail

That doesn’t tell the full story, however, because each section is further sub-divided into a mass of topics. So, for instance, under Fuselage Details, you will find:

Engine Details - Bristol Pegasus 30
Exhaust Details
Engine Cowling Details
Oil Cooler Details
ASV Radar
Fuselage Struts and Windshield
Wing Fuselage Struts Details
Fuselage Restoration at IWM Duxford
Fuselage Underside Details

From a modelling point of view, this is undoubtedly the most detailed and useful guide to the Swordfish I’ve come across, and it offers everything you need to really go to town superdetailing. With modern high-quality kits available in all three main aircraft modelling scales, it really will be a very useful reference for any build. Focussing, as it does on the Mk. II and Mk. III, I suppose the only disappointment for some will be that there isn’t scope to cover the float-equipped Mk. I (but I don't believe there is a surviving airframe in that configuration that the authors could have photographed).

It’s great when a book inspires you to start a build, and WWP’s Swordfish Mk.II and Mk.III In Detail has already got me contemplating raiding my Stash to find the Tamiya kits in know are hiding in there! Highly recommended for anyone building a Stringbag.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Excellent quality photos covering the Mk. II and Mk. III in just the kind of detail modellers need.
Lows: It's a shame the Mk. I is beyond the scope of the book - its inclusion would have been the icing on the cake.
Verdict: This is easily the most detailed reference I've seen on the Swordfish.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: 9788087509166
  PUBLISHED: Feb 26, 2015
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Wings & Wheels!
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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright ©2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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