Oddly enough, one of the most successful torpedo bomber designs of World War Two was one of the oldest. Far more ancient in appearance than the Japanese Kate torpedo bomber or the excellent Grumann TBF Avenger of 1942 and thereafter, the Fairey Swordfish torpedo bomber was an echo of the 1920s. With a biplane design, fixed landing gear and open cockpits for its three man crew, the String Bag looked to be more comfortable in a World War One setting than World War Two. Nonetheless the Swordfish attack on the Italian Fleet at the harbor of Taranto in 1940 crippled the Regia Marina and became the pattern for Admiral Yamamotto's Pearl Harbor attack plan one year later. The Bismarck would have probably made it to the safety of Brest without the torpedo strike on her stern by a Swordfish. Although the Fleet Arm Arm had been handicapped in the interwar years by inefficient obsolete designs, the Swordfish was one such design that excelled in spite of design deficiencies. 

By now most modelers are probably aware that Heller of France has again released the 1:400 scale kit of the British light aircraft carrier Colossus and the French version, Arromanche. If you are building an RN version, what aircraft will grace your decks? Thanks to L'Arsenal you can now equip any RN carrier in 1:400 scale with superb multi-media Swordfish. With L'Arsenal set AC400-29 you will receive resin and photo-etch parts to build five Fairey Swordfish. Four will be built into the aircraft with the wings extended for flight operations and one with wings folded for storage. 


Resin Parts
Sword3233eresin.JPG (22318 bytes) Sword3236fus.JPG (21241 bytes)
Sword3235pro.JPG (10251 bytes) Sword3237torp.JPG (32811 bytes) Sword3238wheels.JPG (21369 bytes)

The resin parts include five beautifully done fuselages, wheels and even five torpedoes, so your Swordfish can go after those axis battleships. Everything is wonderfully done on the fuselage piece, including clearly defined engine cowling, exhaust and deep open cockpits, The wheels even having hubs.


Photo-Etch Parts
Sword3239fret.JPG (28050 bytes) Sword3245uwing.JPG (15169 bytes) Sword3249uwing.JPG (11863 bytes)
Sword3246lwing.JPG (15678 bytes) Sword3244fwing.JPG (17996 bytes) Sword3241tail.JPG (18859 bytes)
Sword3243brace.JPG (26218 bytes) Sword3247lgear.JPG (20286 bytes) Sword3242tfin.JPG (21676 bytes)

Although the resin parts excel in quality, they are outnumbered by the wealth of photo-etch detail that is packed into this set. L'Arsenal includes a stainless steel photo-etch fret that contains parts for upper wings and lower wings with four sets extended and one set folded. The smaller parts include wing to wing braces, fuselage to wing braces, landing gear struts, tail wheels, tail planes, propellers and even torpedo fins. The stainless steel wings will give you extraordinary thinness that can't be duplicated in resin and yet still have relief etched detail for the three dimensional look. One small folding sheet provides clear and concise instructions in English text and photographs, as the assembly of the aircraft is straight forward. 


Instructions
Sword3250inst1.JPG (29125 bytes) Sword3251inst2.JPG (16726 bytes) Sword3252inst2a.JPG (10158 bytes) Sword3253inst2b.JPG (11204 bytes)

L'Arsenal set AC400-29 provides such fine resin and photo-etch parts for the 1:400 scale Fairey Swordfish that you'll be tempted to build theses miniature bombers for their own sake. Since they are Swordfish and from L'Arsenal you certainly can build these without any sense of guilt from straying from the purity of naval construction. Your greatest problem, however, will be finding more warship kits in 1:400 scale for you to greatly supplement with these gems.

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