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The Peter Buckingham Column Part 15





The Trumpeter Swordfish was coming along nicely and proving to be the most demanding build I have done to date, and in between a few bouts of 'blue air', I was actually enjoying the build very much. The fuselage, wings and tailplane have all been painted with the relevant camouflage colours, and after a brief moan about one of the P/E rigging wires being overlength, the wings have now been rigged and put to one side while I have a go at the tailplane rigging which I thought was going to be the easiest of all to do.


Wrong! The tailplane rigging of the kit comprise two 'V' shaped pieces of P/E that should fit nicely either side of the fin/rudder. Why have Trumpeter designed these parts this way? As kitted, the front and rear wires fit one in front of the other on the tailplane. This is actually incorrect. If you look at the full sized aircraft the fittings should be offset, so why not do them as separate pieces? When I tried to fit these parts as set out in the instructions there was far too much stress on the wires causing bowing, and there was no way I could fit them comfortably. Although the tailplane was painted, I decided to bite the bullet, cut the P/E into two pieces and drill a new small hole on the tailplane top surface to make a more realistic fitting with less stress on the wires. This also involved trimming the rear wire by about 1mm or so to suit the new location.



Once all the dry fitting had been carried out, superglue gel was used to stick the wires in position. When everything was to my satisfaction, some remedial filling, dressing and then re-spraying was required to get everything back onto an even keel, so to speak. Patience is definitely a virtue in these circumstances.




So, let's have a re-cap: camouflage paintwork all done, wing and tailplane rigging all done. Bearing in mind that my version is going to have the wings in the folded position, then all the final work on the fuselage must be done before the wings are put into their positions. This obviously includes the decals, tailplane and rudder control wires and weathering. With regard to the position of the control wires, then it is the decals that must be the next operation.




The Xtradecals are very good and I chose the pre-war 'brighter' version as this aircraft was built in 1939 and I was showing the aircraft at this time when it joined HMS Ark Royal. I love this part of the build as the aircraft really comes to life with the decal application. During my research on '2P', I discovered that '2P' was shown on the underside of both lower wings, but Xtradecal do not provide these! A search through my limited spares box revealed two 2's of the right size and I found 2 'R's' which I doctored to make 'P's' - job done. The decals went on very smoothly with the application of Micro Sol.




Now it was turn of the control wires for the rudder and tailplane. Having much earlier pre-drilled the fuselage for the control wires it was a simple job to thread the suitably sized braided fishing line and superglue them inside the fuselage just aft of the TAG's position. Just make sure you get the right control wire fuselage exit hole for the correct control horn on the relevant flying surface. Use reference photographs for this operation. The braided fishing line was fed through the holes in the control horns and then superglued flush. Once dry, the lines were carefully brushed with very liquid matt black acrylic.



My three final jobs on the fuselage was to fit the pilot's seat with the Eduard P/E Sutton Harness seat belt, the pilot's windscreen and finally the engine/engine cowl assembly which was my favourite part of the kit - I loved the fit of that cowl. All I had to do then was to get the huge propeller painted and decalled. As usual with yellow tipped props, I painted the tips white first as an undercoat for the yellow. Once this was done and masked, I sprayed the propeller Tamiya Nato Black which in fact is a very dark grey and, in my view, more scale like in colour. A couple of coats of Klear and the red angled line decals were placed on each blade. It looks so good!



More next week.



Peter Buckingham