A 100"

Fairey Swordfish

build log
(page 2)



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  The painting has started and as usual I am using water based latex paints.....they are lighter than most anything else, clean, cheap and a very user-friendly medium to use. Silver is the most difficult of all colors to paint.....it tends to show up all the small defects and blemishes much more than the other colors. After a lot of testing Icould not find a silver that I liked. I ended up mixing my own  artist's silver powder into fuel proof water based urethane. The resulting silver paint is beautiful clearcoated and covers in two light coats. The decals are waterslide and made on my computer.

At this point all of the wings and tailfeathers are completed and waiting to be assembled back into the rigging jig.


   Here is the start of the torpedo.....Almost a yard long!!. I researched the style of torpedo used on the Swordfish and created a drawing to build the thing. It is simply constructed with balsa bulkheads and sheeting. I had to soak the 1/16" balsa sheeting in windshield washer fluid to get it to bend to shape. The nose piece is blue foam. The whole thing will be fibreglass coated which should make it strong enough to withstand actually dropping it. I will pick up a couple of boat propellers and affix the tailfins next.

Here's the finished product.....it weighs a little over eight ounces.....



And here is the rough cowling just as it popped out of the mould.....now for some more sanding, filling and painting.

                   Only 4-1/2 ounces!!

It looks quite close to the real one!!

Here is the fabrication of the engine cowling.....I started with a wooden plug turned on a lathe for me by my friend Len Box. This is sprayed with high solids primer and sanded  and polished to a high finish. A two-piece fibreglass mould is made from the plug. This is done in a temporary box  as shown below.....first the top side and then the lower half. The result is a two-piece febreglass mould The final cowling will in turn be made from the two-piece mould and I can make as many as  I wish. The cowling on the Swordfish looks very vunerable sitting out front like that.....I will probably need another one sooner or later.





The painting of the rear fuselage was a complex masking project with so many overlapping colors but it turned out quite well. The bright sunlight the lower photo makes the colors look brighter than they really are.....they are actually quite a good match.

The tailwheel with oleo is from Hobby King.


October 2017.....This is the slowest build that I have ever done.....ten months and not done yet!!


The wings have been set up in a jig while the struts and rigging was completed in order to keep everything true. Here thr folding wings  can be seen.



more to come.....

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