1/48 SMER Swordfish

by David Harvey



This is the 1/50 Smer Swordfish floatplane that I made for the SPASM display at the Melbourne Expo in 2010. The kit is very basic and very old as well but with a bit of work and plastic card it turned out not too bad.

The images

The build was a series of experiments for me on scratchbuilding and fixing a very old kit. As I received the kit for free and only needed to get it into a presentable condition for Expo I didn't want to get too involved with the corrections nor spend too much money on after market items. I purchased the Aeroclub correction set for the Swordfish which contributed the propellor to replace the poor kit item.

The floats were just a blob of plastic so I sanded them back to the bare float shape and then rebuilt them using thin card strips to get the correct look of them. The fuselage went together ok but need a fair amount of filler to get it right whilst the interior received a small amount of scratchbuilt items to give it a little bit of a busy look. Once the fuselage was together I had to mount the floats but unfortunately the kit mounts were mostly a waste of time as they were way too long. I ended up using parts of the kit items but trimmed them right back, adjusted the angles then used some copper wire to make the attachment points to the floats. The forward mounts were also in an incorrect position so I filled in the hole and moved it to a more correct spot. Due to the need to attach the wings and rig them I decided not to attach the float mounts till after the rigging was completed.

As I had never done rigging before I was experimenting in methods on how to achieve the look I was after. Of course not all things went to plan as the struts were totally incorrect in length and needed correcting prior to fixing the upper wing. I ended up attaching the complete lower wings and only the inner section of the upper wing. Once the glue was dry I drilled the holes and rigged them with Ez-Line that I obtained from Red Roo Models, then I fitted the top section of the wing.

The engine was VERY basic but once again I did not wish to spend to much time on it as it was getting close to Expo time. I ended up just adding a bit of plastic rod to represent the braces(?) in the cowl area. Despite it being a very simple job it made the engine look much better.

Once the rigging was done I carefully attached the floats by supergluing the back struts and adjusting the sit of the front mounting point until I had the right 'look' to the aircraft.

Once all the construction was done I brush painted it to represent the pre-war scheme and added some decals made for the Tamiya kit. The decals didn't fit too well due to the different scales of the Tamiya and the Smer kits but they ended up going on well enough. It is a very plain paint scheme but I reckon it looks good as is.



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