Avenger / Tarpon Mk.I
Sword, 1/72 scale
u m m a r y
|Description and Catalogue Number:
Sword Kit No. 72137 - Grumman Avenger / Tarpon Mk.I
|Contents and Media:
See details below.
€14.78 plus shipping available online from Sword
GBP£17.99 EU Price (£14.99 Export Price) plus shipping available online from Hannants
and hobby retailers worldwide
||A simple, nicely detailed and finely moulded kit with excellent instructions and decals. No vices here.
None noted apart from the short-run lack of locating pins that mean bit more care will be needed in basic construction.
This is a very nice kit that should appeal to any modeller who collects FAA aircraft.
Reviewed by Graham Carter
Sword continues with its coverage of these Grumman series of Avengers with the most prolific variants, the TBF/TBM series which saw almost 10000 produced. There is a companion kit (SW72136) to this one which represents the US Navy examples. Under the agreement between the US and Britain , just over 1000 were supplied in three versions. This kit represents the initial variant called the Tarpon Mk.I at first in FAA service, but later changed to Avenger Mk.I in line with US designations. Some 402 of these were supplied in 1943.
A few Avenger kits have been available over the years from Aoshima (1964), Airfix (1966), FROG (1968), Lindberg (1976), Hasegawa and Academy (1987). All are reasonable representatives in this scale but suffer from the issues of their era, Airfix with its attack of the rivet monster, FROG is bland and has raised panels lines while the Academy kit was a pretty good kit with commendable detailing but is now superseded. I have not seen the Hasegawa kit but, as a 1995 release I can imagine that it is fine kit. All of these have been released in various new schemes over the years.
This new kit comes in the usual slightly flimsy end-opening box with a nice painting on the top and colour schemes for the two decal choices on the rear. Inside is a zip-lock bag containing two larger mid-grey, and a smaller transparency sprues, an instruction booklet and decal sheet.
Like all of this series, this is a fairly simple kit moulded in a darkish grey plastic with lovely fine engraved and relief detail. Simple in the sense that there are no resin, PE or masking embellishments, but the level of moulded fuselage and undercarriage bay detail is more than adequate in this scale. The cockpit interior features a fair amount of detail and the seats are very nice but lack belts.
Readily available resin and PE after-market sets from the likes of Pavla, Eduard, and Aires for the Avenger should offer the detail fanatic the bits they require for the front cockpit, engine and undercarriage areas. There is no evident flash but the kit reveals a very fine seam around some parts which will benefit from a light trim with a sharp blade to remove. The moulds seem to have stood up well to the passage of a few years. As with most short-run kits there are no locating pins and holes so care should be taken in aligning parts before committing to glue.
One of the sprues covers the wings and undercarriage and is common to all the other kits. The new sprue has the turreted fuselage, engine and interior, all nicely moulded and there is an adequate amount of moulded detail inside the fuselage sides. The turret is dropped into place at the end of construction to avoid painting issues. The transparencies are in separate bag and thin and very clear. They portray a closed-up airframe so some careful cutting or the use of a vac-form replacement (such as from Falcon) will be needed to show off the interior.
The instruction booklet is a 12-page A5 folded affair with an outline of the aircraft’s features and usage, a parts map and then 18 construction stages, followed by a stencil placement drawing and two coloured four-view drawings to show the two decal choices. There are colour call-outs at each stage but I found these a little hard to see as they in red on a black square - curse these failing eyes! No proprietary paints are named , only the colour name. One tiny error is that the underside colours are referred to as ‘Sky Blue’, when it should be just ‘Sky’, although it shown in the correct colour in the drawings. Sky Blue is a very different shade and was never used on British Avengers. The parts map shows that two parts on the common sprue, exhausts, are not used for these aircraft.
Decals are on a 130x90mm sheets and are very nicely printed with great density and excellent register. There is a wide range of stencils to apply as well.
The two choices are:
FN908/4M of 846 Sqn FAA at RNAS Machrihanish in Scotland , September 1943. And
FN817/ Q-4U of 845 Sqn, HMS Illustrious in 1944
Both aircraft are in the familiar Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate Grey /Sky Temperate Sea Scheme.
This will be a great addition to the naval aircraft kit collection an done that will appeal to modellers of these types in the ‘one true scale’. Its nice to have available one of the most prolific naval fighter-bomber-torpedo carriers from the late war. Recommended.
Thanks to Sword Models for the review samples.
Text and Images Copyright © 2021 by Graham Carter
Page Created 16 September, 2021
22 September, 2021
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