The Swordfish Mk.III had ASV Mk.XI radar in a radome between the landing gear legs. The radar had a range of around 40km against ships, and in good conditions it could detect U-boats. It could detect a Snorkel only in very calm seas and at distances of less than 8km. The location of the radar housing under the fuselage meant that it was impossible to carry a torpedo. The lack of torpedo was countered by the Swordfish’s excellent ability to carry a wide variety of ordinance including rockets, flares and depth charges. In their anti-submarine role, the Swordfish were very successful. They usually flew missions at night, patrolling between 145km and 40km ahead of the convoy. Targets were located with radar, and visual confirmation was achieved by dropping flares.
Swordfish Mk. III ASW Conversion
The conversion parts are in a vac formed blister. Inside is:
-1 x ASV resin radome.
-1 x Resin seat cushion with harnesses.
-1 x Resin cockpit frame.
-2 x Resin radar/radio equipment.
-1 x Resin starboard access door for the pilot.
-1 x Resin Oil cooler.
-1 x Long [Porcupine] exhaust pipe.
-1 x Generator pipe.
-2 x Vac formed canopies.
-2 x Small photo etched frets containing the radar dipoles.
- Numerous other resin parts.
-4 x Sheets of instructions.
Crew compartment : the majority of the parts are for the crew compartment and complement the kit parts. The radar and radio equipment as well as the radar operator’s cushion are nicely cast. The radio and radar operating apparatus parts will look particularly good with some careful painting and highlighting. There are two vac formed canopies/covers over the forward part of the rear crew compartment. Some care will be needed cutting the part away from the blister, but the lovely folk from Pavla Models supply a spare. The fitting of the pilots hatch and the canopy will require cutting away the plastic where the pilot’s door is located and the frame dividing the cockpit and the crew compartment.
ASV Radar : is a one piece resin piece featuring some fine recessed and low relief detail. The casting plug will need removing as well as some of the plastic on the kit between the undercarriage struts. The additional aerials on the forward inter plane struts are photo etched parts and they look extremely good. You will need to scratch build the cables to the dipoles
The addition of the long [porcupine] exhaust and the oil cooler is a nice touch and will really make this conversion stand out particularly if you decide the build the Airfix Mk I alongside the Mk III ASV. The generator pipes that fit on top of the fuselage just behind the collector ring around the engine. The pipes are moulded onto the fuselage of the kit.
Instructions : take the form of black line drawings, which are very detailed, illustrating exact location points for the parts. Pavla Models has included a rigging guide, but it is a little difficult to make out the cables in the drawings. It might be an idea to colour code the black lines. Use the wiring diagram along with the excellent box illustration of the Airfix kit. Paint references are for Humbrol paints.
Ref no: U72-134
Fairey Swordfish Oil Cooler and generator pipes
These can be used on any Swordfish Mk.
Ref no: U72-135.
Long [Porcupine] exhaust :
As fitted to allow for night time operations.
Ref no: U72-136
This excellent conversion set for the well received 1/72 Airfix kit and will please most Swordfish fans. There are some modifications needed to fit some of the parts, but the effort will be well worth it. With the newly tooled Airfix Mk I, the Pavla Mk III conversion, the option to display the wings folded and the promised Swordfish float plane from Airfix, these are surely good times for any Swordfish fan. Nice one Pavla Models.
Highs: All good.Lows: None.Verdict: Highly recommended.