Supermarine Swift 

Xtrakit Supermarine Swift model in 1/72 scale

The Swift was a British single-seat jet fighter built by Supermarine during the 1950s. It was to serve as an interceptor for the British Royal Air Force to replace the Gloster Meteor. It had many visual similarities with the navy Attacker but it was the first British aircraft with a swept wing. Many problems were encountered during development although their was much pressure due to the Cold War. The first production variant F.mk1 flew with the Avon engine in August 1952 with a 2 canon armament. Some intermeediate versions were developed with no more than a dozen or so aircraft produced. Also a Swift was developed with a reconnaissance role, the 5. It got camera's in the nose and 2 canons. The FR.5 was the last Swift variant to enter service with the RAF and also flew with RAF Germany. It was replaced starting 1961 by mainly the Hawker Hunter.  No more than 200 Swifts were produced.

This is the first Xtrakit kit (# XK72012) that I am making. The kit of the Swift FR.5 was released in 2010. I believe these kits are developed through the famous Hannants modelling supplier in the UK. Older kits of the Swift were issued in 1/72 scale by Testors. Magnamodels and a very old HAWK kit and a vacuform Rareplanes kit. These were hard to find and the Xtrakit looks to be a vast improvement.


Two sprues in medium blue plastic are in the Xtrakit which shows it is short run. The plastic is quite brittle but has engraved panellines. 

A good canopy is in the kit but no stores and no underfuselage belly fueltank. A resin seat in included for what look to be the Mk.2G seat

Decals are fine with camouflaged Swifts of RAF 79 and 2 squadrons. 

Construction is rather straight forward. Be carefull when separating the parts. 
For the interior mainly black and tyre black was used and a bit of drybrushing. The ejection seat is 1 mm too high, I sanded off some material from the resin bottom section to make it fit under the canopy. 

Intakes and boundary layer ducts are nicely done but no intake ducting which is not a problem. A jet pipe is alo included. The camera windows were not used from the kit, Micro Kristal Kleer will be used later on. 

There is one fit problem with the kit and that is to get the lower wing flush with the forward lower fuselage. Some putty and sanding is required here at the joint. But no big issue. 
After major assembly, sanding the model was needed followed by a light grey base coat to check for any flaws. Correct as needed. The wing junction/root required filling, some sprue was used here as well. 

The RAF Swift is nice with its camouflage, which are well indicated in the instructions. RAF no. 79 squadron scheme for a Swift FR.5 was choosen, period 1961 as per kit instructions. It has cameras in the nose. 

Colors used were:
Dark sea grey (-638-):  Gunze Sanyo H331 acrylic (or use old Humbrol HX2)
Dark green (-641-): Humbrol 163 enamel 
PRU blue lower surfaces: Humbrol HX3 enamel mixed in with some light grey enamel
( a Aluminium/ high speed silver scheme is also in the kit:  XTRACOLOR X38 enamel can be airbrushed, thinning the paint 50% paint + 25% thinner + 25% white spirit , wasbenzine in Dutch). 

The lower wing leading edges also show the camouflage, so this means extra work with masking used low tack tape.

All colours were airbrushed with the Harder Steinbeck airbrush. 

The model got after 48 hours drying a couple of coats of Johnson Kleer/Future/Pledge  again to get a nice glossy shine, ready to get the decals applied. Swifts always had a gloss finish like many RAF aircraft in that decade. Decalling was not a problem with the nice decals with no silvering. 

Some decal cutting was needed at the doors for the serials.

Now the detail parts were added. Note that the canopy parts 17  moves with the canopy itself. The main undercarriage inner doors (21 , 24) should be set parallel with the airflow and not aligned with the main gear bay. The bay interior is probably metal color, so was painted aluminium.  At the nose leg, add a fork above the wheel. 

Micro Kristal Kleer was used to close up the nose camera windows. A pitot tube was added made from a household metal needle and set to the right wing leading edge.

The canopy got tiny striping of the sealing and warning markings. Finally adding some sprue antennas on the spine and lower aft fuselage completed the model.

A nice little Swift is now in the RAF 1/72 scale model collection along with the Lightnings and Hunters.. 

Swift, Warpaint no. 58
Swift, from the cockpit # 14
Air international magazibne, volume 71, no 5
Scale aircraft modelling, 1997-no 7

Web link: Jever site

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Created this page 
April 22, 2013