FAIREY BARRACUDA


Special Hobby 1/48 Fairey Barracuda Mk I


by David Harvey

 

Introduction

The Fairey Barracuda was one of several aircraft designed to take over from the Swordfish during WWII. Like the others, the Barracuda couldn't carry out the range of tasks undertaken by the venerable old Biplane. The Barracuda ended up being involved in a great many attacks on the enemy whilst with the FAA but was always not as popular as could have been due to over complicated systems and being very overweight.


The kit

This is the Special Hobby Fairey Barracuda that was one of the veritable flood of FAA kits that Special Hobby and it's affiliates MPM etc released in the last few years. The kit is the basic version and not the 'hi tech' kit that cost a fair amount more due to the amount of resin in the boxing. I put a fair amount of effort into detailing the interior as the basic interior for the kit was to plain and resembled nothing like the original aircraft. Unfortunately most of my work is not able to be seen once the canopy was put in place but I know it's there.

There were a number of problem areas in this kit including:

  • The cockpit floor and bulkheads do not fit properly and require a bit of carving to make fit.
  • The interior in this boxing is very basic. I scratchbuilt the framework on the walls with card and used some copper wire to replicate various cables located in the rear cockpits.
  • The canopy does not fit properly at the pilots area and required it to be built up with putty.
  • There are not indicators for where the cockpit floor is supposed to fit and a bit of guess work is required to get it in the right spot.
  • The pilots seat did not fit in the cockpit and I needed to leave the headrest off to make it fit. This is could be due to the cockpit floor possibly being too high.
  • There are two missing windows for the pilot to see the carrier deck when landing located just in front of the cockpit sill. These were drilled out and filled with PVA glue.
  • I scratchbuilt the outlet under the 'chin' of the aircraft for the air intake.
  • You need to ensure that you follow the instructions on which exhaust components go where. There are two items that are used to fill the exhaust spot for a later mark that are actually 'handed' and need to be the right way around.
  • The undercarriage is very fragile due to the way it is done on the original aircraft. You need to drill the legs and put some reinforcement in them to make them stay strong.
  • The tail wheel is hopeless as it is too fragile. After several repairs I gave up and replaced it with a tail wheel from the parts box that looks nothing like the correct one but is much stronger and has yet to break.
  • The joints on the flaps is poor and delicate. I had to build up the joint area with card but it did little to strengthen the joint and the flaps keep breaking off.
  • The over wing radar antenna are very fragile as they are PE, these need to be fitted last.
  • I used a combination of Humbrol and Xtracolour paints to do the camouflage.

 

 

 



 

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