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Fairey Swordfish
in action

by W.A. Harrison
Color by Don Greer



Squadron/Signal Publications


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Aircraft Number 175
ISBN: 0-89747-421-X
Media: Soft cover, landscape format, 50 pages plus covers incl. 2 colour centre pages.
Price: US$8.46
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Much needed reference for this important aircraft; chock full of pictures illustrating camouflage and details; good captions; nice colour artwork; helpful line drawings and scrap views; great value.
Disadvantages: Peculiar structure - technical description and operational history intermingled.
Recommendation: Recommended for anyone building a Swordfish


Reviewed by Brett Green


F i r s t   L o o k


Squadron/Signal "In Action" books formed a large part of my early reference collection upon my reintroduction to the hobby. The practical reasons for this were the wide range of subjects available, the breadth of coverage in each book, and the low price. The book cover was often a great magnet to a particular title.

All of these factors apply to Squadron's latest addition to the prolific "In Action" series.

Aircraft Number 175 is the Fairey Swordfish. Considering the wonderful 1/48 scale Tamiya kits have been out for over a year, there is still a surprising scarcity of reference material on this inelegant but significant aircraft. 

The book is presented in a landscape format with a soft cardboard cover enclosing 50 glossy pages. The cover art is an evocative piece by Don Greer depicting a Swordfish Mk. I of 824 Squadron making a torpedo run against the Italian fleet at Taranto. Typical of this series, the "centrefold" comprises ten colour side profiles of a wide variety of schemes and theatres. Two more of Don Greer's excellent paintings adorn the back cover. The balance of the book is printed in crisp black-and-white. 

Squadron/Signal Publications manage to pack a great deal of material between the covers. Most pages have between 1 and 4 black-and-white photos, some with aircraft plans and scrap views. All photos are well captioned. I liked the mix of pictures too - a nice balance of shots displaying colours and general features and important details. There are some great pictures of the engine and the cockpit included. The text follows a slightly peculiar sequence, skipping between variant descriptions and operational history throughout the book.

Text and pictures are combined to create a narrative covering all the major variants from the Mks. I-IV; with specific features such as wheels vs. floats, rocket projectile mounts, bomb racks and ASV radar also discussed.





This is a welcome addition to the "In Action" range. Obviously, it is not possible to comprehensively cover such a broad subject in 50 pages, but Squadron/Signal have distilled a great deal of important text and pictorial information in this book.

Particularly considering the scarcity of reference sources on the Swordfish, Squadron/Signal's "In Action" book will be well worth the $8.46!

Recommended to anyone building the Tamiya Swordfish kits.

Thanks to Squadron for the review sample.

Squadron/Signal books and products are available at the Squadron website or Hobby Retailers.

Review Copyright 2000 by Brett Green
This Page Created on 07 February, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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