Tamiya 61099 Fairey Swordfish Mk.II 1:48 Scale
The Fairey Swordfish was designed for an early 1930s requirement for a torpedo attack and observation platform. Entering service in 1934, its large wing area enabled the Swordfish to loft an impressive amount of weight in equipment and weapons. In those days, British women had a net-like shopping bag that was easy to stow and carry to the store, but could expand significantly to bring home the groceries. This net-like bag was nicknamed a ‘string bag’ (for obvious reasons) and this nickname was applied to the Swordfish for its own ability to carry anything.
This biplane was obviously obsolete by the time World War II broke out, but its success in the attack on the Bismarck kept it in front-line service perhaps too long as all of the Swordfish participating in a similar attack on German battlecruisers less than a year later were lost. The Swordfish was pressed into anti-submarine warfare (ASW) duties.
Blackburn Aircraft assumed the production role for the Swordfish as Fairey was working on newer designs, and they produced the improved Mk.II version of the aircraft. The Mk.II featured the 750 horsepower Bristol Pegasus engine, a surface search radar, and metal-skinned lower wings to allow for rockets to be launched without burning the fabric wing covering. The very low take-off and landing speeds of the Swordfish allowed the aircraft to be operated off of very small decks, including converted merchant ships (though RATO was needed to get a heavily loaded Stringbag aloft on that short deck).