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Sword 1/72 Seafire Mk.III Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2012 Manufacturer Sword
Subject Seafire Mk.III Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72055 Primary Media Styrene/Resin
Pros Easy multimedia kit with only two resin parts, no vac nor PE Cons See text
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $32.98

First Look


The Supermarine Seafire was an adaptation of the Spitfire airframe for aircraft carrier operations. The aircraft's power to weight ratio was excellent for operating off the deck, but key parts of the airframe had to be strengthened for surviving the 'controlled crashes' coming back aboard. This included reinforcing the tail section to accommodate a tail hook for arrested landings. The Achilles Heel of the Spitfire was even more evident on the carrier deck - the narrow-track landing gear made flight deck operations difficult, but not impossible. The Seafire Mk.III was the first variant that met all of the requirements for carrier operations and saw action against the Tirpitz in Europe and extensive combat in the South Pacific.

Sword has produced the first of several Supermarine Seafire variants in 1/72 scale. This release is the Mk.III which looks like a Spitfire Mk.IX with a tailhook. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on three parts trees, one small tree of clear parts and two resin parts representing the Merlin exhaust stacks.

The kit features some nice detailing in the cockpit but for some strange reason, the canopy is molded as one piece with the rear transparency and windscreen. You won't see much inside once this kit assembled.

Some care will be required in assembling this kit as there are some parts here that I'm not sure will be seen (like parts 21/22 and 37/38 inside the wing) that may cause fit problems if not oriented correctly. One fit challenge may be the carburetor intake (molded in halves) that mounts to the chin and against the fairing on the wing. Take your time and you may need a little filler here and there.

Techmod decals are provided for four examples:

  • Seafire Mk.III, S146, 894 Sqn, HMS Indefatigable, May 1945
  • Seafire Mk.III, D5X, 807 Sqn, HMS Hunter, May 1945
  • Seafire Mk.III, H5S, 887 Sqn, HMS Implacable, Oct 1944
  • Seafire Mk.III, IF.12, Arromanches, Gulf of Tonkin, 1948

The decal sheet has a complete set of airframe stencils in addition to all of the subject-specific markings.

This looks like another nice kit from Sword and should go together nicely in the hands of the experienced modeler.

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!