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Sword 1/72 Seafire Mk.XVII Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2012 Manufacturer Sword
Subject Seafire Mk.XVII Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72058 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.XVII retained the Griffon engine of the Mk.XV and added a stronger landing gear with better 'controlled crash' characteristics.

Sword has released another variant of the Supermarine Seafire in 1/72 scale. This release is the Mk.XVII which incorporates the teardrop canopy and cut down rear fuselage profile also featured in later mark Spitfires. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on two parts trees plus a small tree of clear parts.

The kit features some nice detailing in the cockpit but for some strange reason, the canopy is molded as one piece with 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 13/18 and 23/24 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 three post-war examples:

  • Seafire Mk.XVII, SX273, S50, 741 Sqn, RNAS St. Merryn, 1947
  • Seafire Mk.XVII, SX282, BR/151, 1833 Sqn, HMS Bramcote, 1949
  • Seafire Mk.XVII, SX156, 156, 767 Sqn, RNAS Yeovilton, 1950

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!