Reader reviews of a kit featured on Starship Modeler.

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Your Two Cents: Swordfish II

The following are reader's opinions of the Swordfish II made by BanDai.

Reviewer   CaptainBrazilia
Date Reviewed   Jun 22, 2001
Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
Comments Just finished this kit. I have to say that this is actually a pretty good, simple little plastic kit! Design and fit were all very good, and aside from some minor problems (the main one being that I can't read Japanese), it went together very well for me, taking a little over 10 hours worth of work.

All in all, I used 5 colors on this kit, all Tamiya acrylics thined 1 to 1 with isopropyl alcohol. I went with the isoprpyl this time because it tends to make the flat colors look very "weathered" when they dry. The specific colors I used were: Flats, Red XF-7, Black XF-1, Dark Sea Grey XF-54. Glosses Black X-1, Chrome Silver X-11, Smoke X-19 (for the tinted canopy).

In addition, I used several of the above colors to make a very thin color wash that turned out being a very reddish brown that was just a bit darker than the base color of flat red. I applied the wash AFTER using the Gundam marker on the panel lines (simply smearing off the excess for that "dirty" look) and AFTER battle damaging the hull. This allowed the wash to settle into the scars. I simply wiped the excess wash of with my fingers (again for that "dirty" look).

After the wash had dried, the flat red color coat was sprayed onto the various hull surfaces. This toned down the "dirtyness" to make it look a little more realistic, I think.

I tinted a clear plastic canopy for the first time with this kit. Using the Tamiya Smoke X-19 through the airbrush on the INSIDE surfaces of the canopy. It turned out pretty darned good for my first time. Next time, thinning the smoke 1 to 1 with denatured alcohol might make it come out a bit clearer. It really didn't turn out as dark as I thought it would, but it's a nice touch that adds a little bit of realism to any project.

The main problem that I ran into during this project was that the diagram that shows the wing hinges (for the ship's folding wings) DOES NOT SHOW that they are slightly different lengths. It probably tells you that in JAPANESE. Oh well. I installed the long one into the wrong wing and vice-versa, so when I went to attach the wings to the fuselage, the fit was off by about 1/4". I ended up having to cut the hinges and permanently glue the wings in the extended position. I only made one other (dumb) mistake with the kit in that I forgot to install the landing gear prior to gluing the two fuselage halves together (D'oh!). A little trimming to the landing gear struts and some glue fixed that problem.

This is a fun kit that should be okay for the beginning to intermediate sci-fi kit builder. However, it has excellent potential to become a fantastic looking completed kit in the hands of the expert builder as well (with a little bit of extra attention).


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