Help support TMP

"Help with a Fairy Swordfish at Taranto game" Topic

15 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

In order to respect possible copyright issues, when quoting from a book or article, please quote no more than three paragraphs.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Conventions and Wargame Shows Message Board

Back to the Clubs Message Board

Back to the Getting Started with WWII Air Combat Message Board

Back to the WWII Aviation Painting Guides Message Board

Back to the Blogs of War Message Board

Areas of Interest

World War Two in the Air

Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Ruleset

Savage Worlds: Showdown

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 

Featured Showcase Article

Modular Buildings from ESLO

ESLO Terrain explains about their range of modular buildings.

Featured Workbench Article

Simple Magnetic Flight Stands

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian takes another stab at building a more perfect flight stand.

Featured Profile Article

Groundcloths & Battlesheets

Wargame groundcloths as seen at Bayou Wars.

Featured Book Review

1,695 hits since 25 Mar 2021
©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

TMP logo


Please sign in to your membership account, or, if you are not yet a member, please sign up for your free membership account.
WaltOHara25 Mar 2021 6:39 a.m. PST

Hi everyone! My club is running Scrum Con 2021 as a virtual gig in April, so I had to beat feet to get a game going to present as an event for the show. This is a project that's been on the shelf for a while; I have always wanted to run a game event gaming the Swordfish attack on the Regia Marina in 1940. It's a cool historical event, somewhat under-represented, and very dramatic.

I initially bought PicoArmor Swordfish and was going to run the scenario with 1:800 scale Axis and Allies War at Sea ships. I am not very satisfied with how the PicoArmor planes assemble (they are very fiddly models). I decided to throw the scaling aspect out the window and work with a more abstract scale between the planes and the ships. I want to make the planes large enough to be easily seen on a web camera relative to the ships. So I worked with a 3D sculpt, scaling it to (roughly, I dunno) 1:285 scale (which is largish). As it's an area effect movement game the scaling isn't really a factor.


Two print runs, and I had the entire Swordfish OOB of 22 planes.


The entire attack, plus extras. The planes printed okay, but needed a lot of work and the landing gear broke on many planes that needed glue.


The relative size between the ships and planes (that's the Bismarck, a subject for a future game, but about the size of the Littorio).

Okay, so here's the next steps-- I've got some flight stands coming. I'll be mounting them at a certain height (two inches), even though the rules include high level and low level altitudes. So.. check.

Here's what I could use some suggestions from my Historical Wargaming brothers and sisters about:

I really need a good suggestion for a color scheme (including a paint brand and hue) for the Fairy Swordfish. I've seen a few variants of a color scheme including a dark green paint job with pale blue under. I've also seen a dark grey fleet paint job with pale blue under the wing. I'm going with something really simple here, but I'd like to retain some of the basic details for my own sense of pride. :-) What's the CORRECT paint scheme?

Also, see the models printed in the pictures above? Do you know of a source for the RAF/NAVY Rondels for the wings? I'm not exactly sure what the scale is but it appears to be close to 1:285. Any suggestion helps.

Thanks for your time and assistance in advance, I'm in a rush to get this job, and will blog about it when I'm closer to completion.


Walt O'Hara

King Monkey25 Mar 2021 7:37 a.m. PST

I think they may have had temporary paint jobs for the night raid with the undersides of aircraft painted black.

From Airfix instructions


Sundance25 Mar 2021 7:48 a.m. PST

We typically use 1/300 planes and 1/2400 ships when doing air attack games on shipping.

Royal Air Force25 Mar 2021 8:02 a.m. PST

I-94 for decals, link

Dagwood25 Mar 2021 10:55 a.m. PST

Fairey, Walt, the "E" is important !!

I have just painted one in a green and grey colour scheme, and then found a photo of some in a very light colour scheme, dating from late WW2 when my father probably worked on them (he was an aircraft mechanic at an aircraft training establishment in Cornwall). If only I had seen the picture before I painted the model !!

WaltOHara25 Mar 2021 11:26 a.m. PST

>> Fairey, Walt, the "E" is important !! <<

I blame myself!

slugbalancer25 Mar 2021 12:23 p.m. PST

I use this site for most of my decals now. Excellent service.

WaltOHara25 Mar 2021 2:36 p.m. PST

Thanks to both of you for sources. I played it safe and ordered from both.


Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2021 3:39 p.m. PST

We knew it was a magical attack.

enfant perdus25 Mar 2021 4:10 p.m. PST

According to "Fleet Air Arm Camouflage and Markings: Atlantic and Mediterranean Theaters 1937-1941", all four squadrons (813, 815, 819, 824) had scheme S.1.E., which is Extra Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey upper surfaces and Sky Grey undersurfaces. Only 815 NAS had the black applied to their undersurfaces, as they had come from special night duties with RAF Coastal Command. FWIW, the author notes there is considerable variations in wear on the black, from solid to ashy, suggesting it was a fairly thin overpaint.

Demosthenes Of Athens Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2021 4:12 p.m. PST

Saw this on Printest. No idea of where the original came from but I think it is from a kit instruction.




Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2021 3:24 a.m. PST

I'd love to see the game/rules. It's something I'd run at a show here.

Von Trinkenessen26 Mar 2021 2:54 p.m. PST

Try these guys as they have the flying one and are the real deal:

KSmyth28 Mar 2021 8:51 p.m. PST

I-94 and Flightdeck both do great decals. Can't go wrong with either.

I've built a dozen 1/300 Swordfish from MSD and Heroics/ROS. They're an abomination. I wrote this post about working with them a few years back.




The really sad part is that the Fairey Swordfish was a really important plane that remained in production until 1944 and served in a variety of roles, in wheeled and float versions, until the end of the war. It deserved a really awesome miniature.

WaltOHara30 Mar 2021 2:03 p.m. PST

So, a progress report of sorts. Planes are cleaned up, painted in the two part color scheme, and here they are on stands:




Not the best paint job but not awful either.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.