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 Matchbox: 1/72 Fairey Seafox, HMS ARETHUSA, 1939

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Posts : 320
Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : Somers, Connecticut, USA

PostSubject: Matchbox: 1/72 Fairey Seafox, HMS ARETHUSA, 1939   Mon Feb 20 2017, 15:10

Another addition to my 1/72nd scale WWII sea plane collection. From Matchbox comes this older kit of the Fairey Seafox float plane from early WWII.

HISTORY: The Fairey Seafox was a 1930s British reconnaissance floatplane designed and built by Fairey for the Fleet Air Arm. It was designed to be catapulted from the deck of a light cruiser and served in the Second World War. Of the 66 built, two were finished as landplanes.

The Fairey Seafox was built to satisfy Air Ministry Specification S.11/32. The first of two prototypes appeared in 1936, first flying on 27 May 1936, and the first of the 64 production aircraft were delivered in 1937. The flights were organized as 700 Naval Air Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm.

The fuselage was of all-metal monocoque construction, with the wings being covered with metal on the leading edge and fabric everywhere else. It was powered by a 16-cylinder 395 hp (295 kW) air-cooled Napier Rapier H engine. It cruised at 106 mph (171 km/h), had a range of 440 mi (710 km).

Although the Seafox handled well, it was criticized for being under powered, engine cooling was poor and landing speeds were higher than desired.

In 1939, a Seafox played a part in the attack on the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee, by spotting for the naval gunners. This led to the ship's destruction after the Battle of the River Platte.

Seafoxes remained in service until 1943. They operated during the early part of the war from the cruisers HMS Emerald, Neptune, Orion, Ajax, Arethusa and Penelope and the armed merchant cruisers HMS Pretoria Castle, Asturias and Alcantara.


As with most Matchbox kits, this one was molded in two colors: Silver and dark gray. The molding is crisp with slightly raised panel lines. The kit includes the two crew figures and an optional position canopy. The decals were a bit old looking, but definitely usable. The markings were for two different planes:

An all silver plane from the HMS ARETHUSA, 1939, H9A Seafox, 713 Catapult Flight, Kalafrana, Malta, 1939 and a camouflaged Seafox of 702 Squadron, F.A.A. detached to HMS AUSTURIA, 1942.

THE BUILD: The build was rather simple and straightforward. The only issues being aligning the lower wing struts to the top wing. The rigging is done using 0.015 music wire cut to size and glued in place. All the painting was hand done by brush. For this build, I chose to do the HMS ARETHUSA, 1939 version.



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Matchbox: 1/72 Fairey Seafox, HMS ARETHUSA, 1939
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