Review: Armory Models 1/72 Fairey Flycatcher (early)

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The Fairey Flycatcher was a British single-seat biplane carrier-borne fighter aircraft made by Fairey Aviation Company which served from 1923 to 1934.

The Flycatcher was designed to meet the requirements for a carrier and floatplane fighter to replace the Gloster Nightjar. The first of three prototype Flycatchers made its maiden flight on 28 November 1922. After trials, the Flycatcher was ordered for full production.

The Flycatcher was a remarkable design for its time and was one of the earliest aircraft specifically designed for operation from aircraft carriers. Flaps ran the entire trailing edges of both wings, providing the aircraft with the capability of using only 46 m of deck space.

Production of the Flycatcher began in 1923, entering service with No. 402 Flight Fleet Air Arm. The Flycatcher was flown from all British carriers of its era. Some 192 were produced.

The kit comes in a fully enclosed corrugated cardboard box with a thin cardboard cover over the top. All the plastic parts are inside a resealable bag with the resin parts in there as well inside their own resealable bag. The 2 PE frets have a cardboard backing sheet. The packaging is very good. In the box we have:

  • plastic parts – 74
  • photoetched parts – 140
  • resin parts – 26
  • decal sheet
  • 6 page black and white assembly guide
  • full colour 6-page glossy paper painting guide

The level of detail is very nice and the main parts have fine recessed panel lines. The attachment points are small and they attach to the mating surfaces. There are alignment pins on the main parts of the fuselage and wings, unlike their earlier kits. There are colour call-outs throughout the build using the AMMO range of paints.

The kit is built in 42 steps over 5 pages
Page 1 builds a very nicely detailed resin engine and starts the frame that goes around the pilot inside the fuselage.
Page 2 continues building the framework around the cockpit and ends up trapping it between the cockpit halves. The cockpit also has PE parts in it and an acetate sheet for the instruments. Note there are no alignment pins on the fuselage halves.
Page 3 adds the lower wing to the fuselage and undercarriage. There are some extra PE parts to be fitted if you want to do the decal option that is on HMS Ramilies.
Page 4 adds the inter wing struts to the top of the lower wing and the resin machine guns to the outside of the fuselage with PE parts.
Page 5 adds the propellor to the engine with a couple of options for the propellor hub and also gives you diagrams to show you where the rigging needs to go.

The painting guide uses Humbrol, Hataka, and AK Interactive references and gives you 7 options. Your 7 options are:

  • 403 Flight HMS Hermes 1930-31
  • 402 Flight, HMS Eagle 1928
  • 402 Flight, HMS Eagle 1924-25
  • 405 Flight, HMS Furious, 1924
  • 407 Flight, HMS Courageous, Mediterranean Fleet, 1929
  • HMS Ramilies, 1931
  • 405 Flight, HMS Furious, 1929

This kit is available direct from us here for US$46.00 with free shipping. We also sell the late version and will sell the other 2 versions Armory has in development. We aim to be as competitive as possible with the pricing.

Conclusion: This is a very nice kit with lots of detail.

Paul Tosney – Editor
HobbyLink International
Hoblylink International Shop
eBay Store
Inextension

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