Tamiya Swordfish Mk.II 1/48, Any Color as long it's Black

January 18, 2020 · in Aviation · · 30 · 3K

In my black book there's a list and in that list a word “Stringbag”, written a long time ago. The ink is all pale and faded-like, but I can cross it now!

It wasn't until I tied my horse in front of the iModeler Saloon many moons ago that the fates smiled upon me. I got to collect the bounty of the ol' 48'r . Yes Sir, “Model of the Month” they used to call it; got lucky, picked my prize and rode off into the sunset with her.

Now I am back and the Black Fish is ‘ere as well. Had a lot of fun taming her, all those stripes and the rigging too! Some of you may have seen that story, but it may be new to others. Here's the link that tells the tale:

In the end it is never as you anticipated it to be, but this is why we love the journey. Learned a lot with this one.

Black is not really black and once you get it right, it is tough to photograph.
Hope you like it and see you down the road…

Reader reactions:
24  Awesome

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

30 responses

  1. Fantastic looking build Aleksander! Your painting and effects methods are spot on. I found myself starring at the shots of the underside, noting the realism of the rubber, the look of the prop and the armaments. Speaking of which, it's awesome to see a biplane loaded to bear with armaments, done up in such a menacing paint scheme!
    Well done.
    Edit, the turnbuckles on the rigging is an extraordinary touch.

  2. Truly amazing Stringbag. First one I see all black, and working with such an unforgiving color is not for the faint at heart. Splendid work Aleksandar!

  3. Oh yeah, baby! You really nailed this one. Just super in execution and result!

    I really like you took the time to separate the leading edge slats.

    This kit is so good, and in the hands of someone like you, the result is just great. I love it.

  4. Excellent Job on this.

  5. What an absolute beauty! I am in awe of the finish and spot on ‘look’ from any angle!

  6. Just outstanding Aleks @asekular, a superb presentation both the skill level and the photographic images. Well done!


  7. Absolutely outstanding. This is the best Swordfish I’ve ever seen; hands down. Congratulations on such a stunning model!

  8. Good grief! That's amazing. I was about to post something, but I'm not going to try to follow this one. What a build. Congratulations.

  9. Fantastično, bez reči. Bravo!

  10. Truly outstanding build. Worn black is not easy to pull off and you have really nailed it.

  11. Dang bro, thats one fine looking plane

  12. Excellent!

  13. Thank you all so much for these overwhelming comments! 😀
    All I can say is also WOW. I was already preparing some excuses for the couple of things that are poking my eyes on this model, but after such compliments I guess I will keep stumm. Really stoked you like it!

  14. Welcome to the ‘infinity stash’ - you make a model, you win a prize, you build the prize, you win a model, you build the model, you...

    Fabulous job. If the model of the month were still running it’d be time to close the gates. Outstanding work.

    Many happy journeys on the road less travelled, Aleks.



    • David my friend, @dirtylittlefokker

      Unless I succeed in becoming first 200 year old human, I trust my stash is already infinite for all practical intents. The other, less probable, alternative would be to start building faster...

      Thank you for you nice words. I miss a lot "Model of the Month", not as much for the awards (although they were cherry on the cake), as for the thrill of waiting for the announcement and enjoying all the fine work I might have missed.



      • Musing over your thoughts (and Stephen’s - I’m sure he’ll respond to this...) I was struck at how our hobby is a direct challenge to the second law of thermodynamics. We take a chaotic, disperse, and energyless system (a kit) and pour into it vast amounts of effort, energy, and time, producing (in some cases) a highly ordered and more systematised product. We are gods!


        • Oh David, now we’re getting heavy… @dirtylittlefokker

          Not even gods can mess around with laws of thermodynamics. It’s the 3rd one that drives the nail – to avoid positive change of entropy the temperature needs to be absolut zero. That’s a bit too cold for my quarry! Aside, it’s too stressful to be a god...

          To paraphrase my younger self: between god’s greater picture and the demons dwelling in fractals, I find myself sitting at the workbench trying to fill the void. But the void is infinite, just as fractals continue to appear under successive magnification. Our universe is a spec in some greater structure and the gods just demons on a different scale. So, much rather I play with what's in my grasp and modulate that infinitely repapering pattern. And I can chose the scale to my fancy!


  15. Subliminal. There are place's you can take a model and think you've reached the end and then someone opens a new door. The word Damn comes to mind...that's good. Or I am I seeing black and white.

    Two thumbs up Aleksandar

    Davids right there should be a "Law" of infinity and not recognizing this kit is a dark matter.

  16. Such a realistic finish and consistent, precise work...I am envious...superb...

  17. A great job and an excellent painting and a great atmosphere with aging


  18. A masterful build!

  19. Thank you, hvala puno, danke schön!
    It really means a lot to me.

  20. Absolutely awesome. The Sword is one of my favorites, and one I've been waiting to have skills to build as she deserves. Now you've made my life very dificult 😉

  21. Well - everyone else has used all my favorite superlatives, so suffice it to say I am in awe! First of all, I'm intimidated by the Stringbag (all those strings...), but mostly, the realism of the finish is mesmerizing. Beautiful down to the smallest detail.

  22. Thank you Manuel, thank you Greg! @magrus @gkittinger
    I really hope this will motivate you to give it a whirl yourself. The skill is there Manuel - I just looked through your articles. No need to wait, just do it! ✓

    Greg, if you can thread a needle, you can rig an aircraft model. No dark arts required. Just patience and maybe magnifying glasses (like me). Stringbag is not really that bad. I have Caudron G.IV and Zeppelin Staaken to build - they are BAD!


  23. Gorgeous work - I love how you brought that all black finish to life!

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