by: Andy Brazier [ ]
HISTORYThe Supermarine Attacker was a one man naval fighter armed with four 30mm Aden guns in the nose; or four sidewinder missiles; or rocket pods or an atomic bomb; or 200lb's of conventional bombs. Maximum speed was 710mph at 10,000 ft with a maximum range of approx 1300 miles.
The attacker was the first standard jet fighter to enter FAA squadron service. It was initially projected as an R.A.F fighter. The prototype first flew in July 1946, in the event the R.A.F declined the new fighter and the first navalised version was air tested in June 1947. The attacker entered naval service with no 800 squadron in august 1951.
Attacker's eventually equipped four FAA squadrons until being superseded by sea hawks and sea venom's in 1955, but continued in RNVR squadrons until 1957.
Total production was 61 F1/FB1, powered by two 11,250lb thrust Rolls Royce Avon 202 engines and 84 fb2 versions, and powered by the nene 102 engines which gave slightly more power.
THE KITThe kit comprises of 10 resin, 33 white metal and 2 vac formed canopies.
Starting with the resin pieces, which consist of two fuselage halves, two wings, two tail planes the fin/rudder, the exhaust ring, the tank and the seat/ cockpit floor. They are pretty well moulded in a white colour with only a slight amount of flash present around the edges. The pouring lugs are not in to prominent a place and seem to be quite easy to remove with out losing detail. There aren’t too many discrepancies in the resin itself with no air bubbles present. There does seem to be a bit of a small raised blemish on one of the wings, but a bit of light sanding should take care of that. Panel lines are pretty good but seem a little shallow in places, so a bit of re-scribing might be necessary to bring out the detail a bit more. The interior of the cockpit is moulded on to the sides of the fuselage and with adding pipes and painting the details will look pretty good when finished. The cockpit seat and flooring is fairly detailed with seat harness moulded on to the seat. The gear wells are moulded into the wing roots and adding some wire for pipes will improve the look.
A quick test fit of the fuselage halves revealed one side is slightly warped and immersing in hot water and clamping when gluing will be required, other then that they lined up pretty well.
The white metal pieces consist of the cockpit instrument panel, undercarriage legs, doors and wheels, the arrester hook, four gun barrels, two pitots and air intake parts. There is also a length of wire for making a carrier landing sight which sits on the nose of the aircraft. The detail is well defined and a quick trim with a sharp blade and a rub down with sandpaper should get rid of any flash marks that are present on some pieces.
The two vac-formed canopies which let you build either the fb1 or fb2 versions really let this kit down as they are not at all well detailed with the frames fading in and out in depth and are not the most transparent of canopies i have seen. They are both in a closed position so opening them up will have to be undertaken with considerable care
THE INSTRUCTIONSThe instructions come on 4 A4 sized paper sheets, 3 of which are double sided. The first page deals with the history of the Attacker and also gives you some reference books to look up. The bottom of the page deals with the preparation of parts and adhesive notes.
Page 2,3,4 and 5 covers the assembly procedures, mainly in written form but does include a few line drawings and an exploded view of the undercarriage assembly. Although rather haphazard in procedure, the cockpit assembly being on page 5 being an example, it should be pretty easy to figure out where all the parts go.
Pages 6 and 7 cover the unit designations and painting guides. They give you markings for 11 FAA and 1 Pakistani Air force unit. Decals are only supplied for 3 Royal Navy aircraft though. Painting is all the same for the FAA aircraft with the Sky lowers and dark grey uppers.
THE DECALSThe decals appear to be pretty good quality, with no blurring or fading of the decals itself. How they go on I won’t know until application though. Markings for the following units of the FAA are supplied:
FB1 Attacker of 800 Squadron on HMS Eagle 1952,
FB2 Attacker of 803 Squadron on HMS Eagle 1953,
FB2 Attacker of 1831 Squadron, RNVR at RNAS Stretton 1955
CONCLUSIONAlthough now superseded by the injection moulded Classic Airframe kit this will still build up to be a nice addition to your collection.
It does state on the box that experience is required when tackling this kit, so if you feel you want to try your hand at a resin and white metal kit then this kit is as good a choice as any for gaining experience.
Magna Models is a small manufacturer which should be applauded for bringing out kits that the Tamigawa’s seem reluctant to release, thus buying and building these cottage industry kits you will be safe guarding the future kits of the not so popular aircraft.