The plane spotters amongst us will almost certainly recognise this as a Fairey Swordfish, a biplane torpedo bomber used by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Antiquated even when it first entered service, it did good service, as it's low speed and rugged construction provided a stable platform for launching torpedoes. Most famous for its service at the Battle of Taranto where they inflicted heavy losses on the Italian navy. There was a double page spread in a Warlord annual about it - so I mainly remember the Swordfish (also known as the stringbag) in four colour comic form.
Swordfish also took part in the Channel Dash, the only time since the Anglo-Dutch wars that an enemy fleet has successfully traversed the Channel. This was a battle that took place in 1942, when a group of German vessels sailed from Brest to bases in Germany, during which they were attacked by a flight of six Swordfish. The attacking planes were wiped out by superior numbers of more advanced German fighters, but their determination and grit was saluted by no less a personage Admiral Ciliax, the German officer commanding, who said "....the mothball attack of a handful of ancient plance, piloted by men whose bravery surpasses any other action by either side that day."
This specimen was something I picked up as a passing fancy. I have a weakness for biplanes and I managed to pick this one on eBay, fully assembled and painted for about the price of a pint. I don't have any plans for naval games, so I think this will be doing service against the Anglican League or the Soviet Socialist Republic of Liverpool in Very British Civil War games.
As the Swordfish comes, like the Gladiator, with its landing gear deployed, it can also be used on the ground either as an objective or a piece of scenary. I've been playing a number of Very British Civil War games via webcam with a nameless mysterious figure in Roscommon known only by the codename Steve. The British Union of Fascists air power has been making life somewhat difficult for me, so it might be time to play an attack on an airfield scenario.
This will give me an excuse to put a shape on my newly discovered RAF control tower and will give the Swordfish and the Gloster Gladiator a bit of an outing.
Although it may mean that I may now have to build some sort of 1/72 scale wind sock.