SSupermarine Swift FR.5 Confusion

Just received the wonderful model of the Swift and avidly ran through the instruction sheet to get my bearings and to decide how I'm going to build it.  However I now have some confusion regarding the alternative parts that are offered and which ones I should use.


I'm referring to Stages 12 and 13 where there are two options for the two small nose apertures (glazed or solid) and also the nose camera (?) which again can be glazed or solid.  Any ideas which combination should be used as the instructions don't give any clues or references, which from experience is not uncommon when Airfix offer alternative parts and so leave the modeller guessing.


Kind Regards



1077 posts

I'm at work so can't refer to my filed instruction sheets as I have built both versions but normally with the new Airfix instructions each version will be labelled A or B in a yellow circle on the colour chart and in the assembly stage will indicate with the corresponding letter which parts are for which version. 


Sorry you may already be aware of this but without referring to the instructions I can't think there was any other pit fall?

 On this occasion there aren't 2 versoins to build just 2 colour schemes for the same one so the alternative parts just have a question mark in a circle with no further advice, hence my on-going confusion.


I'm sure I've also come across the same situation with other Airfix kits as well where only one version is in the box but alternative parts are provided with just a question mark, which isn't terribly helpful or clear.




Hi Colin,


I believe the alternative parts represent the camera port either open (clear part) or with the shutter closed (solid part).

Hope that helps.





2650 posts

Community Moderator

 Both of the options in the kit are for FR.5s. Is it not possible that these alternative parts are for different variants to be issued in the future (as Airfix frequently do)? I'm no Swift expert, I don't have the kit either so I don't know what you're talking about really. Just trying to give options.

Owner of the Airfix Tribute Forum



Thank you both.


The open or closed position seems to be the most logical answer here for the side panels, although it still leaves the question as to which nose part to fit, clear or solid. I'm assuming the clear part goes with the other clear side panels (open) and the solid part with the solid side panels (closed).


 I really do wish that Airfix could me far more transparent in their new instruction sheets as there is little point in offering alternative parts for the same mark of aircraft without actually explaining how and when to use them. When they are for a different mark/version and the parts can be coded for  the A, B, C etc..version then that's fine but in this case (and others I believe) simply offering options with a question mark for the same mark/version is utterly frustrating. Airfix please take note!


Thanks again for your time and input.




Dad Paul B

395 posts

The clear parts are for the camera fit - i.e. all or none. I am not sure if the swift had shutters on the camera windows or if the windows were replaced with fairings when the cameras were removed - for a fighter fit. If memory serves some FR5s were used by the Guided Weapons Development Unit so would not have had the cameras.

Paul - Classic Jet Fan

 Dear All,


Many thanks for all your contributions which have now led me to believe that using 'clear with clear' or 'solid with solid' parts is the best way to go with this kit.


On a more general note I'm sure from other recent Airfix kits that this is not unique in terms of the lack of clarity of the instructoins so I will double check to confirm and then highlight on the General area of the Forum for further discussion and to highlight to Airfix.


In general the current instructions are a major leap forward with colour coded sections, so credit to Airfix for this, but they are still somewhat behind the competition to my mind. 'R' and  'Ed' amongst others do not have this issue as they show a schematic of the sprues and blank/grey out the parts that are not needed for the build which I find really, really helpful given the myriad of parts that now come with 72nd scale aircraft. Oh for the 60's when a kit and instruction the sheet were so much easier to understand!





8 posts

I did make the kit and gathered a number of photos of Swifts in museums and as archive photos. When working through the instructions the solid option would seem to be if the camera ports were faired over. As the operations would require the camera fit it would be likely to be clear for operations and plugged fairings for transit or non-operational use. The same aircraft have solid or glazed noses depending on where and when the photos were taken. 

I did ponder the use of the plugs due to the possibilty of masking errors but persisted. As an observation  the wheel well is visible through the windows..and that this space does need to contain weights.

On the question of optional parts being called out it is not always a yes/no option but with so many kits having "extra" parts it can be confusing when and where to use them. 

Paul Brown

789 posts

Community Moderator

What Brian said. There were no hard and fast configurations, so it's simply down to you to decide whether or not to use the glazed or solid options in any way you choose. Agreed that parts charts would be useful, except in this case it wouldn't make any difference. Maybe a couple of schematics would have been useful, but to be honest, knowing that producing the instructions, decals and packaging represents a lot of what your paying for in the final product, if I were a money man I'd be shaking my head and saying 'non'. Googling Supermarine Swift FR5 takes a matter of seconds and results in more hits than you can shake a stick at and the images alone mostly answer the questions.

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