The Fairey Spearfish BCD model

Part 3 of 3


I decided to go for a silvery/aluminium finish on the Spearfish, like the real thing.  I like to use car spray paints, they're easy to get hold of and come in a ton of colours.  Only down side is they tend not to be fuel proof, so once finished, I apply a coat or 2 of fuel proofer.

After spraying the entire fuselage with aluminium spray, I masked off the cockpit area and sprayed black.


After that, spray on a line at 30 degrees relative to horizontal.  This is required for reference purposes, as it is against the rules to have an angle of attack greater than 30 degrees in BCD.  Finish with a clear lacquer and then fuel proofer.  This gives a really nice finish without too much effort.  The wings and tail surfaces are to be covered with silver solarfilm.


A good way of producing your own markings is to get hold of some self adhesive A4 paper.  Design or get hold of the correct markings off the internet, and then print off.  Then, apply a layer of sticky back plastic, and you have custom stickers!  Always a good idea to go round the edges with fuel proofer after they're on the model.


Fully completed and assembled!


The power comes from a J'EN 37, a very nice engine.  Fitted with a dustbin type silencer, as the normal type silencer are very prone to getting broken on heavy landings..  Very light for it's size, with lots of grunt.  Perfect for carrier.  The tank is a bought one, Brodak I think, held in place with rubber bands attached to a simple wire hook assembly.  Also notice the engine safety strap, a requirement for Carrier competitions.


Close up of the hook release mechanism.  Upon applying full down elevator, the catch releases the hook which is pulled and held down with rubber bands.


The hook held in it's deployed state.  Carrier rules state that the hook can be no longer than a third of the length of the fuselage.  Note the thin wire keeper at the end of the hook.  This helps to stop the arrestor wires from disengaging on landing, and is very effective.


The Spearfish awaiting it's maiden flight at the 2008 BMFA Nationals aboard HMS Perserverance.  The lights don't show up great in the day, but are awesome in the dark!  Initial flight was great, very stable in flight and handles beautifully.  Just needed a few grams of tail weight to help it sit at an angle during the slow run.  I even managed to get fifth place with 232 points after just a couple of test flights!!


The Spearfish made it's second appearance at Pontefract, where it made a very respectable score of 235 with quite a conservative flight.  This was enough for first place though, and I'm sure there's more to get out of this model.

If anyone is interested, I can supply you with a plan for this.  It's not very detailed, more of an outline plan, but it is accurate and shows most of what you need.  I will happily supply at cost price, so get in touch!


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This article was first published:  23/09/2008

This article was last updated:  23/09/2008

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