the Sword 1/72 T2V-1 SeaStar US Navy trainer. One hundred and fifty of
this version of the Lockheed T-33 were used to train new pilots
to land on American aircraft carriers in the 1950s and 1960s. Sword
makes short run kits we are unlikely to ever see from Tamiya, Hasegawa or Revell.
The SeaStar has a great outline, acceptable fit, resin components, and
photo-etched details. I used the kit decals with the exception of the US
national insignia. I felt the blue was too dark, almost black. I
used 30 year old SuperScale stars and bars that went on without a hitch.
The kit decals are thin and like to fold, so ensure you have PLENTY of water in
the location you want the decal to land. Paint is Tamiya acrylic white
and black with enamel Xtracolour International Orange. Tires are Testors
Some filler was needed here and there and the fit of the cockpit and the landing gear bays takes a lot of test fitting. The decals are printed with white portions around the lettering and national insignia. They are translucent over the International Orange, so I chose to paint those portions white. It is really not unique to Sword decals. I've never seen white decal cover the underlying color well. Hence, hours of "enjoyable" masking fun awaits you when building the US Navy trainer scheme. I enjoy Sword kits. They make interesting models and I have already purchased the Gannet AEW and plan on getting some of their upcoming US Navy North American Fury kits.
The last photo shows the difference between the blue SuperScale national insignia l used and the almost black decals provided by Sword.
Photos and text © by Bob Leonard