Kit: Eduard (1:48)
This is the standard Eduard kit with the usual mods to add cutout under cowling,
upsweep to the turtledeck and open up the last fuselage bay. Blue Rider provided
the "Colourful Pup" transfers for C242. You do need to slice the rear fuselage
to accommodate the turtle deck but BR have left sufficient material to do this.
One point of note is that the diamonds tend to show through the wing roundels
and I had to overpaint the white with several thin washes of paint to take this
out. If I did it again I would spray a white circle before applying cockades.
Kit: Waldo (1:48)
This is the Waldo 1/48 kit which is very basic but lends itself to improvement!
The Dolphin cockpit is so open and visible it cries out for superdetailing -
the most difficult bit being sorting out all the different layouts for all the
variations of Mark I, II, III and French-built machines.
I opted for an 87 Sqdn machine for those outboard Lewises and decided on the
subject on the Datafile cover. I believe PC12 was used much more commonly on
Western Front machines than is generally modelled and decided that my Dolphin
would be so coloured. Mostly built straight out of the box but with extra detail
bits such as Reheat instrument transfers and bezels and Aeroclub Lewis guns.
Kit: Tom's Modelworks (1:48)
Flying 9407, FltSubLt Raymond Collishaw shot down a Fokker during the Oberndorf
raid in November 10th.
The kit is a vacform from Tom's Modelworks with excellent surface detail.
You get both single and two-seater fuselages and I opted for the single seater,
cutting out the rear position as it was crisper. The lower center section /
wing panel joints require a lot of work but with wire spars and some filler
a good result can be achieved. This is maybe not a vac for the beginner though.
Usual Aeroclub guns and Tom's PE scarff ring etc.
I got some very useful internal details from one of the early RAF videos showing
Strutters preparing for take-off - lovely evocative film!
Kit: Pamela Veal Byplanes (1:48)
E8102, of course - WG Barker's epic VC-winning mount. The model was one of
my earlier attempts but is included to help complete the 1/48 Sopwith series.
Kit was by an outfit called Pamela Veal Ltd in the UK, who started a series
called Byplanes but never got beyond the Snipe and a Bu133 I believe.
N533 - Collishaw's two-gun "Black Maria". Eduard "Black Flight" kit straight
out of the box. Isn't it nice to get a kit for once that is accurate and just
Kit: Blue Max (1:48)
This is the excellent Blue Max kit built as the F.1 option. I have seen so
many pics of 28 Sqn Camels that I knew exactly what my F.1 model would look
like even before I bought it! The red chequers were laid in strips from a Tauro
decal sheet with lots of intricate hand painting to get the curved surfaces
correctly proportioned. Most time consuming bit was the fuselage "R" which came
from cutting down a Letraset dry transfer and then rubbing it on red decal film.
After about 26 attempts, these were then cut out and applied.
Great thing about the BM kit is the collection of extra bits you get - see
This is the Blue Max kit built as the 2F.1 option - well actually it's got
Smer wings and an Aeroclub Clerget engine etc, as I bought two BMs and a Smer
and was able to make 4 Camels in all! Subject is N6605, which took place in
the hugely successful raid on the airship sheds at Tondern. It was flown by
Lt NE Williams who had to land in Denmark where man and machine were interned
till the end of the war. The 50lb bombs come from the Eduard Baby kit.
This is another result of the BM/Smer co-productions with extra Aeroclub guns
engine etc and a fairly easy fuselage conversion. I think the Comic Camel is
a very pretty aeroplane and like the "Christmas Tree" addition of the Holts'
flares etc. B4614 was flown by LT WE Nicholson and painted in the curious shade
of green developed by the family paint frim of one of the pilots. I used a Tamiya
WW2 colour which seems about right to me.
Ah well, pride comes before the fall. After building the other BM Camels I
still had bits left over for another and could not decide what markings to do.
It almost became Kissenberth's but eventually the lure of the colourful 1000th
machine built under licence by Ruston & Proctor proved too much. I sprayed it
all white and then drew on the Egyptian markings in pencil and painted in the
colours. I had a secret weapon up my sleeve and had tried out some lumocolour
permanent marker pens as a possibility for the black lines. (I threw together
a Hawk Nie17 and drew black lines all over it, then sprayed on various varnishes,
all with great success.) I seemed to get best results from a satin polyurethane
based artists medium that I had never used before. So - to the Camel, and I
carefully drew on all the black lines using pre-cut pieces of plastic card as
templates. It looked fantastic. I carried out final assembly and rigging and
then set it up for varnishing. Aaaaaaahhh! as the varnish started to dry the
black lines started to smudge... the words "silly b****r, silly b****r" rang
in my ears like an Egyptian curse from King Tut's tomb. To add insult to injury
the new varnish also thickened on the rigging. At this moment the Ruston 1000th
machine almost flew again, but thought of the amount of work invested saved
it from imminent destruction. I show it here as a salutary lesson in the old
maxim of testing everything to destruction then testing again.
Why is it that a modeller looking at a perfectly good model of one aeroplane
immediately thinks of how he can convert it into another. The Eduard Sopwith
Baby is a nice little kit which with a little work will result in a very colourful
model. I was working my way through the Sopwiths so the Baby came up next. But,
as I played with the bits, I thought how easy it would be to make a Tabloid
emerge from the parts. Perverse humanity!
Anyway, a change to the tail shap, a new curved nose and some undercarriage
bits later, out came something looking a bit like a Tabloid. I experimented
with linen finishes on this and sprayed it gloss Ivory, then masked ribs etc
and rubbed on Sienna and Umber artists oils to get the used grainy look. Peeling
off the masking revealed the rib tapes. It worked fairly well and developed
a technique which I'm now taking further on some other CDL schemes.