Sopwith Aircraft Model Images
by Sandy Adam

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Sopwith Collection I : Pup

Kit: Eduard (1:48)

Sopwith Pup - 7 Squadron RFC - Netheravon 1918

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.

Sopwith Collection II : Dolphin

Kit: Waldo (1:48)

Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin 1 - 87 Squadron Summer 1918

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.

Sopwith Collection III : 1-1/2 Strutter

Kit: Tom's Modelworks (1:48)

Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter - No3 Wing RNAS, Luxeil 1916

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!

Sopwith Collection IV : Snipe

Kit: Pamela Veal Byplanes (1:48)

Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe - 201 Squadron RAF, October 1918

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.

Sopwith Collection V : Triplane

Kit: Eduard (1:48)

Sopwith Triplane - 10 (Naval) Squadron RNAS , July 1917

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 falls together?

Sopwith Collection VI : Camel

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

Sopwith F.1 Camel - 28 Squadron RAF, Florence 1919

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 later.

Sopwith Collection VII : Camel

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

Sopwith 2F.1 Ship's Camel - HMS Furious, July 1918

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.

Sopwith Collection VIII : Camel

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

Sopwith F.1/3 'Comic' Camel - 44 Squadron RAF, Hainault Farm

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.

Sopwith Collection IX : Camel

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

Sopwith F.1 Camel - "Ruston 1000th"

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.

Sopwith Collection X : Tabloid

Kit: Eduard (1:48)

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.

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