Kit: Revell (1:72)
The kit is an old one, and not without its flaws. The fuselage fit is lousy
underneath, there are a lot of ejector marks all over the wings, the parts are
very delicate, and it’s not entirely accurate.
I started construction by scratch building an interior. I used a part of sprue
for the instrument panel, made a seat and petrol tank from blu tack, floor and
control stick from matches, medical tape for seatbelts and when they were in,
sealed the fuselage halves together. Of course, after the top wing went on I
can’t see any of this, but I know it’s there!
The fuselage alignment was tricky. I lined up the top half well enough, but
the underside seam line was poor, and required extensive use of filler and
sanding. The results are ok, but not perfect.
The bottom wing went on, again with filler for the root join, and then on went
the two piece rudder and wings. No problems there.
The upper wing then went on, and this was easier than I thought. The wing
struts actually fit fairly well into grooves in the upper and lower wings, and
once glued in, hold pretty well. The struts from the cowling to wings were no
The wheel struts were a problem however. They’re terribly thin, and really
don’t fit on well. Mine broke in assembly, so I built some new ones out of
matches and on went the wheels, then the engine cover, machine guns and prop.
The engine cowling was sprayed silver, and then the rest of the painting was
tackled. I started with the wood on the fuselage, for which I used a base coat
of light wood brown from Revell, and then I drybrushed various other darker
browns on top of that. The same was done for the prop and struts. The rest of
the fuselage was brush painted in Revell matt dark green and beige to simulate
the green and doped linen shades. I painted on the red white and blue stripes
on the rudder, drybrushed a little silver over the prop nuts and guns, the
wheels in carmine red and black, and leather for the skid, and that was it.
When that was dry, I put on a couple of coats of Future, and it was ready for
The Revell decals were great, and I had no problems there. I used the options
to decal it as the F1 Camel flown by Lt. L.S. Breadner of No.3 Naval Sqn,
RNAS, Walmer, December 1917.
Rigging was done using Ernie Ball 0.08 gauge guitar strings, which were
individually cut to size and CA’d into place. That was time consuming, and
they are a little oversize. Next time round, I’m going to try to use
monofilament thread. There are some important control wires left off, as by
this stage, I’d had enough, and I hadn’t incorporated control horns to fit
them on anyway, so they would have looked weird.
Overall, this took me 5 months of on and off building, but as my first
biplane, I’m happy with it. I have subsequently bought the 1/48th Revell
Camel, and much to my wife’s horror, recently bought 10 more biplane kits off
e-bay, including 2 Pups, a Snipe and Salamander; just to build my Sopwith
Kit: Airfix (1:72)
I realised that I hadn't sent in details of an Airfix 1/72nd Sopwith Pup build
that I did late last year.