by John Ratzenberger

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Sopwith RNAS Pup

Kit: WingNut Wings (1:32)

Of the six kit options, one is the famous N-6453, not on the occasion of her landings on HMS Furious, but rather in the Fall of 1917 (see photo #21, page 10, Pup Datafile Special) -- this is the option I chose. As this was built for a review (IPMS/USA Journal, Vol 23, Nr 2, Mar/Apr 2011), I did it almost OOB, only adding a Brock Shield on the Lewis, correcting the pitot location, and adding pitot tubing to the right front cabane strut.

Paints are Mister Kit PC-10 and CDL -- I made my best effort so far at trying to replicate structure under CDL fabric, but still have a way to go. Wood colors are a mix of things -- I tend to understate grain and all that, so don't look for any dramatic effects.

Rigging is RB Productions photo-etch RAF Wire representing 1/4BSF and 2BA where appropriate and .012" steel wire for control cables. This is the first time I used the photo-etch "wire" it will take me a couple more tries to get it right. I suspect there is a practical limit of about 3 inches for a run unless the wire can be fastened better. Yes, it is still "flat" streamlined wire, but I think it looks a tad better than "round" streamlined wire in this scale. It might also work in 48th scale, but I wouldn't bother in 72nd.

The kit is simply wonderful, but I do have a few lessons learned that might be helpful to others.
-- The cockpit is the most critical part of the build because it determines how well located the cabane struts are, which of course determines wing fit.
-- I found it much easier to glue the front deck onto the cockpit assembly then fit everything into the fuselage halves; widen the holes for the cabane struts a wee bit just to avoid side pressure.
-- The cockpit to lower wing fit is tight and needed much sanding work to get it to fit right and to sit low enough to close a gap between the fuselage and the wing.
-- Leave the engine, prop, and cowl until next-to-last -- the firewall makes a great stand for the model in final assembly and rigging.
-- Leave the wheels until the very last item -- the gear is the most vulnerable part of the model, primarily due to the beautifully done split axle and once you put the wheels on, it gets all the weight.

I really enjoyed this model and would like to thank members of the list for their help with some historical research.

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