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Found 11 results

  1. Hot on the heels of her Spitfire PR.1G diorama, completed in January 2017, my daughter started her new project in early February. This was going to be her third build, but having done such a good job of her Spitfire and her first model, a Red Arrows Hawk, I had confidence she would manage. This project was going to be a wall hanging picture / diorama of "Snoopy verses the Red Baron" using a 1/72 Revell kit and a scratch built Snoopy and kennel. Framing the picture allows it to be hung on the wall where it won't be damaged and also it will keep the dust off the models.
  2. Here is my interpretation of the Sopwith Triplane, my first in this scale. I doff my hat to Ian, aka @limeypilot who's own WIP gave me a lot of pointers and inspiration so that I can complete this bird. The cockpit was all but scratch-built, kit MG replaced with a Miniworld Vickers MG...very nice. Fuselage tail lengthened, kit axle replaced with a scratch-built variant. Underside painted with Humbrol Linen enamel, I thought was too yellow, so I'll change that for the future. Topside was painted using Tamiya Khaki Drab, a good colour I think for a PC10 finish. Kit decals. The tiniest of PE control horns were fitted and rigged with mono filament fishing line. Overall, I'm pleased with the result and have learnt a lot and hopefully a later version of the Triplane will be done in the future. Comments welcome. Thanks for looking. Stuart
  3. Fokker DR.1 Profipak 1:48 Eduard With the introduction of the Sopwith Tri-plane and its appearance over the Western Front at the beginning of 1917, the Allies found themselves an aircraft that proved itself superior to the Albatros fighters then in use by the German forces. The Fokker company responded by converting an unfinished biplane prototype into the V.4, a small, rotary-powered triplane with a steel tube fuselage and thick cantilever wings, first developed during Fokker's government-mandated collaboration with Hugo Junkers. Initial tests revealed that the V.4 had unacceptably high control forces resulting from the use of unbalanced ailerons and elevators. Fokker produced a revised prototype designated V.5. The most notable changes were the introduction of horn-balanced ailerons and elevators, as well as longer-span wings. The V.5 also featured interplane struts, which were not necessary from a structural standpoint, but which minimized wing flexing. Fokker produced two pre-production triplanes, designated F.I, which could be distinguished from production Dr.I aircraft by a slight curve to the tailplane leading edge. These aircraft, serials 102/17 and 103/17, were the only machines to receive the F.I designation. They were sent to Jastas 10 and 11 for combat evaluation, arriving at Markebeeke, Belgium on 28 August 1917. Compared with the Albatros and Pfalz fighters, the Dr.I offered exceptional manoeuvrability. Though the ailerons were not very effective, the rudder and elevator controls were light and powerful. Rapid turns, especially to the right, were facilitated by the tri-planes marked directional instability. It was noted that the Dr.I was considerably slower than contemporary Allied fighters in level flight and in a dive. While initial rate of climb was excellent, performance fell off dramatically at higher altitudes due to the low compression of the Oberursel Ur.II, a clone of the Le Rhône 9J rotary engine. Only 171 Dr-1s reached the front line by the end of the war. Whilst the aircraft was manoeuvrable it had many weak points in its design and numbers of aircraft were lost through high wing loading of the upper wing resulting in damage to the spar and ribs. The Kit The kit is packaged in the usual Eduard Profipak boxing with the recognisable orange stripe across the top. Inside are three sprues of blue grey styrene, a large decal sheet, a sheet of pre-cut masks, a nickel-plated and partially pre-painted Photo-Etch (PE) and a small slip of clear acetate. Due to the small size of the original, even in this scale there aren't too many parts, but in the areas that matter, i.e. the cockpit, there is plenty of detail for all but the super-detailer to be happy with. The original moulds were made in 2008, with a number of reboxings over the years, so this isn't their most modern tooling although it still stands up well. Construction starts with the cockpit which consists of the footboard control column, rudder pedals and compass with pre-painted seatbelts, which unusually for the period were four-point harnesses. On the rear bulkhead the seat, seat supports and cushion are fitted. Additional PE parts are supplied for the compass, a stencil for the ammo cans, and an optional circular part on the gun actuators. The two cockpit assemblies and the ammunition box are added, and before closing the fuselage there is a small bulkhead to be added to the rear, near the tail skid, and what looks like either an oil or fuel tank in front of the ammunition tanks. Once the fuselage has been buttoned up the centre wing is added, the upper coaming, horizontal tailplane and outer wing struts all following suit. Turning the fuselage over, the bottom wing is fitted along with the wing/fuselage fairing. Still inverted, the outer wing ground handling loops can be fitted in addition to the tail skid and central fuselage strake, plus the elevators and rudder, with their associated control horns. The engine assembly, consisting of the pistons and PE ignition harness is fitted along with the cowling, followed by the two machine guns with PE cooling jackets and their ammunition chutes attached the interplane struts, which have a PE windscreen bracket of two types (your choice) to which you fit one of two styles of acetate from the sheet provided. The upper wing is then glued into position, with the ailerons fitted to their respective positions. The main undercarriage, consisting of a three part inter-wheel aerodynamic fairing, four individual struts and the wheels themselves is attached to the bottom of the fuselage. The final parts to be fitted are the two grab handles on the lower rear fuselage and the horizontal tailplane struts, and the propeller, of which there are two types, depending on which decal option you have chosen. Markings There are six options in this new boxing, and only two of them are completely red! It's nice to see some different options, and having six in the box makes it one more than normal Profipak fare. From the box you can build one of the following: 425/17 flown by Rittmeister M. Freiherr von Richthofen, CO of JG 1, Cappy, France, April 1918 577/17 flown by Lt. R. Klimke, Jasta 27, Halluin – Ost, France, May 1918 479/17 flown by Lt. A. Raben, Jasta 18, Montingen (Montoy – Flanville now), France, October 1918 213/17 flown by Lt. Friedrich Kempf, Jasta 2, 1917 425/17 flown by Rittmeister M. Freiherr von Richthofen, CO of JG 1, Lechelle, France, March 1918 flown by Lt. W. Steinhäuser, Jasta 11, Avesnes-le-Sec, France, February 1918 Decals are printed in Czechia and in good registration, sharpness (except for a little blur around the edges of the red in places) and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. It might seem odd to have a sheet of pre-cut masks (not pictured) on a WWI biplane… sorry, triplane, but included it is, and it provides masks for the wheels, the cowling front, a set of stripes for the elevators of option F, as well as some stripes of mask for general usage. Conclusion A welcome re-edition of possibly the most recognised aircraft of WWI amongst the general public. The kit's simplicity emulates that of the original, but the addition of the PE and the masks gives it a more modern appeal. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Sopwith Triplane. 1/32 Roden. The Sopwith Triplane was developed from the Sopwith Pup, but was built in relatively small numbers. Despite being a highly successful fighter it's front line service life was also comparatively short. It was difficult to service and maintain, and was never adopted by the Royal Flying Corps, with service being restricted to the RNAS ans one French squadron. The Roden kit has been around for a while and was bettered by the Wingnut Wings kit in 2012. Unfortunately the Wingnuts kit sold out very quickly, meaning that if you want a Triplane, you have to get the Roden kit. Hanants had them on sale earlier this year, so I took the plunge and bought one. There are some problems with it, which I corrected in this WIP thread here. Basically they are; - The fuselage is too short - One filler cap is in the wrong place - No seatbelts are supplied - The tiny propeller on the strut mounted Rotherham pump is just a solid bar. - [Edit] Oh, and the prop was replaced with one of the spares from a WNW Sopwith Pup kit, 'cos it had sharper detail [/edit] The fuselage was lengthened with plasticard, and the top decking had a piece taken from one of the 2 optional deckings supplied. The finished model represents the mount of Raymond Collishaw of the famous 'Naval 10' squadron, aka the Black Flight. It is one of the kit supplied options. The little prop for the Rotherham pump was from the spares box, off a generic RFC fittings sprue from a Wingnut Wings kit (Can't remember which!) Thanks for looking John
  5. 1/32 Sopwith Triplane. Correcting the Roden Kit With the Wingnut Wings SopwithTriplane kit having long since sold out, the only game in town is the Roden offering. Hannants had them on special offer recently, so I was tempted and purchased one. There is one major problem with the kit however, and that is that the fuselage is too short by about 6 mm. I believe it was Rowan Broadbent of Pheon Decals, John Adams of Aeroclub, and Brian Fawcet who originally brought this to attention, and Brian offers his own resin fuselage correction set. Here If you have a Roden kit and want to fix it, Brians correction set can be heartily recommended. However, I decided to have go at fixing it myself with some old fashioned modelling, using what I had available so as to keep the overall cost down. Firstly I sawed the fuselage in half where the rear decking starts, then cut a strip of 40 thou plasticard 6mm wide. This was cut into lengths for the side and bottom of each fuselage half, and inserted where the cut was made. I set them standing proud of the outside surface to give a little sanding room to bring them down flush. Using 40 thou gave a good strong bond as well. The trick here is to do the fuselage halves with the locating holes first (I think it was left side). Lay it on a flat surface when the inserts are first attached, to get a nice straight fuselage half and let it set solidly over night.The next day do the other half with the locating pegs on, and align it on the by now strong other side, to get a perfectly straight fuselage. This left the cockpit decking too short, but fortunately Roden supply two, one for the single gun and one for the twin gun option. I simply cut a 6mm section off one and joined it to the rear of the other, sanding it flush later. I am not 100% certain that the extra length is in the cockpit decking (rather than the rear fabric decking) but I think so, based on studying photographs and plans. Perhaps Triplane experts can throw some light on this? Annoyingly Roden do not supply any decals for the instrument panel, so I sourced some from the spares box. Having built Wingnut Wings Sopwith Snipe with the 'late' four point Sutton harness, I had a spare etched brass lap type seatbelt which was perfect for the triplane, as again Roden do not supply this. The forward of the two filler caps on the decking need to be filled in and relocated further aft. I simply drilled a hole in the new location and carefully cut one from the spare decking and cemented it in. Before; Having cut the fuselage, there was now a section of fuselge lacing missing on the starboard side. I scraped and sanded off what was there, and replaced it with some Eduard 1/48 etched lacing that I had in stock. Although 1/48, one of the patterns matched perfectly with what was on the kit before I removed it. (Note relocated filler cap) The undercarriage legs do not have much of a contact point where they meet the fuselage, so i decided to fit them while all was still bare plastic for the sake of getting a good strong join all around. Note also that there was a bit of sink marking in the area between the lower wings, as well as other areas where white Milliput has been used to fill in and smooth things up. With Halfords grey primer from a rattle can sprayed on, all was looking encouraging. One real oddity I only spotted after priming was that the underside of the top wing had lots of pinholes in, like resin castings sometimes do. A bit of Milliput sorted that out, but it is a new one on me in injection moulded plastic. Painting is under way, I decided to fit the struts to the middle wings as a bit of filling was needed around them, and paint everything up as a series of sub assemblies. I hope this helps anyone out there contemplating building one of these. They are not to Wingnut Wings Standard, but do build into nice models. The 6 mm extension may not sound like much, but to me it makes a big difference to the look of the model and is well worth doing. Get the wings on and rig it next! Cheers John
  6. Fokker Dr. I triplane stretchers?

    Hello, I'm currently building Revell's 1/72 Fokker Dr. I triplane (WIP thread here). I'd be most grateful if someone could clarify if stretchers were used in the rigging and, if so, what type. I haven't been able to find pictures on line to clarify this. I have Eduard's 1/72 stretchers and control horns PE set and would like to use the most appropriate types. Thanks in advance Jaime
  7. Fokker DR.1Triplane 1:24 Merit International Instantly recognisable as one of the most distinctive aircraft of The Great War, the Fokker Triplane's fame far exceeds its actual contribution to the war effort. It's service life barely stretched to 6 months, and the number built was tiny (320) in relation to other contemporary fighter aircraft such as the Albatros D.V /Va (around 2,500 built). Undoubtedly it was the association with Manfred Von Richthofen 'The Red Baron' that made it such a famous aircraft. Even members of the public with no interest in aviation will surely be aware of the man and his blood red Triplane. It was not particularly fast, but Its greatest assets were its rate of climb and exceptional manoeuvrability, which made it a deadly opponent in a dog fight. Coupled to the fact that most were only issued to elite units and flown by the most skilled pilots, it is perhaps easier to appreciate why it built up such a formidable reputation in a short space of time. Roughly speaking, it was in service with the Jastas from the end of 1917,and gone from them by the middle of 1918. Very few aircraft of any type have ever had such a short lifespan. There have been many plastic kits available, almost from the start of the hobby. There cannot be many of us who did not build an Airfix or Revell Triplane in our early years of modelling. It has been well covered in all the main scales, with noteworthy examples from Eduard (1:72 and 1:48), Roden (1:32) , and even a 1:28 version from Revell which has been around for many decades. This new kit from Merit is however the first version that I am aware of in 1:24 scale, and seems to herald the beginning of a new range of Great War aircraft, as their website lists an SE.5a to join it soon. The kit. Until recently I was not aware of the 'Merit International' brand, but they are apparently an off-shoot of the well known Trumpeter company. They specialise in large scale kits such as the 1:18 scale F-86 Sabre, Bf 109, Me 262 and AV-8B Harrier amongst others. The DR.1 kit comes in a sturdy cardboard box with a separate base and lid, which is well filled with five individually wrapped sprue trees, an etched brass fret, two sheets of decals, colour profiles for the finishing option, and an A4 sized instruction booklet. First impressions are of a well packed and presented product. Sprue A. This holds the two fuselage halves and many of the interior components. Everything is cleanly moulded with good detail and virtually no flash. The under fuselage stitching along the centre seam is moulded on, rather than being as a separate strip as Eduard do it. It should work well, but will require care when gluing the fuselage halves together. Sprues B and C. Each of the three wings are split into upper and lower halves. The fabric effect is really well done, with the underlying structure and ribs being subtly portrayed. The fabric itself looks nice and tightly 'doped on' without the excessive sag that many manufacturers mould on. I'm impressed with how Merit have done it, and it should look very good under a coat of paint. Sprue D. The welded steel tube fuselage interior is fully supplied in the form of two side pieces with separate upper and lower cross members. The instructions suggest building it all around the interior components such as floor, seat, ammo tank, etc. Personally I would be tempted to see if I could build up most of the tubular skeleton and then fit in all these parts afterwards. It would make painting of all these parts easier, but might be risky! A bit of dry fitting should give some idea of how feasible this might be. Also on this sprue are all the cylinder heads and pushrods for the engine, and the cabane and interplane struts for the wings. The moulding is all very neat with no flash and the tiniest of seams to scrape once off the sprue. Sprue E. Engine halves, firewall, cowling, axle wing, wheels, rudder, tailplane and propeller are all here. Again the moulding is neat and almost flash free. None of the sprues show any sign of sink marks and are competently produced. The Axial propeller is moulded with nice thin trailing edges and blade cross sections. It is however a little bit 'pinched looking' at the rear of the blades near the roots. It is nothing too serious, but I will build mine up a little with Milliput and blend it in. The wheels are nicely defined as single piece mouldings with sharp hub to tyre definition, which will make painting a simple easy task. The engine has nicely defined detail, with separate spark plugs. Many of us will want to add some very fine copper wire for the plug leads. I do this on all my Wingnut Wings and Eduard kits, because once you have done it you feel obliged to do it to all your builds! Etch. The etched brass sheet supplies a pair of cooling jackets for the twin Spandau machine guns, and control horns for the elevators and ailerons. Decals. The smaller of the two sheets contains all the national markings and subjects for the two individual finishing options, along with some instrument faces and propeller logos etc. A larger sheet offers a representation of the Fokker 'Streaky' camouflage for the upper wing surfaces and fuselage. If you are not familiar with this, the Fokker factory applied a streaky effect to many of their aircraft types. It was hand painted by wide brush using a green/olive colour, and deliberately streaked in one direction. If you are not confident in doing this on the model, then the decals will do all the hard work for you. I have worked out a way to do this with oil paints described here, as I personally prefer to be able to vary the tone and shade of the streaking over what most decals provide. Well done to Merit for giving the modeller the choice though. Options. Both are well known, but it is pleasing to note that Manfred Von Richthofen's overall red DR.1 has been avoided. Instead we have one of his earlier DR.1s 152/17, which in my opinion is far more attractive in its streaky green with red sections. The second option is Jasta 2's Fritz Kempf 'Kennscht mi noch?' which translates as either 'Remember me?' or 'Do you know me?'. It was something of a taunt to allied pilots, and to make sure, Kempf had his name painted in large letters on the top wing. Although not mentioned in the instructions, it would be possible to create several other DR.1s using just the basic 'Iron Crosses'. Many had simple designs painted on the fuselage which covered most, if not all, of the serial number. Guns. The LMG 08/15 machine guns are supplied with etched brass jackets, but further comment is needed here. The kit supplies solid mouldings for the guns and the builder is instructed to wrap the etched jackets around the solid barrel. While this will work, I don't see the point in it, as the advantage of the etched 'slot' openings will be all but lost. I therefore modified mine to how easy it would be to improve them. Firstly I cut off the solid barrel, leaving a lip at each end for the etched jacket to glue on to. Then I drilled a hole in each end for the new barrel. The barrels on the Spandaus were only thin tubes, the purpose of the slotted jacket was to act as a heat sink and cool it down. A new barrel was cut from 1mm brass wire, and put in place. The etched jacket can then be slid over. Finally, there is a trigger/cocking mechanism on the right side of the gun, which is not represented at all. I built this up from rod and strip to give a reasonable representation of what I can see from photographs. A simple and effective improvement that took all of 10 minutes to do. I also drilled out the solid sight on top of the muzzle, and cyano'd on a cross hair from fine copper wire. The cross hairs were 1 cm long, trimmed off when set. I feel that these modifications/additions are essential in this scale, as the guns supplied ok in shape but lacking in detail. The other item that will need dealing with is the lack of seat belts. In this scale they are essential as they are such a prominent detail in the open cockpit. I was a little surprised that none were included on the etched fret. However, it is not too difficult to fabricate a set. A simple remedy might be to photocopy and enlarge some from a 1/48th set, and use the copy to cut some from tape or wine bottle foil. Alternatively the aftermarket may offer such items. Conclusion. An interesting model in the large 1:24 scale, which won't take up too much space. It will perhaps make a good companion to those similarly scaled 109's from Airfix and Trumpeter, showing the evolution of the German air force over the space of 25-odd years. Don't be put off by omission of seat belts or need to enhance the guns, this is a very nicely moulded kit and a good first entry into Great War modelling by Merit. The DR.1 has none of the complications of biplanes as the mid and lower wings fit directly to the fuselage, and the top wing fits easily onto the 4 struts. Rigging is simple, just 2 wires between the cabane struts and 2 more on the undercarriage. The unpainted but built up example in 'The Rumourmonger' shows a very accurate looking model. The proportions all look right and captures the look and feel of the DR.1 very well. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
  8. Dear Fellow Modellers, After completing my Grumman Duck (RFI here) I got the "biplane bug"... Then I read a favourable build review in Model Aircraft Magazine's December 2014 issue of the Revell Fokker Dr.I triplane (Red Baron's triplane, of course), which also classified it as an easy build, and thought: "Why not build a simple and quick triplane, in between more complicated models?". So, recently I went to my local hobby shop and got this for 10,50 €: Just two red sprues and a small decal sheet. Since I mainly use Gunze Mr. Hobby paints and the instructions have all the painting references using Revell paints, I went to Eduard's website and downloaded an instruction sheet for one of their Red Baron triplanes. Then I applied white primer to all parts, still in the sprues. Red plastic is not the best option for painting colours other than red... I used Tamiya's flat white acrylic paint as primer. It took several light layers to make the red less visible: This was done by the end of March. I left the kit alone for about a month and two weeks ago got back to it. I cut off most of the parts off the sprues, cleaned the molding lines and a bit of flash (not much really) and glued the parts to toothpicks with a drop of super-glue. I do this in order to achieve a better paint finish of small parts at first attempt, because I can choose the best point of contact to hold each part on the toothpick and don't have to touch them until they're finished. With the parts on toothpicks, I applied additional layers of white primer, to cover the cleaned up spots: To keep things simple and quick, this will be a purely OOB build (really!) and I'll only use acrylic paints (no Alclad for metallic parts). I started painting the small parts, progressing from lighter to darker colours, in order to optimise airbrush time (less cleaning needed between colours). Here are the cockpit parts already painted. This aircraft was mostly made of wood and canvas, which shows in the colours of the parts: The rims of the wheels, some pieces that where installed under the wings and the stirrup where also painted: After this I painted the cockpit walls, which are nicely detailed in the kit. First, the wood brown colour: This was masked before painting the second interior colour. Started by applying thin strips of masking tape to clearly define the edges of the area to be protected: Then I filled the interior with tape: This was done to the other half of the fuselage, of course. After painting the second colour (Olive Drab) and removing the tape, this was the result: To finish the cockpit walls, I used a paint brush to paint the ribs (Green-Gray) and the instrumentation / throttle quadrant (blacks, dark iron), resulting in this: Most of it won't be visible after closing the fuselage, but still... The last colours to apply with the airbrush were the metallic colours (silver, black metal), to the machine guns, engine parts, propeller centre,...: My last action was a dry-fit of the fuselage and wings to determine the best building / painting sequence. The idea is to make painting of the main parts as easy as possible and minimise damages to painting due to seam treatment. Here is the fuselage and the lower and middle wing dry-fitted: Now with the struts in place: and now with the top wing in place: It seems the best sequence is: close fuselage glue tail plane and fin and treat seams glue middle wing with struts and treat seams paint fuselage and middle wing paint lower wing glue lower wing and treat seams (these should be visible, like in the real plane) paint upper wing glue upper wing So, this should be enough for now. I haven't progressed further than this yet. Looking forward to your comments, as always. Jaime
  9. Completed this just in time to hand it over to the Kingston Aviation Heritage Project last time at the West MIddlesex club. It is one of six Sopwith models we built for them to be used in their desire to keep the Kingston's heritage in the public limelight. After handing them over we were given an excellent presentation on the history of Sopwith which became Hawker and finally BAe and the aircraft they built in Kingston, Dunsfold and Langley. Although this was my first ever build of a biplane/triplane in this scale i enjoyed it for the most part and learnt a lot, which hopefully I'll be able to be put into good use in future projects. Build thread HERE
  10. Sopwith Triplane, pic thanks to Mark Mills. This is a replica built by Northern Aeroplane Workshops with an original 130hp Clerget engine installed. Sir Tom Sopwith, the founder of the original aircraft company, who supported the project throughout his later life, honoured the society when he decreed that Northern Aeroplane Workshops triplane should be considered as a late production example. This is reflected in manufacturers plate in the cockpit being No 153.
  11. Sopwith Triplane 1:32 Wingnut Wings One of the things that I find interesting about First World war aviation is the variety of aircraft types that appeared as each side struggled for aerial supremacy. If you put yourself in the position of a designer back in 1914 a lot of what we take for granted today was unknown and had to be worked out, resulting in some quite unusual looking aircraft. Low powered engines require a generous amount of lift and therefore wing area in order make flight viable, thus the proliferation of biplanes and scarcity of monoplane designs. I remember reading somewhere that in aerodynamic terms most lift comes from the first 30% of a wing back from the leading edge, so that for a given wing area a long span, thin chord wing is much more efficient than a short span, wide chord one. Which leads us nicely in to the design philosophy of the Triplane, where the very similar Sopwith Pup had much the same wing area spread over two wings, the Triplane had three thin chord wings of the same span as the Pup . It was able to easily out climb, outrun, and outmanoeuvre its two winged brother, all whilst utilising the same type of engine, and had the improved all round visibility that is so vital in a fighting aircraft. Appearing over the Western Front in June 1916, it served almost exclusively with Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) units. It served for just over a year before being replaced by the twin gun Sopwith Camel from late 1917. The most famous users of the 'Tripehound' were Naval 10 squadron, and particularly 'B' flight leader Raymond Collishaw and his all Canadian 'Black Flight' who claimed 87 kills in just three months. That it didn't see more widespread service is probably attributable to the fact that it was a fragile aircraft and difficult to maintain. Tasks that could be completed relatively simply on other aircraft would require major dis-assembly of the Triplanes wings and fuselage in order to gain access to components. The French were the only other operators of the Triplane, and unlike the Sopwith 1 1/2 strutter which they licence built in their thousands, they didn't really take to it. As noted in the Wingnuts instruction booklet where there is a decal option for a French machine, the French did not seem 'particularly inclined to repair them, with half a dozen being written off following often quite minor accidents'. As noted earlier, the arrival of the Sopwith Camel which was stronger and carried twice the firepower, saw the withdrawal of the Triplanes from front line service. The survivors remained in use as trainers until the end of the war, when it quickly disappeared. Although it was produced in relatively small numbers (153 in total, Vs 5,490 Camels) it gained a reputation greater than it's limited use would have suggested. Certainly the German Jastas had great respect for it and it started a 'Triplane craze' on their side, of which only the Fokker DR.1 gained any notable success. The kit. Another lovely surprise from Wingnut Wings was the release of this kit just before Christmas 2012. Packaged in the usual very smart box with Steve Andersons superb artwork showing a low level tailchase with another Tripehound and an Albatros, you know you are in for a treat as you lift the lid on this one. Packed to the top with individual sprues sealed in their own polythene bags, I usually head for the instruction booklet at the bottom of the box, and remove its wrapper. Printed in heavy gauge gloss paper, the twenty two page booklet is beautifully laid out and starts with a parts map. CAD drawings are then used for the assembly sequences, including completed sub assemblies in full colour showing how it should all look as you progress through the build. Colour photographs of the Shuttleworth collections N6920 are used to highlight and clarify various close up details, whilst contemporary black and white photos are used to explain other details. Towards the end of the booklet are the usual five colour scheme options featuring Ronny Bar's beautiful full colour profiles, and more black and white photographs of the actual aircraft being modelled. Nobody comes close to the completeness and quality of Wingnut Wings instructions, and as always you will want to file these away as reference material at the end of the build. Six sprues of various sizes are in the box, the two major ones being for the wings and fuselage. Crisp and clean mouldings are Wingnut Wings hallmark, and these are no exception. I particularly like the Sopwith 'quilted' effect on the sides of the fuselage behind the cowling. It really captures the look of fabric stretched over the wooden framework beneath, which incidentally is nicely moulded on the inside of the fuselage. The 'quilted' effect; The three wings are all together on one sprue. The top and bottom wings are single piece mouldings, thus making the process of setting the dihedral foolproof. The moulded detail is again first class. I've never seen better represented rib tapes on any kit, you can see how these were done. They stitched the wing fabric on to the ribs, sealed it with a strip of fabric and then doped it all to pull it taut. Even the little riblets on the leading edge between the main ribs show up with just enough effect. A nice touch is the inspection panels for the control runs. In reality these are clear panels that the fitters can look through to check that the control cables are correctly on their pulleys. These are moulded in, and separate clear parts are provided to fit over them. These also feature on Wingnuts Sopwith Pup and Se5a kits, and I can vouch that they look extremely good. Interestingly sprue 'B' is labelled 'Sopwith Pup' showing that real life is being mirrored in model form, as these components shared between the Pup and the Triplane. It contains the wheels, tailplane, cockpit seat and various other small ancillary items. This wide span tailplane is the one initially fitted to triplanes, (options A and C use it) but later on a shorter span one was developed. This can be found on sprue A, so you have the choice. Various different cowling panels and a choice of prop are on sprue 'F', and I notice that the large square inspection panels are greyed out on the parts map, possibly meaning that we can expect another Triplane release (purely guesswork, but the 'Black Flight' Triplanes featured these panels so maybe we will see a boxing for them?). The Clerget engine is a nice little model in it's own right, and comes with very delicately moulded cooling fins, induction pipes, and push-rods. An optional crankcase front enables you to build either a 110 or 130 hp version, depending upon which finishing option you choose. Clear parts are provided for the very minimal windscreens, and the aforementioned inspection panels in the wings. Rigging on the Triplane is rather like a biplane, in that the bracing runs from the top wing to the bottom wing, and line lines actually cross in the middle wing. There is further bracing fore and aft on the lower and middle wing, to the fuselage. Patches were appently placed over these crossover points, and these are provided on the etched brass sheet, along with a set of seatbelts. Marking Options. Wingnut Wings always provide at least five interesting marking options with their kits. These ones are especially nice as well as three RNAS machines, they also feature a French variant, and a captured German one. The 'obvious' option of a Naval 10 'black flight' machine is not present so I would guess that this might come out separately or feature on one of Wingnuts own aftermarket decal sheets. Personally I tend to like the less obvious choices as they often have an interest of their own, and spur you on to do a little extra reading and research. The decals are printed by Cartograf on an almost A4 sized sheet and have excellent register, colour density and sharpness. The wing roundels have a little cutout in them where they fit around the clear inspection panels, and are also designed to fit down into the slot formed by the aileron gap. Finally, the little dials for the instruments are particularly impressive, you can actually read them through a magnifying glass. Tthe profiles are in full colour by Ronny Bar, some just as side profiles sharing anothers upper and lower drawings, but most as full three-views. It can often take several days of thinking around the subject to actually decide which one to do, as the choices are so interesting. I'm strongly tempted by the French and German options, but also have a nagging feeling that I would like one of the RNAS machines in my collection, as it was really one of 'their' aircraft. It' all good fun mulling it over though, and part of the enjoyment. Option A. Triplane F4 Centre d'Aviation Maritime, Dec 1916 to Jan 1917. Option B. N534 1 (N) Squadron August 1917. A very interesting option, N534 was flown by no fewer than three aces who all obtained kills in it. 'Sammy' Maynard (6 kills) was a New Zealander, whilst Richard Minifie (21 Kills) and Roderick Dallas (32 kills) were both Australians. Option C. N5427 1(N) Squadron April 1917. Another machine flown by 'Sammy' Maynard to obtain a kill. Option D. N5429, Jasta 4 September 1917. Serving with 1(N) Squadron in September 1917, JR Wilford was shot down by 27 victory ace Kurt Wusthoff on the 13th of the month. With it's pointy spinner and eisernkreuz markings, this certainly is an unusual triplane. Option E. N6301, Roderick McDonald, 8(N) Squadron May 1917. Named 'Dusty II' . Conclusion. In previous builds of my own Wingnuts Wings kits (LVG, Pfalz D.IIIa, Roland D.VIa, SE5.a, Sopwith Pup, Bristol F2.b, and FE.2b), the fit has been extraordinarily good, so it is safe to assume that this one will go together with the same precision that all the others have. It also has the same meticulous attention to detail that characterise these kits. Alternative parts are provided for cockpit coamings, windscreens, struts with/without pitot heads, propellers, etc for all the different making options provided in the kit. The one piece wings and simple interplane struts should make it an ideal first or second build for the WW.1 novice, and the rest of us 'Great War' addicts will certainly want a 'Tripehound' in our collections. Buy with confidence, this is another beautifully designed and presented offering from Wingnut Wings which will provide you with many hours of pure modelling enjoyment. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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