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Salmson 2-A2/Otsu 1 - 1:32 Wingnut Wings


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Salmson 2-A2/Otsu 1

1:32 Wingnut Wings


The newest release from Wingnut Wings covers the French Salmson 2-A2 and is available in two different boxings. The USAS version offers five different finishing options for machines in service with the United States Air Service Army, whilst the version received here for review offers four French and one Japanese option.

The Salmson Company started off building Automobiles, and then aero engines, before progressing to designing their own aircraft, initially without much success. In 1916 they began work on a design to replace the Sopwith 1 ½ Strutters that they were then licence building, producing an aircraft that was both larger and heavier, but which incorporated interesting features such as a radial engine (in an age of rotary and in-line engines) and self-sealing fuel tanks. The initial Salmson A was not a success, but was developed into the 2-A2 utilising Salmsons own 9z water cooled radial engine of 260hp. This gave it a useful ceiling of 19,000 ft, range of 300 miles and top speed of 116 mph.

Entering service in October 1917 with the French Air Force, it was well received and went on to equip 52 Escadrilles and achieved a production run of 3250 machines. Of these 705 were supplied to the USAS who also found it to be a useful and reliable workhorse, no doubt appreciating its self sealing fuel tanks in an era when fire was a very real and deadly risk. Built under licence in Japan as the Otsu 1 reconnaissance aircraft some 600 further examples were produced up until 1927, and remained in service until 1933. Other post war users of Salmson built machines were Czechoslovakia, both sides in the Russian Civil War, Poland, Belgium, Peru and Spain.

The kit.

Presented in Wingnut Wings familiar style with beautiful artwork in the silver edged box, the Instructions, decals, and all sprues are sealed in their own individual plastic bags. As ever, the instruction manual is in a class of its own that no other manufacturer has yet bettered, never mind equalled. Filled with CAD drawings showing the assembly sequences, further illustrated with drawings of completed assemblies, and supplemented by period photographs of both overall and detailed areas, it goes far beyond just showing you how to assemble your kit.


Finished off with full colour profiles by Ronnie Bar, there are the usual five colour schemes to choose from, always difficult because they are all so appealing.

Sprue A. This contains most of the detail items, many of which are for the cockpit interior. There is no flash or any sink marks to be found, and ejector pin marks are pretty much on non visible surfaces.


The moulding technology is fantastic, the fuselage side frames being an example. The cabane struts will not only be as strong as possible, but also they are pre-lined up for you.



Sprue B. The upper and lower wing panels featuring nicely done rib tapes and sharp trailing edges.


As with all Wingnuts kits the strut mounting sockets are surrounded with pre made holes to anchor the rigging into. Depending upon your method of rigging these can be used as is or further reamed out with a micro drill.


Sprue C. The smallest one, containing the clear parts.


Sprue D. Two of these are provided to cover all the parts such as wheels and struts that need duplicating. Fine moulding is in evidence on the Lewis guns and lettering on the tyre sidewalls.


Sprue E. The 9z radial engine. I always start my Wingnuts builds with the engine as they make up into beautiful little models in their own right. This one looks like it will be even nicer than most as it has lots of contrasting metal colours on it, including lovely copper jackets around the cylinders.


Sprue F. This holds the fuselage and empennage mouldings. The drum tight fabric effect on the fuselage is very realistic, although hard to capture in a photograph.


Sprue G. Larger detail items are on here, the cockpit floor being another example of the standard of moulding achieved by Wingnut Wings.



Even more amazing are the sets of louvered panels. Look at them at the right angle and it clear to see that they actually are louvered!


Photo Etch. Useful items are supplied here, such as the seatbelts, gun ring mounts, gun sights etc. All the items that would be too fine to do in plastic.


Decals. Produced by Cartograf, the sheet almost equals the length and width of the box. Each design is sharply printed on minimal carrier film, in register, and with accurate looking colours. A common area provides all the fine detail such as the instrument faces, stencils and strut bindings. And being Cartograf gives the assurance that they will perform excellently when the time comes to apply them to the finished model.


Finishing Options.

A) Unknown serial, Col. Hamonic?, SAL 122, late 1917 to early 1918.

'B) 251, 4, SAL 16, 1918.

C) 381, 4, SAL 28, 1918. (This possibly could be 581 rather than 381. Wingnut Wings point this out and give you the option of both on the decal sheet. Attention to detail!)

D) 602 Le Gone, SAL 61, late 1918 to February 1919.

E) Type Otsu Model 1 Reconnaissance Aircraft 1123, mid to late 1920s.


The Salmson 2-A2 is probably less well known to British modellers although still an attractive subject, It will have extra appeal to our French and American friends due to its widespread use with their Air Forces. Other First World War enthusiasts will want one because of all the fabulous colour schemes that will be possible, particularly when aftermarket decals are available. And for those who like their 1:32nd Zeros, Hayates, Raidens, Shindens, and Claudes, how about an Otsu 1 to park alongside them?

Wingnut Wings releases never fail to delight as they are so beautifully done, with obvious care and attention to detail from the team who produce them. You start to get your moneys worth from first opening the box, there are hours of pleasure to be had admiring the mouldings and working out the options to fit, and colour scheme to finish it in. Another flawless winner from Wingnut Wings.

Highly Recommended.

Review sample courtesy of

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