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SE.5a - 1:48 Lindberg


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1:48 Lindberg


One of the most famous of all British fighters of the Great War, the S.E.5a entered service in 1917, and stayed on the front line until the end of the war in November 1918. It was a much easier aircraft to fly than the tricky Sopwith Camel, and given that many pilots were arriving with as little as 20 hours flying training, a much more suitable mount for the inexperienced.

Designed by H P Folland, it's characteristics can be readily seen in the post war Gloster Grebe and Gamecock which Folland also designed. Other of his notable works were the Gloster Gauntlet and Gladiator, and he went on to found the Folland aircraft company.The earlier aircraft were powered by the 200 hp Hispano-Suiza 8b geared engine, and later on the 200 hp Wolsely Viper direct drive engine was introduced. In simple terms, the drive shaft of the Hispano Suiza drove a gear wheel, which then drove another gearwheel above, attached to the back of the prop, which rotated clockwise when viewed from the font. Visually this raised the prop higher in the nose, and often these machines had 4 bladed propellers.

The Wolsely Viper was a licence built version of the Hispano-Suiza, and dispensed with the gear mechanism. The prop was bolted directly to the drive shaft, so that visually it sat in the mid position of the nose, and rotated anti-clockwise. This is a quick way to spot the difference between a geared Hispano Suiza, and a direct drive engine, probably a Wolsely Viper, although to complicate things, Hispano Suiza started to produce direct drive engines as well.

The Kit
Using the way back when machine this kit in fact dates back to 1958 The kit arrives as a bag of parts, most of which are on one central sprue. There is also a length of wire to rig the kit. The engine detail is basic and the interior consists of just a seat, control column and rudder pedals. The wheels attach over the axles and then the end of the axle must be melted down with a hot nail/screw driver etc. The fabric detail on the wings is reasonable, and they have managed to capture the large exhausts & seams down the side fairly well. A length of steel wire is provided to rig the aircraft.



The decal sheet is well printed, however the colours do seem a little muted to my eyes. Decals for two aircraft are provided;
  • No. 35 Sqd Royal Flying Corps
  • C Flight, 25th Aero Sqn, Air Service, US Army.



This kit is a product of it's age. Recommended only if you fancy some nostalgic modelling.

Review sample courtesy of
logo.jpg UK distributors for logo.gif

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