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Duncan B

Roden WW1 kits, opinions sought

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What is the general consensus regarding Roden's  WW1 kits? I was having a look at their range and they cover some types that others don't and the retail price seems reasonable (while still leaving some room for discounting). I'm particularly interested in stocking their 1/32 scale stuff but 1/72 and 1/48 are of interest too.

Are they popular enough or are they likely to sit on my stockroom shelves gathering dust tying my funds up forever?

 

Duncan B

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Generalising, a lot of people have trouble with the decals, and while the actual kits seem to be fine I think I would only commit to one where I knew I could use after-market or spares box decals for the scheme I wanted to do. I'm sure others here will have far more detailed thoughts on their WW1 kits specifically, but this decal problem seems to be widespread across their whole aircraft range.

 

You will probably want to read this existing thread which has some good info in it

 

Edited by Work In Progress

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I like them and have built many, all 3 scales. But that was as they were first released. The prices now seem disproportionatly higher than then. There are some which have been  superceded by recent Eduard releases such as the 1/72nd Fokker D.VII ,1/48th Bristol Fighter (but still the only readily available game in town for Mark IV and Arab engined Biffs/Brisfits) and SE5as. A few of the 1/32nd kits are also now competing with WNW, mainly Sopwith Triplane and Fokker DrI, and probably others will suffer when Copper State Models get around to them. On the whole though at the right ptice they're very good starting points. Not for shake and bakers, but if you put in a lot of time with preparation (I always go over all mating surfaces with a headband magnifyer to be sure I've killed all the flash) and don't mind adding some internal details then you'll end up with very nice models of some currently otherwise unavailable subjects. The early releases in 1/72nd (Gotha series and Pfalz scouts) suffered from very brittle plastic which led to breakage of small parts when removing from sprues. Later kits are in a more standard plastc that is easy to work with. I don't know if they'd still supply those early kits, certainly doesn't seem to be the case if you go by Ebay prices.

 

One thing undisputable, the decals are more often bad than good. Again, they have improved as the company has aged, although it is still a bit of pot luck. Printing and colours are sharp enough, but depending on the wind direction you may or may not suffer fracturing or disintegration when wetted, total non response to standard setting solutions and a propensity not to conform to anything but a totally flat surface. The former problems can usually be cured with Microscale Liquid Decal Film. Setting into detail requires placing ontoa  wet shrinking varnish (Johnsons Klear and successors) and topping with the same. The decals are drawn down as the varnish dries and then look fine. Then again, sometimes you get lucky and they work perfectly. I'll say one thing, Roden usually offer a wide variety of colour schemes for each subject. Many of their kits are also star sources of spare parts, things like bombs, guns and engines, which I always find a use for with less well endowed kits.

 

What I have no idea about is how many WWI modellers have already filled their stashes - Roden have been going a fair old bit now. Newer modellers seem much less tolerant than us old geezers brought up on vacs, Merlins and Pegasus.

 

HTH,  Paul.

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9 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

Generalising, a lot of people have trouble with the decals

 

The serious decal problem with Roden is something from around a decade and a half ago and sadly still gets propagated and usually by those who have never made a Roden model, or at the least made one recently. Often this gets floated around by those who have heard about that problem and perpetuate it without any firsthand experience of actually making a model and using recent Roden decals.

 

They are not as robust as some decals but using luke warm water and a bit of care to not leave them in too long, they go on beautifully. Because they're thin they also tend to bed down superbly and react well to Micro Sol.

 

The shattering decals will only be encountered with early boxings.

Edited by Smithy
Typo

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What is ”early”? I recently built a 1/72 D.VII from 2002 - the decals shattered.

 

That was the only Roden kit I had decal problems with so far though.

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Torbjorn said:

What is ”early”? I recently built a 1/72 D.VII from 2002 - the decals shattered.

 

That was the only Roden kit I had decal problems with so far though.

 

 

 

 

2002 is right in the sweet spot for the shattering decals. Anything after 2007 should be fine.

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Evening all,  (said in the BEST British Bobby style with flexing knees) Pete in RI here. Roden kits to me are well worth buying. Personally I have never experienced the decal issues, and I have been building their kits for ever. Yes, by modern WNW standards the surface details are a bit soft, but excellent models can be built from these kits. I have found that they are accurate in shape, well detailed, reasonable to good part fit and plenty of aftermarket stuff available. I know some complain about "over engineered" or "engines don't fit" etc, but I have not run into those issues. ( btw, I have a ZS R6 in build right now ). I have built the DH2, Alb D2, Alb D3, in 1/32 and many 48 and 72 kits over the years. I have no hesitation in buying a Roden kit. They are a good, solid base for an OOB  build or a super detail model with extra work. Regards, Pete in RI

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Thanks for your responses Folks, plenty for me to mull over. 

 

Duncan B

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Personally I like Roden but tend to only buy them when they're a good deal or discounted. I currently have 1/72 Felixstowe and Gotha in the stash. Probably the type of kit I'd be tempted to add to an order to bulk it out.

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I echo all the above. Lovely kits (in superb boxes), but not for beginners. I have encountered fit issues, usually with interiors. For instance their 1/72 Camel comes with a lovely little cockpit assembly complete with framing - that doesnt even remotely fit in the fuselage. Its like its meant to be displayed separately. But all part of the fun.

 

I've never had a Roden where the decals werent difficult, but my large unbuilt stash of them is least ten years old so I live in hope that's been fixed.

Edited by TallBlondJohn

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Thanks for all the comments and info. I think I will order up a mixed bag of kits in various scales and see how they sell.

 

Duncan B

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I love them and have all their WWI 1:72 kits in the stash. If worried about the decals, give them a spray with a decal ink fixative or clearcoat and they should be fine. 

Compared to Merlin, Pegasus, and early Eduard, they're streets ahead and as mentioned above, always provide spares! 

 

Ian

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I built their 1/72 Felixstowe, great kit and good decals as well. Their spare part service is exceptional. When I asked them for a spare radiator, they sent me 2 complete engine sprues that arrived in less than a week.

 

Highly recommended.

 

Regards Toby

 

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I'm not planning on building them (although never rule that out) but am trying to decide if I should stock them in my shop. The feedback does sound positive on the whole so I will see where I go from here.

Thanks again for the feedback everyone.

 

Duncan B

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Well, I’d be shopping, at least in 1/72 (but that’s because I’m psychologically stuck in that scale, not related to the kits in any way). I’m buying one or two whenever I find them for sale locally (which isn’t often I might add).

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I have built many of there 1/48 kits and really like them.  I only had decal problems with getting Junkers D.1 decals to settle into the coregated areas but other than that I think they are great kits foe the money.  I do look for them on sale which helps out.

Here is their DH.4 which I had a great time building.  Also have done two Fokker D.VII's and they look great with the engine displayed.

 

 

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I enjoyed building their 1:48 S.E.5a, for which I used aftermarket decals, and their Fokker D.VII, for which I used both kit and aftermarket. The Fokker kit decals didn't shatter, but they were difficult to keep down as if there wasn't enough adhesive. I didn't much enjoy their 1:48 Staggerwing kit: poor fit of clear parts and door, and some funky engineering. Also, the roundel decals disintegrated in water, and this was 2014. My impression of their 1:48 Sea Gladiator: meh. A fair number of fit issues including instrument panel and main landing gear fairings; mediocre decals with incorrect roundel color. I frankly don't think they're worth the prices that Roden (and/or distributors) is currently charging.

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4 minutes ago, Seawinder said:

I frankly don't think they're worth the prices that Roden (and/or distributors) is currently charging.

I'm inclined to agree. I've built a few of their 1/72 WWI kits (SE5a twice, Camel, Fokker D.VII, the last being one of the worst kits I've ever built in terms of fit) in the past six years, and while they're very detailed, they are also extremely fiddly. I also found the decals to be very poor on the ones I did. 

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I've built 3 of their outstanding 1/144 C-47 kits. The 2-color decals in one were out of register. They did go on fine and settle nicely with MSI solutions.

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3 hours ago, Procopius said:

I'm inclined to agree. I've built a few of their 1/72 WWI kits (SE5a twice, Camel, Fokker D.VII, the last being one of the worst kits I've ever built in terms of fit) in the past six years, and while they're very detailed, they are also extremely fiddly. I also found the decals to be very poor on the ones I did. 

I have a theory about the D.VIIs. They prrovide separate fuselage sprues for each manufacturer's boxing (Fokker, Albatros or OAW), due to the lkouvre, panel, and exhaust configurations. I've built two,, with the lower wing gap being far too small and needing cutting and sanding.  But those were both from the same fuselage sprue (and damn it I can't remember offhand which it was, will check later). So what I wonder is, do the other versions have the same problem? It's as if that sprue was made to a slightly different scale than the rest of the kit, and maybe it only affects the one type. Perhaps more than one person worked on mastering the fuselages, and they used non-matching data to the guy who made the flying surfaces. That's also throw the strut lengths.  It is the only Roden kit with IMHO very poor fit in places. The others I've built have had the odd issue, but mostly easily sortable.

 

Duncan, I appreciate you taking a chance on this. I already have most of the Roden kits I want, being only interested in the WWI stuff, but dependant on price may beat myself up and convince me to buy a few more. That includes the ground stuff, which I have the non-documentable feeling has had wider exposure amongst non-WWI specialists than the aircraft.

 

Paul.

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My recent experiences with Roden have been the Air America TurboPorter and Staggerwing floatplane. The former wouldn't stick to the model and were quite stiff, the Staggerwing is a curate's egg some are fine but others disintegrated. Looking at them closely I think the issue is with the clear base layer which doesn't seem to be even.

 

It may be worth a bit of homework to see which ones have aftermarket decals currently available and try those first.

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well, there's a thought. Maybe Duncan could offer a combo sale of the kits. Sell a kit with an aftermarket decal sheet included, ??  Regards, Pete in RI

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On 1/17/2020 at 7:04 PM, Planebuilder62 said:

I built their 1/72 Felixstowe, great kit and good decals as well. Their spare part service is exceptional. When I asked them for a spare radiator, they sent me 2 complete engine sprues that arrived in less than a week.

 

Highly recommended.

 

Regards Toby

 

Hi Toby

Can I ask how you contacted them please? I have 48th scale RAF BE2c and have a broken undercarriage leg. I emailed them last weekend and AVE had no reply so presumably an old email address.

 

Thanks

Chris

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