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Most of us are familiar with the term 'limited run' and its connotations for more challenging builds. So presumably the opposite would be 'unlimited' run, and Revell's venerable Sopwith Triplane as been in and out of production for more than 55 years. For most of that time is was the only option for 1/72, until the advent of 21st Century versions from Kora. If its age should command some respect, this is tempered by the mould being absolutely shot, sharpness must have gone long ago, and oddly most parts seem shrunken. The kit must have repaid its investment many times over my now, so ought to be given some sort of honourable retirement. 

But, many of us will have one or more in the stash, and they are hardly likely to become collectors items, so it was time to see what could be done with the antique. Definitely the starting point is a sows ear. On the plus side, the wings are reasonable, if covered by spurious fabric texture, which I failed to completely eliminate, the cowling is OK, and the rudder and fin only needed minor reshaping. The list of corrections included: fuselage reskinned in its entirety with 5 thou card, apart from the turtle deck, struts made more three dimensional, new horizontal tail surfaces from card, replacement wheels (Roden), scratch built split axle replacing the scale 6" diameter original, new tailskid, kingpost and tailplane incidence adjusting gear;  middle wings extended by 1mm at their inner ends; replacement Vickers gun (Toko); propeller replaced with one from an Airfix Pup, and a slightly OTT improvement in the cockpit interior. The reskinning meant that absolutely no filler was used. However, in contrast to its Fokker counterpart, the rigging is a nightmare, with both flying and landing wires passing through the middle wings. PC10 is Humbrol 155, which I think works rather well, decals are from Pheon and performed excellently as usual.

Was it worth it? Well, the kit only cost me £3, nothing else was bought it specially for the build, so one can't argue too much about the economics. It did take 6 months to complete, but other things got in the way.....

 

Jonathan

 

 

 

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Well done, Jonathan -

 

Great result on a very ancient kit.  I did a similar project on this one some years ago so can appreciate your workmanship even more.

 

Regards

 

Dave

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Great Work on the Triplane!  Having completed one and with two others in construction, I greatly appreciate your tips on replacing bits like the prop, wheels etc.   I remember particularly that the wheels were terrible - I will replace them on my future Tripes.    And what you said about the Mold for this Revell Old-timer is Spot On!   I have one kit dating from the 1960s (likely) and the others from the 90s.     The difference in the quality of the casting is Dramatic. - the 60s kit shows a lot more detail that the 90s one lacks.....the Mold is Simply Exhausted!   

 

   It's funny that I was contemplating putting my Tripe photos on the Site today as well.   Jung would call that Synchroncity!  

 

On the Tripe I did one set of bracing wires through the wing, but will use your photos as a model for the next two.    I was going to do one as a French Navy machine - but have been thinking about fitting one with skis to reflect the ONE Tripe that was sent to Russia - Have to research which type Roundels that one had.   I recently acquired the book "The Imperial Russian Air Service" by Durkota/Darcey and it is the definitive account of the Czarist Air Force - I think I saw one photo in that book.... 

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