Author Topic: Kovozávody Prostějov 1/72 scale Sopwith Triplane  (Read 1072 times)

Offline Brad Cancian

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 735
  • "This time I've got you, Red Baron!"
    • Brad's Models
Kovozávody Prostějov 1/72 scale Sopwith Triplane
« on: October 18, 2021, 06:42:37 PM »
Kovozávody Prostějov (KP) 1/72 Sopwith Triplane “Aces”



Reviewed by Brad Cancian

Item: KPM0184
scale: 1/72
Price: 10.70 Euros direct from Kovozávody Prostějov
Ł13.20 in UK. $A 22.99 in Australia. Also available through quality hobby retailers worldwide.
Contents:   Injected plastic parts on 1 frame; 3 decal options.

Review kit kindly provided by KP Models at https://www.kovozavody.cz/

The Sopwith Triplane

The triplane needs little introduction. Developed by Sopwith Aviation Company in early 1916, it was the first triplane of any nation to see operational service. The triplane was an experimental development of the firm’s famous “Pup” fighter, sharing essentially the same fuselage with the obvious different wing configuration. Taking to the air for the first time in May 1916, the prototype performed beyond expectations, and was quickly sent to France for operational testing. Introduced into quantity production in late 1916, it entered service with the RNAS and then RFC. The aircraft quickly proved more than a match for the more powerful but less nimble Albatros adversaries; It was light, climbed excellently, was very manoeuvrable, but was underarmed, though some versions were later to sport twin Vickers machine guns. The aircraft made such an impact on the Germans, that manufacturers were encouraged to submit triplane designs to German military authorities for evaluation (the most famous and succsessful of which was the Fokker Dr.1 triplane). Though serving predominantly with the British RNAS and RFC, it also served with the French navy as well as the Russian air force.

The Bits and Bobs

The last mainstream new kit of a Sopwith Triplane in 1/72 scale is the venerable Revell kit, from way back in 1966 (yup, that’s 55 years ago… way older than me, that’s for sure…). I have built the Revell kit and can say that there are some nice aspects (wing shape, for example), and some very poor aspects (fuselage, cowling, undercarriage, engine, propeller… basically everything else). KP have seen to it that we finally have a modern kit of the triplane to sink our teeth into.

KP have released three boxings of this kit; the version here, which is all French naval schemes, an RNAS boxing with a number of colourful schemes (KPM1083), and a RNAS ‘black flight’ boxing (KPM1081).

The kit consists of a single sprue of grey plastic, constituting just 35 parts, a decal sheet, and a small instruction leaflet. There is no etch, resin, nor any clear parts included.




The kit is nicely detailed, and has some quite nice features, in particular the representation of wing ribs and the small sub-ribs is nicely done, as is the ribbed effect on the fuselage sides. The wheels are quite nice, as is the engine, instrument panel, and pilot’s seat. At a guess, some components may have been inspired by a Roden kit, namely the wheels and engine. Alternate tailplanes are used for early and late triplanes, which provides plenty of options. Alternate propellers are provided (with nice hub detail), as are two Vickers guns for the twin gunned ‘Black Flight’ version. Struts look sturdy, and single piece interplane struts will help ensure alignment. Commendably, the characteristic ‘up kick’ of the rear fuselage ahead of the tail plane, and the exposed structure ahead of the rudder, are nicely represented.




The only downside is that there is a bit of flash on some of the parts (nothing some sanding or a sharp blade couldn’t fix), a slight roughness to the surfaces, and the odd small mould release pin to deal with here and there. This is reminiscent of some of Roden’s 1/72 efforts, and is likely a result of lower pressure injection moulding. Again, this will disappear under a light sanding so shouldn’t pose a problem.



The detail-inclined will be able to go to town on the interior. Those also inclined may also want to consider replacing the Vickers guns or engine with crisper after-market items.

Instructions

The instructions are printed in a nice little folded A4 sized leaflet, printed in colour. The instructions contain a description of the aircraft’s history, some specs, a parts breakdown, construction sequence, and a very useful rigging diagram. Paint callouts are clear and concise, and Humbrol paint references are used throughout.






Colour schemes for three machines are provided in this boxing. Colours and decal placement are called out on the rear of the box. All three are for French Navy machines (mistakenly called French Air Force on the box); all are PC10 / PC12 over CDL. Some variation in tail and cowlings provides some interesting difference between the schemes.



Decals

The decals are very nicely printed with solid colour and excellent register. The "Sopwith" manufacturer's logo for the tail fin is crisp and readable. The decal film looks nice and thin. No complaints here.




Accuracy


The kit scales very nicely compared to the windsock datafile drawings. If anything, the length is maybe 1-2 mm over, but that is not noticeable, even in this scale and size. Rib numbers and locations are also accurate. Great job KP!




Conclusions

After 55 years, it is wonderful to finally have a modern and accurate kit of the triplane. KP have done a magnificent job in providing a kit that is accurate in shape and outline, and at 35 parts, should be relatively simple to build. The kit should build quickly and nicely for those that want to add a triplane to the collection, and also forms a fantastic basis for a detailing project for those so inclined. The multiple boxings of this kit provide many different and interesting colour schemes, even more so if you have a Pheon decal sheet on hand. I for one have already bought several of these kits for myself, and I intend on enjoying building these in due course. Highly recommended for those fans of this beautiful and interesting piece of military aviation history.

Our very sincere thanks to KP for the review sample!

Offline KiwiZac

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1675
Re: Kovozávody Prostějov 1/72 scale Sopwith Triplane
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2022, 04:27:30 AM »
Thanks for the in-depth review of this fine-looking kit, Brad! I'm glad to see KP have also released a "Black Flight" boxing - not only because it should sell well, but here in NZ TVAL flies a replica in Collishaw's markings. One for my wishlist!

Offline Brad Cancian

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 735
  • "This time I've got you, Red Baron!"
    • Brad's Models
Re: Kovozávody Prostějov 1/72 scale Sopwith Triplane
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2022, 05:23:25 PM »
Kovozávody Prostějov (KP) 1/72 Sopwith Triplane “RNAS”
Reviewed by Brad Cancian



Item: KPM0338
scale: 1/72
Price: 12.40 Euros direct from Kovozávody Prostějov


Review kit kindly provided by KP Models at https://www.kovozavody.cz/

Hi all!

We have been fortunate enough to have been provided with another one of KP’s fine Sopwith Triplane kits to review. This time, it’s the lovely “RNAS” boxing, KPM0338.

This boxing has the same plastic and instructions as the previously reviewed KP Triplane kit, so I won’t repeat the same information as above. Needless to say, the plastic is just as good as the other Triplane boxings that I have seen.

In this case the main difference is in the markings; each of which is for aircraft operated by the RNAS.

The markings are as follows:

•   Sopwith Triplane N5466 “Angel” Flight Sub Lieutenant CHB Jenner Parson, 8 (Naval) Squadron, RNAS, 1917
•   Sopwith Triplane N6031 “Dusty II”, Flight Sub Lieutenant Robert McDonald, 8 (Naval) Squadron, RNAS, 1917
•   Sopwith Triplane, prototype, 1 Naval Wing, Fumes Belgium, 1916.



Again, we are presented with a lovely decal sheet, with solid colours and great register. These should present no problems:



One thing to keep in mind is that the prototype aircraft was fitted at one point with the Sopwith pup tailplane; thankfully, one of these is provided within the kit so check your references.

As per the previous review, this kit is certainly the best injected moulded Sopwith Triplane on the market. I highly recommend picking up one of these kits, in any of its available boxings. It should build up to be a lovely little model!

Our very sincere thanks to KP for the review sample!


Offline KiwiZac

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1675
Re: Kovozávody Prostějov 1/72 scale Sopwith Triplane
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2022, 04:56:49 AM »
Thank you Brad - I need to get my hands on the Australian boxing...or just those decals and another kit. It looks great!