Author Topic: Roden 1/32 Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter  (Read 735 times)

Online Brad Cancian

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Roden 1/32 Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter
« on: July 20, 2023, 07:08:58 PM »
Roden  1: 32 Scale Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter two seat fighter

Item # 635
Reviewed by:  Lance Carroll
Price:  Hannants UK 58 GBP,   Hobby Sense, Canada, $83 CAD, Mega Hobby USA $78.29 USD

- 8 grey plastic sprues containing 139 parts.
- Acetate sheet with cut-out printed transparencies for upper wing, wind screen and flight control inspection ports.
- Decal Sheet with markings for two aircraft.
-8 page folded black and white Instruction Guide.

The Sopwith “Land Clerget Tractor’  (LCT) design was first flown in December of 1916 and ultimately served in various roles until the end of the war and with various Allied Air Forces well into the 1920’s. Britain produced approximately 1300 of the type while France exceeded 4500  under licenced production. Known to history as the “One and one-half Strutter” both the RFC and the RNAS utilised the aircraft in both the Fighter and Bomber Roles as did the French however the former withdrew it from Front Line Service in mid 1917.

An extremely versatile design the type was produced in both Long and Short Range two seat fighter versions, a single seat Bomber version, and a limited number of “Comic” Night Fighters saw service in the Home Defence role. The RNAS also used the type for ship borne operations from various shipboard platforms and flotation trials as well. It’s last role in WWI was as a trainer. The aircraft served with various armament configurations including a single upper wing mounted Lewis on a Foster Mount, a single Synchronised Vickers on the forward engine cowling,  and on two seat configured aircraft the Observer had a Lewis on a Scarff Mounting or   (rarely) a pair of Lewis Guns. In addition to being the first of the popular Sopwith line of Fighters to serve in the  Great War the “Strutter” was also the first Allied fighter with a fixed synchronized forward firing  machine gun, a Vickers. Other new features included an adjustable variable- incidence tail plane and air brakes on the inner trailing portion of the lower wings.

Roden's 1/32 Strutter
This subject is a very welcome addition to the inventory of 1:32 Scale models available in the market place. It was released by Roden in direct response to our survey of Forum Members to determine what types they would most desire from the company in the near future. As such it merits our strong support!

The package arrived in good condition with the plastic parts  all enclosed in a single plastic bag within the box. Although minor scratching and wear was apparent on a few parts it was deemed of no great effect and easily remedied with very minor sanding. I would prefer that the sprues be packaged individually like the decal sheet and transparency sheet to eliminate abrasion and possibly worse damage in handling and transit. The sturdy and improved heavier bottom section of the box is a welcome addition to the Roden packaging.
Instructions Booklet:
The familiar Roden folded 8 page black and white Booklet is provid3ed in three languages, Ukrainian, English, and German. The cover sheet provides a nice basic history of the Type and a basic Performance Table.

The Colour Key is referenced to the current Humbrol line:

As with all Roden Kits an illustrated parts layout key is provided.

Assembly instructions are presented in the exploded diagram format. The assembly sequence appears logical and a cursory run through the steps produced no concerns.

The illustrations appear accurate and are easy to follow.

The rigging diagram is useable but some additional References are recommended. For example the diagram does not illustrate the double wires on the aircraft. Careful study of the box art as recommended in the instructions is highly recommended.

There is also a top view of the rigging layout provided.

The colour layout although very plain is judged adequate. Marking placements and colour directions are well covered.

The injection molded Sprues:
My model had minimal flash on the moldings and detail is generally very good. The quality provided here will accommodate a very nice model built “Out of the Box” and the addition of a few After Market bits will produce even better results. Like their earlier SPAD XIII release in this latest Series Roden continue to improve their Kit’s quality.

The two upper wings with the Single Seat Bomber version at the top. I am particularly impressed with the treatment of the ailerons. No need to remove and “pin” them if the Builder desires them repositioned. It appears they can simply be bent to the desired pose.

The main fuselage members; the distinctive framework of the forward fuselage is very nicely represented and the stitching along the dorsal portion is not overdone as on so many models on the market.

The framework is also reproduced on the inside of the fuselage. Also note the effort made to ensure the mold ejector pin locations are placed where they will be not visible through the cockpit openings.

The lower wing and tail components are as follows:

Details of the inspection panels for the flight control pulleys and the vastly improved holes for the struts in the lower wing. The lines in the photo are discolorations in the plastic, not scratches. Rib detail is nicely molded, subtle yet effective.

The smaller pieces do not lack detail and the quality of the smaller moldings is very good.

Note the strut locator pins which are longer and more sturdy then on most of their earlier releases, a most welcome improvement. These more robust pins are well suited to the addition of metal pins if desired.

The guns are nicely done:

The Kit’s engine sprue. The detail is very well represented and, given the engine is barely visible on this design being mostly enclosed in the cowling, more then sufficient.

As common to most brands the cooling fins of the cylinders will require a bit of cleaning up of  the joints between front and rear halves.

Engine cowling, air brakes and firewall sprue.

Cabanes, the very distinctive “W” struts and cockpit components.

The instrument panel is well represented and the addition of some after/market items such as decals, Photo Etched bezels, and some careful painting should really dress up the cockpit.

The Decals:
The decals appear to be somewhat thinner than previous Roden offerings and, with the exception of the rudder portion they are devoid of any registry or colour faults. The trailing edge red stripe protrusion should prove easily trimmed off with no ill effect on the decal as indicated in the enlarged photo following.

The Transparencies:
The very simple transparencies provided  appear to be adequate and in fact I like this simple approach as it results in a much more realistic scale effect in my experience.

This is a very nice Kit. It’s priced below what I would judge it’s quality could demand and the subject is long overdue in this popular scale. Roden models have always drawn my support; with a bit of extra care and attention to detail they build into a model on par with the best. The model’s dimensions for scale appear accurate and I don’t see any discrepancies in shape from the three views in Windsock’s excellent Data File #34.
The follow on single seat version has just recently come available and hopefully a Comic version or perhaps one on floats could concievably follow. A version with French markings would also be most welcome.
Roden’s efforts to cater to the modelling community’s preferences in subjects are commendable, their recent Spad XIII release and now the Strutter demonstrate an impecable degree of customer service and loyalty. I am looking forward to their next subjects immensely!

This Kit is highly recommended.

The Review sample was provided by Roden. Please support the businesses that support your Forum.