Author Topic: Eduard 1/48 Sopwith 2F.1 Camel  (Read 267 times)

Offline Brad Cancian

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 964
  • "This time I've got you, Red Baron!"
    • Brad's Models
Eduard 1/48 Sopwith 2F.1 Camel
« on: November 15, 2023, 06:15:22 PM »
Eduard 1/48 Sopwith 2F.1 Camel
Reviewed by Brad Cancian



Item: 82173
scale: 1/48
Price: 34.95USD, direct from Eduard


Review kit kindly provided by Eduard at https://www.eduard.com/eduard/plastic-kits/profipack/aircraft/1-48/sopwith-2f-1-camel-1-48.html

Ship’s Camel
The history of Sopwith’s redound F.1 Camel is well known, and bears no repeating here. The 2F.1 was a navalised development of Sopwith’s diminutive yet deadly fighter, intended to replace the previous generation of Sopwith Baby seaplanes. The first contract placed by the British Admiralty for the 2F.1 “Ship’s Camel” was placed in September 1917, with the firs arrivals in late October 1917. Most of the 2F.1s were built with the Bently BR.1 engine, and were allotted to a number of main vessels in the fleet, often launched from tiny platforms on gun turrets or towed lighters. Both of these options only offered two landing possibilities; one on land, the second in the sea. Landed aircraft were then salvaged from the water by crane, so hardpoints were added to the top of the wing to attach ropes for this purpose.



The 2F.1 differed from the standard Camel in a number of regards. It had a shorter wingspan for ease of ship-board use. It only had one fixed forward firing synchronised Vickers gun, with a Lewis gun mounted on a pivot, allowing the pilot to shoot at an angle above the line of flight (a useful thing to have when hunting zeppelins). Occasionally, two Lewis guns were mounted on to these pivots. The 2F.1 was also manufactured with a break point in the fuselage just aft of the cockpit, to allow for dismantling and transport on lighters to the bigger ships. This required external rigging solutions for the elevator and rudder control cables.

Ship’s Camels afflicted some notable successes upon the Germans, including victories over Zeppelins, and the famous raid on the Zeppelin hangars at Tondern in mid 1918 (as depicted on the box top).



The Kit

This is not the first 1/48 2F.1 kit released by Eduard; the first being released from the previous generation of Camel moulds, in profipack boxing 8058 back in 2004. This kit, released early in 2023, is an evolution of the new mould Camel kits, first seen in 2021. This kit certainly well surpasses the previous Eduard offering.

The kit comes in three sprues of very crisply moulded medium grey plastic, one clear sprue, an etched fret, and masks. Two of the grey plastic sprues are common with the previous releases, with a new sprue added specifically for the 2F.1 version. As a general observation, all of the mouldings are exquisitely done, with crisp and clean details, and small and well positioned attachment points and mould release pins.

Starting with the new sprue, sprue B, we get the 2F.1 specific parts.



We get the new fuselage halves specific to the 2F.1, with the characteristic fuselage split details. These parts contain exquisite and crisp details for the various fuselage attachments, as well as some lovely nail head detail on the wooden cockpit side panels.




We get the shorter span wings, with the lower wing attachment points helpfully angled to get the correct dihedral. These wings also include delicate but very consistent rib stitching detail.




We get pre-drilled holes for the rigging points as well.



Details for the mount points on the upper wing for hoisting the aircraft back aboard ship are also nicely done.



We also get two upper cockpit decking options specific to the 2F.1 (one with the open cockpit coaming, and one with the closed coaming), again with exquisite detail moulded in.




Sprue D gives us the remaining major components common to all Camel versions, including the undercarriage, struts, wheels, cowlings, ailerons, elevator, horizontal and vertical stabiliser, and guns. Note that a number of these parts are not used for the 2F.1, thus adding plenty of goodies to the spares box.



Again, detail is exquisitely done. Notable features include bungee detail on the undercarriage legs, lovely rivet detail on the engine cowl faces, consistent rib stitching on the flying surfaces, and two options of wheels, each with wonderfully done stitching details and well defined shapes.







Sprue E contains further common details, this time all of the engine parts, seats, instrument panels, duel tank, propellers, firewall, and other interior details.



Again, plenty of items are not used for the 2F.1, so lots more goodies for the spares box. Moulding quality here remains outstanding.






Sprue F contains the clear parts; these are small and crisply moulded, with excellent clarity.



The etched parts include instrument panel, seat, seatbelt, gunsights and bomb rack details, as well as a myriad of other small and delecate parts.



The small mask sheet contains masts for the wheels, as well as windscreens.

This looks to be an extremely comprehensive and extraordinarily well executed package!

Instructions

Eduard’s instructions remain a standout feature, provided in a modern, high-quality booklet. Presented in 16 glossy pages, construction occurs over 10 steps. The instructions are comprehensive, with a parts layout, instruction and paint call outs (in Gunze Mr Colour and Aqueous paints), differences between the modelled aircraft clearly called out, a comprehensive rigging diagram (wonderful!) and full colour four angle painting profiles. The construction sequence will be familiar to anyone who has built a WW1 aircraft before.












Colour schemes are also nicely varied, with a selection of relatively colourful machines, some with some rather interesting histories. The six schemes provided are:

•   N6755 (Capt. Bernard A. Smart), July 1918 Zeppelin hangar raid, Tondern, Germany - HMS Furious
•   N6812 (FSL Stewart D. Culley), August 1918 Downing of Zeppelin L53 - RNAS Felixstowe
•   N6602, April 1918 - HMS Furious
•   N6764, April 1918 - HMS Lion
•   N6822, 1918 - HMAS Sydney
•   N8130 'Tamworth', October 1919 Fight against Russian Bolsheviks, Koivisto, Finland - HMS Vindictive








Decals

The decals are crisply printed with excellent register. Thankfully, we also get options of separate serial numbers where those numbers are on rudder stripes or other markings, affording the modeller the option to paint these items and apply serials separately. Good job Eduard!



Love them or hate them, this kit has the newer type of decals (introduced by Eduard in recent years). These decals have a carrier film above the decals, which is removeable with some careful work post decal application. As a result, there is some larger carrier film around each of the decals. I won’t proffer an opinion on how well these decals allow for their carrier film to be removed; I have heard some people have had troubles, and others none at all. Others may well be happy just to trim the film a little closer to the decals and not worry about trying to remove the carrier film, others may choose to leave the carrier film as is. Up to you!



Accuracy and Buildability:

Not surprisingly, this kit scales very well to the Windsock plans I have on hand. Detail (both inside and outside) is spot on the money. In short, this kit is a magnificent representation of this machine. Though I have not built it (yet!), I have heard good things about this series of kits, with perhaps the only thing to watch for being the lower wing attachment being quite tight and thus some care in clean up and painting may be needed to ensure a smooth process. Otherwise, this kit looks like it builds up magnificently.

But wait folks, there’s more…!

We were also provided with a sneaky little package to review; set 648 725, the Brassin Lewis gun set for this kit!



No surprses here, but this is intended to be a replacement for the kit plastic piece. Provided in a sturdy plastic case to protect the parts, the detail here is again simply exquisite. We get finely 3D printed Lewis drums and handles, delicate mount pieces, and a very crisply moulded Lewis gun. Parts are so delecate that I was a little too nervous to remove them all from the packaging!





This will be a standout addition to what is already an outstanding kit!

Conclusions

Eduard is to be commended for tackling this subject. Though nothing was really ‘bad’ with their previous 2004 release (indeed it still holds up well today), modernising their Camel kits is a smart move. The Camel will always be a popular subject. Without a doubt, this series is the definitive Camel kit on the market in 1/48 in terms of moulding quality and comprehensiveness, and is unlikely to be surpassed. The decals remain an area of interest, but for those who have a strong preference, there is always the option for using some aftermarket decals if needed. Ship’s Camels also offer quite an interesting variety of colour schemes to go with as well. This kit should build up to be a stunning eye-catcher on the shelf and a real winner on the competition table! I know I’ll be buying more than one (indeed, I already have)!



Highly recommended!

Our very sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample!
« Last Edit: November 15, 2023, 06:22:56 PM by Brad Cancian »