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Eduard Camel and Co.

1:48 Scale

Dual Combo

Part No.11151

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History

The Sopwith F.1 Camel was a single-seat fighter biplane powered by a rotary engine (various engine types being fitted, the most common being the 130hp Clerget). 

It was equipped with two forward-firing synchronised machine guns mounted just ahead of the pilot’s cockpit under a raised fairing, which is said to have inspired the name Camel (initially used as a nickname, but subsequently adopted as the official name of the type).

The type was highly manoeuvrable and popular with its pilots although the combination of the short-coupled aircraft and the rotary engine produced some handling quirks that could catch out inexperienced pilots. The Sopwith Camel proved to be very successful in aerial dogfights and is said to have achieved more victories in combat than any other single type during the First World War. 

The first aircraft was cleared for flight at Brooklands on 22nd December 1916 and flown then, or shortly thereafter. It was utilised extensively by both the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) after it entered service from mid-1917.

The prototype Camel 2F.1 (with a 150 hp Bentley rotary engine) first flew in March 1917 and carried the Serial N5 and it was this variant that was mainly used for naval service. The 2.F1 variant can be distinguished by its use of slim steel centre-section struts, replacing the wooden struts of the F.1 Camel.

Sopwith Aviation only built around 10% (503) of the total, with Boulton & Paul Ltd (1,625 aircraft) and Ruston, Proctor & Co. Ltd (1,575) being the other major contractors. 

Several other firms also built the type, including orders placed with British Caudron (100), Clayton & Shuttleworth (600), Hooper (375), Marsh, Jones & Cribb (175), Nieuport & General (300), Portholme Aerodrome (250). 

Sopwith Camel 2F.1 contracts were placed with William Beardmore (200) and Hooper (30) although not all these contracts were completed before production was cancelled at the end of the war. 

Wide variations can be found in terms of total production numbers. A figure of 5,747 (F.1 and 2F.1 Camel) is often given but a figure of 5,490 is also documented as is 5,695 plus a total of 230 2F.1 of which at least 100 were cancelled.  Therefore, an approximate total would appear to be between 5,490 and 5,900 aircraft and the type was eventually retired in January 1920 after just 3 years’ service.

 

 

The Kit.

What better time to be a fan of Iconic British aircraft? Hot on the heels of the sublime Spitfire kits we now get this new tool release from Eduard of perhaps the best-known WW1 British fighter. This is not the first Camel that Eduard have done with the first one being released in 2003, And to be honest there isn’t a great deal wrong with it, so much so that at first, I thought this was just a re-box of the original kit, but this is a completely new kit, and the dual combo limited edition boxing has the usual bells and whistles.

The box art shows two of the marking options and one of these is one of the two fictitious options that are included in the kit of Captain James Bigglesworth R.F.C. Eduards box art is really going from strength to strength, there is a real hint of “buy me” from the box art this is something that they really get right.

Inside this lid and tray box is enough to build 2 of the 10 marking options included in the kit. There are six sprues of dark grey plastic and two clear plastic sprues, two frets of Photo etch, a mask sheet, two decal sheets and an instruction book.

It doesn’t look like this is all we are going to get either as there is no sprue B or C included so who knows what else could be coming?

Sprue A x2

The first thing I’m going to say here is choice; now I had a discussion on Eduards philosophy at my local club the other night and it does divide people. Sprue A has 2 different top wings depending on the option you want to build and 3 yes 3 fuselage sides, depending on the stitching pattern of the port side of the fuselage. There are also 2 different cockpit and gun fairings in on here. The discussion is that you end up with a lot of parts not used, but the alternative would be to use multiple inserts with the associated fit issues that go with it for me I prefer this approach, but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. On the other side surface detail here is excellent with nails in the forward section of the fuselage the control cables have a faring moulded in so you can’t get them in the wrong place at all the stressing of the Fabric is subtle and well done on the fuselage and the metal panels are nicely engraved. The wings are similarly detailed with the rib stitching nicely done some may say it’s a bit heavy but looking at period photographs of the camel and some restored examples the stitching is quite prominent, if its not for you a swipe with a sanding stick will subtle it off a bit for you. Pilot holes are marked for rigging (I wouldn’t use full turnbuckles on a camel by the way). The pulley sections behind windows are nicely moulded in which is reminiscent of their SE5 of a few years ago with nicely moulded pulley details. Strut locations look to be positive which is going to help with wing alignment. The bottom wings plug into the bottom of the fuselage which may well help with fitting and none of the requisite filling across the bottom of the fuselage. My example has no sink marks or flash evident.

816600375_Camela.thumb.JPG.9dc0e2e3b346329689480caaf86700b7.JPG1734183543_Camelb.thumb.JPG.22bda7cb91e16fcd0968ca9e3b82c85a.JPG1956914497_Camelc.thumb.JPG.61bfd2f09e33425b443b4b525402f445.JPG705530226_Cameld.thumb.JPG.49255d4e6034d300268afe8c20346de5.JPG

Sprue D x 2

Again, choice is the order of the day and attention to detail from Eduard too. 8 different Mainplane struts (some of which aren’t used in this boxing) and 10 cabane struts (again some not used in this boxing) there are 3 different Undercarriage legs, 2 different sets of mainwheels and 4 different cowlings (one not used). The fuselage bottom section is here and the flying surfaces too. detail on the flying surfaces is consistent with the wing detail and nicely done. With regards to detail the detail on undercarriage legs and struts is sharp (do bear in mind some of this detail can be replaced with Photo Etch should you wish. Also, not to be used on this kit but pointing to other boxings are top wing mounted Lewis guns and Lewis gun rails there is also a head rest should you choose to use it.

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Sprue E x 2

As has now become typical of Eduard all the small detail bits common to all kits are on the one sprue, this makes sense as it means that lots of different sprues don’t have to be created for multiple versions and they’ve made the most of it here, so there are, all 4 different engines used on the Camel are here those being the Bentley, Le Rhone, Claret and Gnome engines. These engines are 2- or 3-part engines respectively with push rods (where used) and exhausts. Air cooled fins look nicely rendered as do the exhaust parts. Instrument panels are included and as is now common, both a moulded and flat panel are included so for those who will buy the weekend boxing or don’t like Photo etch can paint or decal the panel should they wish. The twin Vickers are on this sprue and again look very nice these are 2-part assemblies with moulded cocking handles which can be removed if you want to use the Etched handles instead. The guns are 2-part assemblies with the body of the gun installed early on and the barrels and jackets installed later in the build (after painting, a nice touch well done). There is a choice of two seats in the kit either a 2-part moulded seat pad and seat or a Photo etched seat back and pad. An oil tank and petrol tank are included as well as the cockpit internal framing with moulded in throttle cables etc. Finally, the bullet faring for the cabane rigging is included and this pilot hole marked (good luck!)    

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Sprue F x 2

This sprue contains the clear parts for different windscreens, as well as one option with a telescope fitted, the clear parts are nice and thin, clear, and ready to go this will work very well with the pulley detail on the wings

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Photo Etch Parts x 2

When Eduard started producing kits some of the parts that were supplied as etch were not included as plastic (rudder pedals on their 1/32 BF109E series) that is now behind us, this means that if Photo etch is a black art or not your thing you can still build the kit with no problems. From what I can see the only thing not included here is the seatbelt. On the PE sheet there is: A 2-part instrument panel, Seat parts, Gun sights, cocking handles, control horns, a 2-part seat belt, two different propeller bosses, anemometer and finally (this will be the one to challenge the novices) a photo etched bomb rack that needs to be folded to fit. The pre painted parts are nicely done with a gloss finish on the dial faces of the instrument panel, being made from steel rather than brass I find that these parts have a little less spring, don’t need to be annealed and stay in place, just take your time.

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Masks

These are provided for the wheels, windscreen and pulley windows and will fit well

Decals

These are the typical Eduard decals which seem to have divided opinion over the last year or so. I like them and have had no problems with them, others don’t seem so keen, but we’ll see. What I can say is they are glossy, thin, and in great register, there are 10 marking options out of the box with some very different and colourful versions out there. The options are

·         J4613 Capt. James Bigglesworth, 266 squadron RFC, March 1917 (fictitious)

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·         J1936 Capt. James Bigglesworth, 266 squadron RAF, Summer 1918 (fictitious)

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·         B3889 Capt. Clive Collet, B flight 70 squadron RFC, August 1917

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·         B7190 Capt. Walter Hinchcliffe, C flight 10 squadron RNAS, March 1918

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·         B3893 Capt. Arthur “Roy” Brown, 9 squadron RNAS September 1917

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·         N6377 Capt. Harold Beamish, 3 squadron RNAS September 1917

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·         Capt. Henry Clay Jr. 41 Aero squadron USAS 0ctober 1918

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·         C6713 Capt. D’Urban Armstrong, 151 squadron RAF April 1918

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·         C1555 Capt. Francis Luxmore, 78 squadron RFC January 1918

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·         F1471 185 Aero squadron March 1919

11151_03.thumb.jpg.5e1f5d464695a230590391341b8024e0.jpg

1839289642_CamelO.thumb.JPG.122dfd2d950ee2da31614a0c61fe00b4.JPG1236695998_CamelN.thumb.JPG.a1ea95793829e816ccf861df0a9cd184.JPGI can see me buying some overtrees for this

Instructions

Standard fare here, nice, and clear with paints called out from the Gunze and Mission models range, also the colours themselves also mention the colours by name, still a very nice touch, pay particular attention to the scheme you want to build as it calls out the differences in the instruction for the variant, A very comprehensive 4 angle rigging diagram is included. On the rigging be aware that turnbuckles aren’t as prominent as they are on other countries aircraft as the lines were more spliced than turnbuckled so check your refs I can recommend the Haynes book on the camel for this, but others are available.

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Conclusion

What a lovely set, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating, in other words I’ll want to see how it builds but from what I can see there is everything in here you need to build any camel you want, with great decal choices, the only thing you will need to purchase here is rigging material.

So, with regards to this, biplanes scare people off, don’t let them, take your time, plan, and think things through and it’ll be fine I would say if you have a couple of Eduard kits under your belt this shouldn’t be a problem at all! So much so watch out for a build of these coming soon

Verdict,

Not for the complete novice as a 1st kit but if you are into WW1 models, then this will be THE definitive Camel Kit in the scale Well done Eduard,

Thanks to Eduard for the review sample, and of course this available from all suppliers as you read this

Aftermarket. 

I Ordered a couple of aftermarket bits as well for this kit so heres what we have 

Part 648659 Sopwith Camel Seat 

A nice resin seat with great detail, just paint and done 

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Part no.644116

Look Instrument panel and Photo etch

A prepainted resin Panel in two pieces with photo etched belts and panel parts, these look very good indeed 

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Finally, 

Part No. 648660 Vickers Mk.1 machine guns 

two part machine guns to replace the original kit parts these will be a straight replacement on the kit parts 

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these parts really will make a difference 

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2 minutes ago, skwonk said:

Their Camel is a lovely kit. I just hope they've got the interplane struts correctly labelled this time round in the instructions as to which are for'ard and aft.

I would guess so but this is a new tool so i would really think so 

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Excellent review Darren. I'd be quite tempted if it wasn't for the rigging, the quality of the moulding is exceptional.

Probably just as well as I'd never be able to decide which schemes to go for.

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When Eduard announced this kit I was tempted. Seeing this excellent review I am now more than just tempted, it's a must have for me. The parts look incredibly sharp and the decal options cover all the "classics" including Biggles!!

I really enjoyed their Fokker D.VII so this'll sit nicely alongside that one in my collection.

Excellent review old bean, you've sold it to me.

Duncan B

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