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1/48 Monogram Sopwith Camel F.1 WIP


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Awhile back, a friend of mine on another site proposed to do a buddy build with me of a pair of WWI Dogfight opponents. He wanted to build a Fokker Dr.I. So my entry into this buddy build is a Sopwith Camel. It only seems natural to oppose the Fokker Dr.I when he first proposed this buddy build of duelist biplanes awhile back.

 

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I have had the old Monogram issue of the classic Aurora kit in my stash and had been pondering building it for awhile. My friend’s idea of a buddy build was the kick in the pants needed to get this one from an abstract concept into something of an actual plan. The next step was to get other projects wrapped up so that I could give this build the attention that it deserves. 

 

I had the kit

 

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and a set of decals

 

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Off of the decal set I selected this particular subject aircraft.

 

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With a new year, and now all previous builds on my bench wrapped up, it was time to start.

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Last night I began construction. Actually though it was mostly just paint work.

 

First I took a razor saw along the seat to give it some texture to suggest that of the wicker seats actually used. Once painted and with a wash it should look more the part.

 

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Then I painted up other cockpit components, and the interior of the fuselage halves. Just getting the base colors on for now. I’m not gonna use the kit pilot, so behind the seat is a glaring empty space. I searched thru my spares/salvaged parts and came up with a fuel tank to fill the void. It somewhat resembles the real thing. I’m not going for 100% accuracy, just stuff to suggest what should be there. I’m sure that must sound like blasphemy to some modelers.

 

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I’ll get to work on detail painting and washes over the next few days, plus whatever mods I intend to scratch up for the cockpit. 

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Today’s update. Lots of painting and drilling and sanding and measuring & cutting... and not much gluing. So here we go.

First up, I was not happy with the filler points on the top deck behind the cockpit, so I drilled those out.

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Before and after

Then I repainted the cockpit floor based off some photos of preserved Camels. Different custom shade of wood that I mixed up compared to the sidewalls

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Then I modified the salvaged fuel tank into the piece affair that the real one had. Not to mention lots of sanding to get it to fit into the fuselage behind the pilot seat. I also painted the seat cushion and edging, again based off of photos of Museum Camels

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And lastly, base colors finished on the IP and control yoke, plus I scratch built up a rudder bar with control linkage rods, again based off of Museum Camels

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A bit more stuff to do like instrument decals, washes and perhaps an attempt at wood grain before I can put it all together.

Until the next update...

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Excellent start on that very old molding! I've been alternating building older Aurora biplanes and the newer Roden and Eduard kits....while the new ones have more detailing and are more to scale, their engineering SUCKS compared to the old kits! At least the struts will fit on that Sopwith you're building! Looking forward to more!

Gil :smiley16:

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Thanks Gil. I haven’t had the stones to try a new tool WWI kit yet. Although I do have several of those in my stash. I want more experience before I start working on the new tool kits.

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Today’s update: I took a shot at using oils for a wood grain appearance.
First step, I mixed up a brown shade and then applied it over the interior wood surface areas

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Next step I used a thinner moistened brush to remove much of the oil paint and leave a streaking that resembles wood grain

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The final look... any resemblance to actual wood grain is more luck than anything else. 

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This technique is actually going to take lots of practice to get a handle on it.

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One small update from yesterday’s work:
I forgot to get a better shot to show the sidewall wood grain effort

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and now that the oil wash on the engine has dried and I do not need to worry about it staining my photo booth, here’s a photo of the engine

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Today’s progress report: So today I completed my intended goals for yesterday. I added instrument decals to the IP, RAF WWII type, rather than the WWI type that I had planned to use but were invisible because they needed to be applied over a white background.

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Then I drybrushed and touched up the seat

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And lastly, I touched up the inside colors. 

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Next session I can install all the interior parts and close it all up.

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Thanks Gil. This kit has nowhere to go but up.

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In terms of it being  a simple, rock-bottom, 50s molding, you're correct. In fact, it even having a cockpit at all was a great step up from the kits that immediately preceded it, and was probably done only because it was in the larger 1/48 scale.

Referring back to the differences between this one and the "new tool" biplanes.....I believe you're going to be delighted with the detail parts provided and then very disappointed with the lack of engineering of the strut assemblies compared to the older Aurora and Lindberg biplanes.  Make note of those old struts that have angled locating pins, and you'll lament the newer kits with better "scale" to the struts, but no angle on the pins to help glue them on at the right angles.

The overall difference is that those old mold kits were targeted at kids who needed the construction sequences eased for them. The new tool biplanes  have much better fidelity, but are going to require a LOT of experience to overcome their lack engineering for ease of construction. You obviously have those skills, but I think you'll be surprisingly frustrated.....

None of my comments apply to the WNW 1/32 biplanes....those things are as near perfection as any kits ever made, even for novice builders!

Gil :smiley16:

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Thanks for the heads up Gil. Looking that the new tool Eduard and Roden kits in my stash, I know exactly what you speak of. I have plenty of model building experience. But none on new tool biplanes, and aside from one a few years ago, it’s been decades since I’ve built old biplane kits like this one. I training up to the new ones. Lol! 

Ive seen the Wingnuts Wings kits. They are gorgeous. But also outside of my preferred scales, build areas, and price range.

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I was out of town and away from my bench on Tuesday and Wednesday so no progress then. But yesterday I finally got the fuselage assembled.

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and unfortunately despite all the test fitting and sanding, I still have a bit of a gap behind the cockpit from the added fuel tank. But that should not be too difficult to fill.

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And what can be seen of all the added detail inside up front...

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Also I did a bit of grinding with my Dremel to thin outbthe cowling edges

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Next up... seam filling and clean up...

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