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1:32 Sopwith Snipe Post-War RAF


Jim H
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1:32 Sopwith Snipe Post-War RAF


Pheon Decals
Catalogue # 32043
Available from Pheon Decals for £15.00

 

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Pheon Decals, whilst not a new name on the scene, certainly are new with regards to their products appearing on Scale Plastic & Rail/Large Scale Modeller. For Pheon's debut here, they have sent two sets from their new 1:32 releases, and today we publish the first of these, concerning the Wingnut Wings Sopwith Snipe 'Late' release, which we reviewed here.

 

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I'd heard some great things about Pheon, and indeed seen a number of models finished with their decals, so I was quite excited to see the decal quality and presentation that has now become synonymous with their releases, for myself. There's no doubt that this slightly larger than A4 size ziplock wallet is quite hefty with content, unlike most 1:32 decal releases, so without any further ado, let's take a look inside and see what you get for your money.

 

This Sopwith Snipe Post-War RAF set has options for no less than ELEVEN schemes; all of which are based on the classic post-war silver dope finish. If the usual post-war chequer-board schemes are a little run of the mill for you, but you still want your model to have that attractive doped aluminium appearance, then Pheon have researched and presented some both varied and unusual options which are undoubtedly going to appeal to silver wing fans.

 

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Before I open this set, Pheon has attached a note to the package which states that a serial number for one of the schemes has been inadvertently omitted from the sheet, but will be forwarded on to the customer as soon as they arrive back from the printers. We'll certainly not let that spoil our enjoyment here, as we see exactly what's on offer.

 

A colour-printed A4 insert is used as the cover sheet for this set, with all eleven profiles being printed in small scale for quick reference. Inside the package, a further THREE sheets present these profiles, but printed in a larger scale, and in full colour on high grade, glossy photographic quality paper. This is something I have never seen before, and I have definitely not seen profiles produced to this standard, with perhaps the exception of the Ronny Bar profiles which accompany the Wingnut Wings decal sets. Along with the port side profiles, a number of wing plans are given which aid the positions of various bars and panels, as well as any other decal placement.

 

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The profile sheets have no notation on them which refer to either decal number identification or machine history. With this set, decal numbering isn't used as it's pretty obvious where the individual decals need to be placed, and the profiles are to such as high standard that you can easily follow panel and wing rib locations to ensure that you place your decal precisely.

 

As for the machine histories and reference material, here I find something else which I have never seen outside of Pheon Decals, namely an instruction manual totaling 12 pages! This is printed on regular A4 paper, folded into an A5 format. The first three pages relate to the history of the Sopwith Snipe, through its development and wartime service. Reference to the failed Dragonfly radial engine which caused a number purpose designed aircraft projects to be shelved, is mentioned. The stop-gap Snipe saw service beyond its intended life, and into the post-war period. Pheon have thoughtfully included an extensive list of the reference material they have used for the development of this decal set, with acknowledgements too. It seems Rowan wants to see a WNW Gloster Grebe. I have to concur that that would certainly be a welcome addition. Hopefully Richard Alexander is reading this, or indeed the Pheon booklet.

 

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Each numbered scheme has some notation printed too, including colour and marking information detail, and any other relevant notes, plus a little history. These aren't comprehensive histories of the machine by plane and pilot, but serve as useful reference for the individual aircraft's markings. Accompanying this section are a number of colour walkaround images and also some period images of the Snipe. A couple of colour Grebe profiles are thrown in for good measure too, just in case Richard is indeed looking in.

 

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There is a little notation included for the rationale behind printing the cockade centers' as separate decals, as well as general information on applying the decals. Setting solutions aren't recommended, but MicroSol Blue is suggested in order to allow the decal to float properly until it is finally positioned.

 

The schemes included in this release are:

  1. E6655, "B" Flight, 1 Sqn, Hinaidi, Iraq, 1925. P/O Dermot Boyle
  2. E6942, "A" Flight, No.3(F) Sqn, RAF Manston, 1924
  3. F2441, 111 Sqn, Duxford, 1924
  4. F2408, 23 Sqn, Henlow 1925/6
  5. E6268, 32 Sqn, Kenley, 1924
  6. F2527, 111 Sqn, "A" Flight Commander, Duxford, 1924
  7. E7538, 19 Sqn, Duxford, December, 1924
  8. E8358 "Bonzo", No.1 School of Technical Training (No.1 SofTT), RAF Halton, 1923
  9. E7528, 25(F) Sqn, San Stefano, Constantinople during the Chanak Crisis, September, 1922
  10. E6825, 41 Sqn, Northolt, 1923
  11. E7423, 25(F) Sqn, Hawkinge, 1923/4

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The decals

A single sheet of decals are included, roughly A4 in size. Printed by Fantasy Printshop, the sheet includes the majority of national markings (both individual and as part of fuselage décor), serials and personal machine markings for 'Bonzo'. Fuselage tail bands are included as well as vertical fin markings for E6268. You will of course need to use a number of standard decals from the Wingnut Wings sheet, to complement those on this release. Where there are similar decals for both port and starboard, these 'handed' decals are signified by a 'L and 'Rt' symbol (left and right). The various decals are tightly packed onto this sheet, with only the serial numbers being given an identifying number for the machine, and included within their own print box.

 

The decals are superbly printed, beautifully thin, and with minimal carrier film. Having used decal setting solutions with Fantasy Printshop products, I can concur that MicroSol Blue does work very well on them. If you do plan to use any other solutions, use a test decal on some scrap plastic first. Registration is perfect and the inked edges are sharp.

 

Conclusion

It is true that you really have to look around to find silver-doped schemes that have some individuality to them, but I think this is just what Pheon have succeeded in doing here with this superb array of 11 varied machines. There are probably two or three of these that I would like to build myself, and combined with the informative instruction booklet and excellent glossy colour profiles, this seems more of a complete package than I would otherwise expect to see.

As I said, this is a first time for me looking at Pheon Decals, and now I know exactly what I've been missing.

 

Very highly recommended

 

James H

 

Our sincere thanks to Pheon Decals for the review sample used here. To purchase directly, click THIS link. (Note, website will be fully active soon, so please contact Pheon via the details on their site)

 

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