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1:32 Sopwith Pups of the RFC

James H

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1:32 Sopwith Pups of the RFC

Pheon Decals
Catalogue 32013
Available from Pheon Decals for £10.50
Pheon Website: www.pheondecals.com  Email for purchase.




After the recent Pups 'Trainers and Pets' review we did here at SP&R, we thought your eyes perhaps needed a contrast for this next article. With more straight and sober colours, but certainly no less interesting, today we publish our look at the 'Sopwith Pups of the RFC' decal set. Despite first glances, there some rather unusual aircraft depicted here, and surely something that would pique your interest.




As with all Pheon Decal sets, this release is packaged into a large zip-lock wallet, and has an inkjet-printed cover sheet showing the supplied scheme port-side profiles. Look a little closer, and you'll notice a couple of peculiarities. We'll discuss those in the scheme breakdown shortly. Also inside the wallet are THREE glossy colour profile sheets. Two of these contain larger and more detailed profiles than on the cover sheet, whilst the third sheet illustrates each machine in upper plan form.


The first scheme already displays on of the oddities applicable to this set, and that is the inclusion of a Lewis gun mounted over the top wing, in addition to the regular fuselage-mounted Vickers gun. The airscrew also has a small, rounded spinner fitted too. This machine, as with all other options on this set, is finished in a standard, overall PC10, with the lower surfaces in clear doped linen. There are strut and cowl variations in colour with all schemes, with this specific one wearing a blue cowl, with badly worn paint, displaying the aluminium beneath.




Option 2 has a completey PC10 and CDL finish, including the cowl, but outer wing struts are fitted with streamers. The cowl itself, whilst shown in profile as complete, is also shown in section as having the lower portion cut away to aid engine cooling. I would perhaps opt for the latter, probably because I'm quite a fan of anything out of the ordinary.


Option 3 has natural metal cowl panels and engine cowl to supplement the regular PC10/CDL scheme. This particular machine was recalled from European combat in order to counter Gotha raids. Having been unsuccessful generally, this machine, and presumably others, were returned to European combat, where this aircraft was badly damaged after being shot down.




If you aren't great at weathering models, then Option 4 is probably designed for you. This machine was lost in combat after only 4 days active service, so certainly not enough time to sully that PC10 and CDL too much. Luckily, the pilot survived, became a POW, but eventually escaped to Switzerland. The cowl panels and engine cowl appear to have been painted grey.




The last scheme, Option 5, is without doubt the most unusual bird of this set. A little more work will be needed here as this is, unusually, a Gnome Monosoupape-powered aircraft. You don't get one of these engines in your box, so unless you want to rob one from an Eindecker kit, you'll be best served by buying the Taurus kit for this engine. We reviewed this HERE. Now, you might just find that you'll need a custom cowl too, and thankfully, Pheon can supply one for you, or they can be bought from Brian Fawcett. This machine does look quite elegant with this cowl, so perhaps an option for you?


This aircraft displays the South Wales Borderer's emblem, which was that of its pilot Lt. A.B.Garnon-Williams, and the machine sported polished forward cowl and engine panels.




The Pheon instruction manual is always a delight, and this one is of course a little lighter than that which accompanied last week's 'Trainers and Pets' review, weighing in at a mere 6 pages. Rowan forgoes the usual historical passage in favour of pointing the modeller to the notes which are printed with the WNW kit itself. An explanation as to the best way to deploy your decals is also provided, including general colour notes.

Each machine is given a number of descriptive paragraphs which highlight the basic machine history and deployment, plus the various colour options available. This is a relatively simple set, and some machine history is scant.

The schemes supplied are:

  1. B2162, 66 Sqn RFC, Estrée-Blanche, 2/Lt. W.A. Pritt, France, September 1917
  2. B1703, 66 Sqn RFC, Capt. J.O. Andrews, Vert Galand, France, June 1917
  3. B1716, 46 Sqn RFC, 2/Lt. F.B. Barager, France, June 1917
  4. A6194, 66 Sqn RFC, Capt. L.H. Smith, France May 1917
  5. B1803, 113 HD Sqn, 2/Lt. A.B. Garnon-Williams, Throwley, England, August 1917

The decals
This is a smaller sheet than I've seen since I began to review Pheon Decals sets, being A5 in size, as opposed to the usual A4. Printed by Fantasy Printshop, the decals are superbly thin, contain minimal carrier film, are solid in colour and in perfect register. The colours are also authentic and not at all too vivid. Roundels are printed with separate red centres too. There are actually roundels for only one machine, but of course, you can supplement these with the WNW decals, should you wish to build more than one of these schemes. If you prefer the way that Pheon have depicted their roundels and tail stripes, with regard to colour, then you can purchase additional roundel and stripe sets. The code is 32013a, and these sell for £4.50 per sheet.




Again, another classy set which has as much research fed into it as is possible with today's historical information. Rowan has picked some rather nice schemes which have provenance as to combat duties and pilot information, as well as being happy to challenge the modeller further with the inclusion of a Gnome Monosoupape powered machine. This would look particularly interesting on the model club stand, alongside regular Pup versions. Add to this a rather low cost for this set, and you're onto a winner. What is there not to like?


Very highly recommended


Our sincere thanks to Pheon Decals for the review sample used here.



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