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1:32 Wartime Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe, and Canadian 'Trophy' Fokkers


Jim H
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1:32 Wartime Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe, and Canadian 'Trophy' Fokkers


Pheon Decals
Catalogue # 32044
Available from Pheon for £7.50 plus P&P
Pheon Website: www.pheondecals.com  Email for purchase.

 

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If you're a WW1 modeller, it's always a pleasure to see a new Pheon release. In fact, it seems to be a little bit of an event, almost akin to seeing a shiny new Wingnut Wings release. This isn't just my perspective, but also that of modellers I'm in contact with. Rowan's choices of schemes, and the sheer effort that goes into them, goes to make a great product. This new set is also a little unusual, catering to now just one type, the Sopwith Snipe, but also to the wonderful Fokker D.VII kit too, but with a twist.

 

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I know from my communication with Rowan that this set has been a labour of love, and the weight of information which comes within the manual, should show you his passion for the subject, and provides some very interesting background information to the chosen schemes.

Packaged into a ziplock wallet, the new 1:32 Wartime Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe, and Canadian 'Trophy' Fokkers set has the six schemes on offer here (three Snipe and three D.VII), featured in small port-side profile on an inkjet cover sheet. Within the packet, TWO more profile sheets are included, printed these schemes in a larger scale, and of course, on high quality, glossy paper. As well as the profiles, wing detail cutaway images are shown too, where appropriate.

 

It is pretty much true that RFC/RAF schemes were mostly PC10 or PC12, and the Snipe schemes here fall into that category for the main part, but Rowan has chosen some neat schemes which are broken up a little by either cowl paint colour, or wing identification letters. Let's take a look at those Snipe schemes before heading over to Fokker-land.

 

1. E8012, Maj. William George Barker, attached to 201 Sqn RAF, October 1918
Major Barker was an extraordinary man. He was a man of incredible flying skill and courage, and he was one of the highest scoring Allied 'aces' during the Great War. His machine was painted with grey turtle-deck, forward cowls and engine cowl. The rear fuselage was painted with five stripes in honour of the five aircraft which he simply claimed as being 'out of control', instead of destroyed.

 

2. E8050, Capt. E.R. 'Bo' King, Commander of 'A' Flight, 4 Sqn. AFC, October/November 1918
Again, this machine is painted in a similar way to Maj. Barker's Snipe, with the possibility of red wheel hubs, but the difference here is that the machine's 'A Flight' fuselage code is also displayed on the inboard, upper starboard wing.

 

3. E8082, 2/Lt. E.J. Richards, 'B' Flight, 4 Sqn. AFC, October/November 1918
Adorned in a similar manner to the 'Bo' King machine, with the 'X' displayed on the upper wing, the engine cowl (and possibly wheel hubs) were painted deep blue.

 

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...and onto the Fokkers, which are of course, machines evaluated by the Canadians after capture. Despite their new ownership, these aircraft still wear their German national markings, with the 4th and 5th options carrying 'extra' markings which I'll describe in the text below. The last machine (scheme 6) is a composite aircraft, built from a number of airframes.

 

4. OAW-built Fokker D.VII 8493/18
This machine may have been captured at a production facility, and doesn't seem to have been assigned to any unit, as it is devoid of any typical and personal markings. There are also some neat little touches to this scheme, such as small repair panels, a British-installed bare metal panel to the front of the AVRO/Trainer Pup style windshield (to block the holes from the removed guns). One cowl panel is also possibly black too, so there are a number of areas of visual interest for this scheme which would certainly make it an interesting possibility. The fuselage carries a green maple leaf RCAF 1 Sqn. Badge, again adding more visual interest.

 

5. OAW-built Fokker D.VII, serial unknown
Now, how about a racing Fokker!! You heard correctly. The identity of this aircraft isn't known, and of course as this was used in a non-military capacity after the war, this D.VII carried no Spandaus. This aircraft was flown by William Barker in the Toronto-new York Air Race of August 1919, and carried the aircraft's race number '50', emblazoned on both fuselage sides in white with black trim, and also in white on the inboard side of each lower wing. This machine looks very unusual indeed with this almost comedic writing.

 

6. Albatros-built Fokker D.VII 6810/18 "The Knowlton Fokker"
As previously mentioned, this aircraft was built from a number of other D.VII parts to supplement the Albatros-built machine's fuselage. Some lozenge fading on airframe parts, and the fact that all the various panels are of a different origin, will make this one a mish-mash of different styles, derived from different glazes etc. A real mixed bag. No other non-German markings are evident either

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Instructions
This 17 page A5 manual begins with a little of the history of the Snipe itself, and a little introduction to the Canadian Fokkers, before presenting you with the reference Rowan has used to compile this set. Instructions on decal use is given, and then onto the main event; the history of the various aircraft. The historical aspects of this decal set are seriously superb, telling some amazing stories relating to the Snipes and their pilots. You certainly won't find this depth of info on wiki. I know, I tried!

 

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Colour notations and any other useful information relating to specifics and oddities, especially for the Fokker machines, is noted in detail for the modeller, including cowl peculiarities.

 

The decals
The decal sheet for this is quite small, but because it neither relies on, no contains national markings, it does mean that you will be able to build ALL SIX schemes here, should you have the kits and inclination (just over £1 per model!). Barker's Snipe has the fuselage stripes given as a decal, with overlapping serials. Serials are separately included, should you want to mask the stripes and paint them yourself. The decals aren't numbered for ID, but it is pretty obvious for which machine they apply.

As usual, Fantasy Printshop are the producers of this sheet, and they are printed thinly, with minimal carrier film, and in perfect register. Colours are solid and authentic.

 

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Conclusion
This is a very unusual set, no doubt. Both Fokkers and Snipe aircraft on the same bill. You don't see it every day. It really doesn't matter if you just like the D.VII, or indeed the Snipe, as this set presents excellent value for money, and of course, those killer historical schemes. Build two from the set, then you're quids-in. Build more, then you really start to see the benefits of including more than one aircraft type on a set. Rowan has chosen some super aircraft for this release, and you certainly would be forgiven for tailoring your stash to cater to more than one build.

 

VERY highly recommended.

 

Our sincere thanks to Pheon Decals for the review sample.

 

James H

 

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