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1:32 Sopwith Pups of the RNAS

James H

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1:32 Sopwith Pups of the RNAS

Pheon Decals
Catalogue # 32014
Available from Pheon Decals





Well, we've had two RFC Sopwith Pup decal reviews from Pheon, so it's only fair that we now redress the balance and turn our attention to a release designed for the RNAS version of the 1:32 Wingnut Wings kit. These RNAS machines are perhaps not quite as colourful as some of their RFC counterparts, having a basic PC10 scheme, but they are quite interesting subjects for a number of reasons that we'll outline here.


Pheon's latest release is packed into the customary clear A4 ziplock bag, containing not only the A5 decal sheet, but a number of superbly printed glossy sheets depicting the profiles and plans for the FIVE marking options supplied, but also an excellent instructions leaflet, giving historical notes on the aircraft. The front of the package has an A4 insert, depicting the five schemes which this release contains.




Rowan has again opted NOT to supply you with information about the type itself, as this is more than adequately covered within the Wingnut Wings manual. The eight page manual first explains the best way in which to apply the decals, as well as a note on wing cockade application. As a side note here, this set is supplied with ONE set of cockades, but should you want to build further schemes from this set, extra cockade sheets can be purchased from Pheon. The code is 32013a, and these sell for £4.50 per sheet.




General colour notes are supplied too, as is the reference list that Rowan has used for producing this release. Also included are a few brief notes on how these aircraft were stained during their service life, and how natural metal panels would oxidize through lack of any treatment.


The remainder of the manual goes on to detail the schemes, including both historical and color notation. Also check the scheme notes for modifications that a number of these models will have to undergo in terms of equipment and things like windscreens etc. We'll now take a look at these schemes.








N6179, 'Baby Mine', Flt. Cdr T.C. Vernon, Flt Sub-Lts A.W. Carter & L.H. Slatter, 3 Sqn. RNAS, Marieux, France, April 1917

This machine, with a varnished upper decking, battleship grey cowl, and a white band around the fuselage, had a standard clear doped linen underside, and also a CDL vertical tail fin, with the Sopwith company name stenciled upon it. Wheel hubs are also CDL. This aircraft had an unusual windscreen which straddled the MG. This is clearly depicted on the profile, and supplied within this release, pre-printed onto a sheet of acetate!.


N6200, 'Bobs', Flt Cdr A. M. Shook, 4 Sqn RNAS, Bray Dunes, France, May 1917

'Bobs' also had a varnished upper deck, but this time it had a bare metal engine cowl and side panels. Unusually for this machine, not only was the vertical fin painted in royal blue, but there was a distinct possibility that the entire upper tailplane was also painted to match this, as were the hubs. The drawings do show a possibility of CDL hubs.


N6183, 'Mildred', Flt Cdr. J.A. Glen, 3 Sqn. RNAS, Marieux, France, May 1917

'Mildred' has her name emblazoned, as with the other machines, on the fabric panel just below the pilot's position. With the limitation in understanding how to represent colour from old black and white photographs, it is possible that the name 'Mildred' was stenciled in red, with a white 'shadow' to it. Pheon have included decals including the red version, as well as the shadow stencil by itself. It's up to you how you wish to depict this. I'm sure no one will be able to critique you for using the 'wrong' set! Mildred's engine cowl had its upper portion painted red, whilst the remainder of this and the side panels, were left in natural metal. The upper deck was varnished, and TWO types of hub option are included; a bare white version for the aircraft's early service, and a red, white and blue for later. The latter is supplied as a decal, split to help it overlay the cone shape of the hub.


N6203, 'Mina', Flt Cdr. L.H. Slatter, RNAS Seaplane Defence Flight, St Pol, France, July 1917

This machine may have had a white cowl, or it could have been natural metal. Again, limitations in interpreting old photos will always leave more questions unanswered, than it will answer them. Mina's wheel hubs were white, and the vertical fin was painted in PC10 also. This aircraft had two very unusual large, white teardrops painted onto its tailplane. These are included as decals, due to their complex shape


N6181, 'Happy', Flt Cdr. L.S. Breadner, 3 Naval Sqn, Marieux, France, April 1917

In amongst the carnage of war, I find it ironic that a pilot could name their aircraft 'Happy', but that's just what we have here. As with Mildred, the 'Happy' name is supplied in decal form as both a red word with white shadow, and as just the shadow itself. It's your decision as to which way you want to go with this. The natural metal engine cowl also had its upper portions painted in red. White horizontal bands adorned the upper and side fuselage, as did it on the upper wing centre section itself. Elevators were also painted white. Again, the unusual split windscreen of this machine is supplied with this set, on a piece of acetate.


This set includes 3 glossy-printed sheets depicting the profiles. The first two sheets contain a portside profile of each machine, with cutaway drawings depicting various options. The third sheet shows the aircraft in upper plan.


The decals




As previously mentioned, the sheet accompanying this release is A5 in size, and contains one set of cockades, and one set of fin decals. Cockades are printed with separate red centres, and with cut-outs for the control surface inspection panels. With the exception of the wrap around fuselage band of the first machine, all other such bars etc are given as decals. Stencils are supplied for each serial machine, too.


The decals are printed by Fantasy Printshop, and are both thin and contain minimal carrier film. Colours are authentic and not too vivid, and printing is in perfect register.


This is a very simple set which will go to produce some fairly unusual PC10 schemes. Rowan has a knack of finding subjects which have a little bit of the unusual about them, and again, he has succeeded with this set. Thoroughly researched and beautifully presented, this set is another winner for WW1 aircraft modellers!


Very highly recommended


Our sincere thanks to Pheon Decals for the review set.


James H



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