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Model Expo 1/16 Sopwith Camel

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This is the kit I've been sort of building up to.  1/16 scale skeletonized Sopwith Camel with all the bones and nerves exposed.  All flight controls operational, nicely detailed engine and full rigging.


The model as designed does not include the engine or gun cowlings - I'll scratch build those from aluminum sheet (should be interesting as I've not done that particular kind of metalwork in the past!).  I'll also build some of the cockpit components as the white metal castings just don't look right.  I'll try my hand at replicating wicker using wire-on-wire framing for the seat and I'll use real leather and silk where needed for other details.  I have some thin glass sheets I can use for instrument faces - I'll try that first, and go to film if that doesn't work out.


The engine will be more of a challenge, as (despite the size) some of the detail is a bit soft.  I'll figure that out as I go, and will make it as close to the original as I can.


I just opened the box yesterday - so y'all get to be present for the entire journey...   :)







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I'm looking at the Albatross as well - if this comes out nicely, I'd like to to that one as well.


I'll admit to being a bit intimidated by the fact that there's nowhere to hide with this kind of kit - but the only way to get past that is to just do it.



Now THIS is interesting. I have the 1:16 Albatros, from the same company, in my stash.


I watch with interest.

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There is at least the beginning of progress on this.  I've been wrapping my brain around how to approach this from a finishing/presentation standpoint and the impact that those decisions will have on the build.


The engine is the first major sub-component to be built.  It is composed entirely of white metal castings (excepting the spark plug wires and a length of brass tubing that forms the central bearing).  Cleaning up the castings - including 18 (!) individual spark plugs is the first hurdle.  I've begun this process, along with doing additional research on existing Clerget engines in museum collections.


I've determined that I'll present this as a museum display of a "used" airframe.  This means that the engine, while clean, will not be "new".  So the engine structure will show some wear and the effects of heat.  If I can track down a second engine somewhere, I'll add that to the display on a separate stand.  I know that Hasegawa has a 1/8 version of the engine, but I've not seen any others in 1/16.  Does anyone know of a source (beyond buying a second kit)?


Photos to follow as I clean the parts and begin actual assembly over the next day or so. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't have any pics for this update, but progress is happening.  Between taking a week off in Florida and doing some framing work on the 1/24 picket boat my Sopwith time has been a bit limited.


Here's the update  :) :


I found that the castings of some of the engine parts were not as clean as they should be, so I've been doing a bit of troubleshooting.


My goal is to have my fills match the white metal casting, so that they won't show through the transparent colors I plan to use,  So... I've been looking at different foils and metal leaf treatments over both gap-filling CA and milliput.  I think I found something that works - I'll know this weekend, and will post the results.


Model Expo does great work with the wood portions of their kits, but I've found that their white metal castings can be a bit rough.  In this case, both the front and rear crankcase castings were not fully filled at the edges.  i could request replacements (and I might still) but I''m treating it as a challenge and learning opportunity for the time-being.


I also found a variegated leaf foil that I think is perfect for the induction tubes - photos to come on this as well. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Still no photo-ready progress on this, but I've finally had a chance to test and validate my approach to the rough surfaces on the engine castings.  I had to use a leveling primer on some of the parts, which changes my painting approach rather dramatically.  I'm also changing the push-rod design to better reflect the original.


I'm gong to fabricate my own frame connectors from sheet and strip steel stock, based on documented full-sized plans.  The kit-supplied connectors look *adequate* from a distance, but simply don't hold up well to close examination.


The one other thing I'd like to find is a better set of guns.  Cleaning the castings for these is doable, but will take a LOT of time.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I started this kit some time ago but gave up in frustration at the poor quality of the metal castings, especially in the cockpit. I had spent some time scratch building many of the engine details but then decided that life's too short to waste like this when there were so many good kits in my stash that were waiting to be built.

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