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1:32 Bristol F.2b Fighter (Post War)


James H
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1:32 Bristol F.2b Fighter (Post War)
Wingnut Wings
Catalogue # 32060
Available from Wingnut Wings for $99.00 with FREE Worldwide Delivery

 

 

 

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This release isn’t entirely unexpected, as it was announced that Wingnut Wings were going to revisit the F.2b at sometime, and give silver wings fans something to be pleased about. Well, at long last, WNW stayed true to their word, and the very latest from Peter Jackson’s NZ-based model company, has landed here on my doorstep in the UK.

 

 

Of course, there aren’t going to me massive changes between the original Brisfit kit, and the post-war version, but there are a number of key differences. The mailshot I received from WNW regarding this kit, states:

 

"This is the long awaited follow up to our original First World War era 32004 1/32 Bristol F.2b Fighter model that we released in April 2009. The Bristol Fighter saw extensive service post war with the RAF and in Poland, Belgium, Ireland, The Netherlands, Peru, Mexico, Canada, Greece and New Zealand. Post war modifications were numerous and included modified engine cowlings and radiator slats for improved cooling, longer exhaust manifolds, an auxiliary 'tropical' radiator, modified instrument board and a larger balanced rudder (as featured in this model). Some very late serving aircraft could also be found with variable pitch propellers, a larger horizontal tailplane and leading edge slats on the top wings (not included in our model). The Bristol Fighter was not withdrawn from RAF service until April 1932 and remained in Commonwealth service until it was retired by the NZPAF in 1936."

 

  • 193 high quality injection moulded plastic parts.
  • 34 part highly detailed 275hp Rolls Royce Falcon III engine.
  • 19 all new plastic parts including late production engine cowlings, radiator shutters, instrument board plus optional fin, rudder, exhaust manifolds, spare wheel and auxiliary (tropical) radiator.
  • 15 photo-etched metal detail parts.
  • 28 page fully illustrated instruction manual.
  • High quality Cartograf decals for 5 post WW1 aircraft

The presentation of Wingnut Wings kits, is flawless, and this is every bit as eye-catching as previous releases. In fact, the Steve Anderson artwork on this is probably one of my favourites, depicting two F.2b aircraft flying over the pyramids and the Giza terrain in Egypt. You sort of feel that dusk is just setting in, and the image is certainly atmospheric. The five schemes are shown in profile on one of the box sides (and illustrated on the main artwork at the top of this page).

 

Inside, we have EIGHT medium grey sprues, and one single clear one. All are individually bagged too, removing any real risk of parts being fouled and damaged. You’ll notice that is one more sprue than then original Bristol F.2b model kit. This is of course a newly-tooled sprue with the parts mentioned in the paragraph above, and specific to this release. The photo-etch fret, packed with the single, large decal sheet, is also a new addition, and different to the fret in the wartime F.2b release.

 

SPRUE A

 

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Any model of this scale, with two open cockpits, is going to need a certain degree of detail, and here you will find a number of the parts that make up the cockpit areas. These include multipart fuel tank and pilot’s seat, gunner and pilot control columns, rudder pedal and mounting pedestal, grease pump, Vickers MG mount, instrument board mounting bulkhead w/ MG magazine, and also the instrument board itself. The latter needs to be consigned to the spares bin, as this release will benefit from a brand new and different part. It does pay to refer to the tips on the WNW site, especially when it comes to the wicker seat. This four part item will really benefit from a little thinning at the rear, which will open up the looser wicker weave area, and add a lot of visual interest to the part. A simple modification that improves this area, without the need to buy any aftermarket solution.

 

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A number of forward engine radiator cowl parts are included here, but you won’t use the open framework and louvered shutters. Again, there is a new, later forward radiator shutter part on the new sprue.

 

Two sets of undercarriage V struts are included here, but only one pair is to be used. Please make sure you carefully remove the correct parts. These are the ones that have what appears to be a strengthening beam in the lower part of the ‘V’. There are a few other parts on this sprue, which you won’t use, including two spinner/prop hubcaps.

 

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SPRUE B

 

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The main players here are the fuselage halves. Despite the F.2b’s lack of any apparent stations within the fuselage, the remainder of the detail is almost filigree in nature, and extremely refined. Externally, this includes fine lacing, panel access, foot holes, and grommet lined holes for control cables. The leather trim around the pilot position is also integral. There is no real detail within the fuse, with this being solely associated with the cockpit tub.

 

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The only other parts to be used here are the cockpit floor that also forms the underside of the fuselage, two-blade airscrew, plus the small struts that hold the lower wing to the fuselage. The four-blade prop and engine cowls are all redundant here, and newly tooled parts will be used instead.

 

 

SPRUE C

 

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This small, clear sprue contains the windscreen and the two upper wing, outboard Holt lights. Clarity is excellent.

 

 

SPRUE D (x2)

 

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Typically, Sprue D contains parts for which opposites and duplicates are required, hence spreading them over two identical sprues. For this release, they contain elevators, inter-plane struts, bombs, machine guns, ammunition drums, and the wheels with their separate, outer hubs. The elevators look great, with their rib tapes and fastenings, and the inside of the wheel contains a few spokes and tyre inflation nipple that will be seen when the outer hub is fitted. Short exhausts are included here, but again, will NOT be used with this release.

 

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SPRUE E

 

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Yet again, ‘E’ is for ‘engine’, with the Rolls Royce Falcon I being broken down into over thirty separate parts. This particular engine builds up into a very busy looking model in its own right, with very fine detail including carburettor air intakes, oil and water pipes, magnetos and rear air filters. The only real seam removal here will be along the bottom of the engine block, and around the halves of each of the two six cylinder banks. I think that all that’s needed extra here is a little plumbing. This is well worth leaving the cowls off the model, in order to display it.

 

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SPRUE F

 

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There are two last cockpit parts here, namely the delicate side frames with intricate pipe and bracket detail. Apart from sprue gate attachments, there is no other clean-up to perform here, with ejector pin marks hidden on the reverse of the parts.

 

The layout of the sprue is slightly different to what is shown in the manual, with the rudder having moved position so that it is moulded adjacent to the fixed fin. Both wing upper and lower centre sections are moulded here as upper/lower halves, and these, along with both sets of ailerons and the stabiliser, exhibit the same finesse in detail as the elevators we saw on Sprue D.

 

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SPRUE G

 

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Wings, wings, everywhere! Each of the upper and lower port and starboard panels is moulded as a single piece. These relatively thin, under-cambered wings are moulded with a highly realistic fabric surface, with rib strips and clean strut location points. These points are also given over to rigging holes. I would perhaps drill these a little deeper if you wish to use turnbuckles. Not too much deeper though, or you could break through to the other side! That fabric surface also displays the shorter, leading edge ribs. The effect is excellent.

 

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SPRUE I (NEW TOOL)

 

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Your post war F.2b will be defined by the parts on this new sprue. These new parts include two different lengths of long exhaust, a whole new set of cowls, a new set of later Mk.IV fin/rudder parts, instrument board, auxiliary radiator parts, and a Vickers gun barrel/blast tube.

 

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Plastic Summary
I really can’t find any flash on any of these sprues, and seams are negligible. Sink marks are non-existent, and ejector pin marks are hidden. What more could you want! No defects whatsoever. Top drawer.

 

 

PHOTO ETCH

 

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This is also a new fret, and not common to the original release. It contains lap belts, screen/stowage pockets, control cable link points, gunner seat strap, and Lewis gun elevation ratchet arms. Production is excellent, and to protect the fret, it’s packaged with the decal sheet.

 

 

DECALS

 

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A single, large sheet is included, printed by Cartograf. Included here are not just the scheme markings, but a full set of stencils and munitions stripes. Instrument decals are also here.

 

What I like about WNW is that they split their national markings where they overlap an aileron etc, They also have cut-outs that align with hinges etc. meaning that you really can’t get your markings in the wrong positions. Scheme ‘E” has options on marking position.

As with pretty much anything ‘Cartograf’, production is excellent, with colours being both solid and authentic. Printing is also in perfect register, carrier film is minimal, and the decal printing is suitably thin.

 

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The five schemes are:

  1. Bristol F.2b Fighter Mk.II F4392 'B2', RAF, Aboukir Egypt, 1926.
  2. Bristol F.2b Fighter Mk.II F4435, 208 Sqn RAF, Ismailia Egypt, 1925. 
  3. Bristol F.2b Fighter Mk.II J6647 'K', Gerard Combe, 31 Sqn RAF, Dardoni India, 1923. 
  4. Bristol F.2b Fighter Mk.II '19', Irish Free State Air Corps, 1925.
  5. Bristol F.2b Fighter Mk.III 7122, New Zealand Permanent Air Force, 1930s.

 

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Instruction Manual

 

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This is a 27 page, A4 production with a classy satin finish. WNW use images of drawn appearance, in grey-scale, but with the use of blue ink to signify newly added parts. Some illustrations are shown in full colour so that painting references are nice and easy. Paint ref codes (Tamiya, Humbrol and FS) are given throughout assembly also. What makes WNW manuals really good, are the photographic references they supply. This one contains both period and contemporary images. A full set of rigging drawings are included, as are notes throughout construction, where internal rigging is required.

 

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The last pages are taken over with the scheme profiles, created by Ronny Bar, inclusive of scheme notes and images of the machines depicted. A goldmine of reference.

 

 

Conclusion
After the post war Snipe, I have to say that I’m growing quite fond of the silver wings releases from Wingnut Wings. Ok, ok, I know they aren’t all silver, with the Irish one in particular, being very appealing, but I think you get what I mean. Production is quality, and presentation is stylish. A beautifully detailed model that you can guarantee will have been meticulously researched by the WNW team, and with a set of killer schemes. Another ‘top score’ kit!

 

Very highly recommended

 

My sincere thanks to Wingnut Wings for the review sample shown here. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

 

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