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Wingnut Wings Sopwith 2F.1 'Ship's Camel'


JeroenPeters
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1:32 Sopwith 2F.1 “Ship’s Camel”

Wingnut Wings

Kit No. 32076

Available from Wingnut Wings for $79,-

 

camel1.jpg 

 

Introduction

‘Wingnut Wings will never do a Camel’. A bold statement that was often heard amongst WW1 aviation enthusiast modellers… Reason being that Wingnut Wings plotted their own course and the Camel had been done before by the likes of Hobbycraft and Academy. Italeri very recently even did a re-pop of the rather mediocre Academy kit.

 

Why no other brand (Roden for instance) ever tackeled the Camel before I really don’t know and is beyond me. At one time I bought an Academy kit and the Part Photo etch set (very nice by the way) with the intention of building it. Man… am I glad I didn’t, because now we have no less than 5(!!) amazing Wingnut Wings Camels to choose from!

 

Since James Hatch already wrote thorough in box reviews of the

F.1 Camel ‘BR.1’

and the

F1 Camel ‘Clerget’

I will steer my review in a different course. Where he zooms in on engineering excellence, I will try to approach this kit a little bit differently.

 

What I will do is try to answer a question for you. Being:

 

Why should I choose the Sopwith 2F.1 “Ship’s Camel”?

 

To answer this question, I will start by addressing the changes between a ‘normal’ Camel and the ‘Camel’ that was hoisted on board Naval ships and slung of them. Changes were:

  • It had a rear fuselage that was detachable (cool for diorama’s and transport scenes).The separation point was right behind the pilot’s position. This feature was introduced to make transportation and stowing on board easier / possible. See the photo below for an example of both.
     
  • The armament setup was different too. Instead of the usual 2 nose mounted Vickers guns, the Ship’s Camel only had one nose mounted Vickers, and in addition had one Lewis gun mounted to the top wing center section. This setup was called the Admirality Top Place Mounting.
     
  • The Ship’s Camel also had a narrower wingspan (13 inches, or 33cm).
     
  • The rear fuselage contained floatation bags.
     
  • The cabane struts were made of steel tube.
     
  • The control column featured external control levers for the elevator cables.
     
  • All Ship Camels were Bentley BR.1 powered.

 

So now that we’ve covered most of the differences, let’s see what reason’s I can come up with to promote the Ship’s Camel to you.

 

Survivors

There are 2 original 2F.1 Ship’s Camel on display today! You’ll find the RAF N8156 in the Canadian Aviation Museum. The other one is the N6812 on display in the Imperial War Museum in London. This particular plane has some history. It was flown by Flight Sub-Lieutenant Stuart Culley who shot down Zeppelin LZ100 with it in august 1918.

So why is the above cool? Because this means there is plenty of walkaround reference available.

 

DSC00057.jpg?m=1350169256

Culley's N6812 suspended in the Imperial War Museum London. 

 

Diorama opportunities

This rugged little fighter was flung of ships in several different ways. Either from a platform mounted on top the huge guns of a destroyer, or from a small naval vessel consisting of only a small hull and a platform to match in size. Fellow forum member Michael Scarborough did an amazing diorama of a Sopwith Pup.

pup.jpg
Michael Scarborough's amazing Sopwith Pup diorama.

 

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Here's another fine diorama example with a Sopwith Pup. This time by modeller Oefag_153 from Sweden. The figure is from Wings.

 

X003-2602-15828.jpg

Enough Pup's... Here's a Camel taking off!

 

caroline%206.jpg

One more cool inspiration pic...

 

Another way to go is do a ‘transport scene’. Since the Ship Camel was transported with the rear fuselage separated, you can hang half a Camel dangling from a crane (see photo) or place both parts on a WW1 lorry. Wingnut Wings provides us with a great reference photo in the instructions.

 

X003-2602-15774.jpg

 The forward part of the Camel hanging from a crane. I can see myself building this...

 

Sopwith%202F.1%20Camel%20N6779%200381-05

Or like this... Not the rear part of the fuselage on the back of the lorry.

 

As described above under ‘survivors’, the N6812 is heavily documented and photographed. I suddenly see an in-flight diorama with a part of Zeppelin hull in an angle below it! And, not surprisingly, the N6812 is included in the schemes provided in this kit…

And here's some inspiration for the cockpit figure (not sure what brand. I believe Wings Cockpit figures) done by David Parker:

 

18319183_1632124376815912_58181714605172

 

 

 

 

The kit

So let’s take a look at the sprues! As said: the Ship Camel has a slightly different fuselage, a shorter wingspan and different weapons layout.

 

The kit consists of:

• 170 plastic parts

• 16 plastic parts that make up the Bentley BR.1 engine

• Optional wheels, propellors (2 types) and bomb rack

• 7 photo etched parts

• Cartograf decals

 

Sprue A:

Wheels, Cowlings, gear, cockpit parts, bombs and struts...

camel_sprueA1.jpg

 

camel_sprueA2.jpg

 

camel_sprueA3.jpg

Four cowlings! But we only need the bottom/left one for this kit...

 

camel_sprueA4.jpg

Two types of wheels are provided. The difference is the pronounced spokes showing through the linen. See below.

 

camel_sprueA7.jpg

 

camel_sprueA5.jpg

Yes you can replace this whicker seat for a resin one. But why? Gorgeous. 

 

camel_sprueA11.jpg

The cushion of the whicker seat. Lovely wrinkles...

 

camel_sprueA6.jpg

These Vickers guns keep getting better and better. Shame we only need one for this plane :)

 

camel_sprueA8.jpg

4x 20lb Cooper bombs... Great for the N6823 during the Tondern Raid.

 

camel_sprueA10.jpg

This are the gear struts to use. They were metal and stronger than the ones' normal Camels had.

 

camel_sprueA9.jpg

Cockpit sidewall. 

 

Sprue B

Ship's Camel fuselage, lower wings, Lewis gun, upper deck and instrument panel. 

 

camel_sprueB1.jpg

 

camel_sprueB2.jpg

Note the hole for one Vickers gun, instead of two. 

 

camel_sprueB3.jpg

I just love that inspection window for the controls. Also note the small attachment points, for hoisting this baby onboard!

 

camel_sprueB4.jpg

Lovely surface detail... Look at those twist-fasteners... Inside shown below, with the sink marks well out of the way:

 

camel_sprueB8.jpg

 

camel_sprueB5.jpg

A crisp instrument panel. A little bit of sinkage on two dials, but that's an easy fix. Apply decal and use a drop of Micro Crystal.

 

camel_sprueB9.jpg

Here she is! The Lewis gun. A prominent feature on the Ship's Camel. This setup was called the Admirality Top Place Mounting

 

Sprue C

That's clear :)

 

camel_sprueC1.jpg

The only parts we need are 5 inspection windows and the windshield.

 

camel_sprueC2.jpg

Crisp and transparent as always... Part 9 (top right) is the windshield we'll use.

 

Sprue D

Wings, props, control surfaces, skid and stick!

 

camel_sprueD1.jpg

 

camel_sprueD2.jpg

 

camel_sprueD3.jpg

This prop is used on A, B, C and E schemes. Scheme D however can also be finished with this prop.

 

camel_sprueD4.jpg

 

camel_sprueD5.jpg

Lovely ribbing detail on the rudder. Subtle, not overdone. 

 

camel_sprueD6.jpg

The same goes for the ribbing on the main wings... Stitching and ribbing is done just right.

 

Sprue E

The Bentley BR.1 engine.

 

camel_sprueE1.jpg

I can imagine someone using a Taurus engine for a DH.2 or Fokker E3, where the engine is clearly visible. With the Camel most is enclosed. For this purpose this little gem is more than detailed on it's own.

 

camel_sprueE2.jpg

 

camel_sprueE3.jpg

 

camel_sprueE4.jpg

 

camel_sprueE5.jpg

See what I mean?

 

The photo-etch

 

camel_PE.jpg

 

The decals

Done by usual suspects: Cartograf.

 

camel_decals.jpg

 

camel_decals3.jpg

 

Instruction booklet

With some of the most obvious differences for the Ship's Camel.
 

camel_instr1.jpg

 

camel_instr2.jpg

 

camel_instr3.jpg

 

camel_instr4.jpg

 

 

Schemes

A –Sopwith 2F.1 Camel N6602, HMS Furious, April 1918

This plane also flew from the HMS Narnia, HMS Lion, HMS Glorious and HMS Caroline.

schemeA.jpg 

 

 

B –Sopwith 2F.1 Camel N6764, HMS Lion, April to June 1918

This plane had it’s fuselage and wings re-covered with linen, giving it the rare light appearance.

schemeB.jpg

 

C –Sopwith 2F.1 Camel N6812, flown by Stuart Douglas Culley, 1 victory over Felixstowe, 11 August 1918

This is the plane on display in the Imperial War Museum in London that show down Zeppelin L.53.

SchemeC.jpg

 

D –Sopwith 2F.1 Camel N6822, HMAS Sydney, July to October 1918

Also served on the HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Australia.

SchemeD.jpg

 

E –Sopwith 2F.1 Camel N6823, flown by Samuel Dawson, HMS Furious, 17 to 19 July 1918

Now this scheme has my name written all over it. It actually was a camouflage scheme, applied to take part in the first recorded aircraft carrier strike on a Zeppelin base. This mission was called the Tondern Raid. Curious about this mission? Check this link!

schemeE.jpg 

 

 

 

 

Verdict

Yup, Wingnut Wings has another winner on their hands and this time it’s not just a matter of quality, but moreover… subject! The Camel is the Allied epitome of WW1 aviation and will speak to a wider audience than just WW1 aviation enthusiasts. Come to think of it: this will even speak to Naval enthusiasts. I think it’s amazing WnW held out for as long as they did with this subject, but man, when they deliver,.. they deliver! Now all I want is to see a whole bunch of these built! Preferably by the people asking, begging, screaming, moaning about a proper 32nd scale Camel.

 

VERY highly recommended.

 

My sincere thanks to Wingnut Wings for this review sample.

 

Jeroen Peters

 

wnwlogo2.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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