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New Hasegawa 1/16 Scale Sopwith Camel - In Box Review


seiran01
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I have in my grubby little paws a brand new Hasegawa 1/16 scale Sopwith Camel, and oooh boy is it nice. I think this may have set a new shipping record from Hobbylink Japan, and this was the first time I tried out their private warehouse feature (recommended!)

 

I'll defer to the myriad of full-sprue photos posted on http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10223161 to give an overall view of the parts and instructions, but to see things in more detail, here we go.

 

First impression - the box is nearly as big as the HK B-25 and inside you get four different sprue colors (tan, brown, black, light gray), plus a sprue of satin chrome-plated parts and a clear sprue. Oh, plus rubber tyres, aluminum tape, thread, copper wire, full-size plans to assist in rigging, and a decal sheet. The satin chrome sprue is akin to the tamiya chrome finish on the 1/48 F-84 or 1/32 silver plated P-51 - absolutely gorgeous, the pics do not do it justice.

 

Control surfaces are all moveable and linked to the stick and pedals. The ailerons are rigged to move the same way the real plane was, with the stick only controlling the lower ailerons and the uppers being moved vie the cable system from the lowers. There are provisions int he parts to have non-moveable surfaces if you prefer.

 

Unfortunately I see a LOT of ejector pin marks on one side of all of the ribs and wing parts, inside of the fuselage side sprues, etc. They are, on the plus side, fairly shallow ejector marks for the most part, but the number will still be frustrating.  Overall detail looks great, and the control panel has extremely fine details inside the instrument faces. One nit pic I did come up with was that the propeller hub is molded on the propeller. It seems that it would have been easy to mold it as a separate part to ease painting.  Guns barrels are molded in two halves but I didn't look closely to see how much of an impact that would have.

 

Enough from me, I'll let the pics speak for themselves:box.JPG

 

back.JPG

 

photo+5.JPG

 

plan.JPG

 

photo+4.JPG

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Out of interest, is the appeal because of the skeletal look, or just the subject & scale?

 

Put it another way: would you buy it if it was a 'regular' skinned kit?

 

Curious, because this seems like buying a Z-m kit and just leaving it bare...

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Martin's hit the nail squarely on the head.  

I love these oddball, quirky themed outsized kits (as you might know, I'm building the A6M5 Zero in 1:16th plus the Aston Martin DB5 in 1:8th), they display well and some even reflect how things were constructed way back when (as does Z-M's kits further down the line - and the Zero, which is also skeletal but has optional skins included to cover it).  

 

So far as the Hasegawa Camel kit is concerned there are two more factors for me; firstly, the wood grain is something I've NEVER attempted before so I'm looking forward to learning - somehow, I think it will be easier for me in the larger scale and I hope to call on Darren's (Coolboxx) guidance when it comes to it.   Secondly, I want to add more detail to the engine and fuel system with guidance from the Windsock Datafile which I've ordered and this, again, being new to me should be easier in this scale.

 

When I heard that Aviattic is to launch canvas coverings for the Camel it made it even the more attractive to me.  Dependant on how these are formed, I might do it 50%/50% or cover it completely - I'll make that decision once I see what's available and how practicable it is.

 

I sincerely hope that Hasegawa release more of, what I suspect, are scaled down versions of their previous 1:8th wooden "museum" (?) series.  I'd be in for more if they do.

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If I hadn't just finished the Model Airways Camel, I'd certainly be making a start on one of these kits as soon as I could. I'm hoping for the SE5a some time in the future.

 

For anyone making one of these I'd have a look here:

http://www.johnsshawaviation.co.uk/wordpress/sopwith-camel-f1-2/sopwith-camel-reconstruction/sopwith-camel-metalwork-parts/

 

The most noticeable inaccuracy in the kit is something the 1/8 kit had too- most of the frame that creates the outline of the wing surfaces (and tail) is depicted as wood in the kit, while the real thing uses metal tube there (usually painted black, but sometimes grey I think). Simple thing to change, but would make a huge difference to how it looks.

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