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 Academy 1/32 Sopwith Camel F.1

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PostSubject: Academy 1/32 Sopwith Camel F.1   Mon Feb 20 2017, 10:02

[NOTE - COPIED FROM THE TMWCF - Originally posted by rumpler]

Usual cause of my having trouble with a kit build can be explained by lack of skill but not in this case. Last year I bought three of these kits from Hobbylinc for about $15 each, the plan being to have them attacking the German WW1 aerodrome diorama. (My Gotha resides in the centre of that aerodrome.) Anyone who looks back at the photos will see one Camel doing the attack. Part of that Camel is from one I built in an attempt at model building 20 years ago.

First of all the decals are rubbish. All reviews I have read say the same thing. They are three part decals and no matter what I did the outer white circle would not settle on the upper wings. The other ones either fell off or broke into many pieces. Replacement decals at local hobby shop are $30 a set for a $15 aircraft.

The real trouble starts when you get to the struts. The depth of the slots in the wings vary between kits and the slots are large compared with the strut ends. The struts could go for a walk in the slots. The front cabane struts are the only ones you have a hope of getting in the right place. I put a thin piece of balsa wood underneath the top wing and made a template with small slots cut in the edge corresponding to the mounting points in the wing. Then marked the centre point between slots on the template. I put the top of the cabane struts into the template , lined up the centre point of the template with the centre point of the fuselage and a few drops of CA and all was good, or so I thought. With the cabane struts in place I attempted to install the top wing and this is where the fun begins as the distance between the wings at the centre of the aircraft and the wing struts is so great that the cabane struts bulge out and snap in half. Free of the embrace of the cabane struts the top wing comes down with some force and snaps the wing struts.
I have read many reviews, all of them except one skirts around the wing problem which seems to be the fact that the top wing is flat, which is correct, but the bottom is also almost flat when the dihedral should be about three and a half degrees. The cure is to cut across the underside of the lower wing at the fuselage, bend the wing upwards the required amount and slip a piece of plastic card into the gap. It does make up into a beautiful model and can be detailed very well but I do not have enough time left to waste on this type of kit.
Some months ago a friend of my son, who did the photos of the WW1 diorama asked me on Facebook if that was the Academy Camel I had done and I told him to avoid it at all costs and make a Nieuport instead. He is a master builder but not of aircraft and he wanted to build a WW1 aircraft. I now have a half finished Camel to add to my collection of broken struts and various parts as he his not going to pursue the hobby.
I normally would not run a kit down but for this one and some of the Rodent kits I will make an exception.


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PostSubject: Re: Academy 1/32 Sopwith Camel F.1   Mon Feb 20 2017, 10:03

As mentioned in my earlier post I was given a half built kit from someone who had started it and gave up and moved onto tanks. His tanks would have to be amongst the best I have seen so he is not lacking in skill. I had enough parts from the kits I gave up on to try to finish the build. Spent a lost of time bending the lower wing and shaved a small piece from the top of the carbane struts and managed to fit the wings without breakage. Unfortunately the previous owner followed the instructions and started installing the rigging using the thread that came with the kit. From previous experience I knew this thread would fall to pieces in a few weeks but I was stuck with it and when it came to the decals I could not put a gloss coat on first. Went through three sets of decals and they all fell off in a couple of days. Used some wing decals from a 1/72 Spad to replace the fuselage ones but had no more for the wings. I have lost a bit of balance and while taking the photos I fell onto the lights which landed on the camel which now has a bit of damage as shown in the photo. As I said before I would not give up on Academy kits as I think it is only this kit. Made in Korea and I think the early kits were made in another country. Any water marks on the photos are from my tears. John.













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