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 1/48 SMER S.E.5a 25th Aero Squadron, 1918

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Posts : 320
Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : Somers, Connecticut, USA

PostSubject: 1/48 SMER S.E.5a 25th Aero Squadron, 1918   Tue Feb 21 2017, 07:21

Manufacturer: SMĔR

Model: S.E.5a, pilot Joseph E. Boudwin, 25th Aero Squadron, U.S. Air Service, USA, 1918

Scale: 1/48

Decals / Markings: Kit includes decals for two aircraft: a S.E.5a, pilot Capt. L.W. Jarvis, 56th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, 1917 (see above image) and a S.E.5a, pilot Joseph E. Boudwin, 25th Aero Squadron, U.S. Air Service, USA, 1918

History / description:
The single–seated S.E.5a was ranked among the best British fighters of the First World War.

The prototype S.E. 5a ( S. E. stood for Scouting Experimental) took off for the first time in December 1916. From March 1917 until the end of the war, a total of about 5,500 S.E.5as were built (including 57 built by the Curtiss Company in the U.S.A.).

In March 1917 the first S.E. 5a were delivered to the 56th wing of the British Royal Air Force operating on the French-German front. They were involved in action for the first time on April 23, 1917.

The standard armament consisted of one fixed 7.62 mm Vickers synchronized machine gun with 400 rounds in a belt, installed on the left side in front of the pilot. In addition, the aircraft was also fitted with a 7.62 mm Lewis swivel machine gun on the cabane above the wing canopy of the upper wing in order to shoot over the propeller.

After the war the S.E.5a was quickly removed from the RAF’s inventory, replaced by more capable types such as the Sopwith Snipe. However, the S.E.5a had also found a home with an American unit, the 25th Aero Squadron. Still warming up on the type at the end of hostilities, the unit did not see any combat, flying only a small number of patrols before the armistice. The aircraft of the 25th were not supplied with the Lewis gun normally mounted on the top wing, this was supplied after the war, and so they went on their missions with just a single Vickers gun as armament. After the war the U.S.A. AS continued to use the S.E. 5a as a pursuit trainer.

Modeler’s Notes:

1) The build was a straight-forward one. Only minimal sanding of the fuselage joins was needed. All the parts were crisply molded with little to no flash needing to be sanded off.

2) The cockpit area included a seat, instrument panel and pilot. I replaced the kit supplied pilot with a 48th scale HM British pilot that I repainted in more appropriate WWI colors. I used some clear plastic stock and cut out and shaped a simple windscreen.

3) Wing alignment did not pose any unusual problems. I glued the wing struts to the lower wing, let them dry, and then attached the upper wing. Once dry, I then attached the cabane struts.

4) I painted all the sub-assemblies (wings, fuselage, and struts) before assembly. Then once built and decaled I touched up the paint and then over-sprayed the entire model with Testors Dullcote.

5) All the wing, cabane, and landing gear struts and the propeller were painted a light tan. Then I used a dry brush technique and applied a medium brown wood pattern. Then I applied multiple coats of a medium wood stain to give a natural wood finish.

6) Using a sharp hobby knife, I carefully cut out the control surfaces and repositioned them.

7) Rigging was done using 0.38 mm music wire, cut to length and glued into place with white tacky glue.

Paints: Tamiya acrylic paints: olive drab, gun metal, rust, wood tan, dark gray, flat aluminum, flat white, blue, flat red


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