Like all WW kits so far, the plastic is flash free, moulded in a mid-grey plastic with fine engraved panel lines where appropriate and beautifully executed detail in relief such as ribs and plating where struts are fixed.
The fabric effect is outstanding, although I am not sure if the fabric even after doping was as smooth as the plastic in the kit. It’s key to remember scale effect here so my money is on WW getting it right.
Fine detail is equally good, looking at the finesse in the framing for the cockpit and engine as well as the wiring on the bulkhead and that fabulous wrap-around instrument panel.
The small fuselage is moulded perfectly and has a nice stitching effect in the appropriate places. The FE-2b is a big aircraft up there with the RE-8 so the extra detail is going to show. It has two large cockpits too so there will be plenty to build and detail. This is certainly not a ‘weekend warrior’!
The big triangular frame that so evokes the type is in-scale and is the area where I hope it has the tensile strength that will be capable of holding all the rigging. I am sure it will, but if not I will be out with the brass!
The engine is a work of art and will, as ever for me, be irresistible. Plenty of weaponry is provided but so far as I can see the bombs are really for the late version of the FE. The machine guns look great and should work well with a metallic dry brushing.
Clear parts are just that and the small etch set is as ever all that’s needed to give some realistic looking seat belts.
I am deeply impressed with this latest model from WW; it’s beautifully moulded and highly detailed. All bar the rigging material that is needed is in the box.
Instructions are exemplary and even where there are mistakes, corrections appear on the WW website which in itself is a mine of further information, inspiration and detail.
As I have said before, WW are the world leaders in plastic model kits of aircraft of any type and if you haven’t had a go yet – build one.
That said, if it’s a first try don’t make the FE your first bi-plane kit; with the complex rigging, it may end in tears. With a couple of biplanes under your belt though, go for it. I sure will.
Finally, at £89.00 this kit is excellent value for money. It’s the New Year; go and treat yourself!
FEATURE STAR RATING (out of five)
Quality of moulding *****
Instructions ***** (there isn't enough stars!)
Subject choice *****