Kit Ref: 04747
Price around £16.99 GBP (May 2014)
Review by Geoff Coughlin
Our thanks to Revell for supplying our review sample. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell
A bit of background
There can be few people interested in aviation that haven’t heard of the Camel.
The Sopwith Camel was a British First World War single-seat biplane fighter introduced on the Western Front in 1917. Manufactured by Sopwith Aviation Company, it had a short-coupled fuselage, heavy, powerful rotary engine, and concentrated fire from twin synchronized machine guns. Though difficult to handle, to an experienced pilot it provided unmatched manoeuvrability. A superlative fighter, the Camel was credited with shooting down 1,294 enemy aircraft, more than any other Allied fighter of the war. It also served as a ground-attack aircraft, especially near the end of the conflict, when it was outclassed in the air-to-air role by newer fighters
The Revell Kit
This is a box that promises a lot – great imagery that depicts the stunning blue and white scheme worn by No.10 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service, Tetegham, France in March 1918. Going inside it’s a very different story though and so I plan, as ever, to be honest and objective in what I say below.
Very few parts make up the model on offer and it’s immediately clear that this is a very old tooling – poor part definition and my initial reaction was disappointment that we have a tired old-tool model making another appearance. Having said that, looking at the manufacturer’s completed model you see here, it can be made into a half-decent kit. A lack of finesses across the board, ejector pin marks, poorly moulded figure and very heavy flash and mould marks on components all detract from the contents. I could go on.
I suggest that you take a look at the following images to get a feel for what’s on offer in this package and then I’ll make some further observations…
Box and contents
The ejector pin marks can be sanded off or flat so that in itself isn’t a big deal but the work you’ll have to do to get a good-looking model will be considerable.
Into the cockpit – decals are provided for the simple instrument panel and these should look ok.
The main wings have exaggerated rib detail moulded in and this could look better with some sanding back. Large slots are provided to take the main wing strut assemblies and the slots will need careful filling and sanding to make these areas look presentable.
The undercarriage looks ok as do the wheel hubs and tyres but I suspect the fine detail will not stand up to close scrutiny. You do however, have to keep in mind that the Camel was a very simple aircraft in modelling terms and so I need to keep reminding myself of that.
The machine guns are very weak being solid moulded items and need to be replaced.
The completed and painted engine doesn’t look too bad on the manufacturer’s model you see here – not much can be seen anyway, just a few of the main cylinders.
No clear parts are required or included.
Instructions and decals
The Revell instructions follow their usual exploded stages format. Location of parts is clear but colour paint coding is for Revell mixes of their paints only. However, the colour names are provided and this will help you to match your own choice of paints. This is a basic model, even for a bi-plane. You’ll have to see how it all fits together.
The decals seem good and definitely the best part of the package, being new and manufactured in the Czech Republic. Certainly colour saturation and register is good and all markings are accurate and sharp in their detail; they’ll make a world of difference to your completed model.
I’m sorry but I just can’t see the attraction for anyone buying this package – the kit is in a scale that is inconsistent with other models available – old and poor quality that I doubt it will encourage younger modellers to carry on with their model making. It’s a real shame that the manufacturer has resorted to such an old tooling. If you look around Revell’s area in Here Now you will find a lot of impressive models original to the manufacturer and also others that have been bought in and re-boxed; just pick one of them and leave this one alone!
SMN Quick summary Star rating out of 5
|FEATURE||STAR RATING (out of five)|
|Quality of moulding||*|
|Level of detail||**|