Done, but not Good

Has it really been seven months since we’ve posted here? Not that anyone can tell, what with approximately one visitor to the site in that whole time.

So, that Klingon D-7 took a trip to the IPMS Nationals in Omaha back in July, where it was deservedly ignored. Sometime after that, it got accidentally knocked off a shelf and the boom popped off. Since it was only held on with CA glue, it was a clean break and easily repaired.

In the meantime, I finished this Eduard 1/48 Sopwith Camel:

Harley can fix it. She’s got the right tool.

This is the old 2003 boxing, not the new one from 2021. I received it as a gift in 2011, so it’s only been in the stash for a bit more than ten years. It represents the plane of Cat. Ronald Sykes, DFC, in 1918.

Anyhow, this was a pretty enjoyable build overall, and I went in with the intention of trying new-to-me techniques. As a result, the finished product is not my favorite, since I didn’t know what I was doing half of the time. So I’ll show you all the warts and boogers up close.

Dark in there.

There’s a fair amount of detail in that cockpit. Too bad you can’t see any of it. photo-etch (PE) seatbelts and seat back, decent woodgrain paint using oils, a decent instrument panel. You’d never know it. In this photo I can see an imperfect seam behind the turtledeck (barely visible without magnification), splotchy patches on the upper wing where the holes for rigging line didn’t get color-matched properly, and a mess of brown on the left wing where maybe someone walked. Without stepping through the fabric covering, interestingly. Oops.The stains around the filler holes are intentional. It looks like a filler cap is missing from the forward hole, but it’s just painted black and set down below the surface. Oh, and the turtleneck should be woodgrain, not PC10. (PC10 is Protective Coating 10, the color used for Royal Flying Corps machines at this time. Never mind that this is a Royal Naval Air Service plane.)

Mostly okay, except. . .

So this isn’t a great photo, but I moved it into better light. What I want to point out is the sagging rigging in between the struts on the left wing (below the insignia) and between the cabane struts above the engine. (More on that later.) Both of those sections were rigged with 0.004″ monofilament invisible thread, smoke color. It works pretty well but does not stretch, and I’ve never been able to successfully tighten it up using heat. Not about to try it here.


Here’s a great view of the mystery football in the center of the cabane struts. I don’t know what it’s supposed to be – probably a tensioning device of some sort – but it isn’t supposed to flop around in the breeze like that. This really calls for some kind of elastic rigging material. And I missed a seam on the left-hand (your right) gun. Nice looking propeller, though.


Ooh, this is uglifying. The actual rigging itself is pretty much okay – this uses Infini Models 0.055mm black elastic line. It’s advertised for 1/72 scale but I figure it’s about right for control wires in 1/48. (Now that I look at it, the structural wires may be invisible thread again. I forget.) All that checkerboard is a decal, which went on quite well, like all the decals in the kit.Even the overspray brown to represent dirt and dust thrown back from the propeller turned out okay, although the vertical stabilizer could have used some. There is some decal weirdness along the edges, and I don’t know what happened with that white patch on the front edge of the near-side stabilizer. (It looks like worn paint, though, so it’s not too bad.)

What bothers me most in this photo is my lousy application of the black PE ovals where the control lines exit the fuselage. These two gave me particular trouble and I goofed CA all over the place trying to get them in place, and then had a terrible time trying to get the rigging line into the holes I’d drilled.

As an aside, I have to say I much prefer the Infini line over the Uschi van der Rosten. Most likely because the UvdR line I bought is teeny-tiny and I can’t manipulate it to save my life. Your results will most likely vary.

The soft underbelly

Not all bad here. I like the way my preshading came out for the wing ribs. What I don’t like is the somewhat visible center fuselage seam, and the obviously crooked bombs. The fins are just a bit too wide for all of them to fit on the rack. I’m not sure how I feel about the streaky weathering, which was mostly done with oils. It’s supposed to be oil from the engine, mixed with kicked-up dirt and mud. I think I went too heavy on the wings; the wheels wouldn’t throw up that much mud. Probably.

Edited to add: It has been pointed out that most of my weathering is in a bright, nearly fluorescent green. That’s what happens when you’re red-green colorblind. It looked fine to me before I found out. I’m not changing it; I’ve already moved on to other things.

The one photo I like

Okay, so I’m quite happy with this shot. Oil streaks done with oils, then a light overspray with burnt Sienna. I used Alclad for the aluminum cowling. There’s a bit of a gap between the cowling and the fuselage, but it’s not too bad.

To sum up, it’s a pretty nice kit that didn’t have any real problems. The mistakes are all because of things I did (or didn’t do.) This was the first time I’d used any resin bits (the bombs and football) or this much PE. Most of it went pretty well, but there is plenty of room for improvement.

Would I build it again? Probably not, but I might be convinced to build the new mold version eventually. I have plenty of others to get through before I’m ready to repeat a subject.