Roden 1/48 Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter




$23.98  ($20.96 at Squadron)


4 aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The fighter version of the Strutter was welcome success when it entered service in early 1916 so it was only natural that other versions would be considered. One was a bomber version. To undertake this new mission, a bomb bay of sorts was installed aft of the pilot where a total of 4 65lb bombs could be carried. The RNAS received its first plane in June of 1916, but additional tests kept it out of action until August of that year.

Access doors to the bomb bay were provided in the fuselage side and four small doors were installed under the fuselage, these opened by the pilot just prior to dropping the load. These aircraft were also supplied, albeit in limited numbers, to the Russians and the French. Offensive armament was limited to a single forward firing machine gun because of the additional load of the bombs. The aircraft was used a great deal by the RNAS and was not supplanted until the even more potent DH.4 was available in numbers. Once withdrawn from front-line service, these planes served as trainers and liaison aircraft.



Not unlike the previously previewed two seater, and following Roden's usual way of doing things, the sprues and etched brass bits are identical. The only difference is that a single-seat insert (as shown above) is supplied to replace the two-holer of the other kit. I'll allow that previous preview to let you know about the general kit itself to keep from repeating myself. As with that other kit, there are parts that are not used with this variant. Not surprising as there are to be two additional Strutter kits that will be using those pieces!

As you might expect from multiple use sprues, there are some things that are missing. While there are no parts missing, what isn't there are the bomb bay doors. These can undoubtedly be scribed on should you wish, but it would have been nice to have a full bomb bay.  There are access panels on the etched brass sheet that you add to the side. Like the previous kit, you also get an excellent set of instructions that provide two distinct construction sequences. Again, the separate one for the brass bits has to be followed along with the 'normal' construction steps. This is to allow you to put in the brass bits if you so choose to do so. I must say that this method had me scratching my head for a while before I figured out what it was for!

Markings are given for four aircraft. Unlike the previous two seat version, these are not as colorful and all aircraft are dark green upper and linen undersides with bare metal engine sections. The first one is a French bird with a red/white segmented circle for some additional color. No unit is given. Next is a 3 Wing RNAS aircraft with a simple aircraft number. This is the box art plane. From 2 wing RNAS is an even more bare Strutter. Finally, yet another 3 Wing RNAS (remember, most of these planes went to the RNAS) aircraft with a blue and white band around the fuselage. Again, the decals are superbly printed, quite thin and should go on well.



Like the other version, this one should be a real beauty when finished. If these are as nice as their 1/72 Albatros D.III kits, then they are well on their way to making a real mark for themselves.

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