Toko 1/72 Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter
What with my limited knowledge of the type, I really can't go into a long dissertation on the Strutter. However, I can tell you that the plane was designed in 1915 and went into service in 1916 as a recon bird and fighter. It was built for the RNAS and was the type used on the HMS Furious, the first practical aircraft carrier. For the time, it was quite maneuverable and effective. So much that the RFC used it as a fighter and a light bomber.
However, the march of progress stands still for no aircraft and by late 1916 it was being overshadowed (i.e. shot down) by the swifter and more capable fighters of the opposition. So good was the design, however, that it was retained in service as a trainer with all offensive weapons removed and a second set of controls installed. Even after the war the 1 1/2 Strutter was used in fledgling air forces all over Europe, some remaining in service until the mid/late 1920s.
This is the first Toko kit I have seen and it actually looks quite nice. The light grey plastic is crisply molded with minimal flash and none of the dreaded ejector pin marks in exposed areas. Fabric representation is good and there is detail on the inner fuselage walls. The interior is complete with seats, sticks, rudder pedals and a nice frame floor. No instrument panel as these things generally didn't have them!
You have options only for an armed or unarmed aircraft. This is accomplished by having two different upper fuselage sections. There are also two different cowlings, one deeper than the other, though only one is mentioned in the instructions. There is also a lower cowling section that you can install if you wish.
Instructions are of the exploded view variety and are in six construction steps. Colors are given where needed in generic terms. There are markings for three aircraft. Two are British in dark green over linen. One from 1918 and a more weary looking plane from the early 1920s. There is also a Russian plane in overall linen from 1930. If you are into exotic air forces, Blue Rider offers a number of decal options for this particular plane. The kit decals look very good and appear to be quite thin. I have never built a Toko plane so am not sure how good they are.
Anyway, it is a really neat little kit and one that should be an interesting build, especially if you like things with twin wings and strings!
Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!
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