Planet Models Thomas-Morse S-4C Scout




$37.50 ($31.96 from Squadron)


Two aircraft


Scott Van Aken





The Thomas-Morse "Scout" was the favorite single-seat training airplane produced in the U.S. during WW I. Dubbed the "Tommy" by the pilots of 1917 the plane had a long and varied career. It first appeared in the summer of 1917 as the S4B, 100 of which were ordered. A slightly modified version, the S4C, was later developed and 497 were purchased by the U.S. Air Service.

Tommies were used at practically every pursuit flying school in the U.S. during 1918. After the war ended, many were sold as surplus to civilian flying schools, sportsman pilots, and ex-Army fliers. Some were still being used in the mid-1930s for WW I aviation movies filmed in Hollywood. Even to the present time, several Tommies are being flown by aviation buffs in the U.S.

Thanks to the USAF Museum for the above brief description. If you want to see one for yourself, there is one on display there as well as in several other museums across the US. Just to add to the info given, it seems as if the Scout was based on the Sopwith Camel, though apparently there were several modifications made to make it a bit more docile so that it could be used as a fighter trainer.




Normally I'd have all the bits opened up and spread out for you, but this kit is being sent to be built so I've left it packaged. As you can see, it is in Planet Models' normal tan resin. I could not find any glitches in the resin in terms of air bubbles, extra bits of resin or short shots. My own experience with Planet Model resin kits is that they are superbly designed and build well, so I expect this kit to be no different. There are no optional bits with the kit and some small parts need to be made from stretched sprue or plastic rod. Probably the most difficult part of construction will be the installation of the very small resin bits for the individual exhaust stacks and the bell-crank ends on the control surfaces. Though the gear and struts are all in resin, they appear to be quite sturdy and should present no long term problems with sagging as is often the case with resin parts that are put under weight.

The instructions are basically two sheets of paper. One has a full construction and rigging diagram as well as a parts diagram. The other is for the decal and painting guide and includes a short history . There are markings for two aircraft. One is the box art aircraft in overall Khaki (FS34087) and is an army aircraft. The plane was also used by the Navy and that is the other scheme. This one is in in a silver grey color (FS36622) with the aluminum parts left unpainted. Wing struts on both aircraft are left in natural wood as is the prop. Just to add another note, to my knowledge, this is the first Planet Models kit to feature color on the boxes. Good show and I hope it continues!


It seems as if WWI is the latest 'hot' area for model makers and I'm sure that these kits are getting a rousing reception from modelers. If you are somewhat experienced in resin kits and want to try your hand at a WWI type, then this one would be a good choice as the rigging is not as complicated as it is with other types.

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