Roden 1/72 Sopwith
2F1 Camel (Ship's Camel)
$8.98 (7.96 at
Scott Van Aken
At the end of 1916 the prototype of
the Sopwith F1 Camel fighter successfully passed its flight tests and was
ordered in quantity for RFC and RNAS requirements. At the same time,
separate experiments were being conducted with the famous Sopwith Pup,
flying off and landing on the deck of a destroyer (the 'Ship's Pup').
Seeing that the Camel improved on the Pup in every respect, it was
decided to develop a version which could be operated at sea. In the
spring and summer of 1917 the fifth prototype, adapted from the normal
F1, underwent tests on the Isle of Grain.
There were some essential differences from the standard Camel: first of
all, the rear fuselage was detachable, at a point behind the pilot's
position, in order to facilitate the stowage of planes on the hangar
decks of ships.
Another difference was in armament - there was a single Vickers gun ahead
of the pilot, and in the center section cut out a Lewis gun was fitted,
which could be lowered for reloading (the so-called Admiralty Top Plane
Mounting). Inflatable air bags were mounted in the rear of the fuselage
to serve as flotation gear. A further change involved the control column,
which now had external control levers for the elevator cables.
The plane had narrower wings in comparison with the standard F1 Camel, by
some 13 inches (0.33m). 2F1 Camel was official name of the plane, but
quite often it was simply called the 'Ship's Camel'. Orders from Sopwith
were followed by orders from a variety of other manufacturers: -
Beardmore, Johnston, Hooper, and Clayton & Shuttleworth.
In October 1917 the production 2F1 started to appear in the fleet. Planes
were transferred to the decks of cruisers such as HMS Manxman, and also
the specially designed aircraft carrier HMS Furious, formerly a light
battlecruiser; and some were based in coastal air stations around
Britain. Overall, up to the end of the war 275 2F1 Camels were built-a
small number in comparison with F1 Camel production.
Nevertheless, they featured in many notable scenes in the history of air
combat in the First World War. On July 19th, 1918 seven 2F1 carried out
the first successful carrier based air strike: having taken off from the
deck of aircraft carrier HMS Furious they destroyed German Zeppelins L54
and L60 in their sheds at Tondern. Three weeks later on August 11th,
Flight Sub-Lieutenant Stuart Culley shot down Zeppelin L53. After the end
of the war the 2F1 very quickly disappeared from the decks of ships at
sea. Some were presented to Canada, three more went to Latvia and one to
Estonia where they were used until early 1920.
www.rodenplant.com for the
is the first of the small scale Camels from Roden so we can expect there to
be a number of other boxings in the future; each portraying different
variants. Molded on three sprues of nicely molded plastic, Roden seems to
have figured out the proper way to portray fabric coverings and has, to my
opinion, one of the best representations in today's market. Typical of
Roden kits, it relies on basic sprues to which they add whatever additional
bits are needed to do the variant in question. In this regard, the sprue on
the right of the image is the one with the specific bits for the 2F1
The molding of the
parts is generally very good. I found almost no sink marks, flash or
ejector pin marks to mar the plastic and add to the construction time.
Thanks to the relative simplicity of the Camel, construction won't be a
difficult task and the addition of rigging will make it even more sturdy.
very good and offer well done construction drawings, a good parts diagram,
and color references in both Humbrol and generic colors. Markings are
included for four aircraft and are all basically in Matte WWI Green over
Linen with 'Natural Wood' and Aluminum fore sections. The decal sheet is a
pretty good size and provides
some neat geometric designs for the different variants. A color painting
guide for the box art aircraft is on the back of the box. The markings are
- Sopwith 2F1 Camel, N6603, HMS Pegasus, 1918.
- Sopwith 2F1 Camel, N6602, HMS Furious, 1918.
- Sopwith 2F1 Camel, N7149, Turnhouse Naval School, 1918.
- Sopwith 2F1 Camel, N7120, HMS Queen Elizabeth, 1918.
These appear very much to be the
newer Roden decals so should go on with no problems at all.
It seems that we have a series of new Camel kits coming our way and the 2F1
is a great way to start things off. I fully expect these to sell very well
as they are priced right and offer great detailing for the money.
You can find this kit and many others at
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