Monogram 1/48 Sopwith Camel






two options


Scott Van Aken


German 1991 boxing



An agile, highly maneuverable biplane, the Sopwith Camel accounted for more aerial victories than any other Allied aircraft during World War I. Credited with destroying 1,294 enemy aircraft, it was called the Camel due to the humped fairing over its twin machine guns. Much like a real camel, this aircraft could turn and bite you. Noted for its tendency to kill inexperienced flyers, many pilots feared its vicious spin characteristics. Until sufficient speed was developed during takeoff, Camel pilots maintained full right rudder to counteract the torque the rotary engine. Failure to do so often resulted in a ground loop with the Camel crashing on its starboard wingtip. During World War I, 413 pilots died in combat and 385 pilots died from non-combat related causes while flying the Sopwith Camel.


As a bit of background, many of you may not know that when Aurora went out of business in the mid 1970s, all of its assets were sold to Monogram. Monogram later cleaned up and in some cases added detail to these old Aurora molds and released these kits under the Monogram label. This kit as well as their1/48 Fokker D.VII, Se.5, A-7A, and F-111A among them are all old Aurora molds. Though almost all of these have been surpassed in recent years by more accurate and more expensive kits from China, Korea, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic. However, these old Aurora-based kits are still nicely done and a heck of a lot easier to build!

This is a German Monogram kit, which really means that they have put it in a box about three times the size of the older Monogram and Aurora boxings! The plastic is the same. What is missing from the Aurora kit is the base and extra figure. The rib effect is a bit much, but not really that bad and a bit of sanding should bring things down to a more normal representation. There is minimal cockpit detail as these planes didn't have much in there to begin with.

The kit has held up well as, other than a bit of flash, there are no sink areas and only ejector pin problems are on one side of the single piece flight surfaces. A bit of filler will take care of those. Instructions are of the pictorial type with no written construction advice. Colors given are generic and keyed to what seems like Revell paint numbers. Markings are provided for two Camels, but no unit information is provided. Both are painted in a similar manner to the box art aircraft. The decals themselves are well printed and very matte. I've generally had silvering problems with Revell of Germany decals. Fortunately, there are several relatively new aftermarket sheets out there for the Camel so you don't have to rely on what is provided in the kit. Also given is a rather crude but easy to follow rigging diagram.



Should you not want to spend $30 on a new Eduard Camel, then this may well be an alternative for you. It is pretty easy to build and should look great on your shelf when done.

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