Wingnut Wings | #32016: 1/32 Sopwith Pup RNAS

Reviewed by Randy Bumgardner

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So, I was pleasantly surprised on my arrival home from work last week as I spied a pair of boxes on the kitchen counter that looked very familiar. Considering the fact that we recently moved to Austin, Texas, I was equally impressed that these kits found their way across the country to our door. Yes, long awaited, much anticipated, second batch of kits from Wingnut Wings have arrived! For those of you who may not remember, Wingnut Wings exploded into the modeling world just about this time last year with an initial offering of four 1/32nd scale aircraft kits and some great looking figure kits as well. The thing that made the Wingnut Wings splash even more remarkable was that the kits were all subjects from World War I. That's a pretty ambitious and risky endeavor for an initial launch. However, at the heart of it all, is Peter Jackson - yes, the movie director Peter Jackson. He likes restoring aircraft from the Great War and he likes to model. So, upon mixing the two, Wingnut Wings was born, and they continue to make the models they want to make the way they want to make them.

Fast forward one year to the present. Wingnut Wings just released their second set of kits, and they are still providing international shipping for free. What? Yes, that's right. This set, as well as the first set, are shipped free of charge around the world. And you can only get these kits from the Wingnut Wings Website - say that fast five times. Alright, enough of this... let's look at the model.

The kit arrives in the traditional Wingnut Wings boxing featuring some fantastic art by Steve Anderson. It features a Sopwith Pup whose pilot is spying an Albatros who just downed another RNAS (or RFC) flier. Upon opening the box, you are greeted by the sight of 128 injection molded parts in light gray polystyrene attached to 6 individually wrapped parts trees (one clear parts tree). The full kit breakdown:

The kit includes parts to build either the 9901 Type or the 9901a Type which was adapted for shipboard use by the RNAS. Actually, this kit includes all of the parts of the "Sopwith Pup RFC" kit, #32013, and an additional parts tree containing the necessary parts for the 9901a Type: two new fuselage halves with the reinforced stitching on the port fuselage, a new upper wing with the mount for the Lewis gun, and parts for the Lewis gun.

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The parts are well molded with no flash and very crisp details. The stitching on the fuselage and the rib tapes on the wings are fine details that are well represented. Both upper and lower wings feature separate ailerons, to provide a little visual interest if applied in a slightly offset position. Just make sure you align all of them properly if you are attempting this. The control horns for all of the control surfaces are also supplied as separate parts. Be very gentle when using and assembling these parts as they are quite delicate and can easily be knocked off.

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The cockpit is a little jewel all by itself. Consisting of approximately 25 parts (depending on which version you choose), the cockpit assembly is a very nice representation of the real thing, even down to the buttons on the seat cushion. There is some internal detail provided on the interior of the fuselage halves, but the rib structure is part of the cockpit assembly. The instructions also provide a rigging diagram for the rigging between the ribs as well as the rigging for the ailerons, elevators, and rudder. Pay close attention to the assembly sequence and go over the instructions prior to assembly as there are a couple of notes in the instructions concerning the order of operations. The LeRhone 9c 80hp engine is also a great little piece of work. Four nice full color pictures are provided for reference, as well as a spark plug wiring diagram (wire not included).

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The instruction booklet is as nice as every other kit offered by Wingnut Wings. The 22 page booklet is printed in full color with each assembly step clearly outlined and the parts to be added for each step highlighted in blue. Reference photos, assembly tips, and coloring guides are provided throughout the instruction manual. As mentioned above, rigging diagrams are provided.

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Six color schemes are provided in the kit:

  1. C280 "18", Standard built 9901 Type, War School Manston, Lt. Goudy, June 1918
  2. N6171 "Black Arrow", Sopwith built 9901 Type, 3(N) Sqn., FSLt. Pierce, April-May 1917
  3. N6185 "ANZAC", Sopwith built 9901 Type, 4(N) Sqn., FSLt. C.J. Moir, April-May 1917
  4. N6205 "Betty", Sopwith built 9901 Type, 3(N) Sqn., FSLt. J.S.T. Fall, April-May 1917
  5. N6442 "Julia", Beardmore built 9901a Type, Walmer Defense Flt., FSLt. J.A. Shaw, June 1917
  6. N6453, Beardmore built 9901a Type, HMS Furious, S/Cdr. E.H. Dunning, August 1917
  7. -- HMS Repulse, S/Cdr. F.J. Rutland, October 1917

The decals for these schemes are printed by Cartograf. As such, they are of the highest quality. The decals are in perfect register, and the colors look very good. Of special note are the cockades for the upper and lower wings. The colors wrap into the hinge line of the ailerons and this has been faithfully reproduced by Cartograf on the decal sheet. So, be sure to pay attention when applying these decals to your model.

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So, in conclusion, Wingnut Wings has provided us modelers with another fantastic kit. The engineering of this kit is outstanding and the detail is well represented and well done. This kit, along with all of the kits in this second batch of releases, will prove to be a delight to build and display when finished.

A big thanks to Wingnut Wings for providing the review sample. Thank you!

© Randy Bumgardner

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This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, May 18 2016