Building the Eduard Sopwith Triplane

1/48 scale

by Claudio Kalicinski © 2011 Modeler Site

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The Sopwith Triplane was developed from the biplane Pup in late 1916. The purpose of the triplane configuration was to maximize pilot view with narrow-chord wings and the maximize manoeuvrability by increasing wing area without increasing wingspan. Its impact was profound, the German aircraft manufacturers were told to stop what they were doing and ordered to submit designs for triplane fighters within weeks of its appearance over the front in the Spring of 1917. The Triplane was flown by some of the best RNAS pilots and helped to re-establish Allied air superiority in the Flanders sector of the Western Front following Bloody April.

The kit is Eduard’s Sopwith Triplane (8014). This is one of the earliest of Eduard's 1/48 offerings, dating from 1995, and was the first Eduard kit to not be a limited-run product. It is a mixed media kit and consists of injected molded plastic a large etched fret and a white metal engine and the early horizontal stabilizer, similar to the one used by the Sopwith Pup.

 The overall detail is also fairly good, but needs some sharpening up. The "quilted" appearance around the cockpit is beautifully represented.


As I always do, I started the build with the cockpit. I replaced the kit’s seat and I made a new one with plasticard and the cushion with an epoxy putty. The etched set includes “Sutton harness” that are wrong for this type because they were used only in the last months of the war. The Triplane used lap straps all the way. Sadly, I noticed this once the fuselage was already closed.

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