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SE 2a of 1914

1/72 scale

by Carmel J.Attard


One of the earliest, and perhaps little known aircraft to join the British No.3 Sq is the S.E.2a. SE stands for scouts experimental. It was developed from the Bristol B.S.1 as a high speed scout. Geoffrey De Havilland did most of the design in 1914. The S.E.2 went to France and joined the No.3 Sq. The ultimate fate is not known.


Mr. John Adams of Aero club should be highly commended for producing an accurate vacuform kit of the S.E.2a. The kit is released in white plastic and fine surface ribbing detail to wings and tail planes could be added with the least effort. This is done by scribing parallel lines cord wise on control surfaces which were in use then and turning was achieved by slight wing camber actuated from the cockpit. So rigging/control wires need to be added for this purpose as well.


Sever white metal parts also come with the kit. These are a two bladed aircrew (RH), a detailed engine cowling and wheels of accurate size. The model is certainly recommended for modelers who want to try out their first attempt on a 'simple to build' vacuform bi-planes. The only extra attention that would be needed is when cutting the wing and fuselage and struts to the right size. This also applies to the skids and wheel struts. Like any bi-plane adding rigging is imperative in order to make the model more realistic. For this reason it is suggested to drill two fine holes in the sides of the metal cowling from where the rigging that comes from the wing joins the forward fuselage.


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As for paintwork, the kit is given an overall linen color with the little exception to the fuselage area around the cockpit, which was of a varnished wood texture. The fin was white overall and a red, white and blue roundel was painted on it. Otherwise the engine mounting or cowling was metal finish. An instrument panel appropriate to the type in use in the early days is added and finally a three (3) millimeter diameter semicircular windscreen made from clear acetate was fitted in place. The serial number is 609 but not a single photo I have seen ever displayed the number on the fuselage. The kit is one of 'Aero club aerodrome series' in 1/72 scale and as can be seen in the photo, it has a unique color scheme. The S.E.2a also has a unique shape and makes it stick out among other aircraft of the same or post war era such as the Fokker Tri-plane, Sopwith Pup, and Sopwith Camel.

Well done to Aero club for it was the kit that made me start on vacuform bi-planes and hence extended my range of kits that I can go for in the future, as indeed I did.


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