Royal Class Dual Combo
Eduard, 1/48 scale
u m m a r y
||Eduard Kit No. R0015 - SE5a Royal Class Dual Combo
|Contents and Media:
||Two complete kits, each of 111 parts in grey plastic on three sprues; Colour schemes and Decals for 13 aircraft; 5 brass Photo-Etch frets; Paint masks; Brassin resin detail sets; engraved stainless steel whisky flask.
Available online from:
Eduard - USD$99.95 plus shipping
Squadron - USD$75.99 plus shipping
Hannants - £64.70 EU Price (£53.92 Export Price) plus shipping
and specialist hobby retailers worldwide and online
||Includes parts for Wolsley Viper and Hisapno Suiza engines; crisp detail, beautifully engineered mouldings, useful additions.
||Eduard delivers a state of the art SE5a duo cleverly boxing the Wolseley- Viper and Hispano Suiza engine variants in a Royal Edition set that exudes quality. The best 1/48th SE5a kit on the market and a must-have for SE5a enthusiasts. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by David Wilson
Eduard's 1/48 Fokker F.1 Weekend Edition is available online from Squadron.com
If the Sopwith Camel is regarded by many as the Supermarine Spitfire of WW1, then the SE5a was surely that war’s Hawker Hurricane. The Scout Experimental 5 ( SE5) was strong, dependable, a reliable workhorse and a stable gun platform favoured by many of the Royal Flying Corp’s best pilots.
It was arguably the Royal Aircraft Factory’s best design and in some aspects performed better than the Camel. After initial problems with the Hispano-Suiza engines fitted to the first machines in 1917, the SE5a was upgraded to a higher performance Wolseley Viper, a British-made variant of the Hisso engine and in it was this configuration that the SE5a found fame and success.
The SE5a went on to equip 30 squadrons in the RFC/ RAF and also equipped the Australian Flying Corps as well as seeing service in Canada, Chile, Ireland, Poland, South Africa and the USA among others.
The cream of the RFC flew SE5a’s, among them Albert Ball, Mick Mannock, James McCudden, Cecil Lewis and Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor.
Thus the Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a is credited with being one of the best fighter aircraft of World War I.
The SE.5 entered service with No.56 Sqn RFC, during April 1917 and was later upgraded to the more prolific SE5a which was produced by six aircraft manufacturers. More than 5000 SE5as were manufactured.
The Viper engined variant of Eduard’s SE5a was released earlier this year and was comprehensively reviewed on HyperScale by Brett Green
Eduard has yet to release a standalone version of the Hispano- Suiza engined SE5a, but this Royal Class edition contains parts to make both the Viper and Hisso engine variants with appropriate decals to match. The duo come in a distinctive maroon coloured box adorned with a golden line drawing of the SE5a, maroon being the hallmark colour of Eduard’s Royal Class boxings.
The SE5a is this reviewer’s favourite aircraft of WW1. There’s something visually irresistible about its square, boxy look, with its long nose boasting a vintage car-like radiator. The unorthodox armament of a single synchronised Vickers in the fuselage and a Lewis on a Foster mount atop the top wing just adds to the quirky visual appeal.
Model kits of the SE5a date back almost to the dawn of plastic modelling, certainly in 1/48th scale the type was among Aurora’s pioneering line in the 1950s. The mould has been adapted and upgraded by numerous manufacturers ( Monogram among them) and can still be found .
Lindberg also did an SE5a in 1/48th as did Blue Max while in 1/72nd scale Revell’s SE5a from the 1960s was popular. Esci also did the kit in this scale as did Roden in recent times. Roden also gave us SE5a’s in 1/48th scale ( which until now were the best SE kits in this scale) and produced both the Hisso and Viper engine variants in 1/32nd scale. Most recently Wingnut Wings delivered the definitive 1/32nd scale Hisso engine version while Merit has produced a 1/24th scale kit.
But while there’s been a lot of love by manufacturers for the SE5a, Eduard has not- until now- tackled it. When WW1 modelling fell into something of a slump in the early 1990s, it was Eduard that saved WW1 modelling from extinction with its ground-breaking range of 1/48th kits.
In more recent times Eduard has broadened its focus toward other subjects but the 100th anniversary of WW1 has been marked by Eduard’s commitment to produce new tool kits each year to mark the Centenary along with a host of reissues with new decals. It’s a great time to be a WW1 modeller.
Eduard’s SE5a is its way of marking the centenary of the SE5a entering service in 1917.
The top-opening box of the Royal Class edition contains sufficient parts to make two SE5a kits - either Wolseley Viper or Hispano-Suiza and the little appreciated fact is that the parts to make either variant are in each kit.
The level of detail in Eduard’s latest WW1 toolings is impressive, capturing incredibly subtle fabric detail, rib tapes on the wings, complete Viper and/ or Hispano-Suiza engines and comprehensive cockpit items – impressive in this scale.
The single piece wings feature separate control surfaces while the struts are nicely in scale and not overdone. The plastic Vickers and Lewis guns are nicely represented, but Eduard supplements them in this boxing with Brassin resin replacements which are astonishing in their nuanced fine detail.
An in depth exploration of the contents reveals new gems with every look. Holt flare holders are provided; optional headrests ( some aircraft had them, some did not); engine covers; windscreens; different exhausts and propellers – two and four blade types. The list goes on.
Then we have the bag of resin enhancements too which include two sets of extended flame dampers; resin Vickers and Lewis guns ( though the kit items are quite acceptable) and other assorted enhancements.
The photo etch frets contain a wealth of small details which cover wing inspection hatch frames, cockpit parts, various exhaust fittings, even PE streamers. A lot of thought has obviously gone into the PE frets for this Royal Class edition. The photo etch adds a new level of detail with the colour parts including a finely detailed instrument panel and instruments plus seat belts among the many featured items.
One niggle involves the wheels. Detail on the plastic wheel covers is basic at best and this is one part that could benefit from some aftermarket items.
The instructions booklet is a well illustrated 24 page A4 format with each step clearly illustrated with exploded view line drawings which also clearly indicate optional parts depending on which version and markings the modeller chooses to make.
Colours are keyed to the Gunze/ Mr Color range. A wider range of paint brands would be appreciated.
Clear rigging diagrams are also provided in the instructions.
The selection of markings for this edition spoils us for choice. No fewer than 13 decal options are provided. Eight of the schemes apply to Wolseley Viper powered aircraft while five refer to Hispano-Suiza engine SE’s.
Decal quality looks excellent and in perfect register as you would expect of Cartograf decals.
The schemes provided are:.
C1803 night fighter version which includes the Holt flare holders and the flame dampers.
C1904 of Billy Bishop, 85 Squadron.
D278 of Mick Mannock , 74 Squadron.
F5687 of Lt. J. A. Roth, 60 Squadron.
B189 Capt J.H. Tudhope, 40 Squadron.
B4863, Capt J.T.B.McCudden, 56 Squadron.
B603, from a training unit in Britain.
B525 56 Squadron machine, flown by Lt A.P. F. Rhys-Davids.
B507 2nd Lt J.J. Fitzgerald , 60 Squadron.
F9029 1 Squadron Canadian Air Force, Britain 1918.
D362, Australian Flying Corps, Britain 1918/19
A2-24, silver doped machine from 3 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force, 1927
F8005, Captain Landis of the US 25th Aero Squadron, 1918.
Link to Royal Class SE5a instructions: https://www.eduard.com/store/out/media/R0015.pdf
This being a Royal Class edition the package includes an extra bonus of a nicely detailed stainless steel whisky flask.
The screw top flask is engraved with a set of RFC wings and a Victoria Cross with Eduard’s logo on the back. However it’s over to the modeller to provide the contents !
WW1 fans will applaud Eduard’s return to 1/48 scale WW1 subjects. The SE5a now takes its place as the showpiece of the company’s WW1 catalogue and is now the best model of the SE5a in this scale.
Thanks to Eduard for the sample
Review Text and Images Copyright © 2017 by David Wilson
Page Created 27 July, 2017
28 July, 2017
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