Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |

RAF B.E.2c


Roden, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Roden RAF BE2c kit #426
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Over 150 parts; markings for six aircraft.
Price: Around AUD$40.00, available worldwide from specialist hobby retailers worldwide.
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Sensible breakdown of parts, excellent detail, superb one piece wings with sharp trailing edges and subtle rib detai
Disadvantages: Decals out of register
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com



Reconnaissance and observation duties call for a stable platform so that the crew can efficiently perform their tasks. Edward Busk came up with a design that fulfilled these requirements, and thus the BE2 series of aircraft was born.

It performed this role admirably but later in the war when faced with fighter opposition, these very characteristics were a hindrance.  Early war scouts such as the Fokker monoplane and fledgling Albatros Scouts, made easy prey of the slow maneuvering BE2.

Eventually the type was taken out of front line service and used in nocturnal operations. In an environment of darkness where the pilot doesn’t want to be distracted with flying the aircraft, the BE2c performed admirably.





Roden is renowned for the finesse of their mouldings and this kit is no exception. Five sprues contain over 150 parts, which is not surprising as this is quite a large aircraft.

Ian Stair had a set of plans published in the 1993 “Datafile” on the subject and these were used for comparison with the kit parts. The outlines of both wing and fuselage are excellent and a check of the smaller parts also confirmed this attention to detail.

Upon opening the instructions, one is immediately struck by what has become a hallmark of this manufacturer…the engine. This little gem is comprised of 15 parts and the detail is commendable.

The kit depicts the later build aircraft as evidenced by the 90hp RAF 1a V-8 engine. Other features in common with this vintage are the central cut-out in the upper wing and “vee” shaped under carriage, all of which are portrayed in the kit.

Both early and late tail fins are also included which greatly increases the choice of machine you wish to represent.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:



Thankfully the fuselage halves are in single lengths which will eliminate any fit and alignment problems. It was a frequent occurrence for the fabric to wrinkle on these aircraft but Roden have resisted the temptation to try and replicate this. 

To help spruce up the interior, a basic depiction of the internal structure can be found moulded inside the fuselage halves. Into this, the usual kit supplied items can be added, such as the seat, rudder, control column, hand pump and instrument panel.  

There is plenty more to be seen in this area which gives the scratch builder a chance to excel. Thanks to surviving examples of the real aircraft, reference material should not be an issue.


The upper and lower wings are in one piece which means that there will be no problems setting the dihedral. Both items were beautifully rendered with sharp trailing edges and restrained rib detail. 

Although the ailerons are not featured as separate items, the demarcation lines are sufficiently deep to give the correct impression. Cutting the inboard join will easily allow the part to be bent for those wanting to animate the control surfaces. 



In the quest for moulding efficiency, the eagle eyed viewer will notice Roden’s very slight cord-wise seam near each wing tip. This is no problem though as these are easily removed with wet and dry…if you can see them!


Ordinance is in the form of the expected machine guns but an added bonus is the inclusion of eight small bombs and a set of Le Prieur rockets.  

An acetate sheet gives the builder the necessary transparencies for the windscreen as well as a selection of covers for the many openings found on the fuselage. 

The rigging on the BE2 is a complicated affair so it’s pleasing that Roden provide the modeler with a three dimensional rigging diagram. For a more realistic impression of the layout, the box top can be used to confirm the placement of these wires.

Marking Options

As usual the modeler is blessed with an excellent variety of options to choose from. Six aircraft are presented on the decal sheet with each one offering an interesting choice of subject. 

The printing looks good with each item sharply defined and possessing healthy colour density.  



Unfortunately registration problems still plague Roden. In this case it was the outer white ring of the roundel. For the modeler that desires a competent finish, this limits the number of “out of the box” finishes to four. 

  1. RAF BE2c “4395” No. 14 Squadron RFC (Expeditionary Forces) 1917.

The Strange mount for the Lewis gun is the dominant feature of this aircraft that found its way to Arabia. At some stage in its life it crashed and was extensively damaged.

  1. RAF BE2c “10000” RNAS Observer’s School, July 1917.

This Blackburn-built BE2c was the only British aircraft to have a 5 digit serial number. After crashing at Eastchurch it was erased from the books in August 1917.

  1. RAF BE2c “1741” No. 12 Squadron RFC, France, 1917.

This aircraft was shot down 4 months after being delivered to the above Sqn. It was repaired and while at Farnborough, had a Lewis gun fitted on an experimental mounting. After returning to France, it was struck off the books when wrecked on March 1 1916.

  1. RAF BE2c “2509” No. 2 Squadron RFC 1916.

There were quite a few presentation aircraft to be found in WWI. This one being paid for by Mrs. H.P. Stromberg.

  1. RAF BE2c “8407” based at Cranwell, 1918.

Sporting bombs and Le Prieur rockets, this aircraft was delivered RNAS East Fortune in December 1916. In September 1918, after being transferred to Cranwell earlier in the year, it managed crash by spinning into the ground.

  1. RAF BE2c “4451” Grain, 1917.

This was an aircraft built by G & J Weir and was unusual in having a gravity tank under the top port wing. Roden cater for this with the appropriate part in the kit.





In the past, two-seaters have been generally neglected by main stream manufacturers. Thankfully this has changed in recent years and the BE2 series is finally getting the treatment it deserves. 

This kit has not been over-engineered and as a result, is quite easy to build. The rigging may frighten the beginner to WWI aircraft but a methodical approach will prevail. 

The only other thing the modeler needs to be aware of is that there were a large number of manufacturers that produced the BE2c. The result was many subtle differences between individual machines so choose your aircraft carefully if deviating from the norm. 

All in all, this is an excellent offering and, decal problems aside, the kit still deserves its highly recommended status.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to J.B. Wholesalers for the sample

Review Text Copyright © 2007 by Rob Baumgartner
Images Copyright © 2007 by Brett Green
Page Created 04 September, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Reviews Page