The engine is straight forward but has soft detail. Cylinder cooling fins are very fine which can easily disappear if too much paint is applied. I drilled out the plastic below the rocker arms to give a more defined rocker arm/valve/rocker arm support look. I removed the not so good spark plugs and made my own using brass tube and small wire, plug leads are very fine copper wire. First photo is the front of the 11 cylinder rotary engine, second photo shows the rear of the engine with the intake pipes. The mounting flange for these pipes to the cylinder should be rotated 90 degrees, I didn’t think it warranted the effort as very little will be seen once cowled and the large spinner installed, the choice is yours.

Cockpit is again a bit soft on detail, no instrument face decals are supplied with the kit. I added plumbing and wiring plus rudder cables. The seat is very basic, a bit of putty for the seat cushion plus edge padding helps the appearance. No seat belt is supplied with the kit. The wood grain is done using artists oils over a base coat of acrylic then sprayed with Humbrol Matt Cote. I highlighted the fuselage framing with paint before clear coating. I made my own instrument faces and once fitted in place I filled the face with full gloss clear to give a glass appearance.

Fuselage halves went together well but there are no locating pins/holes, so care must be taken when assembling these two halves. The rear hand hold is very badly positioned and requires attention. I drilled 4 small holes outside of each corner then cut between the holes. A little bit of trimming is needed on the fuselage then the hand hold section can be repositioned and fixed into place. This is quite an easy fix and requires only a small amount of filler. This needs to be done on both sides of the fuselage. Panel lines are rather deep and a little wide, I will be using oils over the fuselage so I hope the line will be filled in a little. Fitting the bottom wing to the fuselage is the only real major problem, it don’t fit....

A lot of filing and sanding is required to get this section right, it took some time and a lot of trial fitting before it finally fell into place. The trailing edge of the wing is so thin that a great deal of care has to be taken so not to sand through it. It all eventually fitted and only required a small amount of filler to get it all looking good. The bottom louvred section, aft of the engine, requires the slot to be opened out before fitment. Forward part of the fuselage where the guns mount is not a good fit and required work to get it to sit right. Guns are very basic but would be enhanced with addition of a PE set. Tailplane slips into the fuselage well but the control horns for the elevators need work before they will fit correctly.

Fuselage has been wood grained using artists oils over acrylics. I needed to make a dark wood so I used Burnt Umber over Gunze Hemp. The black stripes are cut from left over decals, the cross is kit supplied. The undercarriage goes together very easily but I cut off the 4 locating pins and replaced them with metal pins, this strengthens what would otherwise be a very weak assembly. I used 0.5mm brass tube and held it all together with CA. The white areas are sprayed with full gloss enamel so applying decals was very easy.

The lozenge is not the correct colour but is close, I will give it a coat of Tamiya smoke just to darken it a tad. I polished the wing using micro mesh then applied the decals, with a little decal set solution the decals settled down beautifully. A note about the top wing, the trailing edge is very thin, nearly razor sharp, hence very weak. My wing suffered three different lots of damage to the trailing edge, probably caused during shipping, also the four locating lugs (hinges) for the ailerons were missing completely. The ailerons are a lot thicker than the wing itself so sanding is required to make things right. I also applied the loz to the wheels, these are the same colour as the wing upper surfaces.

It takes about four days for the oil paints to dry so I will continue with the lozenge on the top wing and also the lozenge on the wing struts. There will not be a great deal of rigging on this model.

The lozenge on the top wing went on extremely well as did the decals on the fuselage. The gloss on the fuselage will be toned down before rigging begins. Undercarriage is complete apart from the rigging, cabanes are also complete but required pinning to give them some added strength. Underside photos shows the opened out louvres, a simple matter of drilling and filing. The lozenge on the bottom of each wing will be “smoked” to knock the edge off the colour, should bring it more in line with what it is supposed to look like.

Photos of the completed model. I glued eyelets into the wings for the rigging then I used 0.12mm monofilament looped through the eyelets and through a 0.4mm brass sleeve, see my rigging tutorial on how to do rigging using this method. The entire model was given two coats of Humbrol Matt Cote which leaves it with a very smooth even semi satin finish. Apart from the inbuilt flaws, which are easily rectified, it is an excellent kit, and because of the very basic rigging on this aircraft it would make an ideal kit for first time bi-plane builders.

If you have any questions about this build or if you would like to know anything about the techniques I use throughout this site, please message me in the contact us page.  

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Roden SSW. D.III