Roden 1/72nd SE5a
Roden's kits have a reputation of being difficult to assemble and after the joy of battling their LaGG 3 I can't say I totally disagree with that. Fortunately the SE5a, though not a cake walk by any means, actually went together fairly easily. As easily as you can expect from a biplane anyway.
As far as extra detailing goes, this was pretty much a bog standard WWI build for me. I used an old Eduard p/e set for the cockpit and Lewis mounting. Despite being designed for the Revell kit it fit the Roden SE without any trouble. I did have to modify the Lewis mount a bit by cutting off the perforated rail at the rear and re-mounting it at the proper angle. This would have been necessary regardless of which kit it was used on. I also added .010" sheet to either side of the vertical mounts to beef them up a bit and sanded them to a streamlined shape.
Prop is the usual carved wooden affair with an Extratech p/e boss, rigging is stretched sprue and Aldis sight is stainless tubing with the mountings from the Eduard set.
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Pulley inspection panels in the wings & stabiliser are represented by decals in the kit. A nice thought, but they look rubbish nonetheless. I drilled straight through these on the plastic parts and then filed them to the correct triangular shape. The bottoms (or top in the case of the top wing) were covered by .005" sheet and faired in with Mr. Surfacer. The clear covers are from decal film and the pulleys themselves punched from .015" sheet. These are pretty prominent features on the real aircraft so are worth spending a bit of time on.
I used decals from Americal Gryphon's No. 1 Sqn. sheet which was rather disappointing. All the fuselage codes and serial numbers were printed far too large, making most of them unusable. I picked aircraft "Y" as it was one I could cut down to size, though there was nothing I could do about the serial on the fin. The white outlines on the roundels were out of register (a common and annoying problem on the many different sheets of British roundels I have) so I substituted some from Pegasus. These were not without problems either however, being very brittle and translucent. I used some generic white backing circles from Fantasy Printshop to double up the centre of the roundels which fixed the translucency issue. The fractured decals were touched up with Xtracolour Roundel Blue which I also used on the edges of the blue rudder stripe.
PC-10 colour is a 50/50 mix of Xtracolour Olive Drab and US Army Helo Olive with a splash of brown thrown in, the final finish a 50/50 mix of Gunze clear flat & gloss. The bottoms of wing & stabiliser were done in Xtracolour Linen. The rib tapes were masked using thin strips of Tamiya tape and then oversprayed with a light coat of Gunze Smoke. Exhausts are Testors Metalizer Burnt Metal, drybrushed with brown, rust and black paint.
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