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Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe


Hi Tech, 1/48 scale


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Hi -Tech  Sopwith 7F1 “Snipe” kit HT 015
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 19 plastic and 23 pewter alloy metal parts
Price: USD$44.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Ultra thin decals, photo etched parts, good quality resin, accurate in outline.
Disadvantages: Poor packaging leads to damage.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner

Hi-Tech's 1/48 scale Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe  is available online from Squadron.com




World War 1 aircraft modellers have never had it better. New kits are being released on a regular basis and some of these include subjects that one could only have dreamed about.

Despite this, there are still many gaps that the “Cottage Industries” can fill. 

It has been a while since the Sopwith “Snipe” last made an appearance in plastic, with the Blue Max offering being well out of production. 

There are forty-two plastic parts, thirteen in resin (fourteen if you count the broken Vickers gun) and over seventy photo-etched items. A decal sheet is also supplied which contains markings for one aircraft only. 

Accuracy of the major components was excellent when compared to the plans by Colin Owers; the ones used being dated 1996. 

As explained on the instruction sheet, these multi-media kits are not for the novice.

The contents of the box will give the modeller the essential items to create a sound example but additional reference material will be needed. 


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Expect your jaw to drop when opening the box. Inside were the plastic sprues, naked photo-etched fret, and bagged resin all floating around within the oversized box. Naturally the p-e is not going to survive very long among the rattling plastic.

Thus the first step is to bend the p-e parts back into shape and check for broken resin. My example produced a busted Vickers gun and detail snapped off five of the ten cylinders provided: super glue becomes the rescuer, if you can find these items.

The moulding of the plastic parts is generally good but they will benefit from a light sanding to get rid of a slightly rough surface texture in various areas. Some sprues are common to both this kit and that of the “Salamander” so a little trimming of the ailerons are needed for the “Snipe”. This is mentioned in the instructions. 

Both types of fin/rudder are supplied so the builder can deviate from the kit’s chosen scheme.  

Each fuselage half is a lot thinner than expected so there’s plenty of room for the interior. This consists of some plastic framework, with the floorboards, wicker seat, belts, handgrip and instrument panel all being photo-etched.  

The top wing is assembled in the same manner as the original: in three pieces.

The flying surfaces are well formed with subtle rib tapes reproduced on the lower surfaces. Those on the top should have been the same but unfortunately Hi-Tech chose to try and replicate too many of the smaller details. The result is 1960’s Airfix type rivets. Thankfully these are easily removed with a few swipes of wet and dry paper. 

The engine is a lovely piece of work. This consists of ten pieces of resin (one cylinder being spare) and the modeller can add the push rods with stretched sprue. Also in resin are the Vickers guns and the casting of these is matched by the high standards of the engine. 



Photo-etch is used for the finer items, these being the gun sights, air speed indicator, control horns and hole reinforcements for the control cables. Not forgotten is Hi-Tech’s rendition of Barker’s “mascot” that was secured to his starboard Vickers gun. 

Other details are supplied in this material such as the propeller “boss”, Vickers loading handles, and footsteps, amongst others.



Marking Options


These are provided for just one aircraft, that of William G. Barker.

His Sopwith Snipe E8012 was involved in a fight of unequal odds where Barker is credited with shooting down a number of German aircraft. It occurred on the 27 October 1918 and although wounded many times the airman was able to crash-land inside the British lines. For this action, he was awarded the Victoria Cross. 


The decal sheet is well printed with very thin carrier film. There is a slight registration problem, which will lead some modellers in search of replacements.





Although recommended for experienced modellers, this is not due to the kit as much as it is for the lack of instructions. Deciphering what goes where will be the biggest hurdle but from there the model should assemble easily. 

It is a competent kit of a worthwhile subject and as usual with kits of this kind, a little extra work is expected. Just make sure you have plenty of references handy. 

When opening your box, be careful as there will inevitably be a piece or two hiding from its new owner. Seek them out with care.


Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.

Review and Images Copyright © 2005 by Robert Baumgartner
Page Created 05 June, 2005
Last updated 05 June, 2005

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