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Bristol F.2B Fighter


Roden 1/48

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Roden Bristol F.2B Fighter kit #425
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 139 parts in injection moulded plastic; acetate sheet for windscreens; markings for three aircraft
Price: USD$17.96  from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Sharp moulding, petite detail, excellent engineering, one-piece wings and complete engine.
Disadvantages: Decals out of register, no rigging diagram
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner

 Roden's 1/48 scale Bristol F.2B Fighter may be ordered online from Squadron.com


Roden’s “scale up” policy continues with the very welcome release of the Bristol Fighter.

Having kitted this airplane previously in 1/72nd scale it was always going to be interesting to see which features were translated into this larger format.

The contents consist of 3 sprues holding 139 light grey plastic parts. Sprue U is the big surprise as this contains a complete Rolls Royce Falcon engine, just like its baby brother!


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Naturally it comes complete with engine mounts so that the whole front end can be displayed in all its glory. The engine panels are separate which saves the fuselage being compromised by any cutting. A dry fit showed that these parts fit well should one decide not to show off the power plant.

The fuselage halves contain some good interior structure to which the rest of the cockpit components can be added. These include the usual seats, rudder bar, control column, instrument panel and spare Lewis drums (16 are provided in total!). Plenty of scope is left for the scratch builder and modellers can gain valuable insight by viewing pictures of the RAF Museum’s remarkable restoration.

There are very slight sink marks on the outside of the fuselage due the moulded inner detail but this is easy to rectify.

Sprue B also contains a selection of optional parts, which includes a couple of two bladed props (left and right handed), a four bladed example, and the ever popular spare machine guns. As usual the latter items are beautifully portrayed. Roden didn’t forget the bombs either, with two racks of four being supplied.

The wings are found on sprue A and here one can really appreciate the size of this aircraft. To Rodens credit they have moulded these huge items as one piece. As well as the very thin trailing edges, the wings showed no distortion of any kind. Rib detail is commendably subtle and it’s good to see a manufacturer showing restraint in this area.

The attachment of the lower wing may scare some but it needn’t. The assembly follows Rodens 1/72nd scale release, and having had experience with that procedure, I can assure the builder that a painkiller will not be required.

A small acetate sheet is supplied which provides an excellent scale representation of the windscreen.

One thing to note is that my example had a lot of mould release agent on it so make sure your sprues get a good bath in soapy water before committing them to paint or glue.

The instruction sheet is pretty straightforward and explains clearly what parts are needed for each option. This has to be decided on fairly early due to the removal of any unwanted exhaust pipe locaters.
Step 17 of my on my instruction sheet was incomplete as it showed blank areas of where the rigging diagram was supposed to be. Unless you have additional reference material, the box art will have to suffice.

The Albatros Publication “Bristol Fighter Vol 1” by Jack Bruce was used when evaluating the outline of the major parts. They proved to be an excellent match when compared to Ian Stair’s plans.





Six options are catered for on the decal sheet, which provides enough variety to please even the fussiest of modellers. The white was out of register of my example and it might be an idea if Roden start separating the roundel colours into more than one decal.



The carrier film was nice and thin and testing one of the serial numbers on a painted surface revealed no problems.

(I) Bristol F.2B D8061 of 48 Sqn. RAF, Western Front 1918

Crewed by 2/ Lt. FN Griffiths and Lt. AE Ansell. The presentation inscription and serial number on this aircraft were merely “stick on” pieces of fabric. This was done for photographic purposes in appreciation of the donors.

In this machine, Ansell and Griffiths were credited with shooting down a Pfalz D.III on the 2 July 1918. Ansell could consider himself an “ace” as this was the 4th of 5 aircraft he downed in combination with various pilots.

D8061 was finally shot down by Joseff Mai of Jasta 5, killing its two occupants. In this case 2/Lts EJ McCutcheon and VS Gray.

(II) Bristol F.2B A7288 of 11 Sqn. RFC, Western Front 1917

Crewed by Lt. Andrew Edward McKeever and Lt. L F Powell.

Some sources give this aircraft as A7258. Powell was given credit for a total of 19 aircraft, 18 of which were when flying with McKeever. On 30th of November 1918, they were successful in claiming 4 Albatros scouts destroyed in the one day.

(III) Bristol F.2B C851 of 141 (HD) Sqn., 1918

Crewed by Lt. E E Turner and H B Barwise. They were credited with shooting down Gotha G.V 979/16 of Bogohl 3 on the night of 19/20 May.

(IV) Bristol F.2B A7198 of 1 Sqn. Australian Flying Corps, Palestine 1918

Crewed by Captain R Williams. The aircraft was later written off in a crash.

(V) Bristol F.2B A7192 of 1 Sqn. Australian Flying Corps, Palestine 1918

(VI) Bristol F.2B D8063/D of 139 Sqn. RAF, Italian Front 1918

Crewed by Maj. W G Barker and HRH Prince Edward of Wales.




With the quality of releases such as this, Roden’s Bristol F.2B deserves to be a winner.
The finesse of the detail is outstanding and the inclusion of an entire engine is just icing on the cake.
British two seater aircraft have not always had the attention they deserve from manufacturers so this latest effort is especially noteworthy. Thus all bodes well for the coming Be 2 series and maybe even an Re 8…if we ask nicely.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.

Review and Images Copyright © 2004 by Robert Baumgartner
Page Created 18 October, 2004
Last updated 19 October, 2004

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