RAF SE5 Early
u m m a r y
||Pegasus RAF SE5 (early)
|Contents and Media:
||15 parts in soft grey
coloured styrene; 13 parts in pewter
USD$24.97 from Squadron.com
||Accurate mouldings, fine
delicate detail, well-researched, different fuselage options.
asymmetrical and needs minor reshaping.
Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner
Pegasus 1/72 scale
SE5 Early is available online from Squadron.com
As with the Spad 7, the SE5 was designed around the historic Hispano-Suiza
150hp engine. The first unit to operate it was No.56 Squadron RFC and not
all pilots received it enthusiastically. Captain Albert Ball described it
as a “dud” and it wasn’t until modifications were made that the pilots
changed their opinions.
The new engine took some getting used to and the failure of the
synchronizing gear in combat certainly didn’t instill confidence. The
semi-enclosing windscreen was universally disliked and was top of the list
of items to be removed.
More changes were made as the aircraft continued its service life. These
included the moving forward of the under carriage wheels, the addition of
radiator shutters, an engine driven pump to replace the slipstream driven
item and the top wing center section strengthened to withstand the
operation of the Lewis gun. Different types of airscrew were also tried.
There were less than 60 production SE5s produced but they served to
develop the machine into the formidable SE5a. Strictly speaking, only the
first production batch of 24 aircraft could be classified as true SE5s.
This is because as far as the Royal Aircraft Factory were concerned;
any aircraft that did not have the modified shorter wings was regarded as
an SE5, regardless of the engine fitted.
This kit follows the standard Pegasus format with a mixture of plastic
and pewter parts.
The former consists of 15 pieces in the usual soft grey plastic with
the white metal component amounting to 13 parts.
Click the thumbnails below
to view larger images:
Two generous lengths of airfoil section plastic strip are supplied.
Experience has shown that in this scale, these items work surprisingly
SE5 aircraft were very individual machines due to changes being made by
crews out in the field. Some of these were official, others not so
Pegasus have chosen a single subject and created the kit around SE5
A’4855 as it could be seen with and without the large canopy. As a result,
two sets of fuselage have been included so that the modeler can build this
aircraft with or without the “greenhouse”. Very thoughtful!
The included “greenhouse” is supplied in clear injection moulded plastic.
Pegasus has done as well as can be expected in this scale but the part
does look a little thick. A slight thinning of the frame edge at the
pilot’s viewpoint will greatly improve matters.
A more serious problem is that it is not asymmetrical. The port side
should have a greater depth than the starboard side. This problem is
reflected in the fuselage halves that accommodate this piece.
It’s not too difficult to fix as the solution relies on removing rather
than adding plastic. In this case it is from the starboard side of the
greenhouse. As a consequence of this, some alteration to the cockpit
opening will be needed to allow for a good fit of this clear part.
The windscreen is also a bit too bulbous on top when compared to photos
and doesn’t show the greenhouse’s characteristic “flattop”. Again, not
hard to fix and only needs a few swipes from a file and then polishing to
bring it back to its former clarity.
Both sets of fuselage halves follow the outline of the plans in the
Albatros Productions Datafile on the subject precisely; the exception
being the glasshouse cutout as mentioned above.
The stitching is very neatly rendered and there is a subtle rendition of
the wrinkled fabric that can be seen on the original aircraft.
Sensibly both upper and lower wings each come in as a single piece. This
assures that there can be no mistake with the complex dihedral that these
items exhibit. The outlines are perfect and match those of the early type
The trailing edges are as thin as this type of limited run moulding
will allow but can be improved with some light sanding from below.
For the above reason, the delicate control horns are not present so
modellers will have to fabricate these for themselves.
The pewter items consist of the under carriage, wheels, cockpit shelf,
machine-guns Vickers and Lewis), exhausts, radiator and propeller. Each
part is well cast and contains nice detail.
One option is catered for, being SE5 A’4855. It can be seen
photographed at London Colney aerodrome on 7 April 1917. A headrest was
fitted at this time and if modellers wish to depict it this way, this item
will have to be scratch built.
A number of pilot flew this aircraft, among them being Lt. Cecil A Lewis
MC, Captain Albert Ball DSO MC and 2/Lt. CRW Knight.
The later was able to share a victory in A’4855 over an Albatros on 24
Not to be out done, Ball used this aircraft to score a victory when his
own machine had been too damaged to fly. On the 2 May he was able to shoot
down both a 2-seat and single seat Albatros.
A’4855 was again “on the podium” when Captain IHD Henderson used it for
his victories on the 12 and 13 July.
save costs, Pegasus supply the national markings seen in a previous kit of
theirs and add the serial number on a separate sheet.
As usual, these hand printed items are in perfect register and have
good colour density. The carrier film is commendably thin and no decal
setting solutions are needed nor recommended.
The SE5 is a good choice for Pegasus as it is unlikely to be a subject
tackled by any of the “mainstream” manufacturers.
The semi-enclosed canopy will need some work to give the model a true
early SE5 look. For those that don’t want to worry about the adjustments,
it will fit “as is” onto the supplied fuselage without alteration.
Of course the easiest way to have an accurate model of this aircraft “out
of the box” is to just choose the option without the “greenhouse”.
This kit will certainly make an interesting stable mate for Roden’s SE5a
and as the box says…
Recommended for experienced modellers.
Squadron.com for the review
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Page Created 24 February, 2004
Last updated 24 February, 2004
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