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Sopwith 1.B1
French Bomber




S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Roden  Sopwith 1.B1 French Bomber. Kit # 411
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 77 grey plastic parts; photo-etched fret
Price: USD$17.97 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Nice detail, good use of p-e, perfectly registered decals.
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner

 Roden's 1/48 scale Sopwith 1.B1  is available online from Squadron.com




Roden’s latest release of the 1 ˝ Strutter sees it in the guise of the French single seat bomber.
Light grey is used for the 77 plastic parts which is a departure from the clear plastic seen in previous releases of this subject. A photo-etched fret compliments the kit and consists of an additional 38 items.
This latter item contains the instrument panel, bomb access doors, alternate control horns with cable, bomb exit framing, engine “spider” and cable termination points.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

All parts were found to be well moulded with only an ejection pin inside the fuselage half that may need filling. The level of detail on each item was excellent.
The flying surfaces are found on sprues B and C. As expected, the rib detail is beautifully subtle and the cleaning up of any flash is a minor inconvenience. The ailerons, elevators and rudder have moulded on control horns, which will aid assembly for the more inexperienced modeler. The one piece wings come with the correct dihedral already set and the trailing edges are acceptably thin.
The fuselage halves contain structural detail on their inner surfaces as well as a delicate representation of this on the outside. Also seen is the characteristic Sopwith “duck tail” in front of the tail plane leading edge.
Despite acknowledging Albatros Productions in the instruction sheet, it is fortunate that Roden have deviated from Ian Stairs plans in the Datafile with the fuselage.
From available photos, it is clear that the stringer portion of the turtle deck finishes level with the elevator cable guides on the fuselage. The kit correctly depicts this.
There is a measurement in the instructions that can be ignored. Step six shows the photo etched bomb compartment access doors as being 28mm from the front of the fuselage halves. The measurement is wrong but the illustration shows the correct placement of the leading edge being on the fourth vertical impression.
Also notice that the starboard fuselage fabric lacing is correct in the kit as it finishes next to the aforementioned cable guides. The Datafile plans would have you believe otherwise.
The usual basic cockpit items are provided but this area won’t look as bare as it did in the two seat versions. Roden have resisted the temptation to model the skeletal tailskid position so more advanced builder’s can have fun here.

Usually the armament contained in Roden kits is first class and here we are not disappointed. The machine guns display fine detail and can be used with confidence. With this release, the extras can be donated to the spares box. The engine similarly is well detailed which is fortunate considering the large opening in the cowling.





Two options are provided for on a perfectly printed decal sheet.

This sheet is part of a range from a new supplier so the quality is a big improvement on past issues.

Make sure there is plenty of liquid on the surface that the decal is floated onto, otherwise it may tear during positioning.

  1. Sopwith 1.B.1 from SOP.107

  2. Sopwith 1.B.1 from SOP.111

Latest information reveals that most if not all French built Strutters were doped in aluminum.

As this information is rather new, Roden can be forgiven for following the previously published traditional scheme of clear-doped linen. No doubt this will change in the future when published data becomes available to the general public.




Arguably the best looking subjects of the Strutter series are the French versions.

Here we have a kit that provides all the basics for the modeler to produce an excellent reproduction of this important aircraft.
This is another welcome release from Roden and one that should prove popular with WWI modelers.

Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.

Review and Images Copyright © 2003 by Robert Baumgartner
Page Created 08 December, 2003
Last updated 08 December, 2003

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