Revell Sopwith Triplane. Cockpit, plans

Of all the current Revell WW1 reissues the Sopwith Triplane has to be one of the most eagerly awaited and welcome re-releases, mainly because it is the only mainstream 1/72 Tripehound available. Unfortunately time has not been kind to these moulds and the sprues are generally in a poorer condition than most of Revell’s other recent releases. In some areas the wear of the moulds has resulted in an improvement; for instance fuselage rib detail which was originally overstated is now reasonably acceptable. On the other hand once reasonably sharp detail on areas like the rotary engine and Vickers machine gun are now simply messy. As is common with the older Revell kits each of the wing pieces have recessed injection moulding points and there is a general abundance of flash throughout the sprues. It must also be noted that many of the parts, such as the fuselage and propeller, are noticeably thinner than on previous releases. Two tailplanes are supplied but the larger of the two (as used on early triplanes such as N500) is not required for this reissue.


I began by fabricating some simple cockpit detail, as I was unimpressed with the pilot figure. As a result of the previously mentioned thinning of the fuselages I found that the stem needed to be extended slightly with plasticard. It was then a case of fitting the two halves of the fuselage together. In this area the fit was reasonable but not by any stretch of the imagination perfect. The engine base plate comes as a separate part, which was found to be severely undersized to the point where I needed to wrap a strip of 10 thou plasticard around the edges prior to assembly to make up for the shortfall. Both the engine and the MG were replaced with items from my spares box.


Scale: 1/72

Kit No: 04187

Price. £2.99

Decal Options: 1

Panel Lines: Recessed

Status: Reissue

Type: Injection Moulded Plastic

Parts: Plastic 23

Manufacturer: Revell

In contrast I found the triplane’s wing sections very easy to put together and well engineered and this for me was perhaps the most impressive area of the kit. For the undercarriage I used the kit’s struts but replaced the axle as it was of an unsuitably large diameter. As a knock-on effect of this I needed to reduce the size of the holes in the centre of the wheels and this was done by filling them with a piece of plastic tubing. I also felt that the propeller had become too thin and this too was replaced with an item from my spares box.

Colour Options

Only one option is included in this release; N5493 Blymp of no.8 sqn, RNAS. For me, the decals are perhaps the most disappointing area of the kit. For a start it would have been nice to have more than one option to choose from. To add to this, when you actually begin to use the decals you soon realise that many are oversized, and the fuselage registration numbers are particularly large. Granted that the only photograph I have of N5493 fails to show this area but it would be unusual for a production triplane to have had registration numbering of this size. The Blymp insignia also appears to be slightly larger than they should be. In terms of print quality and usage I found the decals to be free of problems.


I have mixed feelings about this re-release; jubilation that Revell has seen fit to give the Triplane some more air time and disappointment concerning the condition of the kit and the accuracy of the decal sheet. Given time and effort a pretty decent replica of the Tripehound can be produced (and I was pleased with mine), but I think young or casual modellers who maybe picked up this kit in a toy shop because they liked the box artwork are likely to be frustrated. This re-release is as good an argument as any as to why a new 1/72 Sopwith Triplane deserves to be tooled. So come on Revell – how about giving the same treatment to the Tripehound that was given to the Dr. 1 a few years ago?

Connected themes: museum models, remote control plane, how to build model airplanes, Revell Sopwith Triplane. Cockpit, plans, model paint, plastic airplane, scale airplane plans.

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