Wednesday, June 10, 2015

SE.5A of No. 92 (East India) Squadron

The SE.5A may not require that much of an introduction. Suffice to say that it was the air-superiority counterpart of the Sopwith Camel and that it acquitted itself quite well after some teething troubles in the late spring of 1917.

The parts count.

The ESCI kit is, I dare say, rudimentary, and I'd guess that it is from the seventies or late sixties. This particular kit has also been re-boxed by several companies. Judging from available plans I would also say that it is a bit smaller than 1/72, and possibly closer to 1/76. In general, the kit comes together well, although the landing gear is a bit fiddly. Since the cockpit is portioned off, I decided to make the model in flight with a pilot, or rather the top half of a pilot as well as a propeller disc. I also added a different set of wheels, a windscreen, the gun sight and a Vickers machine gun from the spares box. The decals worked nicely enough, and after adding rigging made out of stretched sprue the SE.5A was mounted on a stand made out of a wire hanger.

The decals do indeed provide markings for a SE.5A of No. 92 Squadron. This unit was established as a scout squadron on September 1, 1917, and it spent some time in Colney, Great Britain before being sent over to France in July of 1918. It was initially deployed to the Dunkirk area, but it was transferred to Serny in August that same year, and it started scoring victories. The squadron took part in the 1918 Somme offensive where it was heavily engaged, and it remained on the Western Front up to the Armistice, when it had scored 37 victories. The unit had also produced eight aces: Oren Rose, Thomas Stanley Horry, William Reed, Earl Frederick Crabb, Evander Shapard, Herbert Good and future Air Marshal Arthur Coningham as well as future Air Chief Marshal James Robb. 

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