SOPWITH CAMEL F1 (2nd Build) – HASEGAWA 1:8 (Part 2)

Work has continued to go well on this second Camel build and a number of modifications have been incorporated as a result of experience gained during the first build.

The biggest development this time has been with the rigging. The last time I used the grey thread which comes with the kit, but made my own faux turnbuckles.


The arrangement was OK, but I always felt that more could’ve been done. So this time I’ve decided to go a little further. The turnbuckles are a development of the idea used on the Dr.1 model.


The eyelets on those were made separately and glued into the brass tube from each end. I had a number come adrift while I was tensioning the rigging and so this time I decided to make them out of a single piece of wire, the brass tube being threaded on before the second eyelet was formed. To be honest this is no more difficult than doing it the previous way and the final result is much stronger. The latter was particularly important as I’ve decided to ditch the kit’s thread and rig the aircraft with some stainless steel wire which requires a lot more tensioning when it is being fitted.

If I was working to scale,  0.2 mm wire would be the nearest choice, but having mocked up 0.2 and 0.3 mm, with the kit’s thread alongside for comparison, I felt that the 0.3 mm looked better. The 0.2 gets lost because it is so thin.

The 0.2 mm has the blue flag, the 0.3 mm the red, and the kit’s thread the green.


There then followed 3 days of making turnbuckles, as 70 are required in the fuselage if you include the control lines, and some significant frustration in fitting the rigging. The wire I used is 317L stainless as this is quite soft and that allows any kinks and bends to be straightened. However, you still need quite a bit of tension in the wire to get it straight.

The latter caused problems with the airframe structure distorting and it was a tight balancing act to get enough tension in the wires so that they were straight but not so much that you deformed the airframe and made adjacent wires go slack. Even so I found that in a number of cases the structure had moved over night and wires that were definitely taut before were slack in the morning and had to be redone.

The final result is much better than the thread I think, but if you want a quiet life I’d stick with Hasegawa’s option as the wire is not for the faint hearted.


I’ve also finally got the additional support rigging in for the fuel tank.


One point to note is that the above photos were taken before I went around the turnbuckles and finally glued all the brass pipes centrally in place, so if you look closely they are all over the place. They aren’t now honest.

I also finished off and installed the tail skid. This took two goes as I messed the first one up and had to make another from scratch, though I was able to salvage the kit hardware.


Finally installed.


The bungee cords look a bit of a mess in the above picture, but some flexing of the skid evened them out so that they now lie a little more neatly.

The detailing of the cockpit has also been completed, bar a few brackets to hold pipes in place. The last time I modified the throttle handle of the kit to give it a new shape. This time I removed it entirely and replaced it with some stainless steel rod filed to approximately the correct shape.


The hole is for the pushrod to connect it to the carburettor.

I also abandoned the stickers provided in the kit for the throttle and fuel selector valve. Having seen pictures of the real items the kit’s stickers aren’t very close to reality, so I decided to make my own this time.


Previously I had the throttle linkage just disappearing up in the front of the aircraft, but if you look at cockpit photos of the real aircraft it is possible to see the bellcrank that connects the throttle to the carburettor, so I decided to put that in this time. It’s just made from some brass sheet with some resin nuts in lieu of the actual rosejoint things on the real aircraft. It’ll be largely hidden by the intake pipes though.


For what it’s worth I’ve also added a couple of resin bolt heads to the intake pipes to emulate the fixings I’ve seen on a number of aircraft.


The large lump of wood blocking the view is only their temporarily. It’ll be cut back once the plywood skinning has been fixed in place.

Other items to go in were the fuel gauge and hand pressure pump.



I’ve made a new handle for the pressure pump out of some maple wood I had left lying around. The kit has a sphere mounted on the top and the last time I left it untouched as I wasn’t sure if the wooden handle I’d seen in a picture was common or a one off. Subsequently I’ve seen it on a number of aircraft and never seen a sphere, so this time I made the change.

This is the original.


The real thing on The Shuttleworth Trust’s Camel.

with the permission of The Shuttleworth Trust.
Reproduced with the permission of The Shuttleworth Trust.

The modified item.


The control column and rudder bar have been finished. The only changes here are in the use of Alclad 2 metallics and the revised style of turnbuckle. Fitting them to the control column did entail cutting out the moulded lug of the kit and replacing them with 1 mm brass bolts, which is more realistic anyway.


I’ve also finished off the wheels. As before I’ve scratch made the bare wheel in much the same fashion as previously. I have however gone with a brass hub this time as it is stronger and not that hard to do.

As before I added some additional internal detail to the covered wheel too.

Here are the finished items with a little preshading added to the covered wheel to add a bit of interest rather than it being a plain white thing.


That’s pretty much it for this update. I’m doing a fair bit of work on the plywood covering of the fuselage at the moment, so hopefully I’ll have some nice pictures of that to show you next time… if it works out.

This is the current state of the build.


6 thoughts on “SOPWITH CAMEL F1 (2nd Build) – HASEGAWA 1:8 (Part 2)”

  1. Having sat on the Sopwith and Fokker for years ,but never really satisfied with the level of accuracy and detail in the original kits,I was hoping someone like you would come along and address those issues,with an in depth build log.Being in a technical field myself ( I slave over a hot microscope all the live long day) in a micro electronics lab, I have the needed skills ,just lacked information.Thanks again for these great posts. Robin R.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being stuck at home all of the time means I have considerably more time than most to do the research I suppose. It’s a labour of love anyway as the Camel is one of my favourite aircraft of that era.


  2. First off: Astounding work on both builds; literally inspiring.

    Second: Too, too inspiring. I’ve just plunked down more money for one of these kits than I’ve spend on some 1:1 cars. Darn you.

    Third: Oddly, perhaps, I’m going to build the 1:16 plastic version first, to thoroughly understand the structure and rigging before I tackle this in 1:8. Perhaps between that and your posts I can get the 1:8 model more or less right the first time.

    Finally, thank you for all of your posts on the first and second (so far) Camel builds. I’ve archived them and will use them alongside my Hasegawa manuals/drawings to ensure both models are–if not up to the standards you set here–as good as I can manage. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL!

      I’m glad I’ve inspired you anyway.

      If you are doing the 1/16th Hasegawa kit be aware that they have carried over the errors in the trailing edges, tailplane and wing tips where ‘wood’ has been used where it was metal on the real aircraft.


  3. As always, inspiring work!
    Like the previous respondent, I have both the 1/8th and 1/16th versions of Hasegawa’s Camels and was also thinking of doing the smaller version first, but I’m wondering if the first build will kill the passion to build the larger version…


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