Roseplane 1/72 Scale Royal Aircraft Factory RE5 vacuform kit

By Michael Kendix


The RE5 (RE stood for 'Reconnaissance Experimental') was developed as part of a sequence of two-seater aeroplanes built by the Royal Aircraft Factory. Beginning in July 1914 when the first RE1 was acquired by the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), through the HRE2 (H stands for 'Hydro'; it was a twin-float seaplane), the RE3, RE4 and finally, the RE5. Powered by a 120-hp Austro-Daimler 6-cylinder water-cooled engine, the span of the RE5 was larger than its RE1 predecessor; the equal-span wing version was a shade over 45 feet.

The RE5 was first used by the RFC prior to the start of World War One hostilities. It continued in use until the middle of 1916 when it was superceded by the RE6, RE7 and eventually, the more famous RE8. The most well known incident involving an RE5 took place on July 31, 1915, when Captain J A Liddell and observer Lt Peck were flying a reconnaissance mission. Liddell was badly wounded but managed to fly and land his aeroplane back safely behind Allied lines. Liddell was awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry and died of his wounds on August 31, 1915. Sadly, Peck did not survive the war, being killed in action on March 10, 1916.

The Kit

The kit consists of a large vacuform sheet and several small resin parts. The vacuform sheet contains the flying surfaces, fuselage halves split vertically and a gravity fuel tank. There is also a jig for the various struts and undercarriage assembly. The upper wing is scored at the points near the centre where you have to bend it to make the correct dihedral shape. The lower wing comes in two parts. All the detail is crisp and clear with almost no molding flaws whatsoever; if only all of our World War One injection mold kits could be this good.

The resin parts consist of two seats, the underside exhaust pipe, an interior detail piece and a two-blade propeller. Most of the RE5/7 Datafile pictures show the RE5 with a four-blade propeller, however, Captain John Aidan Liddell's machine shown in picture number 1 (and on the front cover), shows an aeroplane with a two-blade propeller.

This kit maintains the high standard of recently issued Roseplane vacuform kits and I am looking forward to building it.


  • J. M. Bruce. 'RAF RE5/7: Windsock Datafile 62.' Albatros Productions Ltd., Great Britain, 1997

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