Comparing the recent SPAD A.2 Kits
Roseplane, Omega and A-Model

by Matt Bittner

I will start out this part of the review by listing each kit's strengths and weaknesses. First up the Roseplane (Rosemont) resin kit:

.....Thin flying surfaces
.....Excellent external detail, such as ribs, panel lines, etc.
.....No airholes/pinholes
.....'Grills' or 'grates' on the sides of the nacelle are very well molded
.....Overall a very good presentation

.....The cockpit parts that come with the kit are not accurate
.....No cockpit sidewall detail
.....The 'channels' in the nacelle that draws air to the engine do not exist
.....The back of the nacelle doesnít have the correct 'shape'
.....No window on the underside of the nacelle
.....The 'fence' behind the gunner's head is missing and must be built from wire
.....Poorly printed decals

Now the Omega resin kit:

.....Excellent photoetch fret
.....Excellent decals
.....Cockpit parts are the closest to accurate between the three kits
.....Cockpit side is molded 'open' (i.e. side hatch is 'left off')
.....Beautiful engine

.....My wings are warped
.....Some airholes/pinholes
.....Cockpit isn't molded 'deep enough' (meaning that the fuselage was 'hollow' (no bulkhead) behind the pilot, but since the fuselage is a single mold, Omega only provides a 'hole' for the cockpit)
.....Fuselage is shorter than the other two
.....No window on the nacelle underside

Finally, the Amodel injected plastic kit:

.....Injected plastic
.....Smaller parts are well done
.....Accurate nacelle shapes (rear and undersides)
.....Only kit that comes with the nacelle window
.....Nice decals
.....Some of the undercarriage and center struts are molded in situ with some of the major parts, resulting in a strong and relatively easy build Molded in cockpit sidewall detail is nicely done
.....Flying surfaces almost thin enough

.....Smaller parts are attached to the sprue with large gates (meaning very careful parts removal)
.....The rest of the cockpit detail is not adequate
.....Some parts are thick, namely the sides and underside of the nacelle
.....Decal scheme is for 'Ma Jeanne' (the most overdone SA.2 scheme)

Overall, given price, availability and molding material, I would give the nod to Amodel. Injected plastic is easier to work with than resin, the kit is very nice, and it's a very decent kit. However, if price is not an object, then I prefer the Roseplane kit. Thin flying surfaces, the level of molding is superb, and overall – minus the decals – it's a very nice presentation. (I don't like the decals because they are ALPS generated, but they were generated using 'pixels''î, which gives them a very 'grainy' appearance. If the decals were printed using 'vector graphics', then they would have been a lot better.)

The Omega kit obviously has its strengths, as well. The engine is a work of art, and the photoetch fret is extremely well done. However, with the upcoming Part photoetch fret for the SPAD 'pulpit' series, any kit can be made into a winner. Plus, with Omega selling the engine separately, any of the SA kits can be made into a showstopper.

I feel the best model of the SPAD SA.2 (again, with money not as a concern) would be the Rosemont kit with the upcoming Part photoetch set and the Omega engine. 'Fix'' the nacelle and you have an extremely nice kit.

But, for those who never built resin, or want an SA.2 quickly and 'cheaply', then by all means pick up the Amodel kit.

Although a good kit, I place the Omega last. Don't let that stop you from buying an Omega SPAD 'pulpit' though, especially since the Amodel SPAD SA.4 isn't out yet (but the Omega is) and Omega is the only one doing a kit of the IRAS' SPAD SG.1 - a SPAD 'pulpit' with three guns in the nose instead of a person (the only way the 'pulpit' should be flown - who would want to sit directly in front of a spinning engine?).

Important note: Notice I didn't mention anything about parts dimension (except for the very obvious short Omega fuselage). That's because there is some discrepancy in the published dimensions. All drawings I have seen of the 'pulpits' show the SA.2 upper wing smaller than the SA.4. However, all published dimensions I have seen list the upper wings having the same dimensions. Rosemont went with drawing of the SA.2 upper wing to make theirs, which means that it's smaller than the other two kits. Both Omega and Amodel went with the published dimensions, which are the same for the SPAD SA.4. The wings are almost dead on for the references they used. So, it's your opinion if you want to go with the drawings or the dimensions.

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