Eduard 1/48 Sopwith Baby
The Sopwith Baby
The Sopwith Baby traces its origins to the two-seat Sopwith Tabloid (or Scout) built by Sopwith in November 1913, and introduced into RFC service in the following month. It gained fame when a modified version won the Schneider trophy in 1914. However it was only in January 1915 that the RNAS placed formal contracts for the Baby. In production form, the Baby did not differ much from the Schneider trophy winner.
The Baby was deployed aboard seaplane carriers, cruisers, trawlers, minelayers, and various other ships. An attempt was made to deploy it even on a submarine! Babies were used to thwart enemy airship attacks as far as possible from home waters.
Besides Sopwith, the Blackburn, Fairey, and Parnall companies also built Babies. Additionally the SA Aeronautica Gio Ansaldo of Turin also built the Baby under license in Italy. Babies served with Canada, the US, France, Chile, Greece and Norway. Several Babies were built in Norway as replacements where they served until as late as 1930. Norwegian Babies were lent to Roald Amundsen for use in his polar expeditions. Altogether, about 700 Babies were produced.
This is Eduard's kit # 8006, released in 1994. It contains two sprues of injection-moulded parts, a cast white metal engine, a clear acetate sheet, a sheet of decals, and a brass photo-etched fret. The kit contains parts to make three versions of the baby, a Sopwith built, a Blackburn built, and an Ansaldo built version. It has decals for two crafts in Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) colours, and one each in Royal Norwegian Navy and Italian Navy colours. The kit includes parts for two Lewis machine guns and a sheet with full colour drawings for the four versions.
The model itself is quite straightforward, with a simple shape and planform, and relatively simple rigging. The wing stagger and the floats pose the only real challenge.
The kit suffers from some inaccuracies, mostly because it is based on the Sopwith Schneider. The undercarriage struts and the empennage definitely bear correction. However, no major surgery is need unless one suffers from a severe case of the AMS (Advanced Modeller Syndrome). Being a nitpicker myself, I could not help but include a complete list of inaccuracies in the kit.
The build was fairly standard except that I spiced it up with two big sub-projects: a skin-on-frame rear fuselage and a soldered brass undercarriage.
So, armed with a saw and the Windsock Datafile, I set upon the kit. The kit's plastic parts are somewhat brittle and one has to be careful when cutting the parts off the sprue. Even when I sawed off each piece and then sanded the sprue off, there were a few 'accidents' that had to be filled with putty. Apart from additional detailing, my main efforts were directed at replacing the entire rear fuselage and the undercarriage struts.
Initially, when I started the build, I decided to depict serial number N-2071, a Blackburn-built craft. The kit provides decals for this craft, which is also profiled in the Datafile. Halfway through the project I switched to the "Bitem" craft (serial N-1017) at the suggestion (and kind donation of special decals) of Bob Pearson, editor of Internet Modeler magazine. Both N-1017 and N-2071 are built by Blackburn, and except for markings, their configurations are almost identical.
Construction sequence of the Baby is typical for a rigged biplane. Start off by detailing the cockpit, and mating the fuselage halves, then attach the cowling and the lower wing. Construct the floats, empennage, guns, engine, etc. separately. Paint all the assemblies, and apply all decals. Attach the cockpit gun and windshield before installing the upper wing. Attach the floats and empennage and proceed to rig the craft. Finally attach the engine, propeller, and the rest of the fragile appurtenances.
Cockpit and engine
Construction begins with the cockpit. Inside the cockpit, I built up the frame members with square styrene strips, which look better than the flat PE. I added control cables for the rudder, ailerons, elevator, and the 2 guns. The elevator linkage consists of a rod connecting the control column to a link that is pivoted on a cross-member behind the pilotís seat. The elevator control cables are in turn attached to the two ends of the link. I built all this as sincerely as possible just in case somebody managed to sneak a peak past the seat. I thinned the cockpit deck to allow the instrument panel to be positioned correctly. Other additions to the interior included a hand-pump built from styrene and brass rod.
Once the cockpit is ready, the fuselage halves can be glued together. Eduard did us a big favour by designing the cockpit with a separate cover so one can continue to work on the cockpit details even after the fuselage halves are joined together. I laid a thin plastic sheet on the fuselage bottom to hide the joint seam. Once the front fuselage was complete, I sawed off the rear fuselage and attached the rebuilt one. The rear fuselage build is described later.
The opening in the kit part is too square, as is the PE part for the leather padding. I used Milliput to reshape the cockpit opening, but replacing the cockpit edging proved to be a bit of a challenge. My attempts to build up a bead with thick CA or epoxy failed miserably. Finally I cut an oval pattern from .020 inch styrene, glued it over the opening with CA, and then carefully cut away the opening, leaving an oval ring that I filed down gently.
Next came the engine and the cowling. Eduard provides both a plastic and a white metal engine with the kit. The latter combined with photo-etch parts makes for a very impressive engine. Not fully satisfied, however, I shaved off the intake pipes on the rear and replaced them with brass wire – another fine example of the AMS dictum: "If it ain't broke, fix it!" A more diligent builder than myself may also consider detailing the spark plugs and their wiring.
I glued the engine cowling halves together and thinned it for proper scale effect. Even so, I had trouble fitting the engine. I had hoped to install the engine to rotate freely but the tight fit made this impractical. Perhaps it would have worked with a heat-formed cowling.
Excepting the rear-float struts, all the plastic struts in the kit are off-scale and too big. I replaced them with bamboo, as sanding would have left them too flimsy. Bamboo struts are constructed as follows: start with a bamboo kebab skewer and slit it down its length until you have a slightly over-sized strut. Coat it with CA glue, and then sand it down to the proper streamlined cross-section. Soak it with CA glue again. The CA keeps the bamboo from becoming frayed and fuzzy while sanding. After cutting the struts to the correct size, insert fine steel wire into each end for positive indexing and strong joints. Beside the wing struts, I had to replace the main float struts – a mini-project in itself, which I describe later in the article.
Bamboo struts should be stained, not painted, as somebody gently pointed out to me. I stained them with a mixture of Future and powdered dark brown pastel, giving very realistic wooden struts.
The floats themselves are straightforward. The model is obviously tail-heavy and requires compensating weights in the main floats. I filled the floats with as much #9 lead shot as I could pour in before gluing the halves together. The wood glue keeps the model from sounding like a maraca. Be sure to pour in as much shot as you can because a lot of is needed for the craft to 'sit right', i.e., with its centre-line almost horizontal. To detail the floats, I added beading around their edges, and sanded the bottom of the rear float to give it a gentle 'keel' – the front floats are flat bottomed but the rear floatís bottom has a gentle V-shape in front view. The instructions call for PE parts for lifting eyes on the main floats. Since none are visible in photos in the Datafile, I used them instead to make up the four eyes on centre section of the top wing.
The tips of both wings reflect the Sopwith Schneider, which were less squared at the corners than the Baby's, so I used Milliput epoxy putty to build up the corners. The top wing has a cutout and a rectangular opening in the centre section. Both needed to be corrected with some careful sawing, filing, and some plastic-card.
The bottom wing attaches to the fuselage with very little effort, but the fit is not perfect, and I had to take care to get the proper angle of incidence. The joint needs a little filling and sanding to get the wing bottom flush with the fuselage.
I am told that deflected control surfaces is one feature that de rigueur separates the men from the boys. To deflect the ailerons, I scored them with a scribing tool so that I could bend them. I then dabbed some plastic cement in the cut to relax the stress and to make the ailerons to stay in place. In retrospect, I did two things wrong: First, I should have separated the ailerons completely; not only would it have looked more realistic, it would also have made painting easier. Secondly, I should have deferred the bending as much as possible as it interfered with the wing jigs and the rigging process. By the way, don't forget to position the rudder pedals and the control column to match the deflections!
The next major step is the assembly of the top wing. Normally, you do not need a jig if you can trust the struts to define the wing geometry. However in this kit, the struts are not pre-cut to size, the locator dimples are in the wrong place, and, the two wings had differing dihedrals because of a production flaw or warpage. A good jig thus became essential.
My jig consisted of vertical spacers cut to shape from the side view of the GA drawings in the datafile. These spacers positioned the top wing in relation to the bottom wing with the correct stagger, incidence, and inter-plane gap. After securing the top wing in the jig with rubber bands, I flexed the upper wing so that it had the same dihedral as the lower wing. Next, I measured and test-fitted the inter-plane struts. After propping them in place, I positioned and measured off the cabane struts, ensuring that all struts lined up in side view. Thus I could measure the correct length of each strut and mark the proper locating hole for the cabane struts. I later reused the jig for the permanent assembly.
The kit parts for the empennage are the wrong shape and simply cannot be reshaped. I made all four parts from doubled over .010 in. styrene sheet. To simulate the framing, I embossed the sheets on the inside with a blunt tip. To simulate the steel tube framing of the empennage I rounded the edges.
The elevator is two separate parts held together by a steel wire at the hinge line, which passes under the tail fin just forward of the sternpost. In the real craft, the tail-plane is attached to the sternpost and is clear off the top of the fuselage and in some photos one can see a gap between the tailplane and the fuselage. I built essentially the same structure. I glued the tailplane to the tail fin, and the latter to the sternpost, which I soldered to the fuselage frame. Struts, rigging, and gluing the front of the tailplane to the fuselage top give it stability and rigidity.
I glued .005 in. separators to simulate hinges between the rudder and the tailfin. This created a realistic gap at the join. The elevator was attached in the same way. Both the air- and water-rudder were attached with an offset. Note that the water-rudder and the air-rudder are linked together to the rudder pedals.
I decided to scratch-build the rear fuselage for several reasons. First of all, the dimensions and shape of the rear were wrong. Second, I had to cut out an opening at the stern. Third, I had a hankering to simulate the look of unevenly stretched fabric. But most importantly, I wanted to try my hand at some modest scratch-building as someday I plan to scratch-build a complete model!
At first I considered rebuilding the entire fuselage, but decided against this because the front part anchors the main planes, the engine, and the cabane struts. I would be taking a big risk with the integrity of the whole model. Alternately, I could have cut out openings in the walls, leaving a framework of the original plastic, but decided that this too was risky because of the brittleness of the plastic. So I settled on replacing the fuselage from the disassembly joint back – the point at which it begins to taper in the side and top views.
For the stretched fabric look I adopted the skin-on-frame approach. I built the frame almost exactly in replica to the original except that I used 1/16 in. square stock for the longerons and cross members. I soldered the pieces together using the Datafile GA drawings as a template, and attached cross bracing wires in the bottom and sidewalls on the off chance that somebody decide to stick an endoscope down the cockpit. At the stern, I soldered a brass wire to anchor the rudder. On the top I stuck plastic card formers to support the curvature of the deck.
After the front fuselage was completed with its cockpit interior, I carefully cut off the rear fuselage and trimmed the edges until the rear frame aligned correctly. The brass frame was glued to the front with epoxy. After completing the interior detailing, I skinned the frame with 0.005 in. styrene sheet. The same endoscopophobia drove me into painting the inside surface a beige colour (Clear Doped Linen). The skin was glued on in separate sections for each wall. I used CA glue to attach the skin to the longerons and cross members. At the edges where the sections meet, I filled with thick CA and sanded down to a smooth finish. The plastic sheet skin was overlapped over the front fuselage walls, glued with CA, and sanded down to a smooth finish. Some modellers 'skin' the model to give it a realistic translucent fabric look. I could have done this using Japanese tissue instead of styrene. Maybe, next time...
I scored the sheet on the inside with a blunt tip to simulate the starved-cow look for the upper stringers, the cross members, and the corner folds. It may be argued that the fabric was usually stretched taut over the frame and did not evince any ripples. However, I decided to take some modeller's license with the issue since it is quite possible that some crafts were improperly maintained or that the fabric loosened under the stress of combat. The ripples and stretch are evident in Datafile photos 28, 30, 46, 54 and 87.
Before attaching the sidewalls, I glued the rear float with its struts to the frame thus covering the strut attachment with the skin, as it would in the real craft.
Overall, I was satisfied with this sub-project. It was fun to replicate the actual internal construction of the craft, it gave me experience working with a mix of materials, and the end result seemed quite satisfying to me.
The kit parts for the main float struts are too short, and because they are N-shaped and moulded in one piece, it is not easy to fix the problem. I decided to scratch-build them instead. I considered four choices: sanding and shaping plastic stock, sticking plastic card around a steel wire core, buying strut stock such as Strutz from Aeroclub, or shaping brass strip stock. I settled on the last option as it promised to be an interesting project.
The first step is to determine the correct dimensions. This cannot be done directly from the GA drawing in the Datafile because each strut is inclined in both vertical planes. In other words, each leg is inclined from the vertical in front view as well as side view. The Pythagorean theorem is an easy way to calculate the correct length of each strut. The formula is as follows:
h = (x2 + y2 +z2)1/2
In other words, it is the square root of the sum of squares of the projection of a strut onto the three orthogonal axes. Readers should note that the dimensions do not have to be ultra-precise, but there is no simple alternative to estimating the actual length. Luckily the threee struts lie in one plane, so I calculated the length thus for each of the three struts, and constructed the strut directly on a paper plan. I used drawing software to do this, but can be easily done with a rule and compass.
I made the struts from 1/16 x 3/32 in. brass strip stock. After sanding the strut ends to the proper angles, I sawed a notch in each end into which I inserted short bits of steel wire, which serve to attach the strut firmly. I placed the struts on the plan, and stuck the strut ends together with CA glue. I quickly realized that neither this nor epoxy works. After much frustration, I finally settled on soldering the strips together. I pinned a copy of the plan on a piece of drywall (gypsum board), covered it with wax paper, and positioned the strips on it with pushpins. I then soldered the joints directly in this makeshift jig. Heat sinks are essential here, because one joint tends to come unsoldered while trying to solder the other joint – this is Newton's 5th law of Thermodynamics at work: heat will flow away from the point you want it directly to the region you want least.
The next step was to file and sand the strips to a streamlined cross section. It would have been a lot easier to do this before the strips were soldered, because it is not easy to reach into the crooks of the joints. One also has to handle the part gently, as the solder joints are not too strong. On the other hand, it is easier to align the unshaped strips for soldering.
A jig is essential for the main float struts to assure that the plane sits right, the floats are parallel to each other, the floats lay flat, the fuselage is centered, and the fuselage centerline is parallel to the float centreline in side view. I placed the float braces on a jig I prepared, and attached the strut bottoms to them. Next, I offered them up into holes drilled in the fuselage bottom. Once the fuselage was aligned I set the joints with CA glue and baking soda. Finally, I attached the struts with the cross braces to the main floats. Since then, I have learned that baking soda and CA form an unstable mixture liable to explode and redistribute my Baby all over the showcase. Oh well, it is too late now to do anything about it!
Out of sheer perversity and Ausgabenlust, I decided to build the Lewis guns from Copper State Models kits. Note that this is no way reflects on the quality of Eduard machineguns; I am sure one can obtain excellent results with the ones supplied with the kit.
The CSM kit consists of resin parts that make up the barrel, receiver and magazine, and photo-etch parts for the trimming, spade handles, front and rear sights, and grip. Some of these parts, especially the bits for the front sight were too small for me, and I spent many hours and gained much gray hair assembling them. Early on, I lost the originals. I then scratch-built them, lost them, and rebuilt them! ad nauseam. The final product is probably my fifth replacement.
Working with small photo-etch bits takes patience and perseverance (or perversity, as I mentioned before). I work on a glass pane, and use a sharp razor blade to snap off parts from the fret. To fold a part, I use two razor blades. I use Formula 560 to glue parts, using CA wherever a strong joint is needed and a large contact surface is available. I pick up and position bits with the tip of a moistened toothpick. A good lamp with a built-in magnifying lens is a definite help. To flex brass into a cylinder for the machine gun cooling jacket, I start out by placing the part on a soft wooden surface and rolling an Exacto knife handle over it. I use progressively smaller 'rolling pins' until the ends are curled up all the way. Finally, I use a drill bit of the right diameter as a mandril and roll it between my fingers.
The gun on the cockpit deck is mounted simply with two fixed struts, but the one on the top wing requires a complicated arrangement of struts, since the gun is supposed to swing back and down for reloading during flight. I did the best I could to replicate the structure from photos (#44, 45) in the datafile.
The kit itself provides a lot of photo-etch parts for detailing. This includes the bomb racks, strut-end strengtheners, cockpit interior, lifting eyes, cable guides, and an air-speed sensor.
The Baby has stitching on its starboard rear fuselage. For the stitching, I decided to try another product that had caught my fancy: Archer Fine Transfers (Sheet Surface Details 6). These are dry transfers that are applied by burnishing them onto the surface. This sheet contains stitching details in two styles, and two sizes each. The brochure claims that the sizes are intended for 1/48 and 1/72 scale, but I found that even the smaller sizes were a bit too big for my 1/48 Baby.
Despite the cautionary tone of the instructions, I found the transfers surprisingly easy to apply. Once applied, the transfers are robust and do not peel off easily (mistakes must be scraped off with a knife!) To finish off, I painted over the stitching and dry-brushed in a lighter tone.
I supplemented the kit details with various scratch-built bits of my own, such as a wind-driven generator I built from flattened brass wire and styrene rod. The bombs were detailed with braces between the fins and windmill fuses for the tip. The blades of the fuzes were made from flattened .006 in brass wire.
The propeller on this model is from Copper State Models, distributor for Martin Digmayer's wooden props. His propellers come stained and varnished in the correct tint. These props are beautiful! but I will let the photos speak for themselves.
I am told that rigging is the most daunting part of building a biplane. But I enjoy it, for it is the detail that makes a WWI plane different from its supersonic brethren; it brings out the functional beauty of a biplane.
I decided to rig this plane with ceramic wire. I had heard talk about ceramic wire and its wondrous properties, and so I managed to obtain some in time for this kit. Ceramic wire is very stiff and brittle. It will not sag or kink. Furthermore, because it is blue-black, it needs no painting. Precision Enterprises sells it in .006 in diameter, which is about right for small aircraft in 1:48 scale. The prescribed method of using it is to cut the correct length and attach both ends with white glue. I found that ceramic wire lives up to its promise and more, but is somewhat difficult to work. First, one has to get the length exactly right; 1/64 in. too long and you get a pronounced bow, too short and you get a weak joint. It is difficult to cut the wire precisely and difficult yet to nip off short bits. If you cut it with pliers, it is likely to shatter unless the pliers' jaws are very sharp. I finally settled on cutting it with a razor blade on a glass surface. Some of the fragments inevitably ended up in the soles of my feet – caveat fingitor.
I used Formula 560 instead of white glue to attach the ceramic wire to its anchor points. Compared to white glue, Formula 560 is more elastic, tougher, has better adhesion and doesnít soften in water. The joints have held up quite well despite flexing of the wings.
All flying wires are double rigged. After careful examination of photos and consulting with World War I Modeler Discussion List members, I decided on a gap of about 0.010 in. between wires.
I used 'ìinvisible thread' for rigging the cabane front cross wires, the front and rear undercarriage strut cross wires, and the aileron balancing cable that runs between the two ailerons on the upper wing. The cabane front cross wires are linked at the crossover and cinched off-centre to form an asymmetric 'X''' (see front view of the GA drawing). I crossed the threads through a tiny ring made from 0.5 mm Minimeca tubing. I attached the threads to holes in the wing and cowling with CA glue. I did not have to rig it taut, as the slack was taken up when I cinched the ring upward. For the undercarriage cross bracing, I carved teardrop-shaped wooden 'spreaders' with holes drilled through for the crossing wires and the inter-brace wire. These spreaders have an interesting history, and the reader is referred to a very useful treatise on the subject by noted WWI aviation expert Diego Fernetti.
Painting and decals
Painting and finishing are emphatically not my forte. Neither do I have an eye for colours, nor do I have the patience to watch paint coats dry.
I painted the model in major sub-assemblies: fuselage, floats, planes, and empennage. Using the Datafile colour plate as a guide, I mixed paints for the underside (British Clear Doped Linen) and the rest of the fuselage (PC-10). The CDL turned out too yellow and the PC-10, too olive. For the cowling I tried a mixture of light grey and aluminium, but that didn't work out too well, so I settled for straight aluminium from Testors.
The floats and the cockpit deck are plywood. Where possible I score the surface lightly in a wavy pattern with coarse-grit sandpaper to help simulate the wood grain effect. To simulate wood, I painted the surfaces with light brown (Testors Wood darkened a bit), and added streaks of dark brown (Testors Leather) with a semi-dry brush. Once dry, I applied a coat of Future tinted heavily with pastel yellow. The result is quite satisfactory when viewed from a distance! a goodly distance, actually.
After attaching the wings and empennage to the fuselage, I airbrushed a final coat of Testors Semi-gloss Lacquer. The floats, cockpit deck, and cowling were protected with masking tape, and finally re-coated with Future for a glossy finish. After assembly and rigging were complete, I hand-brushed the remaining parts with Semi-Gloss, and the rigging wire with Testors DullCote.
The Digmayer propeller needed no finishing as it is already stained and varnished. I used a template to mask the prop and painted the tips carefully in Testors Aluminium. Even so, I felt a bit like a vandal.
I find it best to apply the decals before the major sub-assemblies are assembled. After painting, I hand-brushed 2-3 coats of Future as a foundation for the decals. After applying the decals, I brush-washed the parts with pure ammonia to wash off all the Future coats (working with pure ammonia is not for the faint-hearted or the sane). Laying decals over the raised details is usually a problem, but the Eduard decals are superb in this respect and lay down over the raised detail very docilely.
All the generic markings and insignia decals came from the kit, while the craft-specific markings came from Bob Pearson. The only problem worth noting was with the decal for the rudder. This happens to be too wide for the corrected shape. As a result, the white stripe in the middle is wider than the red and blue stripes, because I had to cut the decal down the middle and reduce the width of the white stripe.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable project. The kit is quite good and the photo-etched parts make for great detail. I learnt a lot of new techniques and tricks; I spent a lot of money, and I talked to a lot of people in my research. I spent about 200 hours on the actual build over five months. My final product does not look too bad, though I doubt it will win any competitions.
I don't believe in rating a product, as it is too subjective to be useful. I will say though, that the kit itself is quite well designed and reasonably accurate. And at a fraction of the cost and time I put in, one can put together a pretty good model of this relatively rare aircraft.
I would like to thank the many members of the WWI Modeling List for their advice, tips and for patiently answering my many questions. Individual list members also provided me with copies of reference material. Knut Erik provided construction drawings of the Baby being restored in Norway.
I have listed here all the inaccuracies that I found in the kit. They are listed in the order of importance, and is not necessarily sorted by difficulty or effort needed to correct it. The reader therefore can decide independently if and which errors to correct or ignore. Further, these inconsistencies should be taken with a pinch of salt since there seems to have been a fair amount of variations across aircrafts.
My observations are based primarily on the photographs and General Arrangement (GA) drawings in the Windsock Datafile. Observations are limited to the Blackburn version. Where possible, I matched the parts to the scale GA drawings. Unless mentioned otherwise, I corrected all these inconsistencies.
The undercarriage N Struts are too short. The struts exactly match the side view drawings, so it seems that the kit designer forgot to take into account the splay of the undercarriage. If this is not corrected the whole model will look messed up.
The chord of the planes is longer by about 1/16 in. The only way to correct this is by sanding down the leading or trailing edge. I decided to ignore this, as I was not sure I could safely trim the wings and recreate the details.
The tips of the planes are incorrect in top-view. The corners should be less rounded.
The cutout in the trailing edge of the upper plane is not the right shape.
The rectangular hole in the center section of the upper plane is the wrong size and in the wrong position.
The rear section of the fuselage is too short in length. The portion forward of the disassembly joint is correct.
The kit part for the fuselage deck needs a fair amount of sanding on the underside to make room for the instrument panel.
The cockpit opening in the deck is the wrong shape, being too 'square' in top-view. If one corrects this, then the photo-etch part (44) for the cockpit rim is cannot be used.
Both tail surfaces are the wrong shape, as they belong to the earlier Schneider version.
The kit cowling has straight sides in front-view, whereas they should actually be curved or horseshoe shaped. The best way to fix this is by heat-forming a new cowling. I decided to ignore this one too.
The plastic struts provided with the kit are too wide and thick.
Both the propellers in the kit are too long.
On the photo-etch fret, the following parts are too big: the grommets (fairleads?) (Parts 3, 5), the elevator horns (20), rudder horns (67), lifting eyes (21). The aileron horns (50, 51) are too long.
The PE parts for the tailplane braces (17) are too short.
The PE parts for anchoring the double wires (part 65) positions the wires too far apart. The gap between the wires should be 0.010 ñ 0.015 in. (my estimate from photos).
The Blackburn version of the Baby seems to differ from the few photos in the datafile. The upper front deck and engine cowling, appear to be more 'squared' than the photos and colour profiles. I did not attempt to correct this.
The stern of the fuselage needs a cut out at the sternpost.
The rear float bottom is mildly V-shaped in front view.
In addition to the above, the modeller should note these minor points:
The following photo-etch parts should not be used, as I did not see these features in any of the photos: metal panels in fuselage side under the tail plane (parts 12, 13), cockpit fairings (68, 69), lifting handles on floats (part 7).
There are not enough of the single wire anchors (photo etch part 33)
The roundels for the lower plane of the British versions are called out wrong in the instruction sheet. Use decals 8 instead of 25.
The diagram of one sprue seems to be inverted in the instruction sheet.
The rigging diagram is not printed clearly, but seems to be complete. Possibly missing are: the bracing wire that runs between the front and rear bracing wires of the undercarriage, the lower tailplane bracing wire pair, the control horn bracing wires of all control surfaces, namely ailerons, elevator and rudder, the control wires to the water-rudder.
The instructions show only two lifting eyes on the upper plane, the [df] shows four.
The only significant detail that the kit misses is the opening in the stern and the water-rudder control linkage.
In my particular kit, one of the wings was warped and had a thicker trailing edge towards one side. This was probably a one-off production flaw. I decided against correcting this, as it would have involved removing the surface details.
Sopwith Baby by J M Bruce, Windsock Datafile 60, published by Albatros Productions
History of Wire Cross Brace Connectors, by Diego Fernetti: see thread"Name of thingy" Posting # 21 in Digest # 3794 of the WWI Modelers List Archives
Review of kit in Volume 2.11 of the Military Model Preview magazine.
Rigging diagrams in Volume #133 of the WW1 Aero Journal.