Encore Models 1/32 RAF S.E.5a 'McCudden' Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2014||Manufacturer||Encore Models|
|Kit Number||32002||Primary Media||Styrene/Resin/PE|
|Pros||Very nice kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$69.99 (see text)|
Encore Models is a brand of kits produced by Squadron/MMD by combining their own resin parts and decals with an existing kit and adding a few other enhancements along the way. In this case, Encore Models took the Roden 1/32 S.E.5 kit, added some nice resin produced in-house, added photo-etched parts produced by Eduard, and here you have a special kit honoring one Britain's most decorated airmen.
James 'Mac' McCudden joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1913 as a mechanic and at the beginning of World War I, flew as an observer. In 1916, McCudden completed flight training as a fighter pilot, scored his first victory in September 1916, fought and survived a battle against the Red Baron in November 1916, became an ace in early 1917, and by the end of that year, had claimed 37 enemy aircraft. In July 1918, McCudden was killed in a crash after his engine failed. At the time of his death, he had achieved 57 enemy aircraft kills and had reached the rank of Major - not bad for a non-commissioned officer.
With more super-detailed 1/32 kits coming on the market from companies like Wingnut Wings, Roden has been producing their own line of nicely done subjects including this S.E.5 kit. So when Encore Models starts with a nice kit like this, producing new details in resin reflecting two of the distinctive aircraft flown by McCudden.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees plus 25 parts cast in tan resin and three frets of photo-etched details. Markings are provided by Aeromaster Decals (another Squadron/MMD brand). If you look closer at the photo-etch parts image, one of the three frets of parts are color-printed photo-etch, a capability unique (so far) to Eduard.
Markings are provided for two aircraft:
- S.E.5a, B4863, G
- S.E.5a, B4891, 6
Since there are plenty of other reviews of this Encore Models release (it has been on the market since 2009) as well as the basic Roden kit, let me get to the point of this first look. When the Roden kit was first released, it was listed at around $60.00 USD. When Encore released this super-detailed kit, it was listed at around $70.00. When I was looking for something on Squadron's website recently, this kit was on sale for $21.99! I just checked and it was still listed at this excellent price, but you'd better hurry!
I've acquired a few of the various 1/32 World War I kits and this bargain is an excellent opportunity to practice my novice rigging skills before embarking on some of the other projects.