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Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin Kit

Copper State Models 1/48 Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2016 Manufacturer Copper State Models
Subject Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin Scale 1/48
Kit Number 1026 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch, Resin, Brass
Pros Nice detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (Euro) €48.00

First Look

Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin Kit
Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin Kit
Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin Kit
Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin Kit

The Sopwith 5F.1 Dolphin was a formidable fighter designed in late 1917 and entered service in February 1918. Powered by the Hispano Suiza 8B rated at 200 horsepower, the Dolphin was armed with a pair of Vickers machine guns aimed forward and up to two Lewis guns aimed up and forward for attack from underneath a target. The aircraft was distinctive for its staggerwing design with the lower wing placed forward of the upper wing. While the aircraft was effective against the latest German fighters, it came late in the war and was operational in only a few squadrons by the time of the Armistice.

Copper State Models has produced the first kit of the Dolphin in injection-molded plastic and the only one to date. They've produced two versions, this being their premium edition with the resin engine. The kit is molded in light gray styrene presented on two parts trees plus a resin Hispano-Suiza engine (five parts), brass exhaust pipes, and a fret of photo-etched parts. Among the features and options:

  • Structural details molded into the fuselage interior
  • Detailed cockpit interior including pilot seat mounted to fuel tank
  • Photo-etched seatbelt
  • Detailed resin engine
  • Choice of two types of propeller
  • Detailed gun mounts atop instrument panel including ammo feeds
  • One piece upper wing w/cabane frame

There a lots of photo-etched details inside and outside the airframe. The instructions are well-illustrated including nice diagrams for rigging the inside of the fuselage as well as the wings.

Markings are provided for four subjects:

  • Dolphin, C4157, 87 Sqn, 1918, as flown by Lt C.E. Worthington
  • Dolphin, C4131, no sqn, 1918, as flown by Major N.W. Noel and Capts F.I. Lord and J.D. Canning
  • Dolphin, C4168, 87 Sqn, 1918, as flown by Major J.C. Callaghan
  • Dolphin, C3824, 23 Sqn, 1918, as flown by Capt J.W. Pearson

This is a nice-looking model out of the box, and fills a void for this subject in 1/48 scale. Stay tuned, we'll soon see this model being built in a progressive review by master builder Larry Horyna.

My sincere thanks to Copper State Models for this sample!