Eduard 1/48 Bristol F.2B Fighter Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||September 2015||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Subject||Bristol F.2B Fighter||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||8127||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Beautiful kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$39.95|
The Bristol F.2 design started out as the R.2a reconnaissance aircraft for the Royal Flying Corps with a standard pilot and defense gunner placement for such a mission. When the Rolls Royce Falcon engine was mounted to the firewall however, the R.2a evolved into the F.2a, the Bristol Fighter.
The F.2a first equipped 48 Squadron who didn't think much of the design and considered the F.2a structurally weak. These first crews flew the aircraft with care and the Germans obligingly shot these stable targets down. Eventually crews began to realize that the aircraft was quite strong and began flying the F.2 as a fighter that still had a rear gunner to dissuade any Germans seeking to get a quick kill. Reportedly, in the right hands, the F.2 could turn faster than even the Fokker Dr.1 triplane which wound up being one of the favored targets of F.2 pilots.
The F.2b incorporated additional lessons learned from F.2a combat experience and started entering combat in April 1917. The F.2B retained the Rolls Royce Falcon engine, but could also be powered by the Hispano Suiza and the Sunbeam Arab engines as well. The F.2b was such a successful design that it would remain part of the RFC's fighter force as well of those of the Commonwealth, with the RNZAF being the last to retire the F.2b in 1936.
Eduard first released this kit ten years ago and has reissued it every few years. While not the only kit of the subject in this scale, the Eduard Brisfit remains one of their better selling kits so it is not surprising that we see this Profipack edition back on the shelves. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on four parts trees plus one fret of photo-etched parts and a spool of rigging thread. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed cockpits
- Positionable rudder
- Positionable ailerons
- Positionable elevators
- Choice of two-bladed or four-bladed propeller
- Choice of landing gear strut types
- Optional underwing bomb racks
- Choice of two bomb types and loadout positions
- Choice of single or twin rear machine gun mount
The kit provides four marking options:
- F.2b, D8084, 139 Sqn, RFC, Aug 1918
- F.2B, B1134, 34 Sqn, RFC, Feb 1918
- F.2b, C4695, No.2 SAFG/No.4 ASAG, England, 1918
- F.2b, C4619, 62 Sqn, RFC, early 1918
The instructions provide nice coverage on how to rig this model after assembly. Rigging will take a little time but the results will be stunning in conjunction with these nice kit markings.
If you've been waiting to try your hand at biplane modeling, this kit will make a nice entry point between the simple construction and great instructions. If you're an AMS modeler, Eduard didn't forget you, there are several Brassin gun sets which will enhance the look of this model. Either way, this will be a fun project, give one a try!
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!