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Snipe Kit

Hi Tech 1/48 Sopwith 7F-1 Snipe Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2005 Manufacturer Hi Tech
Subject Sopwith 7F-1 Snipe Scale 1/48
Kit Number 015 Primary Media Styrene/PE/Resin
Pros Interesting limited run kit Cons Minimal instructions
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $49.98

First Look

Sopwith 7F-1 Snipe Kit
Sopwith 7F-1 Snipe Kit
Sopwith 7F-1 Snipe Kit
Sopwith 7F-1 Snipe Kit
Sopwith 7F-1 Snipe Kit

The Sopwith Model 7F-1 Snipe was industry's response to an urgent requirement for an aircraft that would meet or beat the latest threats from the German aircraft industry. This requirement was issued in light of "Bloody April" 1917 where German Halberstadts and Albatros fighters downed 316 Allied crewman with a loss of 116 German pilots.

An outgrowth of the Sopwith Camel, the Snipe had the look of the Camel and the Spad morphed together. While not quite meeting the performance specifications called out in the original RFC requirement, the Snipe was neverthelless popular with the pilots who pressed the aircraft effectively into service in the remaining months of the war.

The kit is molded in low-pressure light gray styrene. Details are provided with some styrene parts, a resin rotary engine, and a number of photo-etched parts. While there aren't that many parts to the project, the modeler is advised to seek out a reference such as the Windsock Datafile of the Sopwith 7F-1 Snipe to help with detailing and appearance as the instructions may be a bit vague for the average modeler.

The nine-cylinder radial engine is comprised of nine cylinder heads (plus a spare) that are attached to the engine block, all cast in resin. The push-rods will have to be fashioned from brass rod or stretched sprue.

The cockpit interior side framing is styrene, while the floor foot rails and frame are photo-etched. A photo-etched instrument panel, pilot's seat, seat belt and harness, and other details round out the cockpit.

The low-pressure molding used by Hi-Tech leaves a bit of flash on the parts, but a quick clean-up session with an X-Acto knife should take care of this detail.

Markings are included for one example:

  • 7F-1 Snipe, E8102, 201 Sqn RFC, France, Oct 1918 as flown by Major W.G. Barker, VC

While not oriented toward the novice modeler, Hi Tech kits tackle some interesting WW1 era subjects with some nice detail that more seasoned modelers can appreciate. This will look great parked next to your other WW1 era aircraft!

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!