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H-16 Flying Boat

Roden 1/72 H-16 Flying Boat Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2004 Manufacturer Roden
Subject H-16 Flying Boat Scale 1/72
Kit Number 0049 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Great detailing throughout Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $34.98

First Look

H-16 Kit
H-16 Kit
H-16 Kit
H-16 Kit
H-16 Kit
H-16 Kit

For those of us who've become addicted to the Discover Wings Channel, we've seen how Glenn Curtiss jumped headlong into aircraft development after the Wright brothers' successes. He took their initial developments, matured flight control technology and developed faster, more capable machines.

One area in particular that Curtiss became focused upon was aircraft that could operate from water. With the growing interest of the US Navy, Curtiss embarked on a series of designs which brought greater range and capabilities to a new class of aircraft dubbed 'flying boats'.

In his America series of flying boats, designated the H-series, Curtiss produced a number of aircraft for Great Britain during WW1. The H-12 was a capable aircraft that featured many design inputs from Britain and would later be the starting point for the Felixstowe F.2A.

The H-16 was the last in the series, a number of which were delivered to the RNAS toward the end of WW1, but many of these never became operational. The US Navy acquired 270 of these aircraft after the war and helped to broaden the experience of Naval Aviation.

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and features some nice detailing on the surface to represent the various construction techniques used on the aircraft. The rib detailing on the wings is nicely done. The kit comes on six trees of gray parts and one small clear tree containing the windscreen.

For a 1/72 scale kit, the detailing on these two Liberty engines is quite extensive and very impressive. You'll definitely want to take your time with these beauties!

The kit also provides a complete dolly for getting the aircraft in and out of the water. You also have the option of representing the H-16s with two-bladed or four-bladed propellers.

While assembly of the aircraft appears to be straightforward, your true modeling skills will come into play should you choose to rig the aircraft as it appeared in operations. This is likely a breeze for you biplane builders, but is still an elusive art form for me.

Markings are provided for four examples:

  • H-16, A-1032, Lough Foyle, 1918
  • H-16, A-845, USN, 1920
  • H-16, K-29, Killingholme, 1918
  • H-16, N4892, Felixstowe, 1918

Released on the heels of the Felixstowe F.2A series, this aircraft will make a nice addition to your flying boat collection.

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