Friday, 7 November 2014
New Ray Classic Aircraft Kits
This post will take the form of a mini review. These particular kits have probably been around for a while now, most modellers being familiar with New Ray's Sherman, Grant and M3 Halftrack kits. This is the first time I have noticed the aircraft kits in our hobby shops here in Australia (not that I was particularly looking for them!) but thought they might scale well for 54mm wargaming.
The Sopwith Camel on the left and the Fokker Dr1 on the right. Also available is the Spad S.VII and the Fokker DVII.
As for scale, the wingspan on the Sopwith is 28 feet which scales to 26.7 cm in 1/32. The actual model's wingspan is 24.5 cm so it is a little under scale. The Dr1's wingspan is 23 feet which scales to 21.9 cm. The actual model's is 21.5 cm, pretty close in my book.
I'll describe the assembly of the Sopwith as the Dr1 is similar anyway. The parts are pre painted and well moulded with a minimum of flash evident. Any flash was removed with a sharp craft knife (though I did miss some as evident in the photos!) Care must be taken with the small crews supplied as there are two sizes as well as various sized small metal pins. The metal pins act as locators for the fuselage sides and must be put in the correct order. The one down side I found with the kits is the small size of the instruction sheet. I'm all for saving the trees but they could have been a little bigger which would have made them easier to read without the aid of a magnifying glass!
Assembly of the actual model is by screws with no glue being necessary (though I did apply some to the tail assembly of the Dr1 as it did not seem to sit properly) The only fiddly part of the assembly is locating the rudder, machine guns, pilots seat and cowling in situ whilst joining the two fuselage halves together. The rest of the assembly i.e. wings, struts and landing gear is straight forward, though I did end up using my jewellers screwdriver rather than the one supplied but that's just me.
Fokker Dr1 on the left, Sopwith Camel on the right.
Summing up, good value for money kits. The scale of the models, whilst not perfect, is pretty close. Whilst no doubt cheaper in the United States or the United Kingdom ($15.00 Aust) they are still worth getting if you have even the faintest interest in 54 mm scale wargaming of this era. I could see them being used as objectives where the aim is to capture/rescue the downed pilot or as air support for your ground troops. They also make nice models in their own right. Stands are provided if you wish to display them in this manner.