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Dan Lee
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1/32 Wingnut Wings Sopwith Triplane (Collishaw Edition)

June 23, 2021 · in Aviation · · 14 · 1.7K

Raymond Collishaw was a top Canadian RNAF/RAF ace pilot who along with the plane he flew and his famous "Black" Flight helped the British recover from the demoralizing days of "Bloody April" in 1917.

His personal history is done by better writers than I so I won't rehash it here.

As for the model, this was the special reboxing of the Triplane that WnW came out with (presumably for those who missed the first run of this kit like myself.) I purchased this roughly a year before WnWs went into its fatal final financial dive. It also comes with a resin figure of Collishaw. I might paint and complete the figure in the future.

For a WW1 aircraft, the Tripe was a relatively easy build except for the rigging. Why? I discovered to my dismay that inserting stretched EZ line into rigging mounting holes is bloody difficult and requires the use of more hands (three) than I currently have (two.) Why would I do this? In the name of accuracy as Sopwith made recessed anchor points in the wings.

Next time, I'll use Gaspatch anchor points (I have a WnW Camel) which make rigging so much easier and forget accuracy.

As for the paints, I used Tamiya XF-78 Deck Linoleum Brown and XF-68 Deck Tan for the RNAF/Sopwith "chocolate" PC10 and doped linen.

Otherwise, I had fun building this kit and hopes that someone will reprop this kit in the future.

Reader reactions:
12  Awesome

15 additional images. Click to enlarge.

14 responses

  1. That's an amazing job, Dan!
    Wonderful allover!

  2. Nice work, Dan. Your rigging looks good. I rig some planes with stainless steel wire cut to length, and some with EZ line. If the wings have a lot of flex, or the plane is small, I’ll use EZ line. EZ line rigging takes a little practice. The trick to making it easier for me was to drill out the anchor points a little larger. The CA will fill them anyways. Once I get the end of the line into the hole, I press it in quickly with a toothpick and then hit it with a little accelerator from a the end of some steel wire.

    Be careful with the aftermarket turnbuckles. They’re usually overscale and difficult to position at the correct angle.

    • Thanks and thanks for the tips.

      This is my first build using EZ line. I used to use brass wire cut to length (measured with dividers), but I wanted something that was more "accurate". The only reason I stopped was because the LHS that sold it went out of business and I've been unable to find anymore.

      I'll have to drill those holes out a bit more.

  3. Nicely done! No easy task to get all that rigging in these bipes and tripes! Well done.

  4. Beautiful - my favorite Sopwith, in my favorite markings, for one of my favorite pilots.. I love this kit. You've done it proud.

    Actually Collishaw is the top Canadian Ace. Billy Bishop is, to be charitable, a Serous Fraud. After the war, when the German records became available, it was found that on the day he claimed to have attacked several German airfields and shot down many aircraft while so doing, that in fact there were no attacks on any German airfield anywhere along the entire Western Front, from Switzerland to the Channel. In those days of "lone eagle aces," the unsupported word of the pilot was accepted because they were all supposed to be "gentlemen," something Bishop wasn't - though he manufactured himself as one after receiving the Victoria Cross for his non-existent accomplishments. At best, his score might be 10 (those witnessed by other pilots).

    Collishaw, on the other hand, never went out of his way to proclaim his accomplishments and was considered a man worthy of emulating by everyone who ever served with or under him.

    Over-claiming has gone on, on all sides in all wars, since the first air combats. It is almost to be expected, given the physical constraints of aerial combat that do not allow a pilot to watch forever the outcome of his attack. Conscious lying about claims is (fortunately) relatively rare. On the US side, only the "top-scoring Corsair ace", Robert M. Hanson, was actually caught at it, and that only on his final mission. By the time the wingman who had stuck with him and seen how he operated returned to base, Hanson had been shot down and killed, and the Marines were already busy proclaiming him a great hero and getting him his Medal of Honor. As the wingman said back in 1990: "All medals are bullsht. I'll never believe one of them." He wasn't the only guy to notice a difference between reality and how it gets written up in a citation.

    • Thanks. The enemy's historical records make things so much clearer yet spark off so much anger. I grew up in the Bishop fanboy club (impossible not to when I lived about 20 km away from where he was born.)

      When it comes to history, I prefer accuracy than mythology so it hurt reading about the questions of veracity of his claims. Having had ambitious managers take credit for work I've done in my own life and witnessed coworkers (and myself) try to puff out their accomplishments, I can seen how things snowball.

  5. A wonderful build, Dan.
    The rigging looks fine and I agree on your remark that having three hands will be very helpful.

  6. That 'Tripe' has more rigging than I have hair on top of my head!
    looks real good, Dan. Nicely done.

    • Thanks very much. To be fair, the Tripe has the least rigging of all the Brit bird cages. Not really looking forward to building a DH-2.

  7. Lovely 'Tripehound' Dan always nice to see these Wingnut Kits built up.

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