1/72 RODEN Curtiss H-16

Review by David Harvey

Catalogue Number:

No 049


1:72 nd

Contents and Media:

236 parts in grey plastic


$32 from NKR


4 options

Review Type:

First look


Today I review the Roden Curtiss H-16 in 1/72. The Curtiss H-16 is an American built version of the Felixstowe F2.A which was also produced by Roden not so long ago. The main difference between the two is the change of engines from the Rolls Royce Eagle engines to the US Liberty V-12 engines. Both version of the aircraft were used by the RAF in WWI until around 1919. The US Navy used them until the mid 1920's.

This review would be mostly the same for any review of the F2.A, but I haven't reviewed that one so here we go.


The Instruction Sheet

The instruction sheet is12 pages long of which there are four of painting guides, one of history and four of construction diagrams. There is also a page of rigging instructions for those that are keen enough to try it. The rigging is quite involved and would require a great deal of time and self control. Roden also supplies a history of the type in three languages as well as some perfromance data. The paint numbers supplied on the instructions are Humbrol (my favourite) so they are readily available in Australia. The painting guide for option 3 seems to be incorrect in the colours for the aircraft as the guide on the side of the box differs from the colours specified on the instruction sheet.


There are quite a lot of parts in this kit which include a large number of small, delicate parts. Roden seems to do well in the production of thesefine parts but fall down in the amount of flash that is on the plastic. The flash is no great drama as it is easily removed but it is still present none the less. For a kit of this quality I would expect that flash would be at a minimum.The small parts would also take a fair amount of cleaning upto remove the mould lines on them.

There is also the problem of the location of the ejection marks appearing in possibly visible spots. I have five different Roden biplane kits and they all have ejection posts marks in the cockpit areas. They go to the extent of doing the internal frames of the cockpit area then mar them with these marks. Apart from these concerns the kit is quite good.

The kit construction starts with the engine, each engine consists of 42 parts. There are a multitude of small parts to make each engine which are around 1.5cm long. Next is the construction of the seven Lewis Machine Guns to spread around the aircraft. These MG's are nicely detailed, as per the earlier Roden efforts I have seen.

Next is the cart used to transfer the aircraft onto the beach which consists of 18 parts.

Stages 12 to 18 are all for the construction of the cockpit and fueslage.The interior has sufficient detail to look good through the canopy and fueslage windows. The vertical tailplane has a decent attempt at wood effect for the scale and also has the only option for this kit other than the decals. There are two different tails supplied for the aircraft so you will need to fit the correct one for the option you choose.

The remaining four stages are the constrction of the wings and the final assembly of the fueslage and wings. The wings are a rather strange looking affair and would be the hardest part of the kit to make in my opinion. As with all Biplanes they need careful construction as there are only small locating holes for the struts to be positioned and glued. As I mentioned earlier, the aircraft has a fair amount of rigging o be done if you are of brave and patient disposition.

The Decals

There are four different aircraft able to be modelled in this kit, they are:

  • Curtiss H-16, A-1032, Based at Lough Foyle, 1918. This aircraft is in all over Satin US Ghost Grey (Hu 127);
  • Curtiss H-16, A-845, US Navy, 1920. Topside is Satin US Ghost Grey (Hu 127)with the underside of Service Brown (Hu10) and the top of the upper wing is Matt Lemon (Hu99);
  • Curtiss H-16, based at Killinghome 1918. The bottom of the fueslage is Service Brown (Hu10), the tail and wing top is Matt WWI Green (Hu108), the rest I can't work out; and
  • Curtiss H-16, s/n N4892 based at Felixstowe, May 1918. Fueslage of Light Buff (Hu7) and Service Brown (Hu10) with the wings of Matt WWI Green (Hu108) and Matt Linen (Hu74). I don't believe that Hu108 is being made by Humbrol anymore.


This kit is brought down by the amount of flash and mould marks on the smaller parts that would require cleaning up. There is also the confusion of the colour guide and what is the required paints. The upside is that it is a very nice kit with fine detail that will make a very colourful addition to your collection.

I would not recommend this kit for a beginner but I think that it is within the ability of a experienced modeller, not just an expert.

For other reviews of the Felixstowe F2.A see the links below:

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