1/48 RAF S.E.5a with Wolseley Viper (Fighter)

Review by David Harvey

Review Type

First Look




$27 from NKR

Contents and Media:

Approx. 60 plastic pieces/1 x acetate sheet








The kit contents

The kit itself comes packed in two separate bags, as per the Bristol F2.B; one containing the instructions and decals, the other containing the two sprues. The instructions are in A4 sheet format, with a short history of the aircraft (in three languages) followed by what I consider - a well layed out set of instructions, concerning the construction of the aircraft. The parts have a small amount of flash on a few of them, but this can be easily removed with some wet and dry or even a sharp scalpel blade. There are few options with the kit, mainly two different propellers. The kit is approximately 17cm wide and 14cm long when constructed. By the look of the instructions parts break down list, it appears that Roden is going to be producing a number of different versions of this aircraft in the near future - (i.e. the parts list has a number of items shaded out to indicate that they will not be used but they are not included on the sprue.)


The wings are a one piece items for both upper and lower wings and have what I consider, very fine ridging for the ribs beneath the fabric, as well as the fabric tapes on the leading edges. This kit has a lot less struts than the Brisfit so hopefully it will be much easier to put the wings together.


The fuselage comes with limited internal detail for the ribbing but it looks good and should paint up quite well. The only possible visible ejection post marks are located in the fuselage but they should not be seen once the model is put together. As this is a fighter there is only limited internal detail including the seat, joystick and instrument panel.



The kit contains a number of very finely cast items, for example: there are two Lewis guns that have the front sight moulded onto them (only one used), as well as a number of finely cast items to go on the wings, tail planes etc. There are four bombs included but they are not used for this version.





The kit comes with three different options. The decals look thin and are well printed, but there is no indication of who they are printed by. The options are:

  • Acft D6856, No 84 SQN RAF, Capt A Beauchamp-Proctor (54 victories), 1918.

  • Acft E1295/A. No 75 SQN RAF, Maj Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock, (73 victories), Northern France, July 1918, and

  • Acft C1904/Z, No 85 SQN RAF, flown by Billy Bishop (72 victories), summer 2928, France.


This is a very simple kit compared to the F2.B and should not be too hard to make and turn into a good looking model. I doubt it will just fall together, as it is a Biplane but, it doesn’t look overly hard either. Roden have once again produced a good looking kit with finely cast details.

Kit courtesy of my wallet but once again, if someone wants to give me kits for nothing......

Checkout Roden's website here: Roden Website

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