After a long time, absorbed by work and other things of life, we return to our reviews at Toy Soldier Chest. This time a classic, the Bristol Fighter model kit from Airfix.
The Box; A nice artwork full of that vintage flavour, well detailed and with a supreme 1910s feeling.
The Kit; this is a very old Airfix mould, so all the parts are very basic in detail and shaspe. This is luckily not too important in a WW1 airplane, so it does not compare so bad to other modern model kits as some WW2 kits which shared production years.
I am slightly concerned about the undercarriage position, it kinds of look like too low and too far back, examining real photographs. That would be the biggest criticism on the model (besides the moulding marks on the lower wing, which are very noticeable).
The pilots are completely unusable (at least the ones on the original kit, which was the one I built) so I have used a two replacements from my bag of spare pilots (sorry- don't remember from where they came). The machine gun could be substituted for something better, but it still has a minimum quality.
If you are building the original issue, there is not many problems of fitting, provided you use solvent glue to make fit everything nicely. The only objection to this is the fitting of the lower wing, that needs to be heavily sanded to achieve a good fitting.
In the kit I have added the electric generator which was omitted from the model and gives a extra realistic touch, made with clear plastic and a small bit of plastic sprue. Impressively, the decals after 40 years were still in great shape (well done, Airfix!)
The model I made depicts an unusual experimental camouflage of 1918. The cockerel has been hand painted (I would have preferred to print with decal paper, but as it is white I would require a white ink printer which I am not lucky to posess).
The Veredict; A nice and easy model kit that you can finish in an afternoon (unless you want to top it up to a highest level of detail), while still giving the right feeling about the aircraft. I would you try to grab some early issue, as the crisper parts will save you whole hours of work, sanding and even having to substitute many parts. Even for me which I am not a super WW1 enthusiast, I find this model very appealing.