login   |    register

In-Box Review
1/32 RAF SE 5a
Folland's Fighter with a Viper
  • Roden Se 5a 1/32

by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]

History of the original

The brain child of H. P. Folland and Major Frank Widenham Goodden, the SE 5 airframe was modified after the initial batch of 24 (A4845 - A4868.) It was in the middle of the second production batch (A8898 - A8947) that design alterations created the new designation SE 5a. Essentially shortened wings and revised aileron controls were incorporated. In the matter of aircraft nomenclature it is of interest to note that the annotation of the Royal Aircraft Factory drawings states that it was modifications to the mainplane that distinguished the SE 5a from the SE 5. But in the Air Board technical notes are headed; (I) SE 5a, 200hp Hispano - Suiza (II) SE 5, 150hp Hispano - Suiza. The first production SE 5a was A8923.

This kit's place on our shelves

Roden has carved out another in scale kit of a long neglected variant. Dealing with minor discrepancies she makes up into a great build. While the big companies have ignored us (because WWI aviation makes up less that 10% of all modelers world wide) ‘Roden’ appears to have the pulse of what most of us are looking for. Somebody must be buying them or newer, modern companies would not produce them. With multiple kits sold to a few and singles sold to many, 10,000 potential kit sales world wide is nothing to turn your back on. ‘Roden’ puts out good, inexpensive, well detailed kits. Possibly one of the best allied fighters of 1917-18 and we had to wait this long because ‘Devell’ or ‘Tamigawa’ didn’t see the big dollars in it. When will they figure it out? New toolings keep us coming back looking for that most illusive quarry of all...the perfect kit.

Plastic parts = 153 pieces

The engine is a real gem and appears to more than just resemble the Wolseley Viper motor. The cockpit is very complete with only a minor need to explain the instruments.

Decal options

I. Vickers built SE 5a E.1295 flown by Major Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock, Cmdr of 74 Sqn RAF in July 1918.
II. Bleriot built SE 5a C1904 flown by Major Billy Bishop Cmdr of 85 Sqn RAF in the summer of 1918.
III. built SE 5a C1149 flown by Captain Duncan Grinnell-Milne Cmdr of 56 RAF 1918.
IV. Wolseley built SE 5a D 6956 flown by Captain A. Beauchamp - Proctor of 84 Sqn in 1918.
V. built SE 5a F.8005 flown by of the 25th Aero Sqdn 1918.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Great details, tight fits, highly detail cockpit and kit motor. Finely engraved, Well laid out instructions. Interesting decals schemes
Lows: Pulley inspection panels very two dimensional.
Verdict: ‘Roden’ puts out good, inexpensive (Believe me it could cost a lot more) well detailed kits of possibly one of the best allied fighters of 1917-18.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: #607
  Suggested Retail: $58.49 USD
  Related Link: News Roden's Big new Se 5a
  PUBLISHED: Feb 07, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Roden!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View This Item  |  View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


If you remember we were anticipating this kit for several months. Brought to our attention by the seer of seers, the prognoticator of prognosticators, Merlin! Who by the way has been shrouded in his cloak of invisibility lately and is by all accounts actually using his "down time" to finish a model or two. Or so go the fables that are coming out of his hundred acre wood. This thread he posted was the springboard for discussions including the various resin and PE items available for the 1/32 SE 5a. Click here
FEB 08, 2008 - 08:50 AM

What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • Roden Se 5a 1/32
  • Roden Se 5a 1/32
  • Roden Se 5a 1/32
  • Roden Se 5a 1/32
  • Roden Se 5a 1/32
    #1 of 2
  • Roden Se 5a 1/32
    #2 of 2
  • Roden Se 5a 1/32
  • Roden Se 5a 1/32