First Look Review
Sopwith Triplane
Sopwith Triplane decals in 1:72 and 1:48
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by: James Fahey [ JAMO_KIWI ]

The Sopwith Triplane

The Sopwith Triplane is a favourite among WWI modellers and had an outstanding service record despite being built in relatively low numbers (fewer than 150 machines were built). It was flown principally with the Royal Naval Air Service where it helping swing the pendulum back in favour of the Allies after the success of the German Albatros fighters. The Triplane had an extraordinary climb rate, reaching 10,000 feet in 10 minutes 35 seconds (compared to the Pup's 14 minutes) and notwithstanding the additional drag of the triplane configuration it's top speed at this altitude was 114 mph (the Pup could manage only 102 mph).

About Pheon Models

Pheon specialise in decals for WWI aircraft and this release extends an impressive selection of subjects. Their decals are manufactured by Fantasy Printshop, a UK printer with a reputation for quality. Each set comes with full colour A4-sized artwork showing top and side views of each subject printed on good quality photo paper - four sheets in this set. The instruction booklets also provide detailed background on each aircraft and pilot, plus a list of references.

Markings Options

British aircraft can be quite drab but the RNAS gave their pilots more latitude to personalise their markings than the RFC. This decal set provides colourful and interesting markings for 28 different aircraft plus full national markings for five. The sheet is crammed with decals, A4 sized in 1:48 and A5 sized in 1:72. The subjects are the same for both scales:

* Six from Naval One Squadron (including Dallas, Minifie and even a Kiwi - Maynard)
* Seven from Naval Eight Squadron (including Little's 'Blymp' & Booker's famous 'Maud')
* One from Naval Nine Squadron (Le Boutillier, an American)
* Nine from Naval 10 Squadron (including the entire Black Flight, made up of Canadians Alexander, Collishaw, FitzGibbon, Nash, Reid and Sharman)
* N500 First Prototype and ‘Brown Bread’
* Two from French Centre d'Aviation Maritime based at St.Pol
* Two versions of N5430 the sole RFC Triplane
* N5382 ‘The Ooslumburd’Home Defense, Manston War Flight

The decals have minimal carrier film and registration is faultless (cockade centres are all printed seperately to ensure best results). The red and blue colours have been matched to actual samples of WWI VR2 and VB3 doped fabric.

Intended Kits

In 1:72 scale there is the recently re-issued Revell kit and in 1:48 scale Eduard have produced a number of Triplane kits (also marketed by Flashback and Smer).


Decals are available only direct from Pheon by email:
Post & packing is £1.57 to UK and Europe, £2.09 to the rest of the world. Payment is via Paypal.

Until Pheon’s website is finished, you can check out their product listing here:


These decals are very impressive and the urge to build the whole Black Flight is strong!
Thanks to Pheon for providing the decals for review.
Highs: Comprehensive selection of markings for a favourite aeroplane. Great support material.
Lows: Not inexpensive, but this is offset by the large number of markings provided.
Verdict: Total package of decals, artwork, references and research is excellent.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 72003 & 48004
  Suggested Retail: £12.75 & £17.50
  Related Link: Temporary web-connect
  PUBLISHED: Jan 31, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Pheon Models!
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.

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About James Fahey (Jamo_kiwi)

I started modelling Airfix kits in the late '60s, eventually building most of the range and hanging them from the ceiling of my bedroom. In my teens I did a bit of wargaming, first WWII then Ancients using 28mm white metal figures. My first foray into WWI modelling was also for wargaming and I built...

Copyright ©2021 text by James Fahey [ JAMO_KIWI ]. 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.


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