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Supermarine Seagull II/III in RAF and RAAF service


Silver Wings, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Silver Wings kit number 48-001 - Supermarine Seagull II/III in RAF and RAAF service

Scale:

1/48

Contents & Media:

Over 170 resin parts.

Price:

Available online from Silver Wings. Contact Silver Wings for pricing in your country.

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Lovely examples of casting with no air bubbles or distortion of any parts; superb detail; metal reinforced struts; excellent fit of parts; clever engineering for ease of assembly; well packaged for safe transport.

Disadvantages:

Vinyl masks will test the uninitiated.

Conclusion:

This is another comprehensive kit from Silver Wings. Their usual care and attention to detail carries over into this offering and is immediately evident upon opening the box. Despite the large number of parts, the design of the kit allows the builder an easy path to the painting stage. From that point on, the modeller will need some patience as the vinyl masks will take time to apply correctly. If you get through that stage, you will end up with an outstanding example of this interesting aircraft.

Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner


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Background

 

First built in 1921, the initial Supermarine Seagull was a development of that company’s Seal. It was fitted with a Napier Lion II engine and only one was built before the Mk II production aircraft made its appearance in the following year. These 25 examples were powered by a Napier Lion III and were supplied to the Royal Navy and Air Ministry.

The Australians purchased 6 aircraft and these were designated the Mk III, having been fitted with a 450hp Napier Lion V engine. They also had a different radiator arrangement to better suit their operating conditions and these were first delivered in April of 1926.

The 3 man crew consisted of a pilot, observer and radio operator with the only armament being a single Lewis machine gun. The Supermarine Seagull’s role was that of a spotter/reconnaissance platform and interestingly was the first British aircraft to be launched from a catapult.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Silver Wings enhances its reputation for high quality products with a release that covers both the Mk II and Mk III versions.

This all resin kit comprises well over 170 parts, which are packed into zip-lock bags and surrounded by a cushioning layer of “bubble wrap”. Along with the sturdy box, this ensures that the product arrives safely onto your modelling bench.

 

  • Silver WIngs Seagull Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Silver WIngs Seagull Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Silver WIngs Seagull Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Silver WIngs Seagull Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Silver WIngs Seagull Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Silver WIngs Seagull Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Silver WIngs Seagull Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Silver WIngs Seagull Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Silver WIngs Seagull Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Silver WIngs Seagull Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Silver WIngs Seagull Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Silver WIngs Seagull Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Silver WIngs Seagull Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Silver WIngs Seagull Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
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The fuselage is the first thing that catches your eye and this is a portent of things to come. The casting is superb with sharp, clearly defined detail, and not an air bubble in sight. Each half carries a representation of the interior structure and to this we add the supplied floor and bulkheads.

Each crew position is nicely detailed with the assortment of equipment expected in these areas.
There are the usual items such as the pilot’s seat, steering wheel, rudder bar, control levers, and instrument panel. Additional embellishments consist of an anchor, document case, boxes, sling seats, machine gun and ammunition drums.

All of these smaller items contain excellent detail. There is a bit of flash to clean up and one has to be careful not to damage the delicate parts but once done, the results are well worth it.

The upper wing comes in 3 sections, while those relating to the lower flying surfaces appear as individual left and right segments. The trailing edges are razor sharp and neither piece shows any distortion whatsoever. The ribs are well executed and the separate ailerons allow for easy animation of your subject.

To help with assembly, location pins are present on the wings and fuselage halves. These guarantee perfect alignment and many other manufacturers should follow this lead for their resin products.

 

 

The Napier Lion engine is a masterful piece of casting. Essentially it‘s in one piece and the detail is superb. It can be enhanced still further with extra wiring for the spark plugs and the instructions indicate how this can easily be achieved. Naturally a couple of different radiators are supplied to represent the two kitted versions and these live up to the high standard of the rest of the parts.

The resin struts have a lot of weight to withstand, which would normally send the builder looking for stronger replacements. There is no need to do this here. Those supplied in the kit are reinforced with metal rods and thus serve their purpose admirably. Each is fully embedded in their streamlined casing with no sign of any misalignment.

 

 

The rigging of an aircraft such as this is quite complicated, so Silver Wings provides a full page diagram for this endeavor.  Careful study of this illustration will leave little doubt as to where everything should go.

Injection moulded windscreens are a pleasing addition and a small decal sheet supplies the manufacturer’s data as seen on the side of the wings’ vertical partitions.


 

Options

Two aircraft are catered for in this release.

  • Supermarine Seagull Mk II, “N 9647” of 440 Ft., HMS Eagle 1924/25

  • Supermarine Seagull Mk III, “A9-2” of 101 Fleet Co-operation Flight, RAAF Base Richmond, 1927

 

 

An unusual feature of this kit is that all of the markings are supplied as vinyl masks. These may prove problematical for the uninitiated. The roundels appear in six positions and getting these to have a circular appearance will take time. Some modellers may also have difficulties attaining a width of even consistency for each of the coloured rings.


 

Conclusion

 

Silver Wings continues its impressive range of amphibious aircraft with an inspiring Supermarine Seagull.

The breakdown of the parts ensures an easy build of what could have been a very difficult subject. The task of assembling the kit is made eminently easier by the metal reinforced struts and the high level of detail is complimented by the sheer number of parts.

To ensure that this release is trouble free for all skill levels, a set of decals would have been a handy option. Notwithstanding this, it’s an outstanding product and kudos to Silver Wings for the subject matter.

Thanks to Silver Wings for the sample.


Text and Images Copyright 2010 by Rob Baumgartner
This Page Created on 1 February, 2010
Last updated 1 February, 2010

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