Thread Tools
Sep 07, 2019, 11:34 AM
Registered User
Thread OP

Guillows Vintage Sopwith Snipe Build

I am not a collector of kits but enjoy building these old kits, that's why I built this Guillows kit out of the box. Sure I could have cut my own parts or modified for a lighter build, but then why buy the kit? Also DPC makes a laser cut version of this kit that would be much lighter and probably fly great. Nope, there is something about opening an old kit and bringing it back to life. Lets remember most older builders used to build these die cut kits, cursing along the way I'm sure but in the end had a nice plane. Laser cutting has made a great improvement for the hobby, lighter kits with accurate parts. With these old kits one had to do a lot of sanding and refitting parts to be successful. The parts in this kit are old but useable and she actually went together pretty fast once I had the parts removed from the balsa sheets. The strip wood was not too bad and the tissue with decals looks useable. Obviously I am building for the vintage kit and not scale and will be happy with a short flight with rubber power. I will hopefully start covering next week, as shown weight is 40 grams. I pretty much build most of my models with white PVA, Elmers or Titebond Translucent, but these old kits I like the vintage smell of Testors cement followed by dope on the tissue.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Sep 07, 2019, 02:04 PM
Registered User
I'll admit I often enjoy scrigs30's builds. However his question struck a nerve.

"Sure I could have cut my own parts or modified for a lighter build, but then why buy the kit? "

Why, indeed.

Those kits ALWAYS were grossly over engineered, and historically speaking, typical Guillows kit balsa was more like rejected furniture oak.
I 'm currently 70 yrs old, and still feel the disappointment that the models weren't as "authentic" as advertised, nor were any flight worthy. I built and attempted to fly most of the 18" WWI series (the Snipe is new to me!), a couple of the larger 24"ers and was never really satisfied with the result. As an ever hopefull youngster I remember hoping the next one HAS to be better. I wish somebody had warned me off them and had encouraged me to build from plans or begin scratch building my own much sooner. (around age 14 I discovered Walt Mooney's centerfold designs in M.A.N.) A lot of time and effort could have been saved in my experience. It pains me to see new ones going thru the same mis-steps, now, thinking they found some valuable treasure from the past, that will fulfil their desires to make a reasonably scale model, that flies.
Sep 07, 2019, 02:30 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
When I first started building all I could buy was Guillows, Sterling or Comet kits, so I understand what you are saying. I struggled with each build but eventually I got to a point where I could finish one of those kits and was happy to see it fly 10 feet. When I was in my teens I was lucky and my uncle began to show me how to build and I joined his freeflight club with Walt Mooney as one of the club members. Bob Peck was also a member and he would give me the balsa wood from his kits that had parts misprinted on them. This is when I really started to learn how to build and cover models, stopped using Testors cement and learned how to build with white glue also learned how to trim models to fly. It was a lot of fun and I sure did learn a lot and back then that was really the only way to learn. Right now I am not flying in a club because my time is limited so I build for nothing more than fun. To me these old kits still look great when they are all done and I get them to fly.....but not very long. Someday I would like to get back into competition style building but for now I will keep building these vintage kits. I remember seeing these old kits built back in the day hanging from hobby stores and they sure looked great. I do agree with you, there are much better models to build these days and a lot more information out there on the net.
Nov 20, 2019, 04:42 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
This little model sat on the back burner while I completed my Hawker Hurricane for the Guillows online challenge but now she is complete. This was a fun pretty straight forward build using everything in the kit except the rubber band. The model was covered with the supplied domestic tissue and I followed the Guillows covering diagram attaching the tissue with 50/50 white glue. I normally would cover a round fuselage with wet tissue, but the odd shape of this plane would have made covering wet impossible. As you can see simply following the recommended covering sequence on the plans produces a decent covering job. Once all the parts were covered I shrank the tissue with water and brushed on 2 coats of Sig Lite dope. The only modification I made was adding piano wire to the landing gear struts so she could survive a landing. Final weight balanced and rubber added is 50 grams.
Nov 22, 2019, 06:09 PM
Registered User
Beautiful build!!!
Dec 04, 2019, 09:11 PM
If it flies, I can crash it!
Dogslife4me2003's Avatar
Fantastic build!

Quick Reply

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Guillows Sopwith Camel build mix methods PITCH13 Scale Kit/Scratch Built 20 Sep 08, 2019 03:31 AM
Build Log Guillows Sopwith Snipe 18" - DPCModels Laser Cut Kit moscow580 Scale Kit/Scratch Built 161 Jun 08, 2016 11:30 AM
Build Log Guillows Sopwith Camel Build Spring Scale Kit/Scratch Built 49 Jan 07, 2015 12:55 AM
Video Vintage Guillows Sopwith Camel Build scigs30 Free Flight 1 Nov 26, 2013 06:35 PM
Build Log AerodromeRC 1:9 Scale Sopwith Snipe Proto Build vonJaerschky Scale Kit/Scratch Built 145 Jul 10, 2009 08:28 AM