Dressing up the Great Planes ElectriFly Sopwith Camel - RC Groups
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Dec 17, 2008, 12:32 AM
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Gerry Markgraf's Avatar

Dressing up the Great Planes ElectriFly Sopwith Camel

There hasn't been a lot of discussion yet about Great Planes latest WW I offering - The Sopwith Camel. That's too bad cause I am getting really excited about this neat little plane as I am finishing it. It really looks the part of a WW I Sopwith Camel - especially after you do a few things to dress it up.

In order to help the model look the part, I wrapped the vickers guns with corrigated model railroad roofing material to help the guns look like a Vickers. Then I antiqued the guns and dummy motor by dry brushing with silver. The motor has very nice pushrods included which really help the appearence. I durtied up the pilot a bit to make him look a bit more realistic and painted the cockpit coming.

The biggest help was new markings. The model dosn't include any squadron markings which was unusual, but OK with me as I usually peel all the markings off anyway. I looked for a prototype with the forward decking in silver and only found one in my Osprey book "Sopwith Camel Aces of WW I'. Strangely, this airplane, which was flown in 46 sq by Capt. D R MacLaren, had a unique little pointed red spinner, which was included in the kit. Perhaps Great Planes originally intended to use these markings.

Anyway, I sent a picture off to Callie and she had the markings back in a few days. Everything fit great except the rudder markings were a little too small. I suspect the model has increased the tail surface size a bit from scale. No problem, Callie is making newones.

Today, I installed the servos, etc and assembled the model. I was delighted with the appearence of the ship. I really like the scale dihedrial of the wings which really speaks "Camel". I have the other 3 airplanes in this series and they all fly great. The CG on the Camel is dead on with a 1320 3s battery which fits like a glove.

All i need to do is finish some bits, spray the model with Krylon Matt and add rigging and the windshield and the model with compare with many kit built models.

I enjoy building models from old fashioned built-up kits and always have several going a once. But I also enjoy the instant gratification of a good flying ARF that really looks like its scale counterpart. I have the SPAD ordered as well and already have the markings for it from Callie.


PS. If you want to use these markings on your Camel, drop Callie a line here:


She does great work, is very fast and I usually don't pay much more than about $20.00 per airplane
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Dec 17, 2008, 02:52 PM
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stacker's Avatar
Looks great! Just a little work sure makes a difference. Is that the pilot that came with the kit? Looks different then the others.

I'm trying to hold out for the Spad, but these pictures are making it hard.

Dec 17, 2008, 03:14 PM
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Zero3803's Avatar
Yeah I wasn't impressed by the looks of the picture on tower, but yours just about make my wallet jump out of my back pocket ready to order.

Which servos are you using? I noticed they changed the recommended from the s3107 on the fokker and se5a to s3114 if I recall correctly for this arf and the spad.
Last edited by Zero3803; Dec 17, 2008 at 03:20 PM.
Dec 17, 2008, 03:52 PM
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Gerry Markgraf's Avatar
Hi guys. Thanks for the good words. Yes, that's the pilot that came with the kit. I just dirtied him up a bit with a little flat grey and olive and then wiped much of it off. It really makes that shiney unrealistic pilot figure look like a dirty, tired WW I pilot.

The servos are HS-55s and they fit the rails in the fuselage perfectly. When they are installed in the wing for the ailerons, you get a slight crease showing through the top covering, but its not much and I can live with it. When I paint the whole model with Krylon Matt, it will go a long way toward covering up the minor covering problems.

Right now, the model is loosly assembled so I can drill the holes for the rigging. When I get the new rudder markings from Callie (ships tomorrow), I will apply them and then disassemble the model so I can spray the matt. I get better coverage if I can spray the wings and fuselage as separate units.

I agree, I was excited about the SPAD. The Camel was a bit of a surprise, but I think its their best yet.

Dec 17, 2008, 11:23 PM
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Zero3803's Avatar
Hey Gerry,
I was browsing through the manual, and I had a quick question about the prop adapter. It says in the required equipment that you need a 3.0mm to 5.0mm adapter like the collet or set screw type. In the manual though, it keeps jumping back and forth between the collet type showing, and some other kind that bolts directly to the motor. It appears you used this bolting type as well in the pictures. Is this purchased separately or does it come with the motor? I'm still not sure how they mounted that collet type with the motor reversed unless they shifted the prop shaft inside the can. Thanks in advance!

Well i looked through the motor manual a bit, and it seems the picture on the site is not how they look in truth. This is likely why the directions threw me off a bit.
Last edited by Zero3803; Dec 17, 2008 at 11:32 PM.
Dec 18, 2008, 01:21 AM
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Gerry Markgraf's Avatar
Hi Zero

I used the prop mounting that came with the Rimfire 28-30 motor. It screws directly to the motor and works fine. The only problem I have found is that when you use the recommended prop, that little conical red spinner bottoms out before it is tight on the prop. You can add extra washers or use a cut off tool to shorten the threaded shaft. That is what I plan to do (cut off shaft) since that little spinner is unique to the scale plane I am modeling. I really think it is interesting that they include that spinner even though they did not include squadron markings. That silver decking and red conical spinner is a perfect match for the plane I am doing and I can find no other with those features. Like I said, its like they intended to do that plane and then changed their mind and left out the markings. Oh well, I would have ordered the better markings from Callie anyway.

Dec 18, 2008, 01:33 AM
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Zero3803's Avatar
Thanks for the tips Gerry. My girlfriend was going to get me the fokker dvii for xmas, but now I just can't decide. The camel looks outstanding, and it has always been one of my favorite planes. How does the build compare with that of the fokker if you have that model as well?
Dec 18, 2008, 12:23 PM
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Gerry Markgraf's Avatar

They are both about the same. Once you build one of these GP WW I birds, they are all about the same. The Camel has extra motor detail (pushrods) that add a bit more time, but it goes along very quickly.

Dec 18, 2008, 12:31 PM
Is it Friday yet?
DropTank's Avatar
Sharp plane Gerry!
Dec 18, 2008, 01:16 PM
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turbonut's Avatar
Gerry it looks great!..it is amazing how a bit of extra work can transform a model..I really like to markings you have done..I had not planned on doing a scale copy but now you have me thinking..
Dec 18, 2008, 01:40 PM
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Gerry Markgraf's Avatar
Thanks guys. I can't take much credit. Great Planes did a great job in capturing the Camel. Callie does a great job on the markings and I just do the assembly work. It will look much better when I get the matt coat on the model and add a bit of rigging. That really makes it look realistic. Callie says she will get the revised rudder markings out today (along with some other markings for me). Hope the post is fast as I don't want to spray the matt until I get all of the markings on the bird.

If anybody wants to use these markings, feel free. It won't hurt my feelings as I feel the plane was intended for these markings. Callie and I should have any minor fit problems worked out by now.

Jan 02, 2009, 01:25 AM
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Gerry Markgraf's Avatar
Well, I thought that I would update this thread with a photo or two of the Camel once it was completed. I think GP does a pretty good kit of making a airplane that looks a lot like the original. Their markings, especially on the Camel, wer very simplistic and I peeled them all off. With a little help from Callie Graphics, a few minor details and dry brushing, a matt finish and a bit of rigging, I think the Camel really looks the part. The insides of the wheels need some work and that funny prop is a dead giveaway, but I'm still happy with the airplane.

By the way, some of the guys in the Electric Warbirds forum are finding that the CG listed in the instructions seems to be too far aft. This results in very stressful maiden flights. I've added 1 1/2 oz to my nose and I may yet add another 1/2 oz or so, just to be sure.

Jan 02, 2009, 04:50 AM
North East England
Great model, Gerry. I was waiting for the shots of the 'matted-down' finish and it's amazing the difference it makes - nothing worse than a glossy finish on these birds! Wonder why the manufacturers don't use a matt covering??? No doubt cost will come into the equation somewhere!

Jan 02, 2009, 04:03 PM
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Gerry Markgraf's Avatar
Thanks Steve.

I have a very nice Camel kit from Aerodrome and good intentions to build it. However, the GP ARF certainly looks the part and our flying fiield is pretty rough so its good to have a plane to fly there that dosn't represent a great commitment in time and money.


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