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1/72 3D Sopwith Baby kit
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1/72 3D Sopwith Baby kit

Watermarked PDF

1/72 (25 mm) 3D paper model of Sopwith Baby, WWI British floatplane.

The Sopwith Baby was a single-seat floatplane, developed from Sopwith's earlier Schneider floatplane racer. It differed from the Schneider primarily in having a different engine fit and cowl.

Babies were built by several manufacturers with a number of small detail changes. In common with other Sopwith designs, some aircraft had a center-section cut-out, to improve upward visibility, and some didn't. Typical armament in British (exclusively RNAS) service was a Lewis machine gun, either fixed forward along the centerline or mounted at an oblique angle to fire upwards through the center section. A small bomb load (two 65lb. bombs) could also be carried.

The primary use of the Baby was port defense and near-shore scouting. Babies were also used for anti-submarine patrols and for top cover over coastal convoys. Babies operated from shore stations in France and the UK, from seaplane carriers in the North Sea and Mediterranean, and from cruisers and battleships.

By 1918 the Baby was declared obsolete in British service, but several countries used them in utility roles after the war, the largest such user being Norway, who used Babies into the 1930's.

The Models

Kit allows for the building of five different Babies. All feature detailed cockpits and rotary engines, along with appropriate guns and float designs.

RNAS: this Baby is typical of those flown by the RNAS. It has a prominent fuselage slogan and carries a non-standard overwing Lewis gun. This machine was based at the RNAS seaplane base in Dunkirk, France in 1917.

Norwegian, 1924: Norway acquired a number of Babies after World War one and used them into the 1930's, keeping them going after the dissolution of the Sopwith company by manufacturing their own replacement parts. The Norwegian Babies were used for coastal patrol and aerial policing, and several were used by the Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen on his expeditions.

French: France procured a number of Babies as defensive fighters for seaplane bases. This machine was based at Dunkirk for patrols along the Channel coast. It carries an overwing Lewis in addition to the standard synchronized weapon on the fuselage deck.

German War Prize:This Baby was captured by the Germans and used from the seaplane base at Zeebruge, Belgium, against its former owners.

Italy: the Italian Ansaldo firm obtained a license to manufacture the Sopwith Baby and equip it with Italian-designed engines and weapons. Italian Babies were very active over the Adriatic Sea, flying anti-submarine patrols against the very active Austro-Hungarian Navy's submarine force, scouting for surface units, and dogfighting with the Austro-Hungarian seaplane fighters, and flying boat bombers, that raided Italian naval installations. This Ansaldo-built Baby carries an oblique-fire machine gun in the center-section cutout.

Perfect for the WWI air games like Canvas Eagles.

Text written by Bart Wheeler, copyright 2011, Bart Wheeler and Used by permission.

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File Last Updated:
February 10, 2011
This title was added to our catalog on February 10, 2011.
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