Sopwith Camel F.1 Project

Awhile back, a friend of mine on another site proposed to do a buddy build with me of a pair of WWI Dogfight opponents. He wanted to build a Fokker Dr.I. So my entry into this buddy build is a Sopwith Camel. It only seems natural to oppose the Fokker Dr.I when he first proposed this buddy build of duelist biplanes awhile back.

I have had the old Monogram issue of the classic Aurora kit in my stash and had been pondering building it for awhile. My friend’s idea of a buddy build was the kick in the pants needed to get this one from an abstract concept into something of an actual plan. The next step was to get other projects wrapped up so that I could give this build the attention that it deserves.

I had the kit

and a set of decals

Off of the decal set I selected this particular subject aircraft.

With a new year, and now all previous builds on my bench wrapped up, it was time to start.

1 Like

Looks interesting! I will be tagging along!

Thank you Ezra. I hope that you enjoy the ride!

Last night I began construction. Actually though it was mostly just paint work.

First I took a razor saw along the seat to give it some texture to suggest that of the wicker seats actually used. Once painted and with a wash it should look more the part.

Then I painted up other cockpit components, and the interior of the fuselage halves. Just getting the base colors on for now. I’m not gonna use the kit pilot, so behind the seat is a glaring empty space. I searched thru my spares/salvaged parts and came up with a fuel tank to fill the void. It somewhat resembles the real thing. I’m not going for 100% accuracy, just stuff to suggest what should be there. I’m sure that must sound like blasphemy to some modelers.

I’ll get to work on detail painting and washes over the next few days, plus whatever mods I intend to scratch up for the cockpit.


Very cool. I wouldn’t worry about complete accuracy in the cockpit as very little will be seen anyway after the halves are together. I think the seat will look pretty good once its painted an has been hit with a wash! Will your friend be doing a build log as well?

That’s what I was thinking about the seat. Yes, we are doing the buddy build on a single thread on another site.

1 Like

Nice! Ill be following on there as well!

I’m in to follow also. I’m a sucker for WW1 a/c


Ezra and Charles, it’s nice to have you following along. This won’t be anything fancy. Just trying to build it better than I did the last time back in the 70’s :wink: I’m easing my way back into WWI biplanes after a long time away.

1 Like

Today’s update. Lots of painting and drilling and sanding and measuring & cutting… and not much gluing. So here we go.

First up, I was not happy with the filler points on the top deck behind the cockpit, so I drilled those out.

Before and after

Then I repainted the cockpit floor based off some photos of preserved Camels. Different custom shade of wood that I mixed up compared to the sidewalls

Then I modified the salvaged fuel tank into the piece affair that the real one had. Not to mention lots of sanding to get it to fit into the fuselage behind the pilot seat. I also painted the seat cushion and edging, again based off of photos of Museum Camels

And lastly, base colors finished on the IP and control yoke, plus I scratch built up a rudder bar with control linkage rods, again based off of Museum Camels

A bit more stuff to do like instrument decals, washes and perhaps an attempt at wood grain before I can put it all together.

Until the next update…


Nice progress! You may already know this but one simple way to do a wood grain is to take some dark brown oil paint and just streak/drybrush it onto the light wood colored surfaces and simply blend it till your happy with the result. Waiting for the next update. :grin:

Thanks for the tip Ezra. I have never tried to do wood grain with oils before. But it sounds like a good plan.

1 Like

Today’s update: I took a shot at using oils for a wood grain appearance.
First step, I mixed up a brown shade and then applied it over the interior wood surface areas

Next step I used a thinner moistened brush to remove much of the oil paint and leave a streaking that resembles wood grain

The final look… any resemblance to actual wood grain is more luck than anything else.

This technique is actually going to take lots of practice to get a handle on it.


That looks quite good for your first attempt!

Thank you Ezra. It looks better here in photos than up close. But not much will show once it’s all closed up.

1 Like

One small update from yesterday’s work:
I forgot to get a better shot to show the sidewall wood grain effort

and now that the oil wash on the engine has dried and I do not need to worry about it staining my photo booth, here’s a photo of the engine


Today’s progress report: So today I completed my intended goals for yesterday. I added instrument decals to the IP, RAF WWII type, rather than the WWI type that I had planned to use but were invisible because they needed to be applied over a white background.

Then I drybrushed and touched up the seat

And lastly, I touched up the inside colors.

Next session I can install all the interior parts and close it all up.


The instrument panel looks great! Also the seat looks very good finished and Im glad the wood grain with oils worked. Your turning this old kit into a little gem!

Thank you Ezra. Once everything is all closed up, that’s all gonna be hard to see inside. Pick and choose your battles…

Looking good so far, thanks for sharing your work with us.

Thank you Brent. I remember when I would knock out one of these kits in a couple or three hours when I was a kid. Now I’m giving it the royal treatment… :face_with_raised_eyebrow: