SE.5a Royal Class

Eduard 1/48 SE.5a Royal Class





If the Sopwith Camel is regarded by many as the Supermarine Spitfire of WW1, then the SE5a was surely that war’s Hawker Hurricane. The Scout Experimental 5 ( SE5) was strong, dependable, a reliable workhorse and a stable gun platform favoured by many of the Royal Flying Corp’s best pilots.It was arguably the Royal Aircraft Factory’s best design and in some aspects performed better than the Camel. 
After initial problems with the Hispano-Suiza engines fitted to the first machines in 1917, the SE5a was upgraded to a higher performance Wolseley Viper, a British-made variant of the Hisso engine and in it was this configuration that the SE5a found fame and success.
The SE5a went on to equip 30 squadrons in the RFC/ RAF and also equipped the Australian Flying Corps as well as seeing service in Canada, Chile, Ireland, Poland, South Africa and the USA among others.The cream of the RFC flew SE5a’s, among them Albert Ball, Mick Mannock, James McCudden, Cecil Lewis and Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor.
Thus the Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a is credited with being one of the best fighter aircraft of World War I.The SE.5 entered service with No.56 Sqn RFC, during April 1917 and was later upgraded to the more prolific SE5a which was produced by six aircraft manufacturers. More than 5000 SE5as were manufactured.





Eduard was well known  from the 90’s for their love for ww1 themes. Now strikes back and celebrates the 100th anniversary of ww1 with another new release. And this is

the SE.5a.They first release the Viper engine variant as a profipack edition and now we have the Royal class edition which contains both variants ( Wolseley Viper and

Hispano Suiza  engine variants).



The kit is packed  in the usual wine red colored box with a vector sketch of the plane model and the logo in yellow gold .So let’s take a look what this pack offers. First of all we have two full kits of the plane. Each one  comes in two plastic frets and comprises 111 parts in grey plastic (10 of these are marked "not for use" in this boxing) , 11 parts in clear plastic and offers  the choice  to the modeler  between  either variant to built.




The level of detail in Eduard’s latest WW1 toolings is impressive, capturing incredibly subtle fabric detail, rib tapes on the wings, fabric treatment on this model is superb - perhaps Eduard's best yet complete. Viper and/ or Hispano-Suiza engines and comprehensive cockpit items – impressive in this scale.




The single piece wings feature separate control surfaces while the struts are nicely in scale and not overdone. The plastic Vickers and Lewis guns are also  nicely represented. The only parts that look kind of  simplified are the wheels.


The single piece wings feature separate control surfaces while the struts are nicely in scale and not overdone. The plastic Vickers and Lewis guns are also  nicely represented. The only parts that look kind of  simplified are the wheels. 
Parts breakdown is conventional for a WWI aircraft. The lower and upepr wings are both full-span, and all control surfaces are separate. These is a single pair of interplane and cabane struts on each side, so this should not be too much of a chore. Deep locating holes and pins are present too.


Of course both kits are supplemented by P.E. part.  The photo etch frets contain a wealth of small details which cover wing inspection hatch frames, cockpit parts, various exhaust fittings ,actuation rods, gun sights . These photo etched parts add a new level of detail with the colored ones including a finely detailed instrument panel and seat belts among the many featured items. There are two frets for each kit carrying the above details, and a fifth single fret with parts for the Holt flare holders which are used only in one (the night fighter) of the marking options.



Finally as we are talking about a Royal Class edition, Eduard has also included some BRASSIN goodies which are include one set of extended flame dampers for the night fighter version and Vickers and Lewis guns with the bullet magazine drums.



This edition offers No fewer than 13 decal options. Eight of the schemes apply to Wolseley Viper powered aircraft while five refer to Hispano-Suiza engine SE’s. One of them is also for a night fighter.Decal quality looks excellent and in perfect register as expected from Cartograf decals.



As with every Royal Class edition there is a bonus content. In this release Eduard has included a nicely detailed stainless steel flask.


The screw top flask is engraved with a set of RFC wings and a Victoria Cross on the front side and with Eduard’s logo on the back.
As for the liquid to be included?.It’s up to the new owner. That is for sure a different bonus item!...At  least from what we have seen in previous Royal Class editions.




SE.5a - C1803, flown by Capt. C. J. Truran, No. 143 Squadron, Detling, Great Britain, May 1918


SE.5a - C1904, flown by Maj. W. A. Bishop, No. 85 Squadron, Petit Synthe, France, June 1918


SE.5a - D278, flown by Capt. E. Mannock, No. 74 Squadron, Clairmarais North, France, April 1918


SE.5a - F5687, flown by Lt. J. A. Roth, No. 60 Squadron, Quiévy, France, November 1918


SE.5a - B189, flown by Capt. J. H. Tudhope, No. 40 Squadron, Bruay, France, April 1918


SE.5a - B4863, flown by Capt. J. T. B. McCudden, No. 56 Squadron, Estrée Blanche, France, September 1917


SE.5a - B603, Training Unit, Great Britain, 1918


SE.5a - B525, flown by Lt. A. P. F. Rhys - Davids, No. 56 Squadron, Estrée Blanche, France, October 1917


SE.5a - B507, flown by 2/Lt J. J. Fitzgerald, No. 60 Squadron, Sainte-Marie-Cappel, beginning of October 1917


SE.5a - F9029, No. 1 Squadron Canadian Air Force, Shoreham, Great Britain, 1919


SE.5a - D362, 5th and 6th Training Squadron, Australian Flying Force, Minchinhampton, Great Britain, 1918/1919


SE.5a - A2-24, flown by F/O F. C. Even, No. 3 Squadron Australian Air Force, Canberra, Australia, beginning of May 1927


SE.5a - F8005, flown by Capt. R. G. Landis, CO of 25th Aero Squadron, Collombey-les-Belles, France, November 1918

- Instruction Sheet -


Eduard sets again new standards in the plastic kit design and production industry with this release. The SE.5a is a superb kit with excellent detail in every aspect .A jewel for the ww1 fun modeler and the best kit of this plane in the 1/48 scale. So the Royal Class edition which features two full kits with P.E parts ,BRASSIN enchantments ,13 marking options and the  bonus gift (engraved steel flask),.. I believe is a must have. 
Highly recommended!!!

We thank the Eduard company for providing us this review sample. For direct purchase please refer to the following link.

Link for Eduard 1/48 SE.5a Royal Class