Roden - Felixstowe F.2A Kit Review
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Roden 1/72nd Felixstowe F.2A (Late)

By Dennis Ugulano


The Felixstowe, in my opinion, is RODEN's most ambitious WW1 project to date. With over 200 hundred parts, it should satisfy anyone's need to super detail a kit. There have been many reviews of the kit, so I will not go there.

The instruction sheet is 12 pages and is very clear and easy to follow. It shows a complete rigging diagram and four color schemes so one could go from easy to insane according to one's level of masochism. The plane can be built without any outside reference showing how detailed the instructions are. With that out of the way, let's start the build.


Each engine has 34 parts and that's 20 too many. Most of the parts do not fit and are oversized. Build each engine exactly as shown in exactly the steps shown or parts will not fit down the road. Almost all of the parts must be trimmed down in size so that they will come close to fitting during assembly. Constant alignment is required and even then you are not assured of a good fit. After too many attempts and much too long in time, I finally completed the engines so that they looked ok. I will not use the word good because I don't think they are.


The fit here is very good. The parts are clearly marked and fit exactly where they are supposed to. The only minor problem is the extra magazine boxes that fit on the floor at the waist/top gunner position. They are a little to wide and must be trimmed just a touch so they fit across the fuselage.

The hull went together well but make sure the fit is good on the bottom as a very delicate fin runs the length of the fuselage and it would be very easy to sand it off and very difficult to put it back. A little sanding was necessary to get the floor to fit but nothing that will cause any problems. I added the waist machine gun supports at this time but in the inward folded position. I wanted to open the doors for the guns but had to wait until after the painting and decaling was complete.

At this point you have a decision to make. The fuselage top requires some sanding especially in the rear portion. The fuselage has two slots the the lower wing slides into and then the top of the fuselage piece is added. I chose a very complex color scheme and did not see how I could paint the model with the lower wing (actually the entire wing assembly) in the way. I chose to add spars across the fuselage so that I could slide the lower wing into to position and still have some support. After the spars were dried, I added the top of the fuselage and did my sanding until it was free of any cracks.

Since I had decided on my method of construction I took the fuselage half to a copy machine and made a copy of the fuselage in full size. On this sheet I got my angles for my color scheme and the size of the squares. This was done mainly by eye. After the fuselage was painted white and dry, I spray painted some clear decal sheet the color I wanted and then cut out each square and strip one at a time. With the squares, I started just behind the forward machine gun and went backwards and down from there. In some areas I had to fake it a bit but a little red paint hid most of the flaws. The strips were made to match the tail strips and was performed mainly by eye. I constantly checked the instruction sheet and tried to position the strips as closely to that position as possible. The strips are multiple pieces with a lot of trimming and red paint to cover where I didn't. The wings and tail planes are PC-10 and Unbleached linen, glossed and decaled prior to assembly. After the painting and decals were complete, I removed the waist gun doors from their white glue and glued them in the open position.

Wing Assembly

The instructions show the entire upper and lower wing assembly as a single step and competed prior to joining it with the fuselage. It appears to an excellent idea. If you use this method, make sure the slots are trimmed so the the lower wing drops all the way to the bottom of the slots. It will leave a gap but this gap is later filled with an engine support strut.

I chose to cut the spars joining to lower wing and slide the wings halves into the fuselage. The reason for adding the spars is apparent as there would be very little surface for glue to hold the lower wing in place. I was able to get liquid glue to flow down the spars. I then immediately added the lower wing braces and my fit was close to perfect.

The next step was to mount the 12 wing struts on the lower wing. The top wing in then turned upside down and the model is laid over it. Be careful if you follow this method because the wing is painted, decals are applied and the wing dams are in place. I made sure of my alignment and then glued one strut at a time until all 12 were in place. Then with exterme care, I turned the model over and put it in its docking cradle. The docking cradle is essential to build this kit. I then mounted the two center struts but I had to make them as they were too short. I must say that for the sheer size of this kit, the top wing assembly was one of the easiest I have ever done.

After the struts are in place, the engines are attached. They did not get better with age. Here is the one area that the instuctions are vague and the lower struts did not fit without a lot of trimming. After the engines were mounted and glued with the lower support struts, the upper struts were added. The rear uppers at least pretended to fit. The front uppers didn't even come close. Looking back, if the radiators had been left off, I would have had an easier time with the front uppers.

Final Assembly and Rigging

At this point all of the last little pieces are added with the exception of the machine guns. The support struts from the engines to the fuselage are added, all control horns are attached, (There are 20 of them), and the gun rings. Any touch painted was done and the model is ready for rigging.

This was a very easy model to rig due to its size. Using DURAS, the main rigging is only two pieces of line. Starting in the middle of the wing, about an 18" piece of line is laced in both direction, top and bottom. There are only two glue points to perform 75 percent of the rigging. The remainder of the rigging is installed and with a lighter line, the control lines are added.

With the rigging completed, the machine guns were added along with the props. All touch up painting was done and the model was classified as complete.


This is a very impressive looking kit and RODEN is to highly commended for giving us WW1 builders a kit we never thought we would see in injection mold. This is the largest kit in my collection, being about 1" longer in wingspan than my Ilya Moumets. I do feel the kit is vastly over engineered with far more parts than are necessary. Others may find the numerous parts just what the doctor ordered; I however did not. The biggest challenge will be the engines. Be prepared to spend many hours per engine getting the fit right.

I estimate it took about 25 hours to build the kit, the engines taking the most time. The color scheme took less time than building the engines.

My thanks to Matt Bittner for sending me the kit and RODEN for supplying the kit to Matt.


Flying Machines Press, Great War Aircraft in Profile # 1