Mach 2 - Curtiss H-16 Kit Review
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SEAWINGS  is pleased to present this kit review which first appeared in the monthly high quality webzine - INTERNET MODELER. Thanks go to Chris Banyai-Riepl and Bob Pearson for allowing its use under copyright. Click here to go to their site and see the latest issue.

Roden 1/72 Curtiss H-16

By Paul Schwartzkopf



The H-16 was a licensed copy of the Felixstowe F.2A flying boat that was built by the Glenn Curtiss company. John Porte, the F.2A's chief designer, had previously cooperated with Curtiss. And with Curtiss' experience in building flying boats, they were a natural choice for licensing. The main difference between the H-16 and the F.2A was the former's having two 12 cylinder Liberty engines replacing the Rolls Royce Eagles of the latter.


The Kit

I am not familiar with the Roden Felixstowe kit, but as far as I can tell, this is basically the same kit with an optional rudder, different engines and new markings. The parts are molded on eleven different sprues. My example does have some flash here and there.

Detailing is very subtle for this scale, and isn't done "heavy handed". The top sides of the wings have a gentle curve between the ribs, with the ribs being scribed on the bottom side. Horizontal stabilizers and rudder are nicely detailed. The control surfaces (with the exception of the rudder) are molded separately. If you want to use the optional rudder, the original one will first need to be removed from the fin.

The engines have some very delicate parts. Including the radiator, I counted 38 separate parts for each engine. Both two and four bladed propeller options are provided. Cockpit interior is a little spartan, but adequate. Armament consists of eight Lewis guns (seven are shown in the instructions) and two bombs (or depth charges). I was rather impressed with the Lewis guns. They are very delicate and well done.

There is a beaching wagon included to display the model on. That's always a nice feature with flying boat kits. The instruction sheet seems to be written clearly, with assembly steps laid out in a logical order. It also includes a diagram to help those brave enough to attempt rigging the assembled model.

The decal sheet provides markings for four aircraft; one in British and three in US markings. Three of the aircraft are examples based at Lough Foyle, Killingholme, and Felixstowe in 1918. The fourth aircraft represents a US Navy H-16 in 1920. Something that seems rather unusual to me is the fact that none of the markings are for the aircraft depicted on the box art.


The H-16, like the Felixstowe, should prove popular among both WWI and flying boat modelers. The number of parts, delicate assemblies, and rigging could prove intimidating to those with little or no experience. But on the other hand, I think this is one of those biplane models that would look nice even without the extensive rigging applied. Recommended to experienced modelers.

Thanks to Roden for supplying the kit for review.