More plan packs from Small Flying Aeroplanes


Sadly, since this review was written, SFA have stopped the producton of plan packs and accessories, but I'll leave the page active so you can see the work they were doing. There is a chance the plans will appear on auction sites or at swap meets, so definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

The good news is that Radek Gregovský has produced an excellent book with a collection of plans (not all peanuts) and superb colour artwork called "Peanut on the Runway" that I can heartily recommend. For more details contact Radek here. He also has a Facebook group called "Peanut on the runway" which you can search for and join.

Radek, Petr and Jirka at Small Flying Aeroplanes have been busy expanding their range of plan packs, and I succumbed to temptation and treated myself to a few. They do three ranges of plans, Gold, Silver and "Projects in Pencil", and I thought it might be of interest if I gave them a quick review and showed the differences between the ranges.

1/20 scale Sopwith Pup

The Sopwith Pup is in the most expensive Gold series, and is a companion model to the Albatros D.II previously reviewed. The photo above shows the comprehensive contents of the pack.

The A5 documentation booklet is very nicely printed and illustrated - the front and rear cover showing a very well finished model built from the plans.

Some very colourful (and challenging) training schemes are included in the booklet, as shown here.

Some interesting photos of real Pups under construction are included, and a striking black and white sheme is illustrated.

The more routine schemes are certainly simpler to replicate. I like the way the colour profiles are accompanied by a photo of the real aircraft - just what the competition judges like.

Here is your 4-view drawing for proof of scale.

A couple more unusual schemes and accompanying photos. Printed tissue would seem to be the way to go for the lower scheme.

Here is the first A3 sheet of the 1/20th plan. Structure looks exact scale to me, and a model built from this plan would score highly in a BMFA open event. As you can see, the standard of draftsmanship is very high. As with all the SFA plans, wood sizes are all in mm, but easily converted to imperial sizes. I think I would move the rear peg position forwards a couple of bays to save nose weight.

The wings have scale structure using split ribs glued over the spars. If you have a look at the build thread here you can see how the upper sections of the ribs are sliced from a sheet of balsa after the grain has been forced into a curve to follow the required shape. It's hard to describe, but easy to understand when you see the pictures. Use Google Translate and put in the web site address to get the thread in English. You get the option to build the wing with or without separate ailerons. For a BMFA open class, I suggest with.

Some different Pup variants are shown on sheet 3 here should you wish to model them. I think the short nose of the Pup would be well suited to an electric or CO2 power unit, and a Gasparin G63 installation is shown here.

A bonus A4 colour print is included with the pack showing yet another unusual training scheme.

Another bonus item is this resin kit for a Vickers machine gun. The quality of the casting is very high with some very delicate detail parts included, some of which need flash carefully removing. The resulting gun will look superb, but there is a weight penalty. I reckon the finished item will weigh about 1.5 to 1.6 grams, but as it is at the front of the plane, I'm happy to live with that.

The instructions for the assembly of the gun show just how detailed it is.

1/15 scale Sveti Dorde

What do you mean you've never heard of it?

Neither had I until I saw it on the SFA website. Apparently it had the honour of being the first civil registered aircraft in Yugoslavia. It's rather appealing I think, in a tubby sort of way. This model falls into the Silver Edition, so you get some color information, photos and a three-view. If I had to be picky, I wish the artist had not painted the fuselage insignia in the shadow of the wing, as it makes the production of a home made decal from the artwork rather harder. I would have liked to have seen the design repeated somewhere on the page in its correct, brighter colours.

The booklet is only four sides, but to be fair, I doubt there is any more information out there. There is not enough info for a BMFA open event (three photos are required), but OK for peanut if you scaled it down. Certainly enough for the Flying Aces Club at any scale.

The pack contains a single A3 sheet, showing both CO2 and rubber versions. It looks a relatively straightforward build, certainly compared to the Pup! For indoor flying I think you could get away with less dihedral than shown. I think it would make rather a nice Peanut scale model if taken down to 13 inch span.

Peanut scale Sopwith Schneider

Although this model features in the Silver Edition, there is not much less information than the Pup or Albatros. The A5 booklet has 8 pages, including the covers.

Useful photos are included

Three view drawings are supplied for three different variats, as can be seen above and below.

I didn't realise the US Navy used the aircraft - the drawing, photo and colour plate on the back cover is all you need for documentation for the BMFA or FAC peanut scale class.

Sheet one of three A3 sheets, with the fuselage side view and float details. Note alternative fin designs. My problem with floatplanes is always the vulnerability of the the floats in a heavy landing so I might be tempted to use some bamboo in at least some of those balsa struts. Still, for Flying Aces peanut scale you will get a very useful 25 bonus points (biplane plus floats)

Sheet two has the wings plus alternative tailplane designs, depending on the chosen version. All scale structure of course, which will look great under tissue.

Front and side view, plus fin graphics. It would probably need a touch more dihedral for outdoor flying I think.

1/20 scale Supermarine Sparrow

The Sparrow was one of the many model friendly designs entered at the Lympne light aircraft trials - in 1924 as a biplane, then in 1926 as a parasol monoplane. This plan is for the Bristol Cherub powered parasol version.

The "Project in Pencil" plans are the cheapest in the range, but still contain a double sided A4 sheet with colour artwork and photos. In this case three photos of the plane, plus a useful shot of the Cherub engine. This should be enough for most scale judges.

The plan is on three A3 sheets - here is the fuselage and tailplane. Exxcellent proportions for free flight with a decent tail moment and long nose. Construction looks very straightforward.

Sheet two has the the left wing panels - you can choose two versions - simplified or scale rib spacing, plus with or without separate ailerons. Wingspan is a handy 20 inches at 1/20 scale.

Sheet 3 has the right hand wing panel, plus front view. You can see the typical sliced rib construction used and the undercambered section. Flying Aces rules only allow undercamber if the prototype had it, and photos of the Sparrow don't seem to show any, so when I build mine I'll use a flat bottomed section.

For more details of SFA plan packs and accessories, visit the Small Flying Aeroplanes website

Thomas Designs 24" span Piper Vagabond

Bluebottle Squadron 1/24 scale Reggiane Re 2000

Peck Polymers Peanut Scale Andreason BA4-B

Diels Engineering 1/24 scale Curtiss SB2C Helldiver

Small Flying Aeroplanes "Golden Edition" plan pack for the Albatros D.II

Easy Built Models 25" span Waco N

Vintage Model Company 18" span Jodel D.18

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