1/48 Sopwith Dolphin Fighter E-4514 Paper Model
Build a paper model of Sopwith's Dolphin fighter, which appeared in the last year of World War One!
The Dolphin was a departure for Sopwith in many ways: larger than most single-seat fighters, with its long (32-foot), two-bay wings and a 220hp Hispano-Suiza V8 watercooled engine, it was quite a contrast to the light rotary engine fighters Sopwith was famous for. The new fighter featured backward-staggered wings, the the pilot sitting in a cutout between the upper pair of wings with his head partially above the wing's upper surface. Two Vickers guns were semi-enclosed in the upper decking, similarly to the Camel, with, in early machines, one or two Lewis guns clamped to the upper-wing center framework- sharing the space occupied by the pilot's head. These guns were angled to fire obliquely upward, and contributed to the lack of enthusiasm many pilots felt for the new Sopwith; the guns restricted their already restricted cockpit space and were certain to injure the pilot in the event of a nose-over or other rougher-than-normal landing.
First reaching operational status in late 1917, Dolphins eventually equipped four squadrons on the Western Front, and while not popular as dogfighters, did achieve success as ground attack fighters, sometimes with the Lewis guns mounted on the lower wing outside the propeller arc. As a fighter-bomber, the Dolphin could carry 100 lbs. of bombs, with the usual load being four 25lb. Cooper bombs. The Dolpin was not selected as a standard type by the postwar RAF, and had left service by 1919, with some going to the new Polish Air Force for use in their war with Bolshevik Russia.
Paper Model Details: 97 parts on two pages, with illustrated instructions and tips booklet. Three wire templates. Bulkhead and joiner-strip construction. Layered wheels, cockpit tub with seat, detailed Vickers guns, and layered prop. Duo-fold struts. Degree of Difficulty: 3/5. If you enjoy building this paper model, please contribute a review!
Text by Bart Wheeler
Copyright 2011, Bart Wheeler and Ecardmodels.com
Detail of guns and cockpit
Photos of built model courtesy of designer, Jim Fainges