Tuesday, 3 March 2015

When is a Sopwith Triplane not a Sopwith Triplane?

I'm off to Huntingdon Library in a couple of weeks – they are holding a morning for self-published local authors to talk about their books. Having done a certain amount of such events already, I am well aware that some props to hold up and show off add immeasurably to a speech. The obvious prop for my novels is a triplane of the sort that Sorrel flies.

Now, the one on the cover of Sorrel Snowbound (and also on the cover of Sorrel in Scarlet, just visible crashed into the trees) is actually a Sopwith Triplane. 

I already have a small 1/72nd Revell Triplane, but I have just discovered – and purchased – a 1/48th scale plastic kit of a Sopwith Triplane, by a company called Eduard.

I am therefore hard at work building the kit, so it is ready for the event on 21st March.
 I have to admit I am not the world's best kit modeller. I enjoy building model aeroplanes, but the results aren't always wonderful. My hands lack sufficient dexterity. The paint gets into the wrong places, and small pieces can be difficult to position correctly. And rigging the triplane accurately will be a nightmare. On the other hand, I can do enough that at a casual glance the finished model should look reasonably good.

However, I anticipate the finished model will not please any experts. They will study the airframe, snort, and tell me that I'm lacking half the necessary rigging wires, the ailerons are too thick, and the angle of the wings isn't right. They'll probably also tell me that no Sopwith Triplane in history had the garish bright yellow colour scheme I'm painting it in.

Which is when I can gleefully point out that it isn't a Sopwith Triplane. This is a Belkani Triplane, built in Sendaal and flown during the rebellion against the dragons. Of course the rigging is different – that's how Belkani triplanes are rigged. And the colour scheme is absolutely accurate for Sorrel's tripe. And the ailerons in Sorrel's world are precisely that thick.

My own fantasy world, my fantasy triplane! The best excuse in the universe for poor modelling!

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