Best in Show! 1/3-scale Sopwith Camel

Feb 18, 2012 19 Comments by


Perhaps one of the most highly sought after titles for serious RC Scale modelers is the “Best in Show” award from the annual WRAM Show. And this year’s winner of the title from the 2012 WRAM show was the talented Mike Gross Sr., with his amazing 1/3-scale Sopwith Camel. Held this year at the Meadowlands Expo Center in NJ , this year’s static scale competition was very well attended and there were many amazing enterants. Mike as we’ve mentioned before, is one of the nicest Warbird guys you’ll ever meet and is long time member of the Long Island Warbird gang.  His beautiful Sopwith Camel which he built from Mick Reeves plans will also serve Mike as his competition plane for the upcoming Top Gun Scale Invitational in Lakeland, FL. This impressive WW1 fighter was test flown exactly one year after Mike started the project.   

Mike says: “He enjoyed all 1,500 hours he put into the build! The Camel weighs 42lbs. ready to fly and is powered by a DLE 111cc twin-cylinder gas engine turning a Xoar 29×8 propeller. It is controlled by a JR 12X radio with JR 8611 and 8711 servos. The radio operates the scale control yoke (stick) and rudder bar which move the flight surfaces. The Camel is covered with Solartex and all color and markings are painted with KlassKote epoxy paint.Mike used “MinWax” stain and rub on polyurethane as well as many acrylic paint colors for the impressive finishing, weathering and aging.


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As well as the Best in Show award, Mike also won the Best Paint Finish award, this year sponsored by Model Airplane News and presented at the show to Mike, by Sr. Tech. Editor Gerry Yarrish. He really nailed that weathered and aged look that’s so important for serious scale competition.


From tail skid, to engine cowl, this amazing piece of WW1 machinery captures the flavor and history of vintage aviation! We wish Mike all the best as he starts his flying campaign with his giant scale Sopwith Camel.


About the author

Senior Technical Editor About Me: I have a lifelong passion for all things scale, and I love to design, build and fly scale RC airplanes. With 20 plus years as part of the Air Age family of magazines, I love producing Model Airplane News and Electric Flight.

19 Responses to “Best in Show! 1/3-scale Sopwith Camel”

  1. Ben Lanterman says:

    A great review of Castle’s operations. It would be nice to see more articles like this with even more visual information.

  2. Don Rosendale says:

    Great to see American workers working on American lines in an American designed plant.

    I travel all over the world. I can tell you there are great people all around us. It still is comforting to know that America can produce a great product like Castle does. Their speed controllers are the BEST!

    Don R.

  3. Jim Slaughter says:

    I thought I had read that Castle had a plant in China? Of course I know about the Kansas operation but wasn’t aware any controllers were still made there?

    • Debra Cleghorn says:

      The boards are all made in the U.S., and most of the speed controls are as well. A few are assembled in Mexico.

  4. Randy says:

    That was a great Review. I would like to see more factory tours if possible.

  5. Len says:

    I am new to the hobby and was beginning to think most of the electric RC airplanes and parts were made overseas. I am glad to see that is not the case. I will look for castle parts if I need an ESC. Thanks for the video.

  6. Guy says:

    love to see more

  7. al says:

    Great video. Would love to see more. Lets promote local manufactures!

  8. ALRUI says:

    Excellent video, it is always refreshing as a person who has worked in various manufacturing plants over the years to see our excellent American workers producing products right here in the USA that are superior in every way & keep our country alive!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Great to know that quality brands are produced at Olathe.
    I am a proud Olathe South HS alumni so I am also proud of Castle Creations.
    Congratulations for an excellent product.
    Rodrigo Valdivieso

  10. Mario Knoll says:

    The only one I have of this brand is defective! I sent it back for repair or exchange,lets see the result. I never had problems with an ESC before.

  11. Jim Stoutz says:

    I would like to see more articles like this.

  12. Jim Stoutz says:

    This was a great video and I would like to see more like it. It is great to see products mand here in the USA!!!


  13. Bob says:

    They should not allow soda pop in the production or test work stations.

  14. Price Dempler says:

    Wow, I love these types of videos! I know Castle’s stuff was sophisticated but did not realize the level of automation involved nor the sheer quantities. Castle’s Customer Service is also outstanding indeed so a great story all around.

    I would love to see some ARF construction videos (videos of companies that build ARFs). I love building but am always amazed at what production on a larger scale entails. Thanks MAN for this video!

  15. Mike says:

    Yeah, I would love to see some videos like this on how ARFs are made! Good job. Go USA!

  16. Gordon Niessen says:

    They have great customer service. They stand behind their product. Even supporting older speed controllers.

  17. d.o. darnell says:

    what kewl machines!

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