A New S.E.5A Scout is Born

A New S.E.5A Scout is Born

One of the more popular aircraft to come out of the Great War was the SE5 and SE5a Scout built by the Royal Aircraft Factory (RAF). No surprise that the SE5 Scout is also a very popular choice for scale RC modelers.

We caught up with our good buddy and Top Gun Static Scale Judge Bob Curry to learn more about his newest project. (Photos courtesy of Sean Curry).

Bob Curry:  I’ve been working on this 1/4 scale S.E.5a kit , on and off,  since last November. It is a Balsa USA kit and It’s now just about ready for covering with “Antique” Solartex. (Yes, I had bought several large rolls just before the covering became “Extinct”. My Scout is powered with a Zenoah G-38 equipped with a B&B Specialties spring started and muffler. I am using Futaba radio gear and servos. The airborne system is powered by two 2200mAh LiFe  battery packs connected in parallel through a redundant Smart–Fly “Bat Share” device.

I can’t say enough about the quality and value of Balsa USA WW1 kits. This is my fourth Balsa USA kit build (1/4 Nieuport, 1/4 Fokker Dr.1, and 1/3 Fokker D.VII), and with the exception of a small scale outline modification to the top wing center section cut-out, it is built exactly as designed. The fun part for me now is picking off all the various “Fiddly Bits”  not included in the basic kit but are unique to the full scale aircraft:  Wire Rigging, Lewis Gun,  Telescopic Gunsight, Windscreen & fairing, Landing Gear bungee fairings, Lower Cowl extensions, Cockpit detail and Pilot Figure (Aces of Iron).

I’ve not yet decided on my final choice for Color and Markings but I’m now down to a short list of just three WW1 British Aircraft.

Finish will be brushed “Baer” Latex paint custom mixed at Home Depot.  I’ll prep the Solartex with about six thinned (50/50) coats of Sig Mfg. Butyrate over Nitrate dope. In my experience, it seems to keep the Solartex from bubbling or sagging over time.  All markings will also be masked and hand painted. (Just like the original)

My plan is to fly it at the Rhinebeck WWI RC Jamboree next September.

Updated: January 30, 2020 — 9:29 AM


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  1. Hi There
    a very interesting article and pictures of the Balsa USA SE5 plane, great job
    I’m in the process of completing a 1/4 size DB sport and scale SE5 myself and I wanted to paint the plane the Red/Pink colour but I cannot find the right match, would you know what this would be?

  2. Love what he has done with his SE5a. I just finished mine and maiden it late last summer but have yet to build scale gear. Any way I can get info on the method used to create the gear?

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