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In-Box Review
132
Salmson 2-A2 USAS
On foreign wings with familar colours
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by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

History
The prototype Salmson "A" made its maiden flight in January 1917 but did not impress the authorities so it was developed further to be powered by Salmson’s new 260hp 9z water cooled radial engine. This rugged new aircraft became the Salmson 2-A2 prototype which was test flown in April 1917 and put into production with 2200 ordered from Salmson with another 1000 to be built by Campagnie General Omnibus (CGO), Hanriot and Latecoere and TAAF of Japan.

Kit Contents
Released on 16 December 2013.
163 high quality injection moulded plastic parts.
17 parts for a well detailed 260hp Salmson 9z water cooled radial engine .
Optional Vickers or Marlin and Lewis machine gun armament, open or closed radiator shutters.
13 photo-etched metal detail parts.
28 page fully illustrated instruction manual.
High quality Cartograf decals with markings for 5 colourful USAS aircraft.
Fine scale rib tape details.
Full rigging diagrams.

Page 1 -2 has the paint recommendations chart and the parts maps for plastic, photoetch and decals.

Step 1 starts with the interior begins with the floor plate (PP G 4) and four former stations (PP A 6, 16, 17 & 24) The rudder assembly (PP A 10 & 28) and the wireless antenna reel (PP A 52). There is also a treadplate in photoetch (P 9). The control column (PP A 33) fits in place. The wireless transmitter (PP A 7 & C 3) and a handheld signal lamp (PP A 38) the electric battery (PP A 36) needs some modification by trimming the tube. The pilot’s seat (PP A 26 & G 25) notes the two types of harness set ups (photoetch) that can be utilized. There is the usual instrument items and decal face locations on an inset diagram for the firewall / footwell former (PP G 4).

Step 2 continues with the interior. The sidewall segments (PP A 3 & 4 ) have levers, metal fittings and a case for the photographic plates. Also there are additional former segments (PP D 4 x 2) and the 50cm camera (PP A 8, 9, 11 & 13).

Page 5 the rigging guide notes the position of the bracing wires and the control cables with in the cockpit tub / assembly.

Step 3 notes specific alterations and holes that need to be drilled or cut in the fuselage halves (PP F 2 & 6). Next, the addition of the cockpit subassemblies closing of the fuselage halves.

Step 4 is the 260hp Salmson 9z radial is constructed in several easy steps. (PP E 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13 & 14). Note the Magnetos are E 5, not E 2 as the instructions note. Note the radiator (PP A 12) has three exhaust ring segments (PP E 10 X 3)to be attached. The shutters come in the open (PP A 21) or closed (PP A 20) versions. Open - for summer months and low altitude ops, closed - for winter and high altitude ops. The radial cylinder jacket heads have the coil actuation springs molded as solid pieces. These beg for detailing.

Step 5 is the aluminum cowls represent those for the late production models. Note that WNW has gone back through their instructions before release and “X” out items listed for the French version and added the right item # for the AEF version.

Step 6 discusses the bottom wings (PP B 1 & 2)and Vickers (PP A 31 & 32) or Merlin (PP D 3 X 2) machine gun set up. With the cabane struts pre set from step 2 the four interplane struts (PP D 19 X 4) look very simple to line up.

Step 7 next assemble the parts for the top wing (PP B 3 & 4, G 6 & 22), add lower ailerons (PP G 5 & 25, D 8 X 2) and undercarriage (PP G 24, 27 & A 45), retainers (PP D 11 X 2), outer wheel covers (PP D 16 X 2)- fabric types or the (PP D 13 X 2) for pressed metal versions. The tires /tyres come in two types. There is the normal version (PP D 17 X 2) and the weighted version (PP D 10 X 2). These cowling ring sections (PP G 7, 10 & 21) are vented differently from others on the tree and double checking before application is a good practice. The wireless aerial (PP A 47) needs modification to be set at the correct angle.

Step 8 deals with ailerons ( PP G 1 & 23, D 7 X 2)for the upper wing & Continuing application of the Cowling rigs (PP G 8, 9 & 20). Note the external wieless generator variations (PP A 22, 43 & 44)or(PP A 1 & 40). Note forward rear view mirror (PP A 48), the optical sight (PP A 57) and the overflow / Water filler tube (PP A 35) and front ring sight (P 3). If you wonder what the elephant icon in the PE parts application means, it is for a stronger part. On the propeller (PP E 4 & 8), these were often heavily stained with some wood grain evident or entirely shellaced red brown with no wood grain is evident.

Step 9 on the tailplane(PP F 1 & D 14 X 2) The Bracing or support struts were resting in pivots so the horizontal tailplane could travel freely. It is important that these be treated to reflect that potential movement. Too much glue can be easily over done in this connective area and will reflect poorly on the application. Be cautious. Also the pivot hole flange (P 4) should not be glued to the rudder (PP F 5). The flat section struts seen in most images are in fact twin cables see page 14 lower image.

Step 10 the observer’s armament is the typical Lewis guns and Scarff ring (French built TO-3 Tourelle)(PP 5, 15 & P 6 X 2). The ring base is A5 not A 15. Most of the Salmson A-2A types used the twin mount arrangement. The “French” Darne built Lewis is an upgraded version of the original Lewis Mk.I design. The “US Savage Arms” built Lewis is a license built copy of the Lewis Mk.III. It is interesting to note that the American army Lieutenant Lewis that developed the gun offered it first to America and was turned down. Then took his design overseas where it was embraced and the design license purchased by the British & the French. For bungee material consider using “E-Z line”.

Page 16 deals specifically with the rigging diagram. Not hard to follow and is colour coded. The fuel tank breather tube in yellow travels from the area between the cabane struts to the top wing cut out. Also the wireless leads travel up the rear of the cabane struts.

Page 17. A2 Salmson 2-A2 Serial unknown, “24”, 1st Aero Sqn, A.J Coyle & J.W. Corley & A.E. Easterbrook Oct. – Nov. 1918.
Page 19. B1 Salmson 2-A2 #1319, “6”, “Old Carolina IV”, 12 Aero Sqn, D.H. Arthur & H.T. Fleeson, Late 1918.
Page 20. C Salmson 2-A2 “18”, 91st Aero Sqn, K. Douglass, L.C. Hammond & A.M. Seymour, Late 1918.
Page 21. D Salmson 2-A2 “17”, 186th Aero Sqn, H.C. McCaslin Mid 1919.
Page 22. E Salmson 2-A2 #5464, “8”, 1st Aero Sqn, W.P. Erwin & A.E. Easterbrook, June 1918.

Camouflage & Finish
From WnW instructions, “. . .Later production aircraft were finished in the ‘standard’ French 5 colour camouflage scheme of chestnut brown, beige, light green, dark green (all of which contained an imperceptible about (should be “amount”) of aluminium (aluminum)powder which imparts a very subtle semi gloss ‘pearlescent’ sheen) and black. The undersides appear to have been left as clear doped (not correct - no production A-2A had undersides in clear dope) silk with metal panels painted ecru. . .” Just to be clear as well the type of silk was called “Shap” this was an aircraft grade material that was more uniform than linen. Not the type used for clothing.

References
Salmson 2A2 Windsock Datafile 109, John Guttman 2005.
Avion S.A.L. Type 2 Nomenclature des Pieces detaches 1918.
Alan Toelle.
Salmson Aircraft of World War I by Guttman & Davila, Flying Machine Press. ISBN 1-891268-16-3 March 2001.
Serge Marcozzi.

When contacting manufacturers and publishers PLEASE mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE

Click here for additional images for this review.

SUMMARY
Highs: High quality details and design. Weighted tires finally included.
Lows: Instructions have a few minor typos. Some minor colour info a bit out of tune.
Verdict: One of the finest kits Wingnut Wings has released. Even costing a bit more its detail is unequaled.
  DETAIL & DESIGN:97%
  CAMOUFLAGE :93%
  INSTRUCTIONS:96%
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: #32059
  Suggested Retail: $99.00
  Related Link: Website
  PUBLISHED: Dec 28, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.97%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 93.88%

Our Thanks to Wingnut Wings!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)
FROM: COLORADO, UNITED STATES

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright ©2017 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Note also that Wingnut Wings is also telling us they have some new items coming soon; 00004 French Blue EZ Line fine 0.15mm x 30.5m easy to use rigging thread US$16.00 Ideal for 32038 Salmson 2-A2 / Otsu 1 and 32059 Salmson 2-A2 ‘USAS’ as well as the 16(?) 1/32 French aircraft models already available from Roden, Hobbycraft, Special Hobby, Amodel and Academy.
MAR 16, 2014 - 05:51 PM
Nice Stephen! Thinking of getting this one, what color was the Salmson underneath if not clear doped?
JAN 25, 2015 - 04:11 AM
Hi Michael It was "écru" - basically an opaque linen colour. As with most finishes, the tone could vary slightly depending if it was applied as a cellulose dope for fabric surfaces or an enamel paint for panelled areas. All the best Rowan
JAN 25, 2015 - 05:06 AM
So not the light gray alternative as suggested in the hints and tips section of the Wingnuts website? Michael
JAN 25, 2015 - 05:30 AM
Hi Michael It's usually described as a greyish-yellow - but, if you do a web search for écru, you'll find quite a wide range of suggested colours. Not pure Light Grey, though. I fell for WnW's call for Clear Doped Linen in my review of the Salmson 2-A2 / Otsu 1 until Stephen corrected me. Basically, though, "CDL" is roughly a suitable colour (écru mimicked it), but it was a solid finish, so some of the classic CDL shading and highlighting effects to show underlying structure won't be strictly appropriate. All the best Rowan
JAN 25, 2015 - 05:47 AM
Very good, thank you to both of you! I do love those WNW kits and the Salmson is just ugly enough to be attractive. Now if only they'd do a 1 1/2 Strutter and Dolphin... Michael
JAN 25, 2015 - 08:53 AM
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