WOW195 - Sopwith Snipe (Interwar Variant)
FIGURES NOT INCLUDED (FOR SCALE PURPOSES ONLY)
The Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe was a British single-seat biplane fighter of the Royal Air Force (RAF). It was designed and built by the Sopwith Aviation Company during the First World War, and came into squadron service a few weeks before the end of the conflict in late 1918. The Snipe was not a fast aircraft by the standards of its time, but its excellent climb and manoeuvrability made it a good match for contemporary German fighters. One of the most famous incidents in which the Snipe was involved occurred on 27 October 1918 when Canadian Major William G. Barker attached to No. 201 Squadron RAF flew over the Forêt de Mormal in France. Barker’s Snipe (No. E8102) had been brought with him for personal evaluation purposes in connection with his UK-based training duties and was therefore operationally a “one-off”. The engagement with enemy aircraft occurred at the end of a two-week posting to renew his combat experience as Barker was returning to the UK. While on his last operation over the battlefields of France, Major Barker attacked a two-seater German aircraft and swiftly shot it down. However, Barker was soon attacked by a formation of at least 15 Fokker D.VIIs, an aircraft widely considered to be the ultimate German fighter design of the First World War. The ensuing melee was observed by many Allied troops. In the engagement, Barker was wounded three times, twice losing consciousness momentarily, but managing to shoot down at least three D.VIIs before making a forced landing on the Allied front lines. Barker was awarded the Victoria Cross for this action. The fuselage of this Snipe is preserved at the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario. Following the Armistice with Germany that ended the First World War, Sopwith Snipes formed part of the British Army of Occupation, returning to the United Kingdom in August/September 1919, while Snipes replaced Camels in four home defence squadrons based in the United Kingdom. This force was quickly run down, however, and by the end of 1919, only a single squadron, No 80 was equipped with the Snipe. In 1919, the Snipe took part in the Allied intervention on the side of the White Russians during the Russian Civil War against the Bolsheviks, twelve Snipes being used by the RAF mission in north Russia. At least one of the RAF Snipes was captured by the Bolsheviks and pressed into service which is also one of our featured models. WOW195 Features a late variant Snipe operating from RAF Hawkinge in 1923 in a post-war silver colour scheme.
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