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     Hey, Bernie, that's my model!...The Sopwith Tabloid.

Sopworth Tabloid

My late friend Gerry Gibbons built one of these in the '80's from the Aeromodeller plan. Pulled by a .5 Dart, it flew out of sight one Summer's day at Old Warden. A couple of months later I rescued the  remains from the little control tower there, but restoration was out of the question. Sometimes a design plays on one's mind, and eventually a replica had to be built.

Sopworth Tabloid

I have always had a problem with covering and finishing, and following a traumatic juvenile disaster with a black doped Jetex job in the fifties (thinners? what's that?) I have an aversion to putting paint on models. Double covering is another matter, and SAMS has a large range of coloured tissues. Next problem was that I couldn't make the crinkly stuff do double curvatures. Solution? Every rib bay is a separate piece of tissue. Bonus? The overlaps look like rib tapes! Roundels are tissue too, as transfers would be too glossy.

Sopworth Tabloid

For motive power I fitted (don't laugh) a KP02. "Flights" were downward powered glides. So it was that the Sopwith remained hanging on my workshop wall for three years until appropriated and re-engined by a visiting Club Chairman. Result: a remarkably good flyer. Seems that if I want the pleasure of flying one, I'll just have to make another.


  • Aeromodeller plan, lightweight white tissue, SAMS tissue.
  • Motor: Waypoint 90/100 watt
  • ESC 12 amp
  • LiPo 350 mAh 2-cell.
  • K&P Timer
  • Prop orange 8 x 4 or similar. Don't ask me. Nuffink to do wiv me any more. Ask Bernie...

John Ashmole
December 2010

Addition June 2011
The story continues. The proud owner (that's Bernie, not the folorn and disregarded builder) achieved third in APS Scale at the (windy, inevitably) 2011 Nats. And to think I left it hanging on a wall for three years.

Sopworth Tabloid

Tabloid in flight