The Snoopy and his Sopwith Camel Model Kit by Atlantis turned out beautifully in the end. The journey was a rocky one for me in some places. The fantastic colors, the whirring motor, and the revived novelty are all great reasons to buy this kit. Plus, being able to pair Snoopy up with his rival, the Red Baron? Perfection!
Back in 1971, Monogram Mattel first released these popular Snoopy and Red Baron kits. Snoopy and his Sopwith Camel features his yellow bi-plane displayed above his doghouse. The Red Baron kit features Baron Von Richthofen in his red tri-plane above an iron cross base. Both of the kits feature a motorized propeller for those recreated World War I dog fights. Monogram Mattel came out with a variety of kits featuring Snoopy and are now being reproduced by Atlantis. They will soon be releasing Snoopy Joe Cool with his Surfboard and Snoopy and his Race Car, both motorized.
Building the kit
Beyond four tricky areas, the Snoopy and his Sopwith Camel model kit was easy to build. For the most part, the pieces came together easily and the directions were good. The colors of the plastic pieces and the decals are wonderful. The box art and directions are recreations of the originals, with a few updates. The motor works great, is easy to operate and isn’t too loud.
Let me start off by saying, I’m not a regular model builder. I don’t have the expertise. However, for this project, that shouldn’t be a problem. A Snap-tite kit is meant to be an easy kit for beginners. No glue. No paint. Simple, right? While I had problems, I have talked with others who had an easy time building this kit. The other two Atlantis kits I’ve built, Snoopy Hockey Rink and the Red Baron, went together easily. I’m guessing some of this was a plastic molding issue, which is understandable when working with getting old molds and machines working again after 50 years.
Snoopy’s neck was the first hurdle. The peg the scarf and body slide onto was just too big. Try as I might to squish the two halves of Snoopy’s head together, the neck peg was still a problem. With a little bit of Exacto knife whittling, the pieces went on fine.
My next head-scratcher was the wing struts. These pieces separate and support the two wing tips. The back went into the hole, while the front was too big to go through. Again, an Exacto knife was needed to reshape the area and make it work. In hindsight, after building the Red Baron, I may not have put it together right. The Snoopy directions were a little more vague than the Red Baron directions. The Red Baron’s struts just snapped into the hole, not through the hole. However, I spent a good half hour trying to get the struts to work on Snoopy, so I’m not sure why it wasn’t just snapping into place like the Red Baron did.
Landing gear is important in a plane. Both tires needed to be attached, but only one wanted to pop on to the axle. With two tires, it’s easy to see when one isn’t working. Tire One popped right on. Tire Two was giving me problems. I tried Tire One on both wheels and it worked fine. I made sure to keep an eye on the proper orientation of Tire One so I could mirror that with Tire Two. When that didn’t work, it was back to the Exacto knife to skim off some of the inside of the tire and get it to work.
Snoopy’s plane isn’t going anywhere with the motor! The main problem was sliding the engine cover over the battery box. It just didn’t fit. Yes, I was lining up the groove with the rib! We all know what the next step is: Exacto knife. A lot of cutting and test fitting later, the two are finally together and not coming apart. In contrast, the Red Baron went right together, lickity split!
Should you Buy?
Of course! I’m hoping that my problems were confined to my particular Snoopy kit. It was from the first release of the kit, so I’m guessing later kits have these problems resolved. Snoopy and his Sopwith Camel turn out great in the end and its a wonderful piece to add to display with your Peanuts collection. At about $30 for the kit, it’s a huge savings over an original Monogram kit. The Red Baron kit went together easily, which I’ll do a video on soon. Finally, there’s nothing better than getting Snoopy’s plane started by spinning the propeller! It’s just so fitting for an old plane.
I found a nipper made for plastic* to be really handy for getting the parts off the plastic tree. We just have a generic one that came with a 3-D printer, so I have no recommendations to make for brands. An Exacto knife* or craft knife could come in handy if your kit needs some tweaking. It can also be used to clean up the remnants from the plastic tree.
Where to Snoopy Model Kits
To buy direct, visit Atlantis online. Plus, they are available on Amazon and your purchase helps support this site. Find vintage Snoopy Monogram kits and new Atlantis kits at eBay.com and also supports the site. Thank you!
Let’s build together!
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