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Eduard 1/48 scale Nieuport 17

Kit: No. 8023
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: Eduard, imported by Precision Parts Corp., 800 Proctor Ave., Ogdensburg, NY 13669, phone 613-224-9071
Price: $24.99
Comments: Injection molded, 56 parts, decals.

French World War I ace Georges Guynemer was so revered that after his disappearance in combat, French children were taught to believe he flew so high he couldn't come down. Two Nieuport 17s that Guynemer flew are featured on the decals of this new kit from Eduard.

The gray styrene parts show good detail with thin flying surfaces and wheels that look proper for the scale. There are no instruments for the interior, but a seat, stick, rudder pedals, and throttle quadrant are well represented.

The 10-step instructions feature a brief history, paint chart, color guides for both marking choices, and a rigging diagram. Strangely, the parts map has no numbers, but the parts are numbered in the assembly diagrams. Fortunately, there aren't a lot of parts, and the locations for most are obvious.

The overall fit was excellent. The only wrinkle in assembly was trying to fit the assembled interior in the fuselage - the floorboard was 1/16" too wide, so I had to trim it. Leave an extra 1/32" on the aileron bell cranks (A15 and A16) when cutting them from the sprue. The bell crank pushrods are too heavy for the scale, so I made new ones from stretched sprue and drilled holes in the bell cranks for them. The rest of the assembly went smoothly.

I like to have the propeller (and in this case, the rotary engine, too) turn freely on my models, but the assembly method on this model prevents that.

I painted the model with a home-brew silver and used Model Master enamels for the smaller parts. The decals went on without problems.

The finished model is pretty, but the landing-gear struts are about 1/8" too long, making the model sit too high. My references were Bergen Hardesty's 1961 drawings and Albatros Productions' Nieuport Fighters Vol. 1.

My Nieuport 17 took about 25 hours to build - about average for me. As biplanes go, this Nieuport had little rigging, so if you have never rigged a biplane, this kit provides an ideal starter.

- Bill Gebhard

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