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Eduard 1/48 scale Morane-Saulnier type N

Kit: No. 8090
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: Eduard, Obrnice 170, 43521 Obrnice, Czech Republic,
Price: $29.98
Comments: Injection-molded, 48 parts, decals
Pros: Beautifully molded, good detail, individual instrument decals, good decals, handy painting masks
Cons: Inaccurate rigging instructions, incorrect shape of tail-skid supports
The Morane Saulnier Type N (dubbed "Bullet") was a historically significant early World War I monoplane fighter. It featured wing warping instead of ailerons and a machine gun that fired through the propeller arc. To keep from damaging the prop, the bullets were deflected by steel wedges mounted on the prop blades.

Eduard produced a Type N kit about 10 years ago, but this all-new kit shows how much improvement in molding has been made by the company since then. This new kit is better detailed and easier to build than the old one.

The 48 tan-plastic moldings are crisp and well detailed with no ejectorpin marks. The highly detailed cockpit relies entirely on plastic parts rather than folded-up, tiny photoetched-metal ones. In the two marking schemes represented by the decals, you have a choice of using the supplied self-adhesive, die-cut painting masks or decals for the thin red or black margin around the horizontal tail surfaces. Painting masks are also supplied for the wheel discs. The decals even supply irregular silver "paint chips" to represent damage from ricocheting bullets.

What really appeals to me are the individual instrument-face decals for the cockpit instruments. This standard kit (as opposed to Eduard's "Profipack" issue) has no photoetched seat belts, engine push rods, rudder-control horns, or windscreen. The well-done instruction sheet has a parts map, color chart, and easy-to-follow assembly steps. A separate sheet gives beautifully printed colored views for the two versions.

The Le Rhone rotary engine is nicely done, and the cockpit fits well between the two fuselage halves. I painted the major parts with Polly Scale French beige and caboose red, then decaled prior to assembly. I used the masks for the red edging and the wheel disks. They work well as long as you burnish their edges just before painting.

The fit is good. The horizontal stabilizer is very fragile, so I kept it on its sprue until I was ready to glue it in place.

The rigging diagram is simplified and inaccurate. Using the old kit's instructions as a guide, I added a shaft and cranks to the wing-warping rocker arm and added a top piece to the dorsal V post so I could separate the upper rigging lines. I used two-pound-test monofilament fishing line run through No. 80 drill-bit holes in the wing.

The plastic tail-skid supports are too short to keep the tail skid from hitting the sub-rudder, so I fabricated new ones from brass wire. These were the only inaccuracies I could find on the kit.

I spent a little more than 40 hours on my model, but some of that was on additions. I highly recommend it to WWI fans with some modeling experience.

- Dr. Bill Funcke


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