Kit: No. 05114
Manufacturer: Glencoe Models, P.O. Box 846, Northboro, MA 01532, phone 508-869-6877
Comments: Injection molded, 33 parts, decals.
THE NIEUPORT 28 was a nimble little fighter with one major drawback -- a strong tendency to shed the fabric of the upper wing in a power dive. The French found the 28s unsatisfactory and relegated them to the Yanks. They were the first combat fighters flown by American-trained units in World War I, including the famed 94th Pursuit Group. This unit included Lt. Douglas Campbell, whose markings are one of seven choices on the decal sheet.
Glencoe's Nieuport 28 (along with the Pfalz D.III and the Spad XIII) is a reissue of the Aurora kit from the early 1960s. My sample was nearly identical to the one I built years ago, but most of the raised-decal locators have been removed.
As with the original version, the parts are molded in silver and creamy-tan styrene -- this color can be left unpainted to replicate doped linen fabric. Glencoe's instructions consist of a brief history, five exploded-view assembly steps, and decal and camouflage guides.
Overall, the kit goes together well, but there are a few glitches to watch for. When mounting the engine to the cowling, use the rocker arms of the engine to mate with grooves on the inside of the cowling. There was flash on the parts and I had to sand the struts to scale thickness. The aileron hinge lines are not scribed all the way out to the wing tips as they should be, and the color demarcation lines on the rudder are still there. The drawings show the port-side machine gun tipped over on its side; it should mount upright like its top-side companion.
Cockpit detail includes a floor, stick, seat, and instrument panel (the latter not shown in the instructions). The clear windscreen (part No. 6) was missing from my kit so I used clear plastic. If you want to use the pilot figure, install it before closing the fuselage halves.
To ease painting, attach the lower wing and stabilizer to the fuselage and paint it as a unit. Paint the top wing and rudder separately. I used Testor Model Master pale green, military brown, dark green, sand, and flat black for the camouflage.
The highlight of the kit is the decal sheet with beautifully printed markings for seven aircraft. Some of my sample's black triangles for Campbell's cowl came apart, so I overcoated the remaining decals with clear and trimmed each image from the sheet with a sharp blade. This did the trick and the decals responded well to setting solution.
Despite its age, the old Nieuport turns out to be a good representation of the graceful fighter, according to the drawings and information in Windsock Datafile No. 36, Nieuport 28, and Bergen Hardesty's drawings in a 1965 issue of Model Airplane News. I spent 25 hours building this little beauty and would recommend it to any WWI aircraft buff.