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This is my 7-day challenge. I'm feeling confident that I can build this with style and have it in the gallery by midnight, August 7. That would be 10PM for you folks up north. With the Osprey doing well (and some others waiting in the wings) I want to have at least two aircraft for this GB. So here it is... Pretty box art. Double bay biplane. Rigging. Yes! Double flying wires? We'll see... Profile. I like the red tail. What's in the box...one sprue of plastic; some resin; some PE; clear foil. Decals look very nice and sharp. I've already primed the plastic. I'll tuck in later... --John
Nieuport NiD 29 / Nakajima KO-4 1:72 Azur FRROM The Nieuport NiD-29 C1 is a fighter designed br by Gustave Delage in 1918. WWI ended before it was produced. In 1920 it was selected as new fighter by the French Aéronautique Militaire and the delivery to the units started in 1922. 700 of this aircraft were produced. In 1925 the French Aéronautique Militaire had 25 NiD-29-equipped squadrons. Several aircraft fitted with bomb-racks took part in low-level assault tasks in North Morocco at the end of 1925. The Nieuports remained in service with France till the end of the 20s. Aircraft were also produced under license in Belgium, Japan, Italy and Siam. They were used by the air forces of other countries as Spain, Sweden, Argentina, Kwansi, China and Manchuria. In 1922 the Belgian Aéronautique Militaire ordered 108 aircraft. Twenty aircraft were delivered direct by Nieuport from 1922 (Ni.1 to Ni.20) and eighty eight were built under license by SABCA (Ni.21 to Ni.108) these were delivered between January 1924 and October 1926. During 1931 they were replaced by Fairey Firefly IIM fighters. Sweden ordered ten Nieuport NiD-29 C1 in 1925. In the new Flygvapnet (created on first July 1926) they were named J2 (Jaktflygplan 2, for fighter aircraft 2) and wore the numbers 63, 65, 67, 69, 611, 613, 615, 617, 619 and 621. In 1929 seven machines were still in service. In 1922 the Italian Army selected the Nieuport NiD-29 C1 for the new Regia Aeronautica. Macchi and Caproni built these under license. It was named Macchi M.29 by Italians. The first Italian built machines were delivered to fighter units in October 1924, all together 175 aircraft were built by both Italian firms. They remained in service till 1931. In 1923 the Spanish Aviacion Militar ordered 30 aircraft. Deliveries started from the end of 1923. They equipped the fighter group of Getafe (Madrid). In September 1924 some were sent to North Morocco, they were based at Nador (Melilla). They took part in the Morocco war. Spanish aircraft were withdrawn in 1931 and replaced by Nieuports 52. The Nieuport NiD-29 C1 was selected by the Japanese Army to replace the Spad XIII and Ni.24. In 1923, one machine was bought in France. The NiD-29 was built under license by Nakajima which produced 608 machines. The type was called Ko-4 by Japanese. The Hiko Rentai (Air regiments) 1, 3, 4, 7 and 8 were equipped with Ko-4. Fighter units with Ko-4 took part in the invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and 1932. A lot of fighter schools were equipped with Ko-4 in 1937 (according to some sources, they were still in service in 1941). In China, the Kwansi government bought ten Nakajima Ko-4s in 1935 for advanced training. The following year the Kwansi joined the central Nanking government. All the aircraft were then integrated into the Chinese Air Force. At the end of 1937 seven Ko-4s were still in service for training. Manchuria bought four Ko-4s. After the Japanese invasion, these aircraft were put into service by the Japanese Army. In 1937 one Ko-4 was used by the new Manchukuo military aviation. In 1923 the Siam Aeronautical Service chose the Nieuport NiD-29 for its fighter units. Twelve machines were ordered from France as well as forty Hispano 8Fb engines. Licensed construction was also negotiated. The NiD-29 C1 was named Bin Khpa Laï 4 (it means fighter model 4). Forty aircraft were built by local factory. The 52 aircraft equipped four fighter squadrons. In 1937 they were replaced by Curtiss Hawks II & III (some sources claim several machines remained in service for training until 1941).(Information from Azur FFROM) The Kit On opening what seems to be Azur FFROMs standard open end box you are presented with a model which can only be described as one of few parts. There is one sprue of shorter run injection plastic, two small bags of resin parts, one sheet of clear acetate for the canopy, and a small PE fret. The parts feature some nice if restrained detail, appear to be well moulded with no problems. The fabric effect on the wings is very good for this scale, some of the smaller parts have a little bit of flash, but its nothing serious. Construction like most aircraft starts with the cockpit. This is made up from a combination of plastic and PE parts for the finer items. Once this is made and installed the fuselage and be closed up. Once this is done the lower wing and the tail planes are attached. Next step is to attach the wheels and their bracing struts. All of these are plastic. Also at this stage what appear to be oil coolers? In resin are attached to the wheel bracing struts. The guns can then be added to the top of the area behind the engine cowling. The kit includes open guns, and ones covered by a shroud without any real explanation in the instructions of which ones to use. I guess the modeller will have to consult references. The engine cylinder heads and exhaust are attached next. These are supplied in resin, and are very small / delicate. Once finished with the engine its on to the upper wing. There are a total of 10 individual struts to line up here so this will not be a quick job. Once finished there is the small matter of the windscreen, and small it is! This is printed on a flat sheet of thin acetate and will have to be cut out the folded by the modeller. Given the bad vac canopies I have seen on other 1:72 bi planes this might be a better idea? Finally with this kit Azur FFROM have actually provided a rigging diagram! Decals - France & Belgium Boxing The France & Belgium Boxing of the kit gives three choices of markings. ND-29 C1 of SPA 124 "Fayette" Soiux Indian Head Emblem (France) - Overall Dark Green ND-29 C1 of SPA 81, German occupation Force 1924 (France) - Overall Dark Green ND-29 C1 of no85 of 9th Escadrille de Chasse Of belgium 1922 - Dark Green over Aluminium Dope Decals - Export Boxing The Export Boxing of the kit gives three choices of markings. ND-29 C1 of the Flygvapnet J2 (Sweeden) - 1926 - overall Aluminium Dope ND-29 C1 of M29 of the Regina Aeronatica, 70th Sqn (Italy) - 1927 overall Aluminium Dope ND-29 C1 of the First Fighter Group Spanish Military Aviation, Getafe in 1926 - Overall Dark Green Decals - Nakajima Ko-4 Boxing The Nakajima Ko-4 Boxing of the kit gives four choices of markings. Nakajima Ko-4 No.83 Imperial Japanese Army - overall Grey / Green Nakajima Ko-4 No.695 Imperial Japanese Army - overall Grey / Green Nakajima Ko-4 No.220 Imperial Japanese Army - overall Grey / Green (Red Rudder) ND-29 C1 of Bin KhpaLai 4 of the Royal Aeronautical Serive of Siam in 1936 - Overall Dark Green All decals are by Aviprint and look to have good colour density and be in register. Conclusion This kit from Azur FFROM does fill a gap in the "tween wars" fighter era. I cant find any evidence of anyone else doing this kit outside of short run resin. The kit is not an easy one by any means, but should build up to a nice model with some time and care. Overall recomended to those with some bi-plane building under their belts. Review sample courtesy of