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  1. I had in mind a scratch build but with several GBs colliding I settled for something simpler. This will be my starting point: I bought it as it contained, as far as I could tell, the only Nieuport RFC markings readily available. I was mildly disappointed finding this inside today: No trace of Albert Ball. They must’ve put the wrong sheet in the box. No matter, it makes it fit this GB even better. The sheet has French cockades and enough serial numbers to allow puzzling together the serials of the Nieuports of the first official French ace, Jean Navarre, la sentinelle de Verdun. Navarre’s story has been told elsewhere - let’s just say it is the opposite of boring. He was young, aggressive, daring, even reckless, and made an impression on the air service and army and society at large - and on the Germans. When he didn’t get in trouble with the gendarmerie or borrow a plane to impress the ladies, he made his mark over the skies over Verdun. Donning ladies’ nylon undergarments instead of a flier’s cap, he painted his Nieuports in stark colours and performed aerobatics over the trenches. He figured, that he could at least cheer up the men below even of there were no foes to intimidate. Navarre flew several flashy Nieuport 11 and 16. I haven’t decided yet, but right now the plan is to built Navarre’s last Nieuport 16, N1130, in which he crashed and effectively ended his career as a fighter pilot. This plane was stark red, with a linen upper wing and camoflagued lower wing. Kit contents: In summary, the wings and fuselage are very nicely detailed, and the Prieur rockets are considerably better than Airfix’s take. Other parts are less refined, especially the crude landing gear which looks like 1960s Airfix. The cockpit is rudimentary - a seat and pedals, not even a stick. The Rhone 9J (9C for a Nieuport 12 - from a modelling perspective the only difference between the types is the engine and cowling) engine I will replace with a Roden spare. The Nieuport 11/16 is *small*, as illustrated with this wing comparison with an Eduard Nieuport 17/21. The 17 is not big to start with: The fuselage contains some details I’ll get rid off, especially the wind screen which I shall replace:
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