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Viking

Hannover CL.II 1:32 Wingnut Wings

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Hannover CL.II

1:32 Wingnut Wings

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The Hannover CL.II was designed in 1917 as a two seat escort fighter to protect other two seat reconnaissance aircraft.Hannoversch Waggonfabrik AG were actually manufacturers of railway waggons who had branched out into license building Halberstadt, Rumpler and Aviatik aircraft.

Their first indigenous design was the CL.II, which first flew in July 1917 and entered service in August 1917. Like the Roland CL.II the fuselage was a lightweight structure formed of thin plywood layers covered with fabric and doped, as were the wing centre sections. It makes an interesting comparison with the Bristol F.2b fighter as some of the design aims were the same. Most obvious was the need to give the gunner as wide a field of fire as possible. Frank Barnwell did this on the Bristol aircraft by placing the fin and rudder pretty much half and half above and below the fuselage. The CL.II achieved it by shortening the span of the tailplane but maintaining the surface area by making it a biplane unit, and locating the gunner very high in the fuselage.

Also similar to the F.2b the top wing is at the crews eye level, giving them an excellent view above and below.

Unlike the Bristol with its lower wing mounted below the fuselage on short struts, the Hannover simply has a much deeper fuselage to maintain the gap between the two wings.

In service it was very well liked, being strong, fast, highly manoeuverable and generally versatile. It also had the advantage of being smaller that most two seaters, leading allied pilots to think it was a single seater that could be sneaked up on from behind. Any pilot who did so would place himself at the mercy of the rear gunner. As the war progressed into 1918 the Hannover was also used in the ground attack role, and continued in front line service up until the November armistice.

The Kit.

This was a surprise announcement at Christmas 2012, and one that was most welcome.It comes with the usual beautiful full colour instruction booklet in a box packed with sprues, three near A4 sized sheets of decals, and photo etch for the seatbelts and machine gun jackets. Its a real treat to open and spend time poring over all the contents an marveling at the thought and care that has gone into it all.

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Construction begins with the cockpit and every detail has been provided, including the fuel tank that the pilots seat is mounted on. Bulkheads are superbly moulded with crisp detail;

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There is also an optional wireless set, complete with readable decals for all the dials, and large FK camera for photo recce missions. CAD drawings of the complete assembly in full colour should leave you in doubt how the final assembly should look. Fabulous.

The Argus As.III engine is up next and as is usual with Wingnuts there are optional cylinder heads with pushrods molded on, or without if you prefer to make your own from stretched sprue for extra realism. All you really need to do yourself is wire up the magnetos to the spark plugs with fine jewellers wire and you will have a stunning little engine to fit up front. Cowlings are separate parts so you can leave the off or fit them to your liking. On other Wingnuts kits I have built it is possible to push fit them on so that they are removable.

The biplane tail follows next, complete with drawings and contemporary photographs to show you the two possible rigging options for the unit. The wings on four of the five finishing options are covered with lozenge fabric, so you have to decide by now which one you are going for, as the decals will need applying now. I normally paint the uppers green and lowers pale blue to give the decals something to key on to, and blend in any tears if I am ham fisted applying them. Don't be tempted to apply them to the bare plastic, it won't work. Optional upper wing radiators are provided, so again you need to pay attention to you chosen option.

Finally comes the undercarriage which should present no problems, and and choice of three appropriate propellers. Final details are the the Parabellum LMG.14 or 14/17 with etched jacket where appropriate, and various external racks for flares or grenades. Also included is a generic sprue with Cameras, ladders, wheel chocks, barograph, trestle, homing pigeon box,flare pistols, and teddy bear(!), everything to completely fit out you CL.II for a mission. The rigging looks moderately complex but is clearly illustrated.

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Colour options.

There are the normal five options to choose from. The Hannover featured a hand painted lozenge finish to the fuselage, and either all over or just on the rear fin, so you can select one according to your confidence. The last option is a very attractive overall pale blue machine, if you want to avoid dealing with lozenge camouflage all together.

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A) 9295/17 White 2, Ltn Ruhr FA A 286b, Late 1917.

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B ) 9339/17 Red 5,FA 7, Winter 1917-18

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C) 13189/17 FA 287b, Early 1918.

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D) 13274/17 White 4, Schlasta 25 Mid 1918.

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E) 690/18, FEA 8, Late 1918.

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Conclusion.

Well I have to say that this looks likes another winner from Wingnut Wings. Perhaps not one for the beginner because of the rigging, it should nevertheless build up without any problems. If you have already built a couple of biplanes, the fit and engineering of this or any other Wingnuts kits should encourage you to have a go. The Hannover is an inspired choice for a kit, and all those lovely extras just call out for it to be set in a little diorama.

Highly recommended.

Review sample courtesy of



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The more i look at these kits, the more i quite fancy a go at building one, they look fantastic. Your review John is doing nothing to put me off. I might have to treat myself in the new year.

Regards

Dan

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Great review John,

The detail in these kits is pretty stunning. Even a teddy bear !!!!

Now can't wait to see you make it based on what you've made so far :)

Neil

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The more i look at these kits, the more i quite fancy a go at building one, they look fantastic. Your review John is doing nothing to put me off. I might have to treat myself in the new year.

Regards

Dan

Careful. I thought exactly the same after seing a WNW DH9 build article in a modelling mag so I picked one up.................I now have 5 x WNW kits in the stash with three more on the way!

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