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Eduard 1:48 Nieuport 17 in Italian service


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Nieuport 17
Eduard 1:48


The type was a slightly larger development of the earlier Nieuport 11, and had a more powerful engine, larger wings, and a more refined structure in general. At first, it was equipped with a 110 hp (82 kW) Le Rhône 9J engine, though later versions were upgraded to a 130 hp (97 kW) engine. It had outstanding maneuverability, and an excellent rate of climb. Unfortunately, the narrow lower wing, marking it as a "sesquiplane" design with literally "one-and-a-half wings", was weak due to its single spar construction, and had a disconcerting tendency to disintegrate in sustained dives at high speed. Initially, the Nieuport 17 retained the above wing mounted Lewis gun of the "11", but in French service this was soon replaced by a synchronised Vickers gun. In the Royal Flying Corps, the wing mounted Lewis was usually retained, by now on the improved Foster mounting, a curved metal rail which allowed the pilot to bring the gun down in order to change drums or clear jams. A few individual aircraft were fitted with both guns - but in practice this reduced performance unacceptably, and a single machine gun remained standard. The type reached the French front in March 1916, and quickly began to replace the Nieuport 11 in French service. It was also ordered by the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service, as it was superior to any British fighter at that time. Worthy of note is the fact that during part of 1916, the Nieuport 17 equipped every fighter squadron of the Aéronautique Militaire. The Germans supplied captured examples to several of their aircraft manufacturers for them to copy. This resulted in the Siemens-Schuckert D.I which, apart from the engine installation, was a close copy and actually went into production, although in the event it was not used operationally on the Western Front. Like the other Nieuport types, the 17 was used as an advanced trainer for prospective fighter pilots after its operational days were over.

The Model

Inside the standard Eduard Weekend Edition box with a stylised picture of the Nieuport on the front. Inside, all the parts are well protected in a poly bag. There are two sprues, one in the standard Eduard light brown styrene and one in blue/grey styrene. The parts are well moulded with no flash and only a few parts with moulding pips. There is also a small single clear part for the windscreen. The build of this diminutive fighter with plugging the lower front fuselage with a blank plate followed by an internal panel to the port side on which the throttle and linkage are fitted, and a support strut to each fuselage half. The cockpit floor has the joystick, seat and rudder pedals added, followed by an internal strut through the floor and the instrument panel to the strut. Once the internal fuselages are painted they can be joined with the engine mounting shaft sandwiched in-between. The next stage is to fit the lower wing, horizontal tailplane, rudder and their respective control horns. The engine, best painted first and two part cowling is then glued into place, as is the windscreen, tailplane struts and rear skid. The upper wing, using the wing off the blue/grey sprue, is then fitted with the tubular gunsight, whilst the machine gun and ammunition feed is add to the upper front fuselage. With the interplane and cabane struts are the upper wing can be fixed into place. Two grab handles are then fitted to the upper wing in front of the cockpit. Turning the aircraft over the undercarriage, consisting of the two wheels, support struts and axle/fairing are attached and finally the prop can be fitted, although this may be fitted after painting has been completed.







Being a Weekend Edition there is only one option on the decal sheet, that of a Nieuport 17, N3139, ten, Fulco Ruffo di Calabria, 91’ Squadriglia, Italian Front, Spring 1917. They are all very well printed in good register and slightly glossy. There are also four instruments for the panel. The decals are nicely printed, with good colour density, although the green of the rudder colours looks slightly patchy. The paint scheme, of overall aluminium, with the lower port wing in red and lower right wing in green, is really attractive and will make this little aircraft stand out from the crowd.


This is another very nice little kit from Eduard. Being quite small it will be quite fun to rig, but not overly complex. It will certainly make a nice addition to any collection. Recommended.




Review sample courtesy of logo.gif

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Having had another look at the decal placement it shows the French roundels very faintly on the top wing. To me it looks like they are applied, then oversprayed with aluminium paint, as the aircraft were transfered from a French unit to the Italians.

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That might make sense. There are a number of pictures of this aircraft around and I could not see roundels, but Eduard might have had better pictures than mine.
If that is the case, it would be a very nice touch from Eduard !

Edited by Giorgio N
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I'd like to thank you Giorgio for pointing this out, as I obviously had a moment of colour blindness, or too closely looking at the colour density and opacity rather than the colours themselves, as I could only see green and not the blue. I will also say that the painting/decal instructions are in black and white and I could only see the roundels when viewing through an illuminated magnifyer, as they are really, really faint.

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Hi Guy's,

Having seen pictures of this airframe I can confirm that the French Roundels were faintly visible under a layer of aluminium dope.

Now I just have to work out how to get one in deepest darkest Africa...

Christian the Married and exiled to Kenya

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There are pictures of these machines and to my mind the roundal visibility issue is inconclusive. I built the academy N17 for baraccas mount and didn't bother adding the roundals, I agree though it is a nice touch by Eduard to add the option, especially on a weekend edition kit.

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Hi Guy's

Just realized that I have the reference I alluded too above with me and not at the mercies of Somali pirates!

Windsock International Vol. 18, No. 5, P. 20-21. These pages form part of an article on "Colours and Markings of Italian WWI Fighters: The Nieuport 17 and 27" by Alberto Casirati. Photograph No. 2 on page 20 is of this airframe and the overpainted roundels are visible (?) on both wings. Photo 5 on page 21 again shows this airframe with an another each side and again the painted over roundels are visible on this airframe and the one to its left.

There is also a rendidtion of this airframe on the back cover by Ray Rimell based on photo No.2.

Windsock have a Mini-Datafile on Italian Markings which IIRC contains more but that alas has yet to arrive.


Christian the Married and exiled to Africa

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