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Nieuport 11 - Eduard 1:48 Weekend edition


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Nieuport 11

Eduard 1:48 Weekend edition


The Nieuport 11 first appeared over the western front in early 1916, and made a massive contribution to ending the 'Fokker scourge'. It outclassed the Fokker Eindekkers in almost every respect, except perhaps that it did not posses a synchronised gun firing through the propeller. Its single Lewis gun was mounted on the top wing, and fired over the propellers arc of rotation.

Its main innovation was the use of a sesqiplane layout, with a larger top wing and small narrow chord lower wing, connected by 'V' interplane struts. This gave both excellent manoeuvrability and field of view. The arrangement could be fragile in a dive however, and care was needed to avoid flutter and tearing the wings off.

Known as the Bébé due to its diminutive size, the aircraft served in the front line for over a year, and was used by the air forces of France, Britain, Italy, Russia, and Belgium, with a total of over 7,000 produced.

The Kit
First released in the early 2000's, this latest release is a very welcome reissue. Offered as a 'Weekend edition' the box art features Armand de Turenne's tricolour painted Ni-11, with a small profile Raoul Lufbery's machine below.

Inside are two sprues of beautifully moulded parts that are still as good and crisp as they were when first released several years ago. Everything is flash-free, and what few ejector pin marks there are, are well hidden where they will not be seen. The fuselage mouldings are especially good, with beautifully fine stitching and rivet detail. We are also supplied with a very nicely moulded little pilot figure, unusually in a standing pose to display by the finished model. This is a very nice touch, and most welcome.



The smaller parts are all supplied on the second sprue, and again all is very finely moulded to an excellent standard. Several parts are not required, such as the Le Prieur rockets and their associated 'V' struts, and the headerest for the almost identical Nieuport 16, which is also kitted by Eduard.



The model itself goes together very easily and accurately. I know because I have built several over the years, in both Ni-11 and NI-16 issues. There are no pitfalls to watch out for, it is pretty much a trouble free build. A couple of simple suggestions though;

- Glue the cabane struts B30 and B31 to the unpainted fuselage before painting. This will give a nice strong join, and does not interfere very much with painting anyway.

- Unusually, Roundels are carried on the under surfaces of both wings. Paint the underside of the top wing and apply the roundel decals to it before assembly. The Roundels cover the mounting holes for the tops of the 'V' struts, and you can't put them on after it is all assembled. There is a reason that I know this!

A small clear moulded windshield is provided. This is actually mostly frame to be painted, with a central section left clear.


Rigging is fairly minimal, and can be done fairly easily with stretched sprue. Alternatively, Invisible mending thread also works, and is my preferred method.

Marking Options.
Two options are supplied, the very attractive Tricolour machine of Armand de Turenne as featured prominently on the box art, and the more drab version flown by Raoul Lufberry.


The box art and instructions depict very different shades of blue on the forward fuselage of Turenne's machine, dark on the box and overly bright in the instructions. The most likely shade is probably that of the roundels, so personally I would match my paint to the roundel blue on the decals.



This is a lovely kit of an equally lovely little aeroplane. The mouldings are first class, and from experience I know that it is a trouble free build. With care it can be assembled without any need for filler, it is that good.
It is also an ideal 'first biplane' as the inverted 'V' cabane strut and normal 'V' interplane struts make alignment virtually foolproof. Rigging consists of 3 lines per wing, an 'X' on the undercarriage, 2 tiny lines to the rudder, and 2 runs per fuselage side to the elevators. All very easily done with stretched sprue and white glue.
The finished model beautifully captures the light and delicate look of the real Bébé , and is no bigger than a 1:72 Spitfire so you can build an display lots of them. It is hard to choose a favourite among Eduards exquisite range of WW1 aircraft, but this is definitely in my top 5. I am very pleased to see it available once again.

This is one I made a few years ago, albeit not the same version as this release. It has the Le Prier rockets which were intended for Balloon busting, but were found to be inaccurate. Note the outlining on the flying surfaces, (see masking review)



Highly Recommended.

Also available is a Mask set


Review sample courtesy of


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