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Breguet Bre-14A & B (KPM0321 & KPM0322) 1:72


Mike

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Breguet Bre-14A & B (KPM0321 & KPM0322)

1:72 Kovozávody Prostějov

 

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The Breguet 14 was an impressively fast and agile light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft that was developed by French aviation pioneer company that was innovative because it used substantial quantities of aluminium in its structure that made it lighter and stronger than its contemporaries to such an extent that it could actually outpace some of the fighters of the era.  As a result, it remained in service longer than many aircraft of the day that were typically short-lived due to the speed that aviation was advancing at the time.  It first flew at the end of 1916 at the hands of its designer, reaching squadron service the following April as both a bomber and recon aircraft, where it performed very well overall, taking part in many operations as the war progressed to its conclusion, toward the end of 1918.  The A2 was the reconnaissance variant, while the B2 was the bomber.

 

It sold well to other countries due to its performance and utility, seeing service in substantial numbers with America, Siam, Spain, Brazil and China to name a few from the many.  After the war a number of other variants were built, including a new improved wing, a twin-float seaplane and a passenger option known as the Salon, as well as an air ambulance and transport.  Production continued until 1928, by which time around 8,000 airframes had been made in total, achieving over a decade of production during a rapidly changing period of aviation technology.

 

 

The Kit

These are reboxing with new parts of a 2006 tooling from AZ Model, switching brand lines to KPM for this pair of boxings, which have been released in tandem, as they contain most of the same plastic but different decals and instructions.  The differences are reasonably apparent, as the bomber has a four-pane window in the sides of the gunner’s station, and a quartet of bombs, two under each wing, which are also slightly different between the two variants.  Time has been kind to the moulds, but my sample had a little flash here and there, mostly confined to the sprues, but as I always say flash is easier to remedy than short-shot parts.

 

Common Sprues

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Bre-14A Sprue

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Bre-14B Sprue

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Construction begins with the fuselage, which is where the windows come into play on the bomber variant, and clearly don’t for the recon bird. A little mould-damage has crept in around the upper fuselage opening on both variants, and I’ve marked those on the sprues in red for your ease, but it’s a simple job to remove, as the edges are readily apparent along the straight boundaries, so should pose no problem unless you have really shaky hands, poor vision and a blunt blade.  A T-shaped platform is inserted into the forward cowling, windows or otherwise in the rear, after which you can insert the cockpit floor, which consists of two floor panels, the forward one having rudder bar and both control sticks moulded-in, the aft cockpit having just the rudder bar, the rear stick projecting back on a long extension into the co-pilot/gunner’s area.  The pilot’s seat sits on a H-shaped cross-member, while the rear seat is an odd-shaped part that fixes into the fuselage side, both getting a set of decal lap-belts after painting.  The rear seat has an ejector-pin mark on the top, but it’s raised on a flat surface, so should be simple to remove.   The fuselage can be closed up once interior areas are painted, and the tail-skid with a short piece of 0.3mm wire is inserted into the aft of the fuselage.  After closure, the top insert that fills the gap around the crew is dropped in, and the rhino-like exhaust system is glued onto the top of the cowling, with the square radiator and two-blade prop attached to the front.  The bomber fuselage also has another slim insert with window frames facing up, and these should be glazed with Clear-Fix, or some acetate sheet if you’re feeling adventurous.  A pair of inverted-V cabane struts are added to the top, and a single Vickers machine gun is fitted to the top side of the fuselage, then the elevator and rudder fin are fixed to the rear.

 

The landing gear assembly is built around the aerodynamically faired axle, which slips through the two supports, trapped in place by adding the two wheels at the ends of the axle.  It would be wise to glue these and test-fit them to the underside of the fuselage until they are dried to ensure that they line up correctly.  The lower wings are each attached to the fuselage on a pair of pins, so alignment will be key here too, as will your choice of glue to achieve a strong joint.  Ignoring the rigging, and we’d all like to at some point, there are four interplane struts joining each wing together, each one having a depression to ensure a good fit.  A trio of wiring diagrams at the bottom of the page show the location of the rigging lines, which you are recommended to use 0.1mm thread to complete.  The remaining parts make up the twin Lewis guns on a ring mount that fits on the rear seater’s circular aperture, then they both get a windscreen each from the clear parts sprue and a small circular part (possibly a rear-view mirror?) is glued to the trailing edge at the centre of the upper wing.  The bomber variant finally gets two tubular bombs under each wing, with their location shown in the instructions.

 

Markings

Each boxing has three decal options that are printed on the rear of the box, and strangely the first two of the A boxing is marked as a B, although it doesn’t have the side windows fitted, so whether it’s a typo or a B that had its windows removed, you’ll have to decide for yourself.  From each boxing, you can build one of the following:

 

 

Breguet Bre-14A2

 

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Breguet Bre-14B2

 

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The decals are well-printed in good register, with a thin glossy carrier film close to the printed edges for the most part, but with a few a little larger.  This shouldn’t cause too much of an issue however, as the film is thin and has a relatively soft edge.

 

 

Conclusion

A pair of interesting reboxings of another lesser-known WWI subject that was quite a technological innovation for the day.  Good detail and some colourful decal options round out the package.

 

Highly recommended.

 

Review sample courtesy of

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