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1/48 Eduard Nieuport 16

Article by Lee Rouse
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Kit Review
Nieuport 16
Manufacturer: Eduard
Scale: 1/48
MSRP: $36.98

Having just finished the Eduard Nieuport 21, and being strongly bitten by the biplane-building-bug, I ordered the recently re-released Nieuport 16 kit from Squadron. I found this kit, like the "21", to be a pleasure to build. The kit offers 4 decal options. I chose to build the Belgian air service markings, basically because I liked the combination of the green and brown camouflage with the bright red, yellow and black national markings.

As is typical for most kits, construction started with the cockpit, which uses a combination of plastic and photoetch parts. The instruction visuals are pretty clear, but I still had to scrutinize them carefully to ensure correct location of some of the parts. To simulate the wood of the cockpit interior, I airbrushed a coat of Tamiya Buff (XF57), followed by a semi-random penciling in of wood grain lines using a light brown Prismacolor pencil. This was overlaid with several coats of Tamiya clear yellow mixed with a little clear red (I followed basically the same procedure to simulate the wooden propeller, except that I overcoated with a mix of Tamiya clear Red, Blue and Orange [purple and orange make brown]).

There were a couple of parts that just didn't seem to fit quite right. First, the photoetch seat, once assembled and mounted, tilted back so far that the back of the seat was no longer aligned with the top of the cockpit opening, but behind it. I added a piece of scrap plastic to correctly orient the seat. Problem solved. Then there was the control stick, which when mounted according the instructions, sits behind the instrument panel! Oh well.

With the cockpit finished, fuselage halves were cemented together. The lower wing and horizontal stabilizer were fitted and glued to the fuselage. The lower wing fit was adequate but left large seams where it mated with the fuselage. These were filled with superglue gel, followed by accelerator, and then heavy sanding using a 300 grit sanding stick. Eventually (after several applications), the seams were hidden.

I next mixed up a home brew of doped linen (Tamiya White, toned down with Tamiya Buff), and sprayed the bottoms of the wings and fuselage. Upper fuselage colors presented somewhat of a puzzler. The color 3-views in the instructions showed a light, slightly yellowish green, and a red-brown. The paint callouts called for Tamiya Red-Brown, and Tamiya Black-Green. Black-green?? Well after some poking around on the Web it seemed that French WWI colors were a bit of a mystery even to the experts. That was just fine with me as it allowed me license to do what I wanted. I ended up using Testors Enamel SAC Bomber Green and Tamiya Red-Brown, lightened with Buff. The underside of the bottom wing and bottom of the fuselage were masked off, and the SAC green airbrushed on the sides and upper surfaces. Paper masks (cut out from enlargements of the kit painting instructions) were used to cover the green, then the red-brown mix was airbrushed on.

The cabane struts, previously painted using my Wood technique, were glued to the top of the fuselage. The top wing was glued into place, and wing struts added, working from the interior to outside of the wing.

.005 invisible thread, painted black with a Sharpie permanent marker, was used for rigging. Prior to assembling or painting the wings, I had drilled rigging locator holes about way through the bottom wing, and completely through the top wing. With the wings assembled, rigging was glued into the locator holes in the bottom wing, pulled through the appropriate holes in the top wing and secured with a tiny amount of superglue. The protruding thread was shaved off with a sharp blade followed by a light sanding. The perimeter of the underside of the top wing was masked off, and the top of the top wing was then airbrushed with first green, the red-brown. Raised ribbing was highlighted with a darkened mix of the base color, which was airbrushed along the ribbing lines.

Wheel struts and wheels were painted and glued to the bottom of the fuselage. Once this was done the machine gun assembly was added to the top wing.

Decals were excellent and gave me no trouble at all.

I have definitely been bitten by the WWI modeling bug, and look forward to building other aircraft in the Eduard line the future.

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