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Azurís 1/72 Loire-Nieuport LN411

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

 

History

 

The Loire-Nieuport LN411 was designed to be a shipboard single seat dive-bomber with semi-retractable undercarriage. Design took place in 1936 and the first prototype took to the air in June 1938. Originally the design was made available to both the Air Force and the Navy, with the Navyís version being designated LN401 and the Air Force version designated LN411. After flight trials, though, the Air Force determined that the LN411 was too slow and lacked maneuverability. As a result, all theLN411s ended up with the Navy instead, and served alongside their LN401 counterparts.

The LN401/411 saw service in the opening days of the Second World War, where its shortcomings quickly became apparent. In one attack against a crossroads, 20 planes attacked, with a result of 10 being shot down and limited damage on the crossroads. The LN401/411s were then relegated to flying reconnaissance missions over the Italian coast until the capitulation of France, after which the remaining 15 planes flew to North Africa. Production was terminated when the Germans occupied the factory, and the LN401/411 faded into obscurity.

The Kit

Azurís kit of the Loire-Nieuport LN411 is the first injection plastic kit of this rare French design, and it captures the ungainly look quite well. Molded in the usual light gray plastic, the kit features finely recessed panel lines and an interesting construction sequence that should minimize the number of seams to fill. The interior is a combination of plastic and etched brass, with the instrument panel, seat belts, and some sidewall details provided in brass and the floorboard, seat, stick, and rear bulkhead done in plastic.

The fuselage is split in halves normally, but the interesting part is with the wings. Instead of having a one-piece lower wing, itís split into a center section and two outboard sections. The seam runs along the point where the gull wing bottoms out, so filling the seam should be really easy. Separate pieces are included for the wheel well interiors, as well as the radiators. The landing gear will need some cleanup work, but should look good when done and looks to be quite sturdy.

There is a vacuformed canopy provided, but only one, so some care will be needed in cutting it out. No backup plan here! The decals are printed by Cartograf out of Italy and look to be very thin and very well done. There are two choices given, both from líEscadrille AB4. The camouflage given states that the plane should have light gray blue undersurfaces and an upper surface pattern consisting of mid gray-blue, khaki, and brown. After doing a small bit of research, Iíve found that the khaki is actually more of a green than anything. Resources will definitely be a must when finishing this plane.

Conclusion

French aviation during the Second World War seems to be experiencing a surge lately, and this kit is a great example of one of the lesser-known designs. The triple tail, gull wing, and ungainly landing gear make this a wonderfully odd-looking plane, and itís great to finally have a quality injection plastic kit of it. If youíre into French aircraft, or just want something a little different on your shelf, this is one you should look into.




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Air Intelligence
1999 Modelers'
Reference Guides

1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00

Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.

TacAir Publications

PO Box 90933
Albuquerque NM
87199-0933
USA

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