HR Models 1/72 Breguet 14 A.2
There were two major versions of the Breguet 14. The first - 14 A.2, which is represented by this kit - was used primarily as an observation/ reconnaissance machine. The second, the 14 B.2, was used primarily as a bomber. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is with the fuselage. On the majority of B.2s, there were windows installed for the rear gunner/observer on the sides of the fuselage. Supposedly, these were to allow light in to make it easier to use the bombsight. On the A.2 these windows did not exist. Plus, on the earlier B.2s, the lower wings had "flaps" on the trailing edge that helped to provide lift at slower speeds. (Note that the B.2 variant is currently available from Pegasus as well as an out of production kit from Merlin.)
As with most other things WW1, you must work from photographs. There are enough differences not only between major types (A.2 versus B.2), but also within types. For example, the later B.2s did not have the lower wing flaps, nor did they have the windows on the side of the fuselage. Some A.2s deleted the observer's gun ring and gun. Plus, there were at least three types of engines used on the 14s, resulting in different nose configurations. So, be sure you have a photograph of the machine you want to model before building it.
Overall this kit is very well done. There were some air holes in my example, but they're not that numerous. While most parts are in scale, there are a few problems. The lower wing is wonderfully thin, but the upper wing (which is provided in two parts) is a little over scale. The horizontal tail needs reducing in thickness as well.
However, the worst in terms of thickness is the cockpit wall. The fuselage halves are extremely thick - about 1/8" thick (which scales out to be 9 inches), which is much too thick for the era. While you could use a Dremel and sandpaper to thin it, I think the easiest way to bring the fuselage sides/cockpit walls into scale is to cut them off the kit, and replace with .010 inch sheet plastic. Yes, it is some work, but I think it will be easier in the long run. Unfortunately, this means you will have to replace the exterior longeron "look" - that is, the representation the longerons give under the stretched fabric.
All major parts are provided for in resin. All of the "finer" parts appear well rendered and relatively to scale. The holes in the undercarriage struts for the axle wing are flashed over and will have to be drilled out carefully, to avoid breakage of the surrounding "strutage" area.
Instructions consist of one sheet of A4 paper containing tonal drawings of three Czech machines and basic outline drawings. There are no assembly instructions, so looking over available references is a must. Decals consist only of yellowed Czech flags.
If you have experience with resin kits, especially WW1 aircraft, you will have little problem with this kit. The most difficult areas will be the thinning of the upper wing halves, as well as the fuselage/cockpit sides. With its large sides, the Breguet 14 really showed off the French Escadrille emblems. Plus, the USAS (United States Air Service) machines also had some unique squadron emblems. With an ALPS printer in hand (to make your own decals), one could make a very striking machine out of the HR Models Breguet 14.
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.
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