HR Models Resin Morane-Saulnier Type L
The Morane-Saulnier (MoS) Type L was derived from the earlier Type G. While it was not too popular with its pilots, the type achieved greatness in other ways. It was the first tractor airplane to have a gun firing through the arc of the propeller, which it achieved by having armor deflector plates mounted on the airscrew. It also achieved fame when British Sub-Lieutenant Warneford brought down Zeppelin LZ37 with bombs mounted on his undercarriage. The MoS Type L was also the aircraft French Ace Georges Guynemer flew to achieve his first aerial victory.
There have been plenty of models of the MoS Type L in 1/72 - a couple of vacuforms, and at least one injected kit done by 12 Squared. However, except for the wing, the HR kit is so far the best I have seen.
The kit provides some options. The earlier Type L's had a "wider" undercarriage stance, while the later versions were built along the lines of the Type N and such. HR provides you with both versions of struts. Also provided is the fin/rudder for the later versions. The fuselage is only meant as a single seater, but cutting out the extra hole for the rear gunner/observer should not prove difficult.
While the decals provide markings for Garros' machine, they do not provide the propeller with the metal wedges to deflect the bullets. If you have an HR MoS Type N - and build it into a Type I or Type V - you could use that propeller for Garros' machine, since that kit provides both propellers.
The resin is very nice, and there are no air-holes. However, the wing is way too thick, and unfortunately thinning it down will remove HR's excellent treatment of wing rib tapes. My example came with a warped wing as well, which was not a problem to fix by dipping it in hot water to straighten out.
The only instructions included is an A4 sheet of paper with line and tonal drawings of the three main machines provided for on the decal sheet. There are no assembly diagrams, so extra reference material is a must for assembling this kit. References available are the Albatros Productions Datafile #16, and the big French book by Flying Machines Press.
According to the Datafile drawings, the fuselage represents the shorter, earlier production type. However, there is only a couple of millimeter difference between the earlier and later types, so if you're not too pedantic, you could build a later production machine with this kit.
Besides Garros' machine, other decal options include Guynemer's machine; however, he flew many Type L's, and the photographs in the Avions Guynemer book show rudder serials while the HR decals provide none specifically for Guynemer. One other decal option is for Warneford's famous Type L that he used to shoot down Zeppelin LZ37 . It seems that anybody who comes out with a Type L provides decals for Warneford. The decals are made by "MPD" - whomever they are - and appear to be very well done, in register decals. The nice thing about the decals is their inclusion of two types of MoS logo's - two black and two white. This will prove very useful for other MoS models. Also included on the decal sheet are separate numbers so you can make practically any serial MoS Type L. So, the fact that HR does not include specific decals for Guynemer's machine does not really matter, because you can build the serial using the separate numbers.
While not for a novice, those who have built resin kits before - especially WW1 types - will have no problem with this kit. However, the interesting part is going to be mounting the wing to the struts, while maintaining enough strength for moving the model around. I suspect if you drill through the wing for the warping wires, this will provide plenty of strength. Just be sure no one picks it up by the wing.
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
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