HR Models 1/72
Morane-Saulnier Type G
The Morane-Saulnier (MoS) Type G was a pre-WW1 design that saw limited use early in the war. While the French did not use many of them during the fighting, instead relegating most to training duties, the Imperial Russian Air Service (IRAS) did use them in a fighting capacity. In fact, the IRAS came up with a number of unique designs to get the MoS Type G into a fighting role.
The first was by ramming. Petr Nesterov downed an Austro-Hungarian aircraft by ramming it, not only taking the lives of the crew of the Austro-Hungarian machine, but also his own life. Before that attack, though, Nesterov came up with the unique design of mounting a very large saw-like knife to the tailskid. The thinking was to rip the fabric of balloons with the knife. However, there were no lighter-than-aircraft flying on the Russian front at that time. Plus, Nesterov perished in his ramming attack before being able to try his idea.
Another unique design that was actually put to use was made by Lieutenant Kozakov (who later became the first IRAS ace with 17 victories). He attached an anchor to a length of rope, and hung the anchor below his cockpit and tied the rope under the fuselage. To the anchor he added gun cotton. The thinking was to climb higher than his adversary and release the anchor, hoping to "hook" the enemy machine and survive the resultant explosion. Kozakov actually put this device to use, knocking down a German Albatros with the anchor and survived the attack.
One other design an IRAS pilot came up with was to mount a Madsen machine gun to the top of the strut pylon and angling it to fire above the propeller. Unfortunately the Madsen was not a machine gun with a lot of "punch" so the design quickly faded. This was an excellent example of trying to mount a gun to an aircraft prior to the invention of the synchronizer.
The HR MoS Type G consists of approximately 38 resin pieces with a photoetch fret of 29 pieces. The only profile is on the cover of the box - for Kozakov's anchor equipped machine - but the decals consist of roundels, some serials, MoS cowl logos and white and black skull and cross bone images for the rudder. However, I haven't seen any photos with MoS Type G's carrying the skull and cross bones.
The resin pieces are very well done! While my fuselage has air/pin holes, the rest of the kit is pretty clean. Wings are thin enough to get by, while tailpieces are very well done. The IRAS machines could have two different types of wings, one longer than the other. Out of the box the kit comes with the longer wings. I'm not sure if by just reducing the tips one can build a machine with the smaller wings, but I think it can be done.
Interior details consist of the floor with molded on rudder pedals, a place for the seat and "relief" wood grain, plus the unique double-seat. More will definitely need to be added since it's such a large, open area, but HR gives you a good start.
There are two different wheels on the resin "wafer" - a set with "covered" spokes, and a set with an open center to add the provided, photoetch spokes. Unfortunately the photoetch spokes are too "thick" and are best replaced from another source.
In fact, the instructions are very lacking and you're left on your own as far as where the other photoetch pieces go. Some of these are not very obvious and photos will have to be studied.
All in all, this is a very nice model. HR has been hit and miss for me. Fortunately all of the MoS kits I have from them so far - this Type G, the Type L and the Type N - are all hits. This kit is highly recommended, especially since it's the only current kit of the Type G now available.